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Riddick v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

January 18, 2018

BARRY RIDDICK PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
OWEN R. TAYLOR, ET AL. DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-16-865198

          FOR APPELLANT Barry Riddick, pro se

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES Adam J. Davis Martin T. Galvin Reminger Co., L.P.A.

          BEFORE: Jones, J., E.A. Gallagher, A.J., and Kilbane, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          LARRY A. JONES, SR., J.

         {¶1} Plaintiff-appellant, Barry Riddick ("Riddick"), has filed this pro se appeal challenging the trial court's decision to grant the motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment of defendants-appellees, Owen Taylor and Key Decisions/Positive Choices. Finding no merit to the appeal, we affirm.

         {¶2} In May 2012, Riddick paid $200 to Key Decisions/Positive Choices to perform an alcohol and drug evaluation and assessment so he could renew his Ohio driver's license. According to Riddick, he needed the evaluation and assessment for the state of Michigan, which had suspended his driver's license due to a DUI conviction and he had a holder on his license.

         {¶3} Owen Taylor ("Taylor") worked for Key Decisions/Positive Choices as a licensed chemical dependency counselor and performed Riddick's evaluation and assessment. Riddick contends that as part of his assessment Taylor was to complete a state of Michigan request for administrative review or hearing (Form 1) and a state of Michigan evaluation or assessment (Form II).

         {¶4} Unsatisfied with the results of his evaluation and assessment, Riddick filed a complaint with the Cuyahoga County Board of Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health ("Board" or "ADAMHS") in June 2012. The Board investigated his complaint and found that Riddick's rights had not been violated. In June 2016, Riddick filed suit against Taylor and Key Decisions/Positive Choices alleging breach of contract, respondeat superior, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and vicarious liability.

         {¶5} Taylor and Key Decisions/Positive Choices moved to dismiss the fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims based on the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the motion. Riddick subsequently filed a first amended complaint identifying a John Doe defendant.

         {¶6} After Riddick failed to timely respond to discovery, Taylor and Key Decisions/Positive Choices moved to have admitted their Requests for Admission 1-4. The trial court admitted the following:

REQUEST FOR ADMISSION NO. 1: Admit that you, Barry Riddick, refused to sign a written release authorizing Defendants to release your information to the Michigan Department of State.
REQUEST FOR ADMISSION NO. 2: Admit that no written contract exists between you and Defendants.
REQUEST FOR ADMISSION NO. 3: Admit that a material term of your agreement with Defendants was for you to sign a written release authorizing Defendants to release the details of your evaluation by Owen R. Taylor, Key Decisions/Positive Choices to the Michigan Department of State.
REQUEST FOR ADMISSION NO. 4: Admit that the ADAMHS Board determined that Mr. Taylor and Key Decisions did perform the service that you paid for.

         {¶7} Taylor and Key Decisions/Positive Choices then moved for summary judgment. Riddick also moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion in favor of Taylor and Key Decisions/Positive Choices, finding that Riddick failed to establish a breach of contract claim because he did not sign an authorization allowing Taylor and Key Decisions/Positive Choices to release his assessment to the state of Michigan.

         {¶8} Riddick filed this pro se appeal, raising the following assignments of error for our review:

I. The trial court committed prejudicial error when, for purposes of the application of the 4-year statute of limitations on his claims based in (A) Fraud, Count III and (B) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Count IV, it, pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(6), granted in part [defendant's motion to dismiss], dismissing those claims as time[-]barred, denying Appellant his right to jury trial on the issue of reasonable date of discovery.
II. The trial court committed prejudicial error and/or abused its discretion when it deemed admissions admitted by default and refused to withdraw and/or allow amendment where plaintiff had demonstrated that the action should be judged on its merits and the defendants were not prejudiced where plaintiff via his deposition categorically denied the deemed admissions prior to the Civ.R. 36 motion by defendants.
III. The trial court to the prejudice of appellant erred and/or abused its discretion when it failed to enforce its Order that defendants respond to plaintiffs Interrogatory 1 (see Journal Entry 1/25/2017) thus, denying appellant meaningful discovery despite appellant's Civ.R. 56(F) motion.
IV. The trial court to the prejudice of appellant erred and/or abused its discretion when it denied meaningful discovery from the appellees, by not deferring a ruling upon or denying appellees' motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment for appellees where appellees failed to answer appellant's Civ.R. 31 deposition after properly being noticed and prior to the summary judgment decision, where appellant filed a Civ.R. 56(F) motion due to outstanding discovery.
V. Deemed admissions in and of themselves do no[t] entitle appellees to summary judgment when a contract still existed.
VI. The trial court erred in denying appellant's motion for summary judgment where there were no issues of material fact and appellees b[r]eached the agreement/contract.

         I. ...


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