Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
SOUTH PARK MANOR CONDOMINIUMS UNIT OWNERS' ASSOCIATION PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
CLARENDON GROUP, INC. DEFENDANT-APPELLANT
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Jason L. Carter.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Rachel Kuhn Joseph E. DiBaggio Darcy
Mehling Good Kaman & Cusimano, L.L.C.
BEFORE: Keough, A.J., E.T. Gallagher, J., and Stewart, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
KATHLEEN ANN KEOUGH, A.J.
This appeal is before the court on the accelerated docket
pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and Loc. App.R. 11.1. The purpose of
an accelerated appeal is to allow this court to render a
brief and conclusory opinion. State v. Priest, 8th
Dist. Cuyahoga No. 100614, 2014-Ohio-1735, ¶ 1.
South Park Manor Condominiums is a 94-unit apartment-style
brick building located at 13800 Fairhill Road in Shaker
Heights, Ohio. Each unit owner is a member of
plaintiff-appellee, South Park Manor Condominiums Unit
Owners' Association (the "Association"), a
nonprofit corporation that acts on behalf of the unit owners,
including collecting monthly assessments and fees for
maintenance, repair, and insurance of the common areas.
Defendant-appellant, the Clarendon Group, Inc. (the
"Clarendon Group"), is a commercial real estate
services and advisory firm that took title to Unit No. 318 at
South Park Manor Condominiums on January 31, 2013. Upon
taking title to the condominium, it became a member of the
Association, obligated to pay monthly fees and assessments
for common expenses. When the Clarendon Group did not timely
pay in full the monthly fees and assessments, the Association
filed liens pursuant to R.C. 5311.18 to protect its interest
in collecting the unpaid fees and assessments. In August
2015, the Clarendon Group stopped making any payments
whatsoever. On February 11, 2016, the Association filed a
complaint to foreclose its liens.
The case was referred for mediation but did not settle.
Subsequently, on December 2, 2016, the Association filed a
motion for summary judgment. The Clarendon Group did not
oppose the motion, nor file a Civ.R. 56(F) motion seeking
additional time for discovery. On January 13, 2017, the trial
court entered judgment granting the Association's motion
and ordering foreclosure. The Clarendon Group did not appeal
from this decision.
Instead, on March 30, 2017, nearly two and a-half months
later and three days before the scheduled sheriff's sale,
the Clarendon Group filed a motion to stay the sale and for
relief from judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B). The trial
court denied the motion, and this appeal followed.
In its single assignment of error, the Clarendon Group
asserts that the trial court abused its discretion in denying
its Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment.
A reviewing court will not disturb a trial court's
decision regarding a Civ.R. 60(B) motion absent an abuse of
discretion. State ex rel. Russo v. Deters, 80 Ohio
St.3d 152, 153, 684 N.E.2d 1237 (1997). To prevail on a
Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment, the moving
party must demonstrate (1) the party has a meritorious
defense or claim to present if relief is granted; (2) the
party is entitled to relief under one of the grounds stated
in Civ.R. 60(B)(1) through (B)(5); and (3) the motion is made
within a reasonable time, and where the grounds for relief
are Civ.R. 60(B)(1), (2), or (3), not more than one year
after the judgment was entered. GTE Automatic Elec. v.
ARC Ind, 47 Ohio St.2d 146, 351 N.E.2d 113 (1976),
paragraph two of the syllabus. If any of these three
requirements is not met, the motion is properly overruled.
Svoboda v. Brunswick, 6 Ohio St.3d 348, 351, 453
N.E.2d 648 (1983).
In its Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment, the
Clarendon Group asserted that during the litigation, it had
investigated and researched various "management
issues" with the Association that allegedly impacted the
amount of the assessed condominium fees, but it did not have
the "specificity and details necessary to formulate a
defense to the judgment amount and the impending foreclosure
action." It asserted that it had recently come into
possession of "various documents" regarding
"mismanagement" by the Association, however, and
that this newly discovered evidence would provide grounds for
the Clarendon Group to challenge the judgment amount sought
by the Association. It further asserted that the
Association's complaint was defective because the
Association had "failed to attach an accounting of the
defendant's debts or evidence of the amount of the
It is well-established that Civ.R. 60(B) cannot be used as a
substitute for an appeal. Doe v. Trumbull Cty. Children
Servs. Bd,28 Ohio St.3d 128, 502 N.E.2d 605 (1986),