FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE AKRON MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 17 CV 06648
GREGORY R. SAIN, Attorney at law, for Appellant.
FARAKHAN, pro se, Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
S. CALLAHAN, Judge.
Appellant, Lashawn Wade, appeals from the default judgment
entered against her in the Akron Municipal Court as to the
second cause of action for money damages. For the reasons set
forth below, this Court reverses.
Syed Farakhan rented the premises at 411 Noble Avenue in
Akron to Ms. Wade. On August 18, 2017, Mr. Farakhan filed a
complaint for forcible entry and detainer and money damages
for unpaid rent and water bills against Ms. Wade. The docket
reflects personal service of the summons and complaint upon
Ms. Wade on August 25, 2017.
On September 8, 2017, a magistrate held a hearing on Mr.
Farakhan's first cause of action for forcible entry and
detainer and concluded that the writ be allowed. On the same
day, the trial judge adopted the Magistrate's conclusion
and ordered a writ of restitution.
On September 15, 2017, Mr. Farakhan filed an application for
default judgment as to his second cause of action for money
damages. Four days later, on September 19, 2017, the trial
court granted default judgment against Ms. Wade and in favor
of Mr. Farakhan in the amount of $1, 179. Ms. Wade timely
appeals from this judgment entry, asserting one assignment of
TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT GRANTED [MR. FARAKHAN'S]
APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT PRIOR TO [THE] EXPIRATION OF THE TIME
FOR AN ANSWER OR OTHER REPLY TO THE COMPLAINT.
In her sole assignment of error, Ms. Wade argues that the
trial court erred by granting a default judgment against her
prior to the expiration of the period of time to file an
answer to the complaint. This Court agrees.
This Court reviews a trial court's decision to grant or
deny a motion for default judgment for an abuse of
discretion. Thomas v. Steps, 9th Dist. Summit No.
27187, 2014-Ohio-5018, ¶ 5. "However, where a trial
court's order is based on a misconstruction of law, an
abuse-of-discretion standard is not appropriate; in
determining questions of law, an appellate court may properly
substitute its judgment for that of the trial court."
Swartzentruber v. Orrville Grace Brethren Church,163 Ohio App.3d 96, 2005-Ohio-4264, ¶ 6 (9th Dist.).
See Telxon Corp. v. Smart Media of Del, Inc., 9th
Dist. Summit Nos. 22098 and 22099, 2005-Ohio-4931, ¶ 131
(interpretation or application of the Ohio Rules of Civil