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TRE Properties v. Means

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

June 17, 2013

TRE PROPERTIES Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
BRIDGETTE DENISE MEANS Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Canton Municipal Court Case No. 2012 CVG 5140

For Plaintiff-Appellee: Loren E. Souers, Jr.

For Defendant-Appellant:Gerald B. Golub

Hon. John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Delaney, J.

{¶1} Defendant-Appellant Bridgette Denise Means appeals the October 31, 2012 judgment entry of the Canton Municipal Court.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

{¶2} On August 8, 2012, Plaintiff-Appellee TRE Properties LLC filed a complaint in the Canton Municipal Court alleging breach of lease by Defendant-Appellant Bridgette Denise Means. The complaint stated when Means vacated the rental property on July 1, 2012, she owed TRE Properties $2918.00 in rent. She also had an unpaid water bill in the amount of $365.94 and an unpaid sewer bill in the amount of $236.20. The complaint also stated Means caused damage to the property beyond ordinary wear and tear, constituting deliberate and willful destruction of the property and entitling TRE Properties to reasonable attorney fees under R.C. 5321.05(C)(1). Included within the itemized list of damages to the property was a $1, 500 loan to Means. Based on the breach of the lease and the damage to the property, TRE requested $14, 998.98 in damages plus reasonable attorney fees.

{¶3} Means was served with the complaint on August 13, 2012. TRE Properties filed a motion for default judgment on September 14, 2012. The trial court granted the motion on September 14, 2012. The judgment entry, prepared by TRE Properties, stated:

Upon motion of Plaintiff for default judgment, and Defendant being in default for answer, the Court finds the allegations on the complaint set forth are confessed by Defendant to be true and the Court finds on the issues joined in favor of the Plaintiff in the sum of $14, 998.98. The Court further finds sufficient evidence has been presented to determine that the damages suffered by Plaintiff constitute deliberate and willful destruction to Plaintiff's property by the Defendants, and that by reason thereof, Plaintiff is entitled to reasonable attorney fees under R.C. 5321.05(C)(1).

{¶4} On October 2, 2012, Means filed a motion for relief from judgment. In her motion, she disputed the general characterization of the damages in the judgment entry as "deliberate and willful destruction to Plaintiff's property." She argued some of damages included unpaid bills and a loan. She further argued the property damage was the result of a drain back up. TRE Properties responded to the motion.

{¶5} A magistrate conducted a hearing on the motion for relief from judgment on October 17, 2012. On October 18, 2012, the magistrate issued his report and denied the motion for relief from judgment. The magistrate's report did not contain any conspicuous Civ.R. 53(D)(3)(a)(iii) language. The docket does not reflect the magistrate's report was served on the parties.

{¶6} On October 26, 2012, the trial court, on its own motion, approved and confirmed the magistrate's report. The October 26, 2012 judgment entry was served on the attorneys by ordinary mail.

{ΒΆ7} Means filed an objection to the magistrate's report on October 30, 2012. The objection was silent as to whether Means intended to file a transcript of the October 17, 2012 hearing. Means did not file a motion for leave of court to supplement the objections with the transcript. On ...


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