Shawn K. Brust, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Franklin County Sheriff's Office et al., Defendants-Appellees.
from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas No. 14CV-13459
K. Brust, pro se.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Jeffrey C. Rogers, for
1} This is an appeal by plaintiff-appellant, Shawn
K. Brust, from a decision and entry of the Franklin County
Court of Common Pleas granting summary judgment in favor of
defendants-appellees, Franklin County Sheriffs Office and
Zach Scott, and denying appellant's motion for partial
2} The following background facts, essentially not
in dispute, are drawn primarily from the trial court's
summary judgment decision filed December 1, 2016. On August
22, 1997, appellant was arrested and charged in Franklin C.P.
No. 97CR-4790 with one count of aggravated murder. At the
time of his arrest, appellant's vehicle and its contents
were impounded by appellee, Franklin County Sheriffs Office.
On November 24, 1997, the State of Ohio filed a civil
forfeiture action in Franklin C.P. No. 97CV-10411 with
respect to the vehicle, a 1986 Isuzu Trooper. On December 24,
1997, counsel for appellant filed an answer in the forfeiture
3} Following a jury trial in the criminal
proceeding, appellant was found not guilty of aggravated
murder, but guilty of the lesser-included offense of murder.
The trial court imposed a sentence of 15 years to life on the
murder conviction, with an additional three years for a
4} On April 27, 1999, the trial court stayed the
civil forfeiture action in case No. 97CV-10411 due to a
pending appeal in the criminal case. On March 10, 2014, the
state moved to lift the stay and re-open the case. On March
11, 2014, the trial court granted the state's motion and
lifted the stay.
5} On March 20, 2014, appellant entered a pro se
appearance in the forfeiture case after his counsel withdrew
from the matter. On April 28, 2014, appellant requested a
continuance of the trial date, which the trial court granted.
Appellant subsequently filed several motions requesting the
trial court permit him to make an appearance at trial despite
his incarceration. On June 27, 2014, the state dismissed the
6} On July 3, 2014, appellant filed a motion in the
criminal case (No. 97CR-4790) seeking the return of his
vehicle. On August 13, 2014, he filed a second request in the
criminal case for the return of his vehicle and all property
inside, including tools. On September 30, 2014, appellant
filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings after the state
failed to file a response to his motions. On October 1, 2014,
the trial court in case No. 97CR-4790 granted appellant's
motion to return seized property (i.e., the 1986 Isuzu
Trooper). On October 9, 2014, appellant filed a motion in
that case requesting the trial court clarify its decision
rendered October 1, 2014, on the basis that the court's
order made no reference to appellant's tools that were
inside the vehicle. Appellant also requested special damages,
interest and compensation as to the unreturned tools, and
other property. On November 3, 2014, the state filed a new
appearance in the criminal case (No. 97CR-4790) and filed a
memorandum contra appellant's request for special damages
or compensation. On January 14, 2015, the trial court filed
an entry denying appellant's motion to clarify the
court's decision of October 1, 2014.
7} On December 24, 2014, appellant filed his
complaint in the instant action against appellees for
"failure to redeliver, " raising two claims;
specifically, appellant's first claim requested the
return of his vehicle, while the second claim requested that
appellees return his personal property, i.e., the tools
inside the vehicle, which he alleged had a "reasonable
replacement value" around $6, 000 to $7, 000.
8} On January 7, 2015, appellees filed a motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, asserting appellant abandoned any claim he had to
the property through his own neglect. On January 15, 2015,
appellant filed a memorandum in opposition to the motion to
dismiss. On February 3, 2015, the trial court filed a
decision and entry granting appellees' motion to dismiss
on the basis appellant failed to comply with R.C. ...