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Othman v. Board of Education of Princeton City School District

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

December 20, 2017

AMANI OTHMAN, and AKRAM OTHMAN, Appellants/Cross-Appellees,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE PRINCETON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Appellee/Cross-Appellant, and THE BOARD OF REVISION OF HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO, and DUSTY RHODES, AUDITOR, HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO, Appellees.

         Civil Appeals From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas No. A-1503186

          Strauss Troy Co., L.P.A., and Marshall K. Dosker, for Appellants/Cross-Appellees.

          Ennis Britton Co., LPA, and Gary T. Stedronsky, for Appellee/Cross-Appellant Board of Education of the Princeton City School District.

          Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Thomas J. Scheve, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Appellee Dusty Rhodes, Hamilton County Auditor.

          OPINION

          Myers, Presiding Judge.

         {¶1} The Board of Education of the Princeton City School District ("school district") appeals the judgment of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in favor of the appellant property owners in their appeal of a decision of the Hamilton County Board of Revision ("board of revision"). We find no merit in the school district's assignments of error, and we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         Procedural History

         {¶2} Amani and Akram Othman filed a complaint for the 2014 tax year with the board of revision in which they sought to reduce the value of property they owned at 100 Tri-County Parkway from $4, 997, 430 to $880, 000. The school district filed a counter-complaint in which it sought to maintain the value assigned by Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes ("the auditor"). Following a hearing, the board of revision maintained the auditor's value of $4, 997, 430.

         {¶3} In 2015, the Othmans appealed the decision of the board of revision to the common pleas court, pursuant to R.C. 5717.05. Thereafter, they filed a motion to supplement the record with evidence of an independent appraisal, which the school district and the auditor opposed. The trial court denied the motion to supplement.

         {¶4} The parties filed briefs in support of their valuations. After a hearing, the magistrate affirmed the decision of the board of revision to maintain the auditor's valuation.

         {¶5} The Othmans filed objections to the magistrate's decision. Following its review, the trial court adopted the magistrate's decision on November 4, 2016. The Othmans appealed the trial court's decision, in the case numbered C-160878. Then they filed a motion in the trial court for reconsideration or, in the alternative, for relief from judgment under Civ.R. 60(B). They also filed a motion in this court for a limited remand for the trial court to consider the motion, which we granted.

         {¶6} On remand, the trial court held a hearing on the Othmans' motion, and allowed them to present additional evidence, including the independent appraisal which the court had previously disallowed. The Othmans presented the testimony of Eric Gardner, a commercial real estate appraiser, and his appraisal. Gardner opined that the property's market value as of January 1, 2014, was $950, 000. The Othmans also presented evidence that the property had been on the market for several years before it was sold in December 2016 for $950, 000.

         {¶7} After the hearing, on March 27, 2017, the court granted the motion for reconsideration and determined that the value of the property for tax purposes for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 tax years was $950, 000. The school district appealed the trial court's decision in the case numbered C-170187.

         {¶8} As conceded by the Othmans' counsel at oral argument, we must dismiss their appeal in the case numbered C-160878 because they advance no assignments of error for our review. We consider ...


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