Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton
LEONARD F. PFLANZ, Plaintiff-Appellant,
KENNETH A. SINCLAIR, Defendant-Appellee.
Appeal From Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas TRIAL NO.
Timothy P. Nolan, for Plaintiff-Appellant,
Robbins, Kelly, Patterson & Tucker, Robert M. Ernst and
Daniel J. Temming, for Defendant-Appellee.
Leonard F. Pflanz appeals from the trial court's entry of
summary judgment for Kenneth A. Sinclair in Pflanz's
action for injunctive relief, declaratory judgment, and
damages related to an easement of ingress and egress that
Pflanz claimed over Sinclair's real property. Because
collateral estoppel bars Pflanz from relitigating the issue
of the easement after it was decided against him in a
foreclosure action, and Sinclair is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law, we affirm.
Pflanz owns real estate that abuts real estate owned by
Sinclair ("the Sinclair Property" or "the
property") in the Northside area of Cincinnati. Sinclair
purchased the property at a foreclosure sale in December 2011
"free and clear" of any easement claimed by Pflanz,
who, along with his wife, had been made parties to the
foreclosure action. Before the issuance of the order of
foreclosure and sale, the Pflanzes had unsuccessfully
challenged the mortgagee Bank of Kentucky's
("Bank") summary-judgment motion requesting that
the property be sold to any purchaser free of any easement
claimed by the Pflanzes in part because the Bank was a bona
The magistrate's decision on summary judgment provided
that Judgment is hereby rendered in favor of Plaintiff The
Bank of Kentucky, Inc. and against Defendant Davis Family
Properties, LLC, and Amanda Davis, jointly and severally on
the Note * * * Defendants Leonard F. Pflanz and Della M.
Pflanz possess no easement of any kind in or over the
Property, and the purchaser at any sale shall take same free
and clear of any such claimed easement. If this decision is
adopted by the trial court, Plaintiff shall be permitted to
file its praecipe for sale and proceed consistent with the
laws of this state.
The Pflanzes objected to the magistrate's finding that
the Bank had gained the status of bona fide mortgagee. On
October 12, 2011, the foreclosure court overruled the
Pflanzes' objection and adopted the magistrate's
decision granting summary judgment to the Bank. The Pflanzes
filed a notice of appeal from this decision but later
dismissed the appeal.
On October 28, 2011, consistent with its adoption of the
magistrate's decision, the foreclosure court journalized
the order of foreclosure that also ordered the sale of the
property. In relevant part, this order stated
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, AJUDGED AND DECREED that unless the
sums hereinabove found due, together with the costs of this
action, be fully paid within three (3) days from the date of
the entry of this decree, the equity of redemption, dower and
any lease interest of all Defendants, in and to said
premises, shall be forever barred and foreclosed, and said
premises sold; free and clear of the interests of all
parties herein[;] * * *.
(Emphasis added.) The order did not except the Pflanzes'
claimed easement from this mandate.
After Sinclair purchased the property, the foreclosure court
journalized an entry confirming the sale. That January 27,
2012 order indicated, consistent with the order of
foreclosure, that Sinclair had purchased the property free of
any easement claimed by the Pflanzes. The Pflanzes moved for
partial relief from the order under Civ.R. 60(A) due to an
"an apparent oversight." They asserted in part that
their claimed interest in the property remained unresolved
because the Bank did not purchase the property. Sinclair, who
was not a party, was not served with the motion. Ultimately,
the foreclosure court amended the confirmation order two
times, and both amendments reflected the changes requested by
the Pflanzes in their Civ.R. 60(A) motion.
After the foreclosure court issued the first amended order,
the Pflanzes withdrew their Civ.R. 60(A) motion and dismissed
an appeal they had taken from the decision issued by the
foreclosure court in the first ...