Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No.
R. YURECHKO, Atty. Reg. No. 0072458, Attorney for
OGUNDUYILE, Pro Se, Defendant-Appellant
1} Ayo Ogunduyile appeals, pro se, from a default
judgment entered against him. Ogunduyile has not identified
any specific assignments of error but argues that the trial
court erred not in entering the judgment but in the amount of
the judgment. Finding that there is no basis on which to
reverse, we affirm.
2} In 2011, Ogunduyile opened a credit-card account
with Credit One Bank, N.A. Evidently, in 2013, Credit One
considered the account in default and wrote it off. The
account was ultimately bought by Midland Funding, LLC, which
in 2017, brought this action on account against Ogunduyile.
3} The complaint alleges that Ogunduyile owes
$877.75, the balance due on the credit-card account. Midland
does not seek pre-judgment interest on the balance. A monthly
account statement attached to the complaint shows that the
balance in July 2013 was $877.75. Also attached to the
complaint is a long chain of title showing how the account
wended its way to Midland.
4} Ogunduyile was properly served with the
complaint, but he did not file an answer. The trial court
entered a notice of default, which was sent to Ogunduyile.
Midland then filed a motion for default judgment attached to
which it attached the affidavit of a "Legal
Specialist" employed by the servicer of the account. The
affidavit states that as of February 14, 2017, Ogunduyile
owed a balance of $877.75. The trial court granted
Midland's motion for a default judgment on May 15, 2017,
and entered judgment against Ogunduyile for $877.75 plus
5} Ogunduyile appealed.
6} In his pro se brief, Ogunduyile does not contest
the entry of default judgment but only the judgment amount.
He asserts that "[t]he judgment for $877.75 cannot be
authenticated" because the credit limit on the credit
card account was only $400, so he "was not allowed to
charge beyond that amount." Ogunduyile states that he is
"prepared to pay off the credit limit of $400.00 which
[he] charged on the credit card."
7} Civ.R. 55 provides that a default judgment may be
entered "[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for
affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise
defend." Civ.R. 55(A); see also Lykins v. Miami
Valley Hosp., 157 Ohio App.3d 291, 2004-Ohio-2732, 811
N.E.2d 124, ¶ 92 (2d Dist.) ("Civ.R. 55(A) provides
that default judgment may be awarded when a defendant fails
to make an appearance by filing an answer or otherwise
defending an action."). A trial court's entry of
default judgment is reviewed for an abuse of discretion.
Wells Fargo Fin. Natl. Bank v. Douglas, 2d Dist.
Montgomery No. 24349, 2011-Ohio-3739, ¶ 17.
8} Civ.R. 8(D) states that "[a]verments in a
pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other
than those as to the amount of damage, are admitted when not
denied in the responsive pleading." In an action on
account, " '[p]roof of damages is not required
before a default judgment can be granted in an action filed
upon a liquidated damage claim.' " RLM
Properties, Ltd. v. Brammer, 2d Dist. Champaign No. 2014
CA 6, 2014-Ohio-3509, ¶ 13, quoting Mid-American
Acceptance Co. v. Reedy, 11th Dist. Lake No.
89-L-14-072, 1990 WL 94816, *2 (Jun. 29, 1990). If the
account is a credit-card account, the amount that a creditor
alleges is due constitutes liquidated damages "if
'the amount can be determined with exactness from the
agreement between the parties or by an arithmetical process
or by the application of definite rules of law.' "
Discover Bank v. Swartz, 2016-Ohio-2751, 51 N.E.3d
694, ¶ 18 (2d Dist.), quoting L.S. Industries v.
Coe, 9th Dist. Summit No. 22603, 2005-Ohio-6736, ¶
22. Therefore " ' "when the complaint and the
motion for default judgment clearly set forth the amount of
damages" and reveal the amount to be ascertainable,
"the trial court does not abuse its discretion in
relying on the amount asserted" in the complaint.'
" Brammer at ¶ 13, quoting Am.
Communications of Ohio, Inc. v. Hussein, 10th Dist.
Franklin No. 11AP-352, 2011-Ohio-6766, ¶ 16, quoting
Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Barrett, 7th Dist.
Mahoning No. 08 MA 130, 2008-Ohio-6588, ¶ 26.
9} Here, Midland alleges in its complaint that
Ogunduyile owes $877.75 on a credit-card account. A monthly
account statement attached to the complaint shows that in
July 2013 the balance of the account was $877.75. And the
affidavit attached to Midland's motion for default
judgment states that as of February 14, 2017, the balance was
$877.75. While it does appear that the credit limit was $400,
there is no evidence to support Ogunduyile's assertion
that he was not allowed to charge more than the credit limit;
further, documents attached to the complaint indicate account
charges for additional interest, fees and late charges.
10} The complaint and motion for default judgment
clearly show the balance alleged in the complaint. The trial