Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
APPELLANT Michelle Kenney, pro se.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES Barbara A. Langhenry Director of Law
Austin Tyler Opalich City of Cleveland, Law Department
Assistant Director of Law Tiffany C. Fischbach Mark V. Webber
Law Department Assistants.
BEFORE: Blackmon, J., E.T. Gallagher, P.J., and Stewart, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, J.
Michelle Kenney ("Kenney") appeals pro se from the
trial court's granting summary judgment to the city of
Cleveland ("the City") in this breach of contract case
and assign the following errors for our review:
I. The trial court granted the defendants['] motion for
summary judgment made pursuant to Civ.R. 56.
II. The trial court['s] determination that the plaintiff
filed [this] action after the expiration of the statute of
limitations for an oral breach of contract pursuant to O.R.C.
2305.07 was a mis[s]tatement of fact.
Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm the
trial court's judgment. The apposite facts follow.
In August 2008, Kenney, who worked for the City, transferred
positions from the Department of Economic Development to the
Department of Public Utilities ("DPU"). This
transfer was a lateral move. However, Kenney alleges that
"several months" earlier, when Eric Myles, who
works for the City's Human Resources Department, offered
her the position via a telephone conversation, he also
promised her a $3, 000 salary increase. Kenney noticed that
the first paycheck she received after the transfer, as well
as every other paycheck she received through September 2013,
when she stopped working for the City, did not reflect her
alleged salary increase. According to Kenney, she inquired
about the discrepancy many times and, although
"[everybody said they would do what they can to fix it,
" she never received the $3, 000 raise.
On August 18, 2015, Kenney, who was represented by counsel at
the time, filed a complaint against the City alleging breach
of contract, promissory estoppel, and equitable
estoppel. The court granted summary judgment in
favor of the City on Kenney's breach of contract claim,
finding that the action was filed after the expiration of the
statute of limitations. The court also granted summary
judgment in favor of the City on the remainder of
Kenney's claims, finding that they were barred by
sovereign immunity. It is from this order that Kenney
appeals, pro se.
We first note that pro se litigants are "held to the
same standard as other litigants and [are] not entitled to
special treatment from the court." Lenard v.
Miller, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 99460, 2013-Ohio-4703,
¶ 19. In the case at hand, Kenney's first assigned
error does not allege that the court committed an error at
all; rather, it simply states that the court granted summary
judgment. Additionally, in Kenney's second assigned
error, she alleges that the trial court committed a
"misstatement of fact, " rather than an error.
Nonetheless, in the interest of justice, we review
Kenney's appeal based on whether the court erred by
granting summary judgment to the City. See Northern
Frozen Good, Inc. v. Moton, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.
99938, 2014-Ohio-825, ¶ 9 (although a pro se
litigant's appellate brief was "very difficult to
decipher, " the court reviewed the case on its merits,
stating, "we will address what we discern to be his
assignments of error").