Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull
Appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, Case
No. 2015 CV 01162. Affirm.
Karnofel, pro se, (Plaintiff-Appellant).
Gold, Jr., Ford, Gold, Kovoor & Simon, Ltd., (For
COLLEEN MARY OTOOLE, J.
Ann Karnofel appeals from the grant of summary judgment by
the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas to Superior
Waterproofing, Inc., in her action for breach of contract and
negligent workmanship. Finding no reversible error, we
Ann Karnofel lives at 1528 Greenwood Avenue, Girard, Ohio,
with her daughters, Delores Karnofel and Donna Jean Beck, who
own the residence. On or about June 27, 2013, Superior
submitted a contract to Delores Karnofel for waterproofing
work and other improvements to the house. While submitted to
Delores, the contract was approved by Ann, in Delores'
presence. Work commenced September 16, 2013. October 1, 2013,
Delores cancelled the contract before work was completed.
Money was owed on the work actually done.
Superior filed an action against Delores in the Girard
Municipal Court, that being Case No. 2014 CVF 01065. Delores
Karnofel is a vexatious litigator, so she moved the Girard
Municipal Court for leave to file an answer, counterclaim,
and motion for summary judgment. Superior Waterproofing,
Inc. v. Karnofel, 11th Dist. Trumbull No. 2015-T-0113,
2016-Ohio-6992, ¶2. That court granted her leave.
Id. Superior moved for summary judgment.
Id. at ¶4. The trial court granted
Superior's motion prior to the filing of any response.
Delores appealed. In relevant part, this court concluded
that, since she was responding to an action, she did not
require leave of court to file an answer even though she is a
vexatious litigator. Superior Waterproofing, Inc.,
2016-Ohio-6992, ¶15, 20. However, we further concluded
she did require leave of the Trumbull County Court of Common
Pleas - the court which designated her a vexatious litigator
- to proceed in the Girard Municipal Court case, on any claim
requesting an order or other relief, such as her
counterclaim. This court vacated the judgment of the Girard
Municipal Court, and remanded for further proceedings.
Id. at ¶21.
On remand, Delores filed a response to Superior's motion
for summary judgment. However, a review of the docket in Case
No. 2014 CVF 01065 reveals she never applied for leave to
proceed with her counterclaim from the Trumbull County Court
of Common Pleas, and did not ultimately file a counterclaim.
By a judgment entry filed January 20, 2017, the Girard
Municipal Court once again granted Superior's motion for
summary judgment. Delores timely noticed appeal from that
judgment, having obtained this court's leave to do so.
The matter is presently pending as Case No. 2017-T-0010.
In the meantime, on or about June 23, 2015, Ann Karnofel
filed her complaint in this case, alleging breach of contract
and negligent workmanship by Superior, arising from the same
contract as that subject of the Girard Municipal Court case.
Superior answered. Extensive motion practice ensued. Superior
moved for summary judgment, which Ann opposed. By a
thoughtful and incisive judgment entered March 2, 2017, the
trial court granted Superior's motion. The trial court
concluded that Ann's claims were compulsory counterclaims
in the Girard Municipal Court case, and that Ann and Delores
were in privity. Consequently, the trial court concluded that
the Girard Municipal Court case constituted res judicata,
binding in this case.
Ann timely noticed this appeal, assigning two errors:
"[1.] The trial court erred when it failed to see that
appellant's daughter, Delores Karnofel's leave to
proceed was not valid, when summary judgment was granted to
"[2.] The trial court erred when it ruled in
defendant-appellee's favor for summary judgment."
Being interrelated, we treat the assignments ...