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Dickson v. Dickson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

November 16, 2017

BLAKE A. DICKSON PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
CHRISTINE A. DICKSON DEFENDANT-APPELLEE

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations Division Case No. DR-13-348970

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Blake A. Dickson Danielle Chaffin The Dickson Firm, L.L.C., Daniel Z. Inscore

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE For Christine A. Dickson Roger L. Kleinman Cavitch, Familo & Durkin Co., L.P.A.

          For Pamela L. Gorski Matthew T. Norman Monica A. Sansalone Gallagher Sharp, L.L.P.

          BEFORE: Celebrezze, J., Keough, A.J., and S. Gallagher, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          FRANK D. CELEBREZZE, JR., JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant, Blake A. Dickson, appeals the denial of his motions to stay execution of judgment and to vacate judgment. He claims the court erred when it denied his motions and would not allow him to conduct discovery prior to filing a brief in support of his motion to vacate judgment. After a thorough review of the record and law, this court affirms.

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         {¶2} In September 2013, appellant filed a complaint for divorce from his then-wife Christine A. Dickson. During the course of that case, a guardian ad litem ("GAL"), Pamela Gorski, was appointed for the couple's two minor children. She was also appointed as the children's attorney. In proceedings that can be generously characterized as contested, the parties filed motions to show cause, motions for sanctions, and numerous other filings. On August 27, 2015, an agreed judgment entry was entered on the record documenting appellant's agreement to pay half of the fees related to the GAL. The entry, signed by appellant, documents $33, 803.75 in fees, and sets forth appellant's share of the costs as $16, 401.87. The order also entered judgment in that amount against appellant.

         {¶3} In October 2016, appellant filed a motion to stay the judgment in favor of the GAL, and to vacate the judgment awarding fees to the GAL. Appellant also sought an order allowing him additional time to conduct discovery before he filed his brief in support of his motion to vacate. The entire substance of the motion stated,

Plaintiffs Motion to Vacate Judgment pursuant to Civ.R.60(B) is incorporated herein. However, Plaintiff needs to conduct certain discovery to complete his Brief in Support. Accordingly, Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Honorable Court stay the execution of its Judgment Entry dated August 27, 2016 until this Court has resolved Plaintiffs Civ.R.60(B) Motion to Vacate. Plaintiff further requests an extension of time of ninety (90) days to conduct certain discovery relative to his Civ.R.60(B) Motion and file his Brief in Support.

         {¶4} The GAL opposed the motion pointing out, among other things, that appellant failed to satisfy any of the requirements of Civ.R. 60(B). On December 1, 2016, the trial court denied appellant's motion, stating:

The power of a court to vacate its order is granted by Civ.R. 60. A motion to vacate a judgment entry must be made pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B). Nowhere in Defendant's Motion to Vacate does he cite to the grounds listed under Civ.R. 60(B). Nor does he cite to GTE Automatic Electric, Inc. v. Arc Industries, 47 Ohio St.2d 124[, 351 N.E.2d 113] (1976) which established the test that Ohio courts must use when reviewing motions made under Civ.R. 60(B). Because of his failure to adequately apply Civ.R. 60(B) to his Motion as well as the fact that there are absolutely no facts plead that would give rise to the granting of hearing under Civ.R. 60(B), Plaintiffs Motions are hereby DENIED.

         {¶5} Appellant then filed the instant appeal assigning ...


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