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Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority v. Rabb

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

December 14, 2017

CUYAHOGA METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
CLAUDE RABB DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Civil Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2008 CVG 008714

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Joseph J. Straka Morscher & Straka, L.L.C.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE Michael P. McGuire Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

          BEFORE: E.T. Gallagher, P.J., Boyle, J., and Blackmon, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          EILEEN T. GALLAGHER, P.J.

         {¶1} This cause came to be heard on the accelerated calendar pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and LocR. 11.1. Defendant-appellant, Claude Rabb, appeals the denial of his motion for relief from judgment. He claims the following single assignment of error:

The trial court erred and abused its discretion in failing to grant appellant's motion for relief from judgment under Civ.R. 60(B)(5) when it did not properly consider appellee's own document, which suggests that appellee's forcible claim was without merit.

         {¶2} We find no merit to the appeal, and affirm the trial court's judgment.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶3} From 2002 to 2008, Rabb leased an apartment located at 2700 Washington Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio that was owned and operated by the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority ("CMHA"). In January 2008, a CMHA manager and CMHA police officers responded to a complaint of water dripping through the ceiling of the apartment located directly below Rabb's apartment. Searching for the source of the water, CMHA authorities entered Rabb's apartment and "found the water running full blast with the shower head pointed out of the tub." (Complaint ¶ 4.) A CMHA secretary reported that Rabb had been in the office earlier that day complaining that the maintenance department had not repaired his leaky shower and threatening that "if it did not get fixed, he would turn the water on and let it run." (Complaint ¶ 4.)

         {¶4} CMHA subsequently issued to Rabb six housing violations, a notice of termination, and a three-day notice to vacate the apartment. Rabb refused to vacate the apartment, and CMHA filed a complaint in forcible entry and detainer. CMHA also sought money damages for "physical damages to the premises beyond ordinary wear and tear." (Complaint ¶ 13.)

         {¶5} Following a hearing in May 2008, the trial court entered judgment in favor of CMHA and against Rabb. Although CMHA sought to recover the cost of repairing Rabb's apartment and two other units that sustained water damage as a result of Rabb's actions, CMHA failed to present evidence establishing the full amount of the damages. Based on the evidence presented, the trial court awarded CMHA damages in the amount of $86 and determined that Rabb was entitled to credit based on his security deposit of $104. After offsetting CMHA's recovery from Rabb's credit, the trial court determined that Rabb was entitled to the balance of his security deposit in the amount of $18.

         {¶6} Rabb subsequently vacated the apartment and filed several motions for relief from judgment, all of which were denied. Rabb appealed the denial of two motions for relief from judgment, both of which were affirmed. See Cuyahoga Metro. Hous. Auth. v. Rabb, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 93561, 2010-Ohio-1870; Cuyahoga Metro. Hous. Auth. v. Rabb, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 95658, 2011-Ohio-2287.

         {¶7} In November 2016, Rabb filed his eighth motion for relief from the trial court's judgment of eviction, arguing the judgment should be vacated because (1) he vacated the apartment immediately after judgment, and (2) CMHA failed to prove any damage caused by the alleged flood. With respect to damages, he argued that because his ...


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