Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning
YOUNGSTOWN EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, OEA/NEA ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,
YOUNGSTOWN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Mahoning County, Ohio
Case No. 2015 CV 02979.
Plaintiffs-Appellees Attorney Ira Mirkin Attorney Danielle
Defendants-Appellants Attorney James E. Roberts Attorney
David S. Barbee
JUDGES: Hon. Mary DeGenaro Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Carol
OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
Defendant-Appellant Youngstown City School District Board of
Education (the Board) appeals a judgment entry of the
Mahoning County Common Pleas Court rejecting a
magistrate's decision granting its motion to confirm an
arbitration award and denying the motion of
Plaintiff-Appellee Youngstown Education Association, OEA/NEA
(YEA) to vacate that same award, and returning the matter to
the magistrate for further proceedings. The matter now comes
before this Court on YEA's motion to dismiss for lack of
a final appealable order. We conclude that the judgment entry
appealed from does not constitute a final appealable order.
YEA is a union representing certain employees of the Board,
including employee Donna Richards. In 2012, YEA filed a
grievance on behalf of Richards alleging the Board had not
provided her with disability income protection insurance. YEA
and the Board entered into a settlement agreement, but YEA
later filed a grievance alleging that the Board had failed to
provide disability income protection insurance for Richards.
The matter proceeded to arbitration. The arbitrator concluded
the grievance was not arbitrable for lack of jurisdiction
because YEA had withdrawn its initial grievance pursuant to
the settlement agreement. Therefore, it had waived and
released the Board from any further claims raised in the
YEA filed a motion to vacate the arbitrator's award
(decision) in the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. The
Board responded with a counterclaim and a motion to confirm
the decision. The matter was referred to a magistrate.
Finding no error with the arbitrator's decision, the
magistrate denied YEA's motion and granted the
YEA filed objections to the magistrate's decision and the
Board filed a response. On February 16, 2017, the trial court
filed a judgment entry rejecting the magistrate's
decision and returned the matter to the magistrate for
further proceedings. This appeal followed.
Civ.R. 53, which governs matters referred to a magistrate,
specifically authorizes the action the trial court took in
(b) Action on magistrate's decision. Whether or
not objections are timely filed, a court may adopt or reject
a magistrate's decision in whole or in part, with or
without modification. A court may hear a previously-referred
matter, take additional evidence, or return a matter to a
(Emphasis added.) Civ.R. 53(D)(4).
R.C. 2505.02 defines a final order for purposes of appeal. An
order is a final order when it affects a substantial right in
an action that in effect determines the action and prevents a
judgment. R.C. 2505.02(B)(1). In ...