Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hodge v. Callinan

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren

January 22, 2018

RACHEL HODGE, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
MAUREEN CALLINAN, et al., Defendants-Appellees.


          F. Harrison Green, Executive Park, for plaintiffs-appellants.

          John W. Hust, Socialville-Foster Road, for defendant-appellee, Maureen Callinan and Maureen Callinan as Fiduciary for Estate of Victoria Arnold.

          Benjamin M. Rodriguez, for defendants-appellees/third-party plaintiffs, Mark Charnay and Elvira Charnay.


          S. POWELL, P.J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiffs-appellants, Rachel Hodge and Danielle Arnold, appeal from the decision of the Warren County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, granting a declaratory judgment to defendants-appellees, Mark and Elvira Charnay. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm the decision of the probate court.[1]

         {¶ 2} The present case arises from a complaint filed by appellants on March 31, 2016 and amended on April 15, 2016, in the general division of the Warren County Court of Common Pleas. The amended complaint alleged claims of breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice against Maureen Callinan, the administrator of the estate at issue, and a quiet title claim against appellees. On September 19, 2016, the general division transferred the case to the probate division. Appellees answered the amended complaint and filed a counterclaim against appellants, a cross-claim against Callinan, and a third-party complaint against the estate. The relevant underlying issues in this appeal concern the estate administration of decedent, Victoria Arnold ("Arnold's Estate").

         {¶ 3} On August 18, 2013, Victoria Arnold died leaving three heirs, appellants and non-party, Sarah Schaeper. The sole asset in Arnold's Estate was a residence located in Warren County. Victoria owned an undivided one-half interest in the property and her brother, Dennis Brooks, owned the other one-half interest. Appellants allege Brooks hired Callinan as the attorney for Arnold's Estate without their knowledge or consent. Callinan was also the administrator of Arnold's Estate by appointment of the probate court.

         {¶ 4} Appellants' amended complaint alleges that on or around December 1, 2014, Callinan listed the property for sale for $180, 000 and cited Brooks as the only party having an ownership interest in the property. In support of the list price, Callinan submitted to the probate court the 2014 auditor's tax assessment. However, appellants assert that in January 2015 a newer assessment was completed, which valued the property at $176, 110. Appellants' amended complaint alleges an offer for the property was made and accepted in December 2014, but the sale was not completed due to financing issues with the prospective purchaser. Appellants contend Callinan failed to communicate this information to them and that appellants discovered it online.

         {¶ 5} In January 2015, appellees submitted an offer of $160, 000, which Callinan accepted on behalf of Arnold's Estate. Appellants allege that despite their exhaustive efforts, they were unable to obtain information from Callinan regarding the sale and had to read the details of the sale online. Appellants further assert that in the time between acceptance of appellees' offer and the closing on February 26, 2015, other nearby properties sold for amounts between $197, 000 and $226, 000. Title to the property from Arnold's Estate transferred to appellees on the same date as closing. On March 13, 2015, the probate court approved the estate inventory, valuing the property at $163, 060. Appellants did not object to the inventory.

         {¶ 6} Appellants allege that beginning in April 2015, they had trouble communicating with Callinan regarding a final accounting for Arnold's Estate. Appellants further allege they visited Callinan's office on June 1, 2015 where "Callinan held their checks in the air and told them if they wanted the money they would need to sign consent forms [to sell the property] before she would disburse the funds." In turn, Brooks and appellants signed the consent forms to sell the property, which Callinan filed with the probate court the next day. Arnold's Estate distributed the net proceeds from the sale to the heirs. Following Callinan's filing of the final account, appellants filed exceptions to the final account. The probate court held hearings on the exceptions in November 2015 and February 2016, and scheduled a third hearing on May 2, 2016.

         {¶ 7} On May 19, 2017, appellees moved for declaratory judgment to declare the rights of all parties as to their interests in the property appellees purchased from Arnold's Estate. On June 20, 2017, the probate court granted appellees' motion for declaratory judgment and entered a final appealable order.

         {¶ 8} Appellants timely appealed the decision of the probate court.

         {¶ 9} ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.