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Kettering Square Apartments v. Crawford

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

December 15, 2017

KETTERING SQUARE APARTMENTS Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
MARSHIE CRAWFORD Defendant-Appellant

         Civil Appeal from Municipal Court Trial Court Case No. 17-CVG-2078

          DERRICK STRAHORN, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          DEBRA LAVEY, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          HALL, P.J.

         {¶ 1} The trial court granted Kettering Square Apartments (KSA) restitution of the apartment in which Marshie Crawford lives, because she violated her lease. Crawford has appealed several of the court's entries. Finding no error in any of them, we affirm them all.

         I. Background

         {¶ 2} On November 23, 2016, KSA served Crawford, who lives in a federally subsidized apartment, with a 30-day notice of termination of her lease. The notice states that she breached her lease by failing to maintain her apartment in a safe and sanitary condition. According to the notice, earlier that year, on May 19 her apartment failed a housekeeping inspection. A letter delivered on May 27 explained why it failed and gave a date for reinspection. A month later, on June 27, the apartment was again inspected and again failed. On September 1, Crawford's attorney sent KSA a letter stating that Crawford is disabled and asking that it give her a "reasonable accommodation in the form of a two-week extension of time to address any failed inspection items." KSA did not respond to the letter or talk to Crawford about her request. However it was not until almost four months later, on December 27, KSA served Crawford a 10-day notice of termination, and then on January 9, 2017, it served her a 3-day notice of termination. Crawford did not leave. On January 19, KSA filed a complaint for forcible entry and detainer against her, asking for restitution of the premises. On March 14, after a hearing, a magistrate issued a decision granting restitution. The same day, the trial court adopted the magistrate's decision and entered a writ of restitution ordering Crawford to vacate her apartment by March 23.

         {¶ 3} Three days after the trial court granted restitution, Crawford filed objections to the magistrate's decision and a motion to stay execution pending a ruling on the objections. She also filed a praecipe for preparation of a transcript of the magistrate's hearing and a motion to supplement objections when the transcript is filed. On March 20, the trial court overruled the motion to stay, saying that a stay may be granted only after an appeal is filed. The next day, March 21, Crawford appealed this ruling. The day after that, March 22, the trial court stayed execution of the writ of restitution, stating that the filing of the appeal "now puts [Crawford's] request for stay properly before this Court for a decision on the merits on the motion for stay." The court also overruled Crawford's objections, though it did so "not on the merits of the objections, but on the basis that in a forcible entry and detainer action objections are not the proper method to challenge the issuance of the writ of restitution. A direct appeal is the proper method to challenge that decision." On April 5, the trial court granted Crawford's motion to stay, pending the underlying appeal, and ordered her to post a use and occupancy bond. A week later, on April 13, Crawford filed a notice of appeal from the March 14 judgment granting restitution and she filed a notice of appeal from the March 22 entry overruling her objections.

         {¶ 4} All three of Crawford's appeals are before us now. KSA has not filed a brief in any of the appeals.

         II. Appeal of the March 20 entry overruling the motion for stay

         {¶ 5} Crawford's first appeal is from the trial court's March 20 judgment overruling her motion for a stay pending objections. The sole assignment of error contends that the trial court erred by overruling this motion. The court ultimately did grant Crawford's motion for a stay pending this appeal on April 5. Consequently the question whether the court erred by not doing so is moot.

         {¶ 6} The sole assignment of error for that appeal is overruled.

         III. Appeal of the March 22 entry overruling objections

         {¶ 7} Crawford assigns two errors to that part of the March 22 entry overruling her objections. The first assignment of error alleges that the trial court erred by concluding that the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply to forcible entry and detainer proceedings. And the second assignment of error alleges that the trial court erred by concluding that filing objections to ...


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