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The Citizens Bank of Logan v. Pam Hines

February 7, 2013

THE CITIZENS BANK OF LOGAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
PAM HINES, AKA PAMELA HINES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McFarland, P. J.

Cite as Citizens Bank v. Hines,

DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

{¶1} Appellant, Pam Hines, appeals from a grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellee, The Citizens Bank of Logan, on a creditor's bill, as well as a decree in foreclosure related to seven different properties. On appeal, Appellant contends that the trial court 1) committed error in awarding summary judgment upon plaintiff's motion given defendant's inability to defend against said motion, for want of opportunity to complete intended discovery; and 2) committed error in denying her request for a continuance, given that she was without the benefit of counsel for an extended period of time.

{¶2} In light of our finding that Appellant's request for a continuance did not meet the requirements of Civ.R. 56(F), we cannot conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in denying Appellant's request for a continuance. As such, Appellant's first and second assignments of error are overruled and the decision of the trial court is affirmed.

FACTS

{¶3} On July 20, 2010, Appellee, The Citizens Bank of Logan, filed a creditor's bill and complaint, based upon a previously obtained judgment against Appellant, Pamela Hines, in the amount of $1,475,890.83, together with interest in the amount of $42,710.77, late charges and fees totaling $14,840.20, as well as post-judgment interest. In support of its claim, Appellee alleged that Appellant had insufficient personal or real property subject to levy on execution to satisfy the judgment, but that Appellant had an equitable interest in the estate of Laisa Prokos, the executor of which was also named as a defendant in the complaint.

{¶4} On August 25, 2010, Appellee further filed a complaint for money, foreclosure and other equitable relief. The complaint for money related to two different promissory notes held by Appellee as against Appellant, the first with a balance of $1,086,024.62 plus interest, late charges and fees, and the second with a balance of $283,484.95 plus interest, late charges and fees. The complaint for foreclosure and other equitable relief sought a determination that the mortgages executed in connection with the notes and the judgment lien held by Appellee be foreclosed. Specifically, Appellee sought to foreclose its interest in seven parcels of real property held by Appellant and located in Athens County, Ohio. Multiple other defendants with various alleged interests in the subject properties were named as defendants in the action, however, Pam Hines is the only named defendant that has appealed the decision of the trial court.

{¶5} Appellant filed answers to both complaints and the discovery process began. The two cases were consolidated in the trial court in April of 2011. Appellant's original counsel withdrew from representation in May of 2011, and substitute counsel took over for Appellant from June until September 2011, at which time substitute counsel withdrew as well. Appellee filed a motion for summary judgment on October 3, 2011, during a time in which Appellant was unrepresented; however upon obtaining new counsel November 1, 2011, the trial court granted Appellant an extension until November 30, 2011, in which to respond to the motion for summary judgment.

{¶6} On November 30, 2011, Appellant filed her response to the motion for summary judgment, which also contained a request for a continuance in order to conduct additional discovery. This motion was denied by the trial court on December 12, 2011. The trial court subsequently granted Appellee's motion for summary judgment on December 27, 2011. Further, the trial court issued a final entry on the matter on January 12, 2012, followed by a decree in foreclosure on January 13, 2012. It is from these orders that Appellant now brings her timely appeal, setting forth two assignments of error for our review.

ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR

"I. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED ERROR IN AWARDING

SUMMARY JUDGMENT UPON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION GIVEN DEFENDANT'S INABILITY TO ADEQUATELY DEFEND AGAINST SAID MOTION, FOR WANT OF OPPORTUNITY TO COMPLETE INTENDED DISCOVERY EFFORTS.

II. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED ERROR IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR A CONTINUANCE, GIVEN THAT DEFENDANT WAS WITHOUT BENEFIT OF COUNSEL ...


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