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Treasurer of Stark County v. Martin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

November 6, 2017

TREASURER OF STARK COUNTY Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
ALBERT MARTIN Defendant-Appellant

         Appeals from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017CV00156

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: JOHN D. FERRERO, STARK COUNTY PROSECUTOR, JOHN F. ANTHONY

          For Defendant-Appellant: ALBERT MARTIN, PRO SE

          Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Delaney, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-Appellant Albert Martin appeals the May 8, 2017 judgment entry of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas in Case No. 2017CA00085 and the June 6, 2017 judgment entry of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas in Case No. 2017CA00100. On June 28, 2017, this Court consolidated the appeals for purposes of review.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶2} On January 23, 2017, Plaintiff-Appellee Stark County Treasurer filed a complaint in foreclosure naming as defendants Progressive Green Meadows LLC, Francine Cherry, Unknown Spouse of Francine Cherry, Albert Martin, Unknown Spouse of Albert Martin, and Unknown Tenant. The complaint alleged defendant owners failed to pay real estate taxes due and owing on Parcel No. 37-01711 ("parcel"). The failure to pay caused taxes to be delinquent and the Treasurer certified the delinquency to the tax duplicate on August 10, 2010. The amount of delinquent taxes due and payable at the time of filing the complaint was $10, 096.99 plus interest, late charges, and costs.

         {¶3} Defendant-Appellant Albert Martin filed an answer to the complaint and motion for stay of proceedings on February 21, 2017. In his answer, Martin stated the parcel was subject to litigation in Case No. 2016CV02672 before the Stark County Court of Common Pleas. He alleged the decision in that case could satisfy and settle the outstanding taxes assessed by the Stark County Treasurer, therefore making the complaint in foreclosure moot.

         {¶4} The trial court did not rule on Martin's motion to stay the proceedings.

          {¶5} Defendant Progressive Green Meadows LLC filed an answer to the complaint on February 23, 2017.

         {¶6} The Stark County Treasurer completed service on the remaining defendants, but they did not file answers or otherwise appear in the action. On May 3, 2017, the Stark County Treasurer filed a motion for default judgment against Francine Cherry, Unknown Spouse of Francine Cherry, Unknown Spouse of Albert Martin, and Unknown Tenant. The trial court granted the motion for default judgment on May 8, 2017. The judgment entry did not contain Civ.R. 54(B) language.

         {¶7} On May 25, 2017, Martin filed a notice of appeal of the May 8, 2017 judgment entry with this Court in Case No. 2017CA00085. Martin also filed a motion to stay of proceedings with the trial court.

         {¶8} The trial court did not rule on the motion to stay proceedings.

         {¶9} On June 2, 2017, the Stark County Treasurer filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims set forth in the complaint in foreclosure. The Stark County Treasurer argued there was no genuine issue of material fact that Francine Cherry and Martin were the owners of the parcel. As of June 2016, real estate taxes, assessments, penalties, and interests in the amount of $11, 646.29 were due and had not been paid. In support of its motion, the Stark County Treasurer attached an affidavit and a true record of the tax duplicate for the parcel.

         {¶10} The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment on June 6, 2017.

         {¶11} Martin filed a response to the motion for summary judgment on June 15, ...


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