In re Estate of Thomas W. Robison, Jr., (Thomas W. Robison, III, Appellant).
from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Probate
Division (Prob. No. 578505)
Bricker & Eckler LLP, Quintin F. Lindsmith, and Ali I.
Haque, for appellee. Argued: Ali I. Haque.
W. Robison, III, pro se.
W. Robison, III.
1} Appellant, Thomas W. Robison, III, appeals a
judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas,
Probate Division, that adopted the magistrate's decision
granting certain exceptions to the estate inventory. Because
we lack a final appealable order, we dismiss this appeal.
2} On April 4, 2016, Thomas W. Robison, Jr.
("decedent") died testate. Appellant was appointed
the executor of his father's estate. On August 4, 2016,
appellant filed the estate inventory. Appellee, Jenny Bee
Choo Robison, the surviving spouse of decedent, filed
exceptions to the inventory. She contended that appellant (1)
excluded a number of vehicles owned by decedent from the
inventory, (2) mischaracterized decedent's ownership
interest in real property located in Lancaster, Ohio, (3)
excluded a lease between appellant and decedent for
appellant's residential use of real property in
Pataskala, Ohio, (4) improperly included two vehicles subject
to a surviving spouse's election pursuant to R.C. 2106.18
in the inventory, and (5) misidentified the VIN or vehicle
description for five vehicles.
3} After an unsuccessful attempt at mediation, a
magistrate held a hearing on appellee's exceptions to the
inventory. Appellant did not appear although counsel for
appellant was present. At the hearing, appellee presented 38
certificates of title and 2 sets of BMV search records using
decedent's social security number that identified
vehicles owned by decedent that were not included in the
inventory. Documents intended to correct the inventory with
regard to VIN numbers and vehicle descriptions were also
submitted. With regard to the exceptions involving real
property, appellee introduced deeds, certificates of transfer
and/or title records for property located on Harlem Road in
Westerville, Ohio, in Lancaster, Ohio, and in Pataskala,
Ohio. During the hearing, appellee made an oral motion to
exclude the Harlem Road property from the inventory because
the property was not owned by decedent at the time of his
4} On December 14, 2016, the magistrate filed his
decision. The exceptions pertaining to vehicles owned by
decedent but excluded from the inventory were granted. The
magistrate ordered that the inventory be amended to include
the vehicles identified in appellee's exhibits B and C.
Also, the mistakes on the inventory regarding VIN numbers and
vehicle descriptions identified in exhibit F were ordered to
be corrected. The magistrate granted the exception with
regard to the Lancaster property and ordered that the
inventory be amended to reflect that decedent had a
2/3-ownership interest in the Lancaster property. The oral
motion to exclude the Harlem Road property from the inventory
5} The magistrate denied the remaining exceptions.
Because appellee testified that there was no lease on the
Pataskala property and that property had been bequeathed to
appellant in decedent's will, the magistrate concluded
that appellant had the right to reside on the property. The
magistrate also indicated that because the inventory was
incomplete regarding vehicles owned by decedent, appellee
would have the opportunity to select up to two vehicles to
exclude from the inventory once the inventory was amended.
6} In addition to resolving the exceptions to the
inventory, the magistrate ordered appellant to appear for a
hearing on his removal as executor. The magistrate extended
the time period for appellee, as surviving spouse, to make
elections under R.C. Chapter 2106.
7} On December 28, 2016, appellant objected to the
magistrate's decision. He argued that the Harlem Road
property should not have been excluded from the inventory and
that the surviving spouse should not be permitted to select
up to two vehicles pursuant to R.C. 2106.18(A). No transcript
of the November 29, 2016 hearing was filed within 30 days of
the filing of the objections as required by Civ.R.
8} Appellant filed a motion for leave to correct
transcript filing. He alleged that there was confusion as to
the existence of a recording of the November 29, 2016
hearing. He mistakenly assumed that the digital recording
filed on December 14, 2016, the same day the magistrate's
order was filed, was the recording that needed to be
transcribed. He realized his error when the transcript was
filed. On February 24, 2017, appellant filed the transcript
from the November 29, 2017 hearing, without leave of court.
9} On March 7, 2017, the trial court entered its
judgment entry denying appellant's objections and
adopting the magistrate's decision. It noted that
pursuant to R.C. 2115.02, an executor is required to make and
return a true inventory of real property and tangible and
intangible assets owned by a decedent at the time of death.
The trial court determined that the magistrate did not err in
ordering that the inventory be amended to include vehicles