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Maxim Enterprises, Inc. v. Haley

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

July 31, 2013

MAXIM ENTERPRISES, INC. Plaintiff
v.
STEPHEN T. HALEY, et al. Defendants and STEPHEN T. HALEY Appellant
v.
STEPHEN A. MAXIM, et al. Third-Party Defendants and BAC FIELD SERVICES CORPORATION Appellee

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV 2008-07-5093

JEFFREY C. MILLER, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

JAMES S. WERTHEIM and MONICA LEVINE LACKS, Attorneys at Law, for Appellee.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

CARLA MOORE, Presiding Judge.

{¶1} Defendant Stephen T. Haley appeals from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. We reverse and remand this matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I.

{¶2} Countrywide Field Services ("Countrywide") provided real property inspections and maintenance services to mortgage servicers. Countrywide contracted with Maxim Enterprises, Inc. ("Maxim") to provide these services on properties located in Ohio. Maxim subcontracted this work to several subcontractors. The subcontractors claimed to have provided services to the properties, but denied having received payment from Maxim. Mr. Haley entered into agreements with the subcontractors, wherein the subcontractors assigned their accounts receivable and claims to Mr. Haley. Mr. Haley claimed that he contacted Maxim for payment and that Maxim responded that it had not provided payment to the subcontractors because Countrywide had not provided payment to Maxim.

{¶3} In 2008, Maxim filed a complaint against several parties, including Mr. Haley, wherein Maxim alleged that Mr. Haley engaged in tortious interference with a business relationship and civil conspiracy. Thereafter, Mr. Haley filed a third-party complaint against several parties, including Countrywide. This initial third-party complaint was dismissed in 2009. Later that year, Mr. Haley again filed a third-party complaint against several parties, including "Bank of America fka Countrywide Field Services Corporation, " ("Bank of America"). Bank of America failed to answer the third-party complaint, and Mr. Haley moved for default judgment, which the trial court granted in 2010.

{¶4} On April 16, 2010, Mr. Haley filed a praecipe for a writ of execution against Bank of America dba Merrill Lynch. On April 28, 2010, "BAC Field Services Corporation" ("BAC") filed a motion to stay execution of judgment. In its motion, BAC argued, in part, that it was also known as "Bank of America Field Services, " but it was "improperly named in the third party complaint * * * as 'Bank of America f/k/a Countrywide Field Services Corporation[.]'" BAC requested the court to stay the proceedings to enforce the judgment pending the disposition of a motion brought pursuant to Civ.R. 60. BAC then filed its Civ.R. 60(B) motion, in which it again argued, in part, that it was incorrectly named in the third-party complaint as "Bank of America fka Countrywide Field Services Corporation[.]" BAC maintained that "Bank of America" was a non-entity, and that Bank of America Corporation was its parent company and was never known as "Countrywide Field Services Corporation."

{¶5} The trial court granted BAC's motion in an order dated June 18, 2010. Mr. Haley then attempted to appeal from the June 18, 2010 order, and we dismissed his appeal for lack of a final appealable order. See Maxim Ents., Inc. v. Haley, 9th Dist. Summit No. 25459, 2011-Ohio-6734. Thereafter, the trial court issued another order granting BAC's motion to vacate the default judgment, and including language that there was "no just reason for delay" pursuant to Civ.R. 54(B). Mr. Haley timely filed an appeal from the trial court's order, and he now presents one assignment of error for our review.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN VACATING THE DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST BANK OF AMERICA F/K/A COUNTRYWIDE FIELD SERVICES AS A NON-ENTITY AS IT OPERATED AS SUCH AND IT ENTIRELY DISREGARDED THE JUDICIAL PROCESS.

{¶6} In his sole assignment of error, Mr. Haley argues that the trial court erred in granting BAC's motion to vacate judgment against "Bank of America fka Countrywide ...


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