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Roberts v. Roberts

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

November 8, 2017

MARYANNE ROBERTS Appellant
v.
WILLIAM S. ROBERTS Appellee

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 2014-04-1076

          MICHAEL J. ASH, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          TODD A. MAZZOLA, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          TEODOSIO, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Maryanne Roberts appeals from the decree of divorce entered on January 4, 2017, by the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Ms. Roberts filed her complaint for divorce against William S. Roberts on April 17, 2014, and an amended complaint on May 16, 2014. On January 22, 2015, the trial court scheduled a trial for May 13, 2015. Upon the motion of Mr. Roberts, the court rescheduled the trial for August 24, 2015, and subsequently moved the date to November 19, 2015. Upon the motion of Ms. Roberts, the court rescheduled trial for January 19, 2016. The parties filed their trial briefs and witness lists, however the trial was continued to January 27, 2016. Ms. Roberts filed a motion to continue the trial, and the court subsequently rescheduled trial multiple times for February 1, 2016, February 18, 2016, March 17, 2016, June 20, 2016, June 22, 2016, and October 18, 2016.

         {¶3} Mr. Roberts motioned the trial court for protective orders on August 8, 2016, and on October 11, 2016. The trial court granted both motions and prohibited Ms. Roberts from taking the deposition of Dr. Mary Roafel and an additional deposition of Mr. Roberts, and prohibited the production of documentation related to any accounts after March 31, 2016. In September 2016, Mr. Roberts motioned the court for a continuance, and trial was rescheduled for October 31, 2016.

         {¶4} On October 27, 2016, Ms. Roberts filed two motions to continue the trial, alleging that discovery of income and marital assets had not yet been completed and that the trial court indicated at the last pretrial conference that subpoenas could be issued to acquire information regarding whether Mr. Roberts was still receiving income from a previous employer or from other sources. Mr. Roberts filed oppositions to the motions, and the trial court denied both of the motions. The trial went forward beginning on October 31, 2016, and the trial court entered its decree of divorce on January 4, 2017. Ms. Roberts now appeals, raising three assignments of error.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR ONE

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY DENYING MOTHER'S MOTIONS FOR CONTINUANCES OF THE FINAL HEARING IMPEDING MOTHER'S ATTEMPTS TO COMPLETE THE DISCOVERY PROCESS.

         {¶5} In her first assignment of error, Ms. Roberts argues the trial court erred in denying her motions to continue the trial because she was consequently unable to complete the discovery process. We disagree.

         {¶6} "The decision to grant or deny a continuance is within the discretion of the trial court, which must consider all of the circumstances surrounding the request." State v. Starks, 9th Dist. Summit No. 23622, 2008-Ohio-408, ¶ 9. "These include 'the length of the delay requested; whether other continuances have been requested and received; the inconvenience to litigants, witnesses, opposing counsel and the court; whether the requested delay is for legitimate reasons or whether it is dilatory, purposeful, or contrived; whether the defendant contributed to the circumstance which gives rise to the request for a continuance; and other relevant factors, depending on the unique facts of each case.'" Id., quoting State v. Unger,67 Ohio St.2d 65, 67-68 (1981). "This Court reviews a trial court's determination regarding a motion to continue trial for an abuse of discretion." Id. An abuse of discretion is more than an error of judgment; it means that the trial court was unreasonable, arbitrary, or unconscionable in its ruling. ...


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