Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Michael Aten
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES Michael R. Gareau Jr. City Law
Director, Bryan P. O'Malley Assistant Director of Law,
Amily A. Imbrongno James A. Climer Frank H. Scialdone Mazanec
Raskin, Ryder Co., L.P.A.
BEFORE: Jones, J., Stewart, P.J., and Laster Mays, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. JONES, SR, JUDGE
In this accelerated appeal,  we decide whether the trial court
properly granted the motion for judgment on the pleadings
filed by the defendants-appellees. For the reasons that
follow, we find that it did and affirm its judgment.
Ted Bowman, plaintiff-appellant, filed this action, pro se,
against the city of North Olmsted and the following North
Olmsted police officers: John Downs, Manny Roman, Angel
Walling, and Oliver Wolcott.
In his complaint, Bowman alleged that on May 11, 2015, the
police were dispatched to his North Olmsted home, where he
resided with his then- girlfriend, Deborah Ness. Ness had an
outstanding arrest warrant for failing to appear before the
North Olmsted Mayor's Court. According to the complaint,
both Bowman and Ness were "known to the North Olmsted
Police Department due to Ness's numerous prior arrests
and citations for offenses of domestic violence and
disorderly conduct while intoxicated, as well as her repeated
failure to attend court appearances arising from such
incidents, and to Bowman's having been the victim or
complainant with respect to a number of the offenses."
Bowman alleged that when the police, Officers Downs and
Roman, arrived on the day in question, Ness was in a
"state of agitation and severe inebriation." The
officers did not arrest Ness pursuant to the outstanding
warrant; rather, they had her sign a personal recognizance
bond form and gave her a new hearing date.
After the officers had left, Ness called Bowman, who
presumably had not been home during the encounter, and told
him that the "county sheriffs and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation had forcibly entered the house and seized some
unspecified documents." At some point thereafter, Bowman
arrived home and found Ness "highly intoxicated."
Bowman saw the personal recognizance form, and questioned
Ness about what she had previously told him. The complaint
alleged that Ness then threatened Bowman's life. A
physical altercation between the two ensued while they were
in the kitchen, with Ness striking Bowman several times with
a billy club. Bowman gained control of the billy club and
Bowman alleged that after the altercation, Ness went to sleep
on the living room couch and he took the dog for a walk. He
considered calling the police, but decided against it because
the police had "already failed to do their duty to
arrest Ness on the warrant" and, therefore, he surmised
that calling them would be of "little use."
According to the complaint, after walking the dog, Bowman
went upstairs to his bedroom to go to sleep, and fearful of
another attack by Ness, barricaded himself in the room.
Approximately one hour later, Bowman became aware that the
police were at his house again; this time it was Officers
Walling and Wolcott.
Bowman went downstairs and found the officers in the kitchen,
which had been "rearranged and looked much less
disheveled" than it looked after Ness and Bowman's
physical altercation. Officer Walling stated that they found
the billy club on the kitchen table and asked Bowman if he
wanted to go to the hospital. Bowman declined to go to the
hospital because he did not have insurance, but asked the
officers if they would examine his injuries; the officers
The complaint alleged one claim on which relief was sought:
negligence. The following was alleged in support of the
claim: (1) that the police owed a "duty to exercise
ordinary care under the circumstances"; (2) Officers
Downs and Roman breached that duty by failing to arrest Ness;
(3) injury to Bowman was "foreseeable within the scope
of risk" created by Officers Downs and Romans; (4) that
their failure to act was the "proximate cause" of
injury to Bowman; and (5) that Bowman was further injured by
Officers Walling and Wolcott's failure to "properly
investigate and examine Bowman." In addition to alleging
liability on the individual ...