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Clifford v. Aleshire

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

June 20, 2013

JACQUIN CLIFFORD FKA COTTRELL, ET AL Plaintiffs-Appellants
v.
LONNIE J. ALESHIRE, JR. Defendant-Appellee

Civil appeal from the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2010CV093

For Plaintiffs-Appellants BEVERLY FARLOW CHELSEA BERGER.

For Defendant-Appellee ALVAND MOKHTARI PLUNKETT COONEY.

JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Gwin, P.J.

{¶1} Appellants appeal the September 4, 2012 judgment entry of the Licking County Common Pleas Court denying their motion for prejudgment interest.

Facts & Procedural History

{¶2} Appellants, former parishioners of Licking Baptist Church, filed a complaint against appellee Lonnie J. Aleshire, Jr., the church music director and youth leader, alleging sexual assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and loss of consortium. At the conclusion of a jury trial, the jury awarded appellants a total of $4, 350, 623. On August 31, 2012, the trial court memorialized the jury verdict in a final judgment entry.

{¶3} On July 12, 2012, appellants filed a motion for prejudgment and post judgment interest and requested oral hearings on the motions. Appellants initiated discovery pertaining to the motions for prejudgment and post judgment interest by sending a Request for Production of Documents to appellee and a Notice of Submittal of Plaintiffs' Request for Production of Documents Pertaining to Plaintiffs' Motion for Prejudgment and Postjudgment Interest with the trial court on July 16, 2012. Appellee filed an opposition to the motion on July 30, 2012 and filed a motion for protective order regarding all post-trial production of documents. In their opposition to the motion for prejudgment interest, appellee argued appellants knew appellee had no insurance coverage for the award of damages as Church Mutual denied coverage to appellee because appellants' lawsuit alleged intentional sexual misconduct.

{¶4} The trial court did not set a date certain for the submission of evidentiary materials or an oral evidentiary hearing on the motion for prejudgment interest. The trial court entered a judgment entry on September 4, 2012, granting appellants' motion for post judgment interest, but denying appellants' motion for prejudgment interest. In the judgment entry the trial court stated, "Defendant's insurer offered to pay the costs of defense, but they are not liable for defendant's intentional sexual assaults."

{¶5} Appellants now raise the following assignments of error on appeal:

{¶6} "I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW BY FAILING TO SET AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING PRIOR TO RULING ON A MOTION FOR PREJUDGMENT INTEREST, AS IS REQUIRED BY THE OHIO SUPREME COURT IN PRUSZYNSKI V. REEVES, 117 OHIO ST.3D 92, 93-96 (2008).

{¶7} "II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW AND FACT BY ISSUING A RULING ON PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS' MOTION FOR PREJUDGMENT INTEREST THAT RELIES ON EVIDENCE THAT IS NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN THE RECORD.

{¶8} "III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW AND FACT BY MAKING A FINDING OF FACT ABOUT DEFENDANT-APPELLEE'S INSURER'S LIABILITY WHEN THERE IS NO SUPPORT FOR ...


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