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Haines v. Haines & Company, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

July 8, 2013

LEONARD W. HAINES, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
HAINES & COMPANY, INC., Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2012CV02617

For Plaintiff-Appellee: CHARLES E. RINGER

For Defendant-Appellant: JAMES F. MATHEWS

JUDGES: Hon. William B. Hoffman, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J.

OPINION

Hoffman, P.J.

{¶1} Plaintiff-appellant Leonard W. Haines appeals the October 2, 2012 Judgment Entry entered by the Stark County Court of Common Pleas dismissing Appellant's complaint and compelling arbitration in favor of Defendant-appellee Haines & Company, Inc.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

{¶2} On August 17, 2012, Appellant Leonard W. Haines filed a complaint in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas for breach of a Stock Purchase Agreement (Agreement) entered into between the parties on December 30, 1997. The Agreement provides for a stock redemption schedule pursuant to which Haines & Company, Inc. (Haines & Company) agreed to pay Appellant the fixed sum of $6, 675.08 per month, each year for the period of twenty years in exchange for the sale of Appellant's stock to the company. Haines & Company paid Appellant the monthly payment in accordance with the Agreement for a period of six years, from January 1998, until December of 2003. From January of 2004, until June of 2008, the Company paid Appellant a reduced sum of $4, 000.00 per month. Haines & Company then stopped payment altogether.

{¶3} Haines & Company did not cite a disagreement or dispute with Appellant as justification for ceasing payments under the Agreement; rather, the company cited financial difficulties producing cash flow problems for the corporation.

{¶4} On September 14, 2012, Haines & Company filed a motion to compel arbitration. Appellant filed a brief in opposition on September 28, 2012, and a motion for summary judgment. Via Judgment Entry of October 2, 2012, the trial court approved the prepared judgment tendered with Appellant's motion, dismissing the complaint and compelling Appellant to pursue arbitration.

{¶5} Appellant now appeals, assigning as error:

{¶6} "I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN THE ENTRY OF JUDGMENT PURPORTING TO ENFORCE A CONTRACTUAL ARBITRATION CLAUSE IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY FACTUAL DETERMINATION OF A 'DISPUTE SUBJECT TO REFERRAL TO ARBITRATION.

{¶7} "II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN THE ENTRY OF JUDGMENT DISMISSING APPELLANTS ACTION WHEN A STAY IS THE REMEDY AUTHORIZED UNDER ...


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