FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE AKRON MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 16 CVG 08970
P. AGARWAL, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
KONSTAND, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
JENNIFER HENSAL, JUDGE.
Karen Klinkiewicz appeals from the judgment of the Akron
Municipal Court. We affirm.
Timber Top Apartments ("Landlord") filed a
forcible-entry-and-detainer action against Karen Klinkiewicz
("Tenant") based upon her failure to pay rent for
the apartment located at 1879B Moonlit Trail in Akron (the
"Premises"). In addition to the cause of action for
eviction, Landlord brought a second cause of action for
unpaid rent. The docket reflects that the Clerk of Court
issued the summons and complaint "via Federal Express,
Regular Mail and Bailiff Service[.]" The docket also
reflects that service by Federal Express was returned as
undeliverable, but there is no indication that service by
regular mail was similarly returned. Further, as it relates
to service by posting, the record reflects that a bailiff
posted the summons and complaint in a "conspicuous
place" at the Premises.
A magistrate held a hearing on the matter, which Tenant did
not attend. The magistrate determined that Landlord served
Tenant with the eviction cause of action via posting, but
determined that Landlord had not perfected service relative
to the second cause of action (i.e., for unpaid rent). The
magistrate recommended that a writ of restitution be issued
with respect to the eviction action, and that the second
cause of action be transferred to the administrative docket
until Landlord perfected service. The trial court adopted the
magistrate's decision and subsequently dismissed
Landlord's second cause of action for unpaid rent.
Several months later, Tenant filed a common-law motion to
vacate the forcible-entry-and-detainer judgment issued
against her. Tenant argued that the judgment was void ab
initio because Landlord failed to properly serve her
and, therefore, the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction.
In support of her motion, Tenant submitted an affidavit
wherein she averred, in part, that she never received a copy
of the summons and complaint, that she did not otherwise have
notice of the action, and that she only became aware of the
action when another landlord denied her rental application
based upon the underlying eviction. In response, Landlord
argued that it perfected service on its eviction action by
both regular mail and posting in accordance with Revised Code
Section 1923.06. The trial court agreed, holding that
Landlord complied with the statutory requirements for service
under Section 1923.06(G)(2) because the Clerk of Court issued
the summons and complaint via regular mail, and a bailiff
subsequently posted service in a conspicuous place at the
Premises. The trial court, therefore, denied Tenant's
motion. Tenant has appealed that decision, raising one
assignment of error for our review.
TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT DENIED THE
TENANT'S MOTION TO VACATE THE JUDGMENT AGAINST HER.
In her assignment of error, Tenant argues that the trial
court erred when it denied her motion to vacate. We disagree.
Section 1923.06 governs service of process for eviction
proceedings. It provides, in relevant part, that "[t]he
clerk of the court in which a complaint to evict is filed
shall mail any summons by ordinary mail * * *." R.C.
1923.06(C). It also provides that, "[i]n addition to
this ordinary mail service, the clerk also shall cause
service of that process to be completed" under one of
three divisions, including division (D). R.C. 1923.06(C)(1)
& (2). Division (D) provides that, if the person serving
process cannot locate the tenant at the premises, or cannot
leave a copy of the summons and complaint with anyone of
"suitable age and discretion" at the premises, then
the person serving process shall effect service "[b]y
posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the subject premises
* * * " ...