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Bunting v. Watts

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

December 18, 2017

PAUL EDWARD BUNTING Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
MARY & GREG WATTS Defendants-Appellees

         Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017CV01240

          For Plaintiff-Appellant PAUL EDWARD BUNTING, Pro Se.

          For Defendants-Appellees MARY & GREGORY WATTS, Pro Se.

          JUDGES: Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          WISE, EARLE, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-Appellant, Paul Edward Bunting, appeals the July 31, 2017 judgment entry of the Court of Common Pleas of Stark County, Ohio, granting the motion to dismiss filed by Defendants-Appellees, Mary and Greg Watts.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} Because this case was disposed of via a motion to dismiss the complaint, we glean the following facts from the limited pro se pleadings.

         {¶ 3} On or about March 27, 2008, Mary Jane Bunting became ill and was hospitalized. Ms. Bunting had two children, appellant and appellee Mary Watts. On April 1, 2008, Ms. Bunting granted her daughter a durable unlimited power of attorney to handle her affairs. On April 4, 2008, appellee Mary Watts, by virtue of her power of attorney, transferred Ms. Bunting's prefab manufactured modular home to her husband, appellee Greg Watts. Ms. Bunting passed away on April 5, 2008. The power of attorney and quit claim deed were recorded on April 9, 2008.

         {¶ 4} On June 19, 2017, appellant filed a pro se complaint for declaratory judgment against his sister and her husband. Appellant sought a declaration from the trial court regarding the validity of the power of attorney and the subsequent conveyance of Ms. Bunting's real property. Appellant claimed his sister obtained the power of attorney from his mother through fraud, arguing the notary acknowledged the signatures on April 3, 2008, two days after the signing. Appellant also claimed his sister engaged in illegal self-dealing in transferring Ms. Bunting's real property to her husband instead of filing decedent's estate in probate, and as a result, was unjustly enriched. Appellant further claimed at ¶ 20 that his sister used the power of attorney "as a weapon to cease and desist all medical life-support to purposefully cause the death of Decedent." Attached to the complaint were copies of the power of attorney and the quit claim deed.

         {¶ 5} On July 11, 2017, appellees filed a pro se answer and requested a dismissal of the case, stating in part appellant has been trying to sue them for over nine years from prison and there was no monetary gain after bills and the funeral expenses were paid. Attached to their answer were copies of judgment entries dismissing complaints appellant had filed in 2008 (Case Nos. 2008CV02544 and 2008CV04511).

         {¶ 6} By judgment entry filed July 31, 2017, the trial court dismissed the case pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(6) in accordance with the cited case law therein, that being, "[d]ismissal is appropriate where it appears beyond doubt that the complaining party can prove no set of facts in support of the complaining party's claim that would entitle said party to relief."

         {¶ 7} Appellant filed an appeal and this matter is now before this court for consideration. ...


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