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Abn Amro Mortgage Group, Inc. v. Irene Evans

November 3, 2011

ABN AMRO MORTGAGE GROUP, INC. PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
IRENE EVANS, ET AL. DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-589598

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kathleen Ann Keough, J.:

Cite as ABN AMRO Mtge. Group, Inc. v. Evans,

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

JUDGMENT:

REVERSED AND REMANDED

BEFORE: Keough, J., Celebrezze, P.J., and Sweeney, J.

{¶1} Defendants-appellants, Irene Evans and Mark Evans ("appellants"), appeal the trial court's decision denying their motion for sanctions for lack of jurisdiction. For the following reasons, we reverse and remand.

{¶2} In 2006, plaintiff-appellee, ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc. ("appellee"), filed a foreclosure action against appellants. After extensive discovery, appellee voluntarily dismissed its complaint pursuant to Civ.R. 41(A)(1)(a). Thereafter, appellants moved for sanctions pursuant to Civ.R. 11 and R.C. 2323.51. The trial court denied appellants' motion, finding that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the motion because it was filed after appellee had voluntarily dismissed its complaint.

{¶3} Appellants appeal raising the following assignments of error:

"1. Where the defendants moved for sanctions and recovery of attorneys' fees under Rule 11, the trial court erred and abused its discretion by denying such motion on the grounds that the plaintiff's filing of a Rule 41(A) notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice divested it of jurisdiction to impose such sanctions.

"2. Where defendants moved for sanctions and recovery of attorneys' fees under R.C. 2323.51, the trial court erred and abused its discretion by denying such motion on the grounds that the plaintiff's filing of a Rule 41(A) notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice divested it of jurisdiction to impose such sanctions."

{¶4} Because these two assignments of error are interrelated, they will be addressed together.

{¶5} We apply a de novo standard of review to questions of subject-matter jurisdiction. Udelson v. Udelson, Cuyahoga App. No. 92717, 2009-Ohio-6462.

"Subject-matter jurisdiction is the power conferred on a court to decide a particular matter on its merits and render an enforceable judgment over the action." Id., citing Morrison v. Steiner (1972), 32 Ohio ...


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