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Lewis v. Moore

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

May 30, 2017

Richard Lewis, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Jasmine Moore, Defendant-Appellant, Alfa [Vision] Insurance Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.

         APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas No. 15CV-6313

         On brief:

          Plymale & Dingus, LLC, and Ronald E. Plymale, for appellee Richard Lewis, Jr.

         Argued:

          Ronald E. Plymale.

         On brief:

          Earl, Warburton & Adams, Inc., and Christopher R. Walsh, for appellant.

         Argued:

          Christopher R. Walsh.

          DECISION

          DORRIAN, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Jasmine Moore, appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas that dismissed the claims against her without prejudice. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} On July 24, 2015, plaintiff-appellee, Richard Lewis, Jr., acting pro se, filed suit against appellant and Alfa Insurance Corporation ("Alfa"). In his complaint, appellee alleged he sustained injuries to his body, as well as damages to his 2007 Lincoln MKZ, as a direct result of a collision caused by appellant. The complaint was served by certified mail on appellant and Alfa at "P.O. Box 2128[, ] Brentwood, TN 37024-2128." (Summons.) The record contains two United States Postal Service notices indicating that "Jeff Alexander" received and signed for the complaint at that address on August 3, 2015. Appellee indicated at the top of his complaint that the "[d]ate of loss" was "12/16/13." (Complaint at 2.)

         {¶ 3} On August 18, 2015, Alfa and appellant each filed separate answers. Both answers denied appellee's claims and asserted several defenses. Appellant specifically asserted the defense of "insufficiency of service of process and insufficiency of process" as well as "lack of personal jurisdiction over this answering [defendant." (Answer at 2.) Appellant ultimately stated that "having fully answered the Complaint of Plaintiff[], prays that same may be dismissed and that she may go hence and recover her costs of suit herein." (Answer at 3.)

         {¶ 4} On December 11, 2015, appellant and Alfa jointly filed an initial identification of witnesses. On April 11, 2016, appellant and Alfa jointly filed a notice of deposition of appellee, and, on April 13, 2016, appellant and Alfa jointly filed an amended notice of deposition of appellee. On July 21, 2016, the case was referred to a magistrate to preside over a jury trial scheduled for December 6, 2016.

         {¶ 5} On August 5, 2016, appellant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, pursuant to Civ.R. 3, alleging that appellee had failed to commence this action within the time provided by law. Specifically, appellant argued that (1) she has never resided or maintained a post office box in Tennessee, (2) appellee requested service of the complaint of both her and Alfa at Alfa's post office box in Brentwood Tennessee, (3) at the time of the filing of the complaint, she was living in Columbus, Ohio, and (4) she never received any complaint of summons from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas related to this ...


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