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May v. Shannon

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Knox

December 26, 2017

MARTHA MAY Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
TONI SHANNON, ET AL. Defendants-Appellees

         Appeal from the Mount Vernon Municipal Court, Case No. 16 CVH 00419

          For Plaintiff-Appellant SCOTT ALLAN PULLINS Pullins Law Firm LLC

          For Defendants-Appellees ADAM B. LANDON Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, Ltd.

          Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          BALDWIN, J.

         {¶1} Plaintiff-Appellant, Martha May, appeals the decisions of the Mount Vernon Municipal Court memorialized in entries dated November 21, 2016, December 13, 2016 and February 24, 2017 in which the trial court dismissed her complaint against Appellee, denied a motion to vacate that judgment and denied a motion to reconsider its decision on the motion to vacate. Appellee Toni Shannon did not file a brief or otherwise appear in this Appeal.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS AND THE CASE

         {¶2} Appellant filed a complaint on June 28, 2016 describing damages to a mobile home and seeking compensation from Appellee, Samantha Marchio and Chad Pruyn. Appellee filed an answer on July 14, 2016. Defendant Samantha Marchio was served with the summons and complaint on October 13, 2016, but did not file an answer or otherwise appear in this matter. Defendant Chad Pruyn was not served with the summons or complaint.

         {¶3} The trial court conducted a bench trial on November 18, 2016 with Appellant acting pro se and Appellee Shannon appearing with counsel. Appellant testified on her own behalf and submitted several exhibits. She claimed to have subpoenaed witnesses or asked them to testify, but none appeared at the hearing. She requested continuances at two points during the trial and the Court denied her requests.

         {¶4} At the conclusion of Appellant's case, Appellee Shannon moved for a directed verdict[1] and that motion was granted. Appellant requested default judgment against Defendant Marchio and that motion was granted. The court scheduled a hearing on damages in the claim against Marchio for February 17, 2017. The claim against Defendant Chad Pruyn was not addressed by the Court.[2]

         {¶5} On December 8, 2016, Appellant filed a motion to vacate the judgment dismissing her complaint against Appellee Shannon. That motion was denied December 13, 2016. On February 22, 2017 Appellant filed a motion to reconsider the December 13th decision and that request was denied on February 24, 2017. On March 29, 2017, Appellant filed a notice of dismissal stating "Pursuant to Ohio Civil Rule 41(A) Plaintiff dismisses this action, without prejudice, in order to appeal this court's previously issued orders." On April 28, 2017 Appellant filed a notice of appeal of the trial court's entries of February 24, 2017, December 13, 2016 and November 21, 2016 and submitted four assignments of error:

         {¶6} "I. THE TRIAL COURT VIOLATED THE PRO-SE PLAINTIFF'S FUNDAMENTAL FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF DUE PROCESS BY INSTRUCTING HER THAT SHE WAS NOT PERMITTED TO EITHER ADVOCATE FOR HER POSITION OR CROSS EXAMINE WITNESSES BECAUSE SHE WAS NOT A LICENSED ATTORNEY.

         {¶7} "II. THIS CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION TAINTED THE PROCESS AND THE COURT ERRED BY THEN ISSUING A DIRECTED VERDICT AGAINST THE PLAINTIFF."

         {¶8} "III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE DECISION OF THE KNOX COUNTY JUVENILE COURT ...


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