Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
STATE OF OHIO, EX REL. WILLIAM L. ALLEN RELATOR-APPELLANT
VILLAGE OF WALTON HILLS RESPONDENT-APPELLEE
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Alyssa M. Allen
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE James A. Climer Jeffrey T. Kay Frank
Scialdone Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co. L.P.A.
BEFORE: McCormack, E.A. Gallagher, A.J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
In this taxpayer action, relator-appellant William Allen
("Allen") appeals from the decision of the trial
court granting summary judgment for the
respondents-appellees. For the reasons that follow, we
and Substantive History
On July 23, 2014, Allen filed a complaint for declaratory
judgment and injunctive relief against the village of Walton
Hills ("the Village"), six individuals in their
capacity as Walton Hills council members, and Kevin Hurst
("Hurst") in his capacity as mayor of Walton Hills.
The underlying action surrounds two village ordinances
related to compensating the mayor when he or she serves as a
magistrate for the mayor's court of Walton Hills. On
February 19, 2002, the Village passed an ordinance, codified
as Walton Hills Code § 290.01, which established the
part-time position of magistrate of mayor's court of
Walton Hills. The ordinance stated that the mayor would
receive no additional compensation for officiating at
mayor's court, and further stated that if the Village
hired a qualified magistrate, he or she would be compensated
$295 for each regular session of mayor's court.
On July 25, 2011, the Village passed Ordinance 2011-18,
codified as Walton Hills Code § 230.031, which changed
the rate of pay for a mayor's court magistrate and
authorized compensation of $400 per regular session to the
mayor for officiating at mayor's court. Walton Hills Code
§ 290.01 was not repealed. On November 8, 2011, Hurst
was elected as mayor of Walton Hills.
In 2014, the state auditor's office notified the Village
of the conflicting ordinances. In response, the Village
passed another ordinance, amending § 290.01 to remove
the language precluding compensating the mayor for presiding
over the mayor's court. This new ordinance did not apply
retroactively. Because the new ordinance was not retroactive,
Allen argues that all compensation paid to Hurst during the
period of conflict was improper.
Allen's complaint sought a declaratory judgment stating
that Village Ordinance 2011-18 was illegally enacted. The
complaint also requested that Hurst reimburse the Village for
the compensation he received for presiding over the
On May 11, 2015, the Village filed a motion for summary
judgment in which it asserted that the action was time-barred
by the statute of limitations under R.C. 733.60.
On March 1, 2017, the trial court granted the Village's
motion for summary ...