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Auto Owners Insurance Co. v. Truck Line Dispatch, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

July 10, 2013

AUTO OWNERS INSURANCE CO. Appellee
v.
TRUCK LINE DISPATCH, INC. Appellant

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE AKRON MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 11 CVF 07084

MICHAEL T. CONWAY, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

JEFFREY L. KOBERG, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

DONNA J. CARR, Judge.

{¶1} Appellant, Truck Line Dispatch, Inc., appeals the judgment of the Akron Municipal Court. This Court affirms.

I.

{¶2} Appellee, Auto Owners Insurance Company, filed a complaint against Truck Line on August 11, 2011, for money due as payment for insurance coverage provided by Auto Owners to Truck Line. On August 16, 2011, an agent of Truck Line signed the certified mail receipt for the complaint. Truck Line failed to answer and, on October 4, 2011, Auto Owners filed a motion for default judgment. The trial court granted the motion and entered judgment in favor of Auto Owners against Truck Line in the amount of $7, 848.99, plus interest and costs.

{¶3} Subsequently, at Auto Owners' request, the Akron Municipal Clerk of Courts issued a certificate of judgment lien and the trial court issued an order in aid of execution, directing the owner and statutory agent of Truck Line to appear for a debtor's examination. An agent of Truck Line signed the certified mail receipt for the order in aid of execution. After the agent failed to appear as ordered, Auto Owners filed a motion for the agent to show cause why he should not be held in contempt. The trial court issued a summons and order for the agent to appear and show cause. A deputy sheriff signed an affidavit of service, averring that he served the statutory agent by leaving a copy of the show cause summons and order to appear at Truck Line's usual place of business with an agent of the company.

{¶4} On June 26, 2012, Truck Line filed a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B), in which it argued that it was not served with process including the summons and complaint. Appended to the motion was the affidavit of the president of Truck Line who averred that the company was not served with process including the summons and complaint. Auto Owners filed a brief in opposition to the Civ.R. 60(B) motion, and Truck Line replied. The trial court denied the motion for relief from judgment. Truck Line appealed and raises one assignment of error for review.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

{¶5} Truck Line argues that the trial court erred by denying its motion for relief from default judgment because it was not properly served with the complaint. This Court disagrees.

{¶6} The decision to grant or deny a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B) lies in the sound discretion of the trial court and will not be disturbed absent an abuse of the discretion. Strack v. Pelton, 70 Ohio St.3d 172, 174 (1994). An abuse of discretion is more than an error of judgment; it means that the trial court was unreasonable, arbitrary, or unconscionable in its ruling. Blakemore v. Blakemore, 5 Ohio St.3d 217, 219 (1983). When applying the abuse of discretion standard, this ...


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