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Calanni v. Kolodny

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

April 5, 2018

CHARLES A. CALANNI APPELLANT
v.
MICHELE KOLODNY, ET AL. APPELLEES

          Civil Appeal from the Lakewood Municipal Court Case Nos. 2015CVG02659 and 2016-CVI-00039

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Kenneth D. Myers.

          APPELLEES Michele Kolodny John M. Deutsch.

          BEFORE: Kilbane, P.J., Laster Mays, J., and Keough, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY EILEEN KILBANE, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} In this consolidated appeal, appellant, Charles Calanni ("Calanni"), appeals from the municipal court's decision in favor of appellees, John Deutsch ("Deutsch") and Michele Kolodny ("Kolodny). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         {¶2} In December 2015, Calanni filed an eviction action in Lakewood Municipal Court against Kolodny and Deutsch for failure to pay rent. Kolodny and Deutsch were tenants of Calanni's. Calanni alleges they owe him back rent, damages, and past due utilities. The court held a hearing on the matter, at which the court ordered a writ of restitution in favor of Calanni. The day of the hearing, Kolodny and Deutsch filed a separate lawsuit, claiming that Calanni owed them money as a result of the cleaning and construction work that Deutsch and Kolodny did for Calanni on other properties Calanni owned. In response, Calanni filed a counterclaim to their lawsuit, claiming that Deutsch did not complete the work and caused Calanni to have to hire another contractor to finish the construction job.

         {¶3} The court consolidated the actions and held hearings on the matter. The following evidence was adduced at the hearings.

         {¶4} Calanni is the owner of property located at 12303 Plover Street in Lakewood, Ohio. Deutsch and Kolodny lived at the residence and rented from Calanni under a month-to-month tenancy. They paid $900 per month for rent and paid a $900 security deposit. Deutsch and Kolodny moved out toward the end of January 2016. Calanni introduced a list of damages, including back rent. With regard to rent payments, Calanni testified that Deutsch and Kolodny owed him $3, 500 ($800 in rental payments arrears and three months rent at $900 a month). With regard to the damages to the property, Calanni claimed they owed him $3, 102.21 in damages that are beyond ordinary wear and tear. The damages included: drywall repairs ($287.93); painting ($195); cleaning ($367.87); appliance moving ($125); lock replacement ($229.64); smoke detector replacement ($39.64); window repairs ($41.17); window blinds replacement ($59.82); past due water bills ($765.94); lawn damage ($125); electrical damage ($245); missing lawn equipment ($275); and carpet cleaning ($345).

         {¶5} Deutsch testified that when he moved into Calanni's property, he and Calanni agreed that he would perform construction work on other properties Calanni owned. Deutsch and Kolodny both worked on Calanni's property. Deutsch testified that he performed around $1, 300-$1, 400 in construction work for Calanni before he stopped working for Calanni. Kolodny also testified that Calanni did not pay her for the cleaning she performed on the property. Calanni presented evidence that the work performed by Deutsch was unworkmanlike and had to be redone and completed.

         {¶6} In May 2016, the magistrate issued a report on each case, finding in favor of Calanni on his eviction case in the amount of $1, 615.53. The magistrate found that Deutsch and Kolodny breached the lease by failing to pay two months rent, but credited their security deposit, leaving $900 as the total amount of rent owed to Calanni. The court also found that Calanni was entitled to $715.63 in damages to the property out of the $3, 102.21 he presented to the court. The magistrate found in favor of Deutsch and Kolodny on their small claims lawsuit in the amount of $970 for Deutsch and $550 for Kolodny. The magistrate found that Calanni agreed to pay Deutsch and Kolodny for their work to another property of Calanni's. Calanni was delinquent in paying Deutsch and Kolodny, which prevented them from paying their rent to Calanni on time. They then refused to perform any further work for Calanni. Calanni breached the agreement with Deutsch and Kolodny when he failed to pay them in full for the work performed.

         {¶7} Calanni filed objections to the magistrate's reports, which the trial court overruled. In November 2016, the court adopted the magistrate's recommendations in the Deutsch-Kolodny lawsuit and entered judgment in favor of Deutsch in the amount of $970 and in favor of Kolodny in the amount of $550. The trial court issued a separate ruling one day later, in which it adopted the magistrate's recommendations and entered judgment in favor of Calanni in his eviction case in the amount of $1, 615.63.

         {¶8} Calanni now appeals, raising the following three assignments of error for review:

         Assignment ...


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