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Emergency Physicians Insurance Company RRG v. Emergency Physicians Insurance Exchange

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

February 14, 2018

EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS INSURANCE COMPANY RRG, et al. Appellants
v.
EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS INSURANCE EXCHANGE, et al. Appellees

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2017-05-1896

          MICHAEL J. MORAN and AARON A. RIDENBAUGH, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant.

          JASON M. WEIGAND, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          TEODOSIO, JUDGE

         {¶1} Emergency Physicians Insurance Company, RRG ("Emergency Physicians"), appeals the order of garnishment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas on a foreign judgment granted in favor of Summa Emergency Associates, Inc. ("Summa") against Emergency Physicians. We affirm.

         I.

         {¶2} In May 2017, Summa filed a foreign judgment in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas on a judgment obtained on March 22, 2017, in the Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, County of Washoe. The Nevada judgment was a confirmation of an arbitration award originally issued in October 2013. On June 22, 2017, the trial court granted Summa's motion for a full faith and credit order, and granted judgment in favor of Summa and against Emergency Physicians as set forth by the Nevada judgment. The trial court issued an order and notice of garnishment to U.S. Bank on June 27, 2017, and Emergency Physicians subsequently filed a motion to stay execution pending a hearing on its objection to the garnishment. On July 26, 2017, the trial court overruled Emergency Physicians' objections, denied a stay of execution, and released the funds deposited by U.S. Bank with the Clerk of Courts. Emergency Physicians now appeals, raising one assignment of error.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING AUTHORITY FOR THE APPELLEE TO LEVY ON PROPERTY IN AN AMOUNT GREATER THAN WHAT APPELLEE WAS OWED.

         {¶3} Emergency Physicians argues the trial court erred when it ordered the garnishee to turn over monies representing interest on the award prejudgment. We disagree.

         {¶4} This Court reviews questions of law under a de novo standard. State v. Trifari, 9th Dist. Medina No. 08CA0043-M, 2009-Ohio-667, ¶ 12. Ohio's Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, R.C. 2329.021 through 2329.027, sets forth this state's obligations under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution. "The doctrine of full faith and credit requires that the state of Ohio give to these acts, records, and judicial proceedings of another state the same faith and credit 'as they have by law or usage in the courts of such State * * * from which they are taken.'" Holzemer v. Urbanski, 86 Ohio St.3d 129, 132 (1999). A foreign judgment is subject to collateral attack in Ohio only if there was no subject matter or personal jurisdiction to render the judgment under the law of the foreign state. Litsinger Sign Co. v. American Sign Co., 11 Ohio St.2d 1 (1967), paragraph one of the syllabus. The Ohio Second District Court of Appeals has further addressed the doctrine of full faith and credit as it applies to foreign judgments:

When applied to judicial determinations, the full faith and credit clause means that a valid judgment issued in one state must be recognized -- without examining the underlying merits of the action -- by all other states. In Fauntleroy v. Lum (1908), 210 U.S. 230, 52 L.Ed. 1039, 28 S.Ct. 641, the United States Supreme Court held that as long as the first court had proper jurisdiction, the second court must recognize the judgment even if the first court misapplied the law or even made a clearly erroneous decision. See, also, S.23: Ohio Enacts an Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law (1983), 9 Univ. of Dayton L.R. 391.
Thus, full faith and credit means that Ohio courts must recognize the judgments of the courts of other states and enforce those judgments even if clearly erroneous on the merits or even where the ...

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