Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Needham v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District

July 8, 2013

ASHLEY NEEDHAM, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
DONALD JONES d.b.a. WE SELL AUTO SALES, Defendant-Appellant.

CIVIL APPEAL FROM MIDDLETOWN MUNICIPAL COURT Case No. 2009-CVF-00436

Joseph R. Matejkovic, for plaintiffs-appellees

Gregory Peck, for defendant-appellant

OPINION

S. POWELL, J.

{¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Donald Jones d.b.a. We Sell Auto Sales, appeals from the decision of Middletown Municipal Court awarding default judgment to plaintiffs-appellees, Ashley and Charles Needham. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

{¶ 2} In June of 2008, Ashley, with the help of her grandfather, Charles (collectively, the "Needhams"), engaged the services of We Sell Auto Sales ("We Sell Auto") to install a new engine in her 1996 Dodge Intrepid for $600. Upon retrieving the vehicle from the shop, Ashley experienced significant problems with its operation. Subsequent attempts to fix the vehicle proved futile, and the vehicle was ultimately deemed a total loss.

{¶ 3} On January 21, 2009, Ashley filed a complaint against We Sell Auto alleging a breach of contract, negligence, fraud, and a violation of Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act. The complaint, however, did not name Charles as an additional plaintiff.

{¶ 4} On February 3, 2009, service was perfected on We Sell Auto by certified mail. On March 2, 2009, counsel for We Sell Auto entered an appearance. However, although an answer was due the following day, We Sell Auto did not file its answer until nine days later, March 12, 2009. We Sell Auto then filed a motion to dismiss on April 1, 2009. As part of its motion to dismiss, We Sell Auto argued that Ashley did not have standing to pursue her claims as she was not a party to the contract - a designation that belonged to Charles. In response, on April 8, 2009, an amended complaint was filed adding Charles as an additional plaintiff, thereby rendering We Sell Auto's motion to dismiss moot. No answer to the amended complaint was ever filed.

{¶ 5} On May 21, 2009, the Needhams filed a motion to compel discovery first requested on April 6, 2009. Several months later, on September 1, 2009, We Sell Auto finally provided its answers and objections to the previously submitted discovery requests. As part of its discovery responses, We Sell Auto identified Donald Jones as its sole proprietor.

{¶ 6} On September 4, 2009, the Needhams filed another amended complaint naming "Donald Jones dba We Sell Auto Sales" as the proper party defendant. Service of the Needhams' second amended complaint was subsequently perfected on September 11, 2009. No answer to the second amended complaint was ever filed.

{¶ 7} On October 26, 2009, the Needhams withdrew their motion to compel. Therefore, having received no additional filings, on January 22, 2010, the trial court issued a notice of intent to dismiss the matter if no action was taken within ten days. In response, the Needhams filed a motion for default judgment. Jones did not file any response to the Needhams' motion for default judgment, nor did he file a motion for leave to file an answer out of time under Civ.R. 6(B).

{¶ 8} On March 5, 2010, a hearing before a magistrate was conducted on the Needhams' motion for default judgment. Following this hearing, the magistrate issued a decision granting the motion. In so holding, the magistrate explicitly found "incontrovertible evidence that the first AND second amended complaints were filed and served on counsel. Neither was answered." The magistrate's decision also contained the following notice in bold, capital lettering:

A PARTY SHALL NOT ASSIGN AS ERROR ON APPEAL THE COURT'S ADOPTION OF ANY FINDING OF FACT OR CONCLUSION OF LAW IN THAT DECISION UNLESS THE PARTY TIMELY AND SPECIFICALLY OBJECTS TO THAT ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.