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Hall v. Crystal Clinic, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

November 8, 2017

ARLAN HALL Appellant
v.
CRYSTAL CLINIC, INC., et al. Appellees

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2012-08-4446

          ANTONIOS P. TSAROUHAS and MARK J. DVORAK, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant.

          GREGORY T. ROSSI and DOUGLAS G. LEAK, Attorneys at Law, for Appellees.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          TEODOSIO, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Arlan Hall appeals the judgment entry of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas granting the motion to dismiss filed by the appellees, Douglas Ehrler, M.D., Crystal Clinic, Inc., and Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Surgeons, Inc. We reverse and remand.

         I.

         {¶2} This medical malpractice action was originally filed on June 3, 2010, in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. See Hall v. Crystal Clinic, Inc., Summit C.P. No. CV 2010-06-3989 (Sept. 19, 2011). The original action was voluntarily dismissed on September 19, 2011, and the complaint was refiled under case number CV 2012-08-4446 on August 2, 2012. On August 31, 2012, the appellees filed an answer to the complaint, and on August 12, 2013, the appellees filed a motion to dismiss.

         {¶3} The motion to dismiss was filed pursuant to Civ.R. 3(A) and Civ.R. 4.1(A) on the grounds that the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction, and was based upon an alleged failure to commence an action under the original filing of the case, and consequentially, the alleged inapplicability of the savings statute, R.C. 2305.19, to the refiled action. The motion did not present itself as being filed pursuant to any of the provisions of Civ.R. 12(B) or (C), and the trial court did not construe the motion as being filed under any provision of Civ.R. 12. On January 27, 2017, the trial court granted the appellees' motion to dismiss. Mr. Hall now appeals, raising one assignment of error.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S/APPELLANT'S COMPLAINT BASED ON FAILURE OF SERVICE.

         {¶4} Mr. Hall argues the trial court erred in dismissing his complaint based upon a failure of service in the original action. We do not reach the merits of this argument.

         {¶5} The granting of a motion to dismiss filed under Civ.R. 12(B) or a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed under Civ.R. 12(C) is reviewed de novo by this Court. Savoy v. Kramer, 9th Dist. Summit No. 27418, 2015-Ohio-437, ¶ 5. "[A] motion to dismiss filed after the pleadings have closed * * * is appropriately considered a motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Civ.R. 12(C)." State ex rel. Midwest Pride IV, Inc. v. Pontious, 75 Ohio St.3d 565, 569 (1996), quoting Lin v. Gatehouse Constr. Co., 84 Ohio App.3d 96, 99 (8th Dist.1992). Because the appellees had already filed an answer when they filed their motion to dismiss, we must view the trial court's ruling as having granted a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Civ.R. 12(C). See State ex rel. Mancino v. Tuscarawas Cty. Court of Common Pleas, Slip Opinion No. 2017-Ohio-7528, ¶ 8, fn. 2.

         {¶6} "Civ.R. 12(C) * * * presents only questions of law, and determination of the motion for judgment on the pleadings is restricted solely to the allegations in the pleadings." Peterson v. Teodosio,34 Ohio St.2d 161, 166 (1973). "In ruling upon a motion under Civ.R. 12(C), the trial court is limited to the face of the pleadings on file with the court. It cannot be supported by facts outside ...


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