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.
A. MAZZOLA, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
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.
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.
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.
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.
OF ERROR ONE
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
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.
"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.