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Chandlers Lane Condominium Owners Association v. Gillespie

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

May 18, 2017

CHANDLERS LANE CONDOMINIUM OWNERS ASSOCIATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
JUDY GILLESPIE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-16-867593.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Edward M. Graham Edward M. Graham Co., L.P.A.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Amanda A. Barreto Steven M. Ott Lindsey A. Wrubel Ott & Associates Co., L.P.A.

          BEFORE: Jones, J., McCormack, P.J., and Blackmon, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          LARRY A. JONES, SR., JUDGE

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Judy Gillespie, appeals from the trial court's September 30, 2016 judgment granting a permanent injunction in favor of plaintiff-appellee, Chandlers Lane Condominium Owners Association, and against her. For the reasons that follow, we reverse and remand.

         {¶2} On August 12, 2016, Chandlers Lane initiated this action by filing a verified complaint against Gillespie. The caption of the complaint requested an ex parte temporary restraining order and an "expedited request for hearing on preliminary injunction." The body of the complaint referred to the association's request for a preliminary injunction and its "motion for a permanent injunction"; in addition to the caption not requesting a permanent injunction, no separate motion for a permanent injunction was filed by Chandlers Lane.

         {¶3} On August 16, the trial court held an ex parte pretrial with the association and set the matter for a September 1 preliminary injunction hearing. The docket reflects that the association appeared at the September 1 hearing through counsel and that Gillespie appeared pro se. The docket also reflects that Gillespie had not yet been served with the complaint. Because of the lack of service, the trial court reset the matter for a September 22, 2016 hearing on the association's "motion for preliminary injunction."

         {¶4} The docket reflects that Gillespie was served with Chandler Lane's complaint on September 22, and that on that same day the trial court held a hearing on the association's verified complaint and motion for a "permanent" injunction; Gillespie appeared at the hearing pro se. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court found that the association had demonstrated, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Gillespie was a nuisance and had engaged in harrassing behavior and, therefore, granted a permanent injunction in favor of Chandlers Lane and against Gillespie. Gillespie now appeals, raising the following assignments of error for our review:

I. The trial court abused its discretion and erred by entering judgment against appellant based upon only a preponderance of the evidence.
II. The court erred by ordering injunctive relief having made no finding that there was a need to prevent irreparable harm.
III. The court erred by ordering injunctive relief having made no finding that there was no adequate remedy at law.
IV. The court erred by conducting a hearing right after the defendant had just been served with a copy of the complaint in violation of her constitutional right to due process.

         {¶5} A trial court's decision to grant or deny a request for injunctive relief is solely within its discretion; thus, that decision will not be disturbed upon appeal absent a clear showing of an abuse of ...


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