Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
DOVER WEST CONDOMINIUM UNIT OWNERS' ASSOCIATION PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
JOCELYN T. CARANDANG, ET AL. DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS L. Bryan Carr
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Shannon M. McCormick Joseph E.
Dibaggio Darcy Mehling Good Kaman & Cusimano, L.L.C.
BEFORE: Blackmon, J., Kilbane, P.J., and S. Gallagher, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, JUDGE.
Defendant-appellant Jocelyn T. Carandang
("Carandang") appeals the trial court's order
denying her motion for relief from the judgment in the
foreclosure action filed by Dover West Condominium Unit
Owners' Association ("Dover West"). Carandang
assigns the following error for our review:
The trial court erred in granting default judgment to the
appellee and in denying the [Carandang's] motion for
relief from judgment /motion to vacate judgment.
Having reviewed the record and relevant law, we affirm the
decision of the trial court. The apposite facts follow.
The record indicates that in February 2015, Dover West filed
Case No. CV-15-840434 against Carandang alleging that her
behavior was disruptive and created a nuisance at the
condominium complex. In February 2016, Dover West was
eventually granted injunctive relief that ordered Carandang
to abate the nuisance, and was also awarded attorneys fees
and costs. This matter is the subject of a separate appeal in
Dover W. v. Carandang, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.
Several months later, Dover West filed this action against
Carandang to foreclose upon a lien from the 2016 judgment,
alleging that $11, 347 remained unpaid, and that it also has
a condominium lien on the property in the amount of $6,
881.18, plus interest and fees, for unpaid maintenance fees,
and common expenses and assessments.
By August 2016, Carandang had not filed an answer. A default
hearing was held on September 2, 2016. Carandang appeared pro
se at the default hearing. Carandang did not submit an answer
and on September 6, 2016, the magistrate granted Dover West a
default judgment. The court concluded that the $11, 347
judgment lien is a valid lien upon the premises, and that
Dover West is also entitled to $7, 487 on its condominium
lien (including legal fees and costs). On October 4, 2016,
the trial court adopted the magistrate's decision.
The premises were sold on November 28, 2016. On December 20,
2016, the trial court approved and confirmed the sale and
ordered the sheriff to deliver a deed to the purchaser. On
January 6, 2017, Carandang sent handwritten correspondence to
the court indicating that she had been sick during the
earlier proceedings. Three weeks later, on January 31, 2017,
Carandang, through counsel, filed a motion for relief from
judgment and a motion for restraining order and injunction.
In relevant part, she asserted that she had failed to answer
through inadvertence as a pro se litigant, and that the
default judgment was not equitable because she is entitled to
protect up to $135, 000 in equity under the homestead
exemption, R.C. 2319.66. In opposition, Dover West asserted
that the motion was untimely because the unit had been sold.
Dover West also maintained that under R.C. 2329.661, the
homestead exemption does not extend to a "judgment
rendered on a mortgage extended or security interest given on
real or personal property by the debtor, " and that
Carandang consented to the lien under the terms of her
mortgage and condominium association agreement.
On February 17, 2017, the trial court denied Carandang's
motion for relief from judgment, concluding:
[The] order confirming sale "bars the filing of any
further motions to set aside the sale of the lands and
tenements." R.C. 2329.27(B)(3)(b). Thus, this court
lacks jurisdiction to grant Defendant Carandang the relief
she seeks. Assuming that the court had jurisdiction,
Defendant Carandang fails to assert the ...