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Tate v. Tate

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Holmes

March 29, 2018

ROBYN M. TATE Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
BRUCE E. TATE Defendant and TATE FARMS COMPANY, LTD AND TATE FARMS, A PARTNERSHIP Defendants-Appellants

          Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, Case No. 15DR019

          For Plaintiff-Appellee LON R. VINION

          For Defendants-Appellants GRANT A. MASON

          Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Wise, Earle, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendants-Appellants, Tate Farms Company, Ltd. and Tate Farms, a Partnership, appeal the February 13, 2017 judgment entry denying their motion for sanctions and the March 30, 2017 decree of divorce of the Court of Common Pleas of Holmes County, Ohio, Domestic Relations Division. Plaintiff-Appellee is Robyn M. Tate.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} On February 14, 1998, defendant, Bruce Tate, and appellee were married. No children were born as issue of the marriage. On March 10, 2015, appellee filed a complaint for divorce against defendant, and also named appellants, two entities defendant had interests in. The other individuals involved with the entities were defendant's father, mother, and brother. Appellants filed an amended answer on May 1, 2015, asserting lack of jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter.

         {¶ 3} On June 23, 2015, appellants filed a motion to dismiss challenging the jurisdiction issue. The trial court took the matter under advisement.

         {¶ 4} Hearings were held on September 19, 21, 22, 23, 29, and October 10, 2016. At the conclusion of the September 29, 2016 hearing, appellants moved for a directed verdict. By judgment entry filed October 11, 2016, the trial court granted the motion and dismissed appellants from the case. Appellants were aware of the trial court's ruling prior to the October 10, 2016 hearing.

         {¶ 5} On October 28, 2016, appellants filed a motion for sanctions followed by an affidavit detailing the attorney fees incurred.

         {¶ 6} On February 13, 2017, the trial court issued a statement of the case, findings of fact, and conclusions of law. In a separate judgment entry filed same date, the trial court denied appellant's motion for sanctions. Appellants filed an appeal.

         {¶ 7} On March 30, 2017, the trial court issued a decree of divorce, attaching referenced Exhibits A and B, but not C.[1]

         {¶ 8} On April 4, 2017, defendant filed a notice of appeal.

         {¶ 9} On April 7, 2017, appellants filed an amended notice of appeal to incorporate the divorce decree.

         {¶ 10} On April 25, 2017, defendant filed with the trial court a motion for a nunc pro tunc order to address the missing Exhibit C. The trial court did not rule on this motion.

         {¶ 11} On May 15, 2017, defendant filed with this court a motion to correct the record under App.R. 9(E), seeking a limited remand to address the missing Exhibit C. By judgment entry filed June 8, 2017, this court granted the motion and remanded the matter to the trial court to address the missing exhibit. On June 26, 2017, the trial court filed a nunc pro tunc statement of the case, findings of fact, conclusions of law, and decision, attaching the missing Exhibit C. The trial court made substantive changes to its previous decision which is the subject of separate appeals (App. Nos. 17CA13 and 17CA14).

         {¶ 12} This matter is now before this court for consideration of the trial court's judgment entry filed February 13, 2017, and the divorce decree filed March 30, 2017 with the added Exhibit C. The pertinent parts of the decision and the relevant facts will be addressed under each of the corresponding assignments of error. Assignments of error are as follows:

         I

         {¶ 13} "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AND DEPRIVED TATE FARMS OF ITS RIGHT TO APPEAL THE TRIAL COURT'S DENIAL OF ITS MOTION FOR SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO R.C. § 2323.51 BY VIRTUE OF THE 'HOLD ...


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