ROBERT C. MILLER Plaintiff - Appellant
NANCY EVANS Defendant-Appellee
from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic
Relations Division, Case No. 2014-DR-566
Plaintiff-Appellant CRAIG T. CONLEY
Defendant-Appellee Arnold F. Glantz RICHARD B. PINHARD
Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon.
Earle E. Wise, J. JUDGES.
Plaintiff-appellant Robert C. Miller appeals from the July
10, 2017 Judgment Entry of the Stark County Court of Common
Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, denying
plaintiff-appellant's Motion for Frivolous Conduct
Sanctions against Attorney Arnold F. Glantz.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
On May 27, 2014, appellant Robert C. Miller filed a complaint
for divorce against Nancy Evans. On June 18, 2014, Evans, who
was represented by Attorney Arnold Glantz, filed an answer
and counterclaim for divorce. Evans, in her counterclaim,
alleged that she and appellant were incompatible and
requested that she be granted a divorce from appellant on the
basis of her counterclaim.
Appellant, on October 22, 2014, voluntarily dismissed his
complaint for divorce. Evans dismissed her counterclaim on
January 8, 2015.
Thereafter, on January 10, 2017, appellant filed a Motion for
Frivolous Conduct Sanctions against Attorney Glantz pursuant
to Civ.R. 11 and/or R.C. 2323.51. Appellant, in his motion,
alleged that Evans had not authorized Attorney Glantz to file
a counterclaim for divorce and was otherwise unaware of its
filing. Appellant, in support of his motion, attached the
partial transcript from the deposition of Nancy Evans taken
on December 15, 2016 in an unrelated case. Evans, during such
deposition, had testified that she was not aware that she had
filed a counterclaim for divorce against appellant, that she
loved him and would never divorce him, and that the two were
very compatible. Evans further testified that the
counterclaim was filed without her knowledge or permission.
A hearing on the Motion for Frivolous Conduct Sanctions was
held on June 23, 2017. During the pendency of the motion,
appellant's attorney advised the trial court that he was
seeking relief under Civ.R. 11 only.
At the hearing, Evans testified that while she recalled
testifying during her deposition that she was unaware that a
counterclaim for divorce had been filed on her behalf, she
remembered giving Attorney Glantz permission to file the
counterclaim. When asked why her testimony differed from her
previous deposition testimony, Evans testified that she
"was under a lot of stress and this whole three years
have been very stressful to me and it has affected by ability
to make the right comments." Transcript of June 23, 2017
hearing at 8. She further testified that she had been
confused. At the time of the deposition, Evans was in her
70s. At the June 23, 2017 hearing, Evans testified that she
had given Attorney Glantz permission to do what was necessary
to protect her against her husband's divorce claim and
denied that he had filed the counterclaim on his own.
According to Evans, she did not consider herself incompatible
with her husband and the statement in the counterclaim that
the two were incompatible was not truthful.
When questioned by the trial court, Evans testified that her
recollection was better at the time of the June 23, 2017
hearing than when she was deposed because the place where the
deposition took place had upset her extremely. The deposition
had taken place at the office of appellant's daughter who
is an attorney.
At the hearing, Attorney Arnold Glantz testified that while
he had indicated to the trial court at the temporary orders
hearing that appellant and Evans got along well, he filed the
counterclaim alleging that they were incompatible for
strategic purposes. ...