Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Griffin v. Griffin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

November 8, 2017

AUDREY N. GRIFFIN, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JAMES A GRIFFIN, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division Trial No. DR-1501954

          Zachary D. Smith LLC and Zachary D. Smith for Plaintiff-Appellee,

          Family First Law Offices and Mark Eppley, for Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          Deters, Judge.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant James A. Griffin (husband) appeals the order of the domestic relations court which sustained plaintiff-appellee Audrey N. Griffin's (wife) objection, vacated the magistrate's decision granting husband's motion to dismiss her complaint and amended complaint for divorce for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, and remanded the matter to the magistrate for further proceedings. We dismiss husband's appeal because the order does not qualify as a final, appealable order under R.C. 2505.02(B).

         Factual Background

         {¶2} On October 28, 2015, wife filed a complaint for divorce. In the complaint, she alleged she had been a resident of Ohio for 180 days and a resident of Hamilton County for 90 days. On December 9, 2015, husband filed an answer and a counterclaim for divorce. In his answer, husband asserted that wife's complaint should be dismissed because she did not meet the residency requirements set forth in R.C. 3105.03.

         {¶3} On December 28, 2015, wife filed an amended complaint for divorce. On January 28, 2016, husband filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and amended complaint for divorce for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(1), asserting that wife had failed to meet the minimum residency requirements set forth in R.C. 3105.03. A hearing on the motion to dismiss was scheduled for August 30, 2016, before a magistrate.

         {¶4} On August 23, 2016, husband filed a motion to continue the hearing due to his active military service. Six days later, on August 29, 2016, husband filed a motion to stay the proceedings based on the Service Members Civil Relief Act. On August 30, 2016, a magistrate held a hearing on the pending motions. Husband was not present, but he was represented by counsel. Shortly thereafter, the magistrate issued a written decision with findings of fact and conclusions of law. In his findings of fact, the magistrate denied husband's motions for a continuance and a stay. In his conclusions of law, the magistrate granted husband's motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, concluding that wife had not been physically located in the state of Ohio for the statutory time period to permit her to invoke the jurisdiction of the court. The magistrate vacated the temporary orders of support and stated that his resolution of the jurisdictional motion had rendered his decision on the other motions moot.

         {¶5} Wife timely objected to the magistrate's decision granting husband's motion to dismiss her complaint and amended complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Husband did not file any cross objection. The trial court determined that wife had physically resided in Ohio for 94 days, but because she had never voluntarily changed her domicile, she remained a resident of Ohio while "living with Husband on military orders in Florida and Tennessee." The trial court sustained wife's objection, vacated the magistrate's decision, and remanded the matter to the magistrate for further proceedings.

         Analysis

         {¶6} Husband appeals, raising two assignments of error. Before we can address husband's assignments of error, we must determine if we have jurisdiction to review the order he has appealed from. Ohio appellate courts have jurisdiction "to review and affirm, modify, or reverse final orders." Article IV, Section 3(B)(2), Ohio Constitution. If a party appeals from an order that is not final and appealable, an appellate court lacks jurisdiction to review the matter and must dismiss the appeal. State ex rel. White v. Cuyahoga Metro. Hous. Auth., 79 Ohio St.3d 543, 544, 684 N.E.2d 72 (1997); Gen. Acc. Ins. Co. v. Ins. Co. of N. Am., 44 Ohio St.3d 17, 20, 540 N.E.2d 266 (1989).

         {¶7} For a judgment to be final and appealable, it must satisfy R.C. 2505.02(B) and, if applicable, Civ.R. 54(B). Gen. Acc. Ins. Co. at 20. In relevant part, R.C. 2505.02(B) defines a final order as:

(1) An order that affects a substantial right in an action that in effect determines the action ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.