CIVIL APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. CV2012-09-3384.
Frost Brown Todd LLC, Douglas R. Dennis, Vincent E. Mauer, for plaintiff-appellee.
Norbert M. Doellman, Jr., for defendants-appellants, Courtney E. & Carol S. Combs and Courtney E. Combs, Trustee
(¶ 1} Defendants-appellants, Courtney E. Combs, in both his individual capacity and as Trustee of an unnamed trust, and Carol S. Combs, appeal a decision of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of plaintiff-appellee, First Financial Bank.
(¶ 2} On February 16, 2012, First Financial Bank obtained a money judgment in the amount of $629, 966.39 plus interest against Courtney E. Combs ("Combs") personally, Courtney E. Combs as Trustee of an unnamed trust, Robert M. Brown personally and Robert M. Brown also as Trustee of the same trust, and Bobcor, a General Partnership of Combs and Brown. Brown has subsequently settled with First Financial Bank.
(¶ 3} In addition, Courtney E. Combs, Trustee, had signed a Commercial Guaranty Agreement as Guarantor of a $20, 000 promissory note executed by Combs personally. That indebtedness was to come due on April 28, 2012.
(¶ 4} On February 28, 2012, 12 days after First Financial Bank obtained the money judgment, Courtney E. Combs, Trustee, conveyed eight parcels of real estate collectively valued at $1, 410, 120, to his wife, Carol S. Combs, in consideration of love and affection. On October 25, 2012, First Financial Bank filed a motion for summary judgment on the matured promissory note and the alleged fraudulent transfer of the real estate from Courtney E. Combs, Trustee, to Carol S. Combs. On January 17, 2013, the trial court granted First Financial Bank's motion for summary judgment.
(¶ 5} Combs, Carol S. Combs, and Courtney E. Combs, Trustee, now appeal that decision, raising a single assignment of error for our review.
(¶ 6} Assignment of Error No. 1:
(¶ 7} THE JUDGE IN THIS TRIAL COURT NEGLECTED TO CONSIDER THE AFFIDAVIT OF CAROL COMBS, THE AFFIDAVIT OF BILLY GUINIGUNDO, THE AFFIDAVIT [OF] COURTNEY E COMBS, AND DEFEDANTS' MEMORANDUM FILED IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.
(¶ 8} Within this assignment of error, appellants argue the trial court erred in granting First Financial Bank's motion for summary judgment on the fraudulent transfer claim because the court failed to consider affidavits that created a material issue of fact as to whether the transfer was fraudulent.
(¶ 9} This court's review of a trial court's ruling on a motion for summary judgment is de novo. Grizinski v. Am. Express Fin. Advisors, Inc., 187 Ohio App.3d 393, 2010-Ohio-1945, ¶ 14 (12th Dist.). "De novo review means that this court uses the same standard that the trial court should have used, and we examine the evidence to determine whether as a matter of law no genuine issues exist for trial." Morris v. Dobbins Nursing Home, 12th Dist. Clermont No. CA2010-12-102, 2011-Ohio-3014, ¶ 14, citing Brewer v. Cleveland Bd. of Edn., 122 Ohio App.3d 378, 383 (8th Dist.1997). Summary judgment is appropriate when there are no genuine issues of material fact to be litigated, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and reasonable minds can come to only ...