Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
CHARLES A. CALANNI APPELLANT
MICHELE KOLODNY, ET AL. APPELLEES
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
EILEEN KILBANE, PRESIDING JUDGE.
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.
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.
The court consolidated the actions and held hearings on the
matter. The following evidence was adduced at the hearings.
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).
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.
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
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.
Calanni now appeals, raising the following three assignments
of error for review: