from Mercer County Common Pleas Court Probate Division Trial
Court No. 20174001A
William E. Huber for Appellant
A. Tesno for Appellee
Plaintiff-appellant, George Fetters ("Fetters"),
appeals the October 2, 2017 judgment entry of the Mercer
County Common Pleas Court, Probate Division dismissing his
action against defendant-appellee, Cathy Duff ("Duff),
for an accounting under R.C. 1337.36. For the reasons that
follow, we affirm.
Fetters and Duff are brother and sister, and the underlying
dispute concerns Fetters's allegations that Duff abused
her position as attorney-in-fact for their mother, Phyllis
Lauth ("Lauth"). Fetters was originally designated
as Lauth's attorney-in-fact through a written power of
attorney executed by Lauth in May 2015. (Doc. Nos. 4, 12).
However, after serving as his mother's attorney-in-fact
for three months, Fetters was removed by Lauth in August
2015. (Doc. No. 12). Lauth appointed Duff to serve as her
attorney-in-fact in Fetters's place, a role Duff occupied
until Lauth's death on April 18, 2016.
On July 13, 2016, Fetters, by letter, requested that Duff
render an accounting of her time as Lauth's
attorney-in-fact. (Doc. Nos. 1, 12). Duff did not produce an
accounting in response to Fetters's demand. (Doc. No. 1).
On January 24, 2017, Fetters filed, in the Probate Court, a
complaint under R.C. 1337.36 requesting an accounting of Duff
s tenure as Lauth's attorney-in-fact. (Doc. No. 1).
Duff filed her answer on March 2, 2017. (Doc No. 4). Duff s
March 2, 2017 pleading also set forth a counterclaim against
Fetters under R.C. 1337.36 requesting that Fetters be ordered
to render an accounting for the brief period of time during
which he served as Lauth's attorney-in-fact.
In the following months, Fetters and Duff exchanged position
memoranda and reply briefs. (See Doc. Nos. 9, 12,
13, 14, 15). Fetters filed his "Memorandum of Plaintiff
on May 17, 2017. (Doc. No. 9). Duff submitted her
"Defendant's Memorandum" on May 22, 2017. (Doc.
No. 12). Fetters submitted his "Response to Memorandum
of Defendant" on May 25, 2017. (Doc. No. 13). Duff filed
her "Defendant's Response Memorandum" on June
5, 2017. (Doc. No. 14). On June 12, 2017, Fetters filed his
"Response to Defendant's Response Memorandum."
(Doc. No. 15).
A final hearing on Fetters's complaint and Duff's
counterclaim was held on August 24, 2017. (See Doc.
Nos. 17, 22).
On October 2, 2017, the trial court dismissed Fetters's
complaint and Duff's counterclaim. (Doc. No.
In its entry, the trial court noted that "[n]o
challenges to the inventory or accounting, or other actions
were filed in the estate case while it was opened."
(Id.). The trial court concluded: "The Court
finds that the purpose of the law in the ORC is to provide
for finality in estates." (Id.).
On October 25, 2017, Fetters filed a notice of appeal. (Doc.
No. 23). Fetters raises one assignment of error.