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Crick v. Starr

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District

June 21, 2013

ROY L. CRICK, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF RAY A. STARR Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
DAVID A. STARR Defendant-Appellee

Sitting by Assignment by the Ohio Supreme Court

Appeal from the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2010 CV 3985

For Plaintiff-Appellant: EDWIN ROMERO, THOMAS F. HULL, II.

For Defendant-Appellee: DONALD P. LEONE.

OPINION

JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J., Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J., Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J.

Delaney, J.

{¶1} Plaintiff-Appellant Roy L. Crick, Executor of the Estate of Ray A. Starr appeals the April 2, 2012 judgment entry of the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

{¶2} On July 7, 2009, Plaintiff-Appellant Roy L. Crick, Executor of the Estate of Ray A. Starr filed a complaint for declaratory judgment against Defendant-Appellee David A. Starr in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division. Executor brought the complaint pursuant to R.C. 2101.24(A)(1)(l) and R.C. 2721.01, et seq., requesting the probate court to determine the validity of the alleged transfer of two parcels of real estate from the decedent, Ray Starr to his brother, David Starr. Executor requested the probate court to order David Starr to convey the two parcels of real estate to the Estate.

{¶3} The probate court ruled by judgment entry of September 22, 2010. The probate court held that as to one parcel of real estate, David Starr received title as an unconditional gift from the decedent. The probate court determined the transfer of the second parcel of real estate was not a completed gift and ordered David Starr to execute a general warranty deed conveying the property to the Estate.

{¶4} On October 20, 2010, Executor filed a complaint in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, General Division against David Starr. Executor brought the action pursuant to R.C. 2127.40, requesting a determination that the transfer of the remaining parcel of real estate transferred from the decedent to David Starr was made with the intent to defraud the decedent's creditors.

{¶5} David Starr filed a motion to dismiss on August 24, 2011. Executor responded to the motion. The magistrate assigned to the matter converted the motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment. David Starr filed a motion for summary judgment on January 30, 2012, arguing the Executor's complaint was barred by res judicata and/or collateral estoppel. On February 27, 2012, the magistrate issued his decision. The magistrate questioned whether the court of common pleas, general division had jurisdiction to hear the complaint. The magistrate stated the general division appeared to have jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to R.C. 2127.40, but in this case, the probate court had already assumed jurisdiction over the matter in the 2009 proceeding. The magistrate sustained David Starr's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the matter.

{ΒΆ6} Executor filed objections to the magistrate's decision and David Starr responded. On April 2, 2012, the trial court modified the magistrate's decision that dismissed the case; instead, the trial court transferred the matter to the probate court. The trial court made no determination as to David Starr's argument that the Executor's claims were barred by res judicata or collateral estoppel. Nor did the trial court reach the ...


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