from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No.
Hurd, LLP, and Douglas R. Unver, for appellee.
Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Laurence R. Snyder, for
1} Appellant, the Ohio Department of Job and Family
Services ("ODJFS"), appeals from a judgment of the
Franklin County Court of Common Pleas reversing a decision of
the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Review Commission
("commission") finding that appellee, Cleveland
Plating, LLC ("Cleveland Plating"), is a successor
in interest to The Barker Products, Co., Inc. ("Barker
Products"). For the following reasons, we affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
2} Barker Products was an electroplating company
that operated at a facility on East 134th Street in
Cleveland, Ohio, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A ("JPMorgan
Chase") was its secured creditor. In March 2015,
JPMorgan Chase foreclosed on the assets of Barker Products.
Cleveland Plating purchased Barker Products' assets from
JPMorgan Chase, and it hired most of the employees who had
worked for Barker Products. Within two weeks after purchasing
the assets, Cleveland Plating resumed operations at the East
134th Street facility.
3} In July 2016, ODJFS notified Cleveland Plating
that it had determined Cleveland Plating is a successor in
interest to Barker Products, effective March 13, 2015.
Cleveland Plating requested reconsideration, and the director
of ODJFS affirmed the successor in interest determination in
August 2016. Cleveland Plating appealed the director's
decision to the commission, and the commission held a hearing
regarding the appeal on December 1, 2016. Six days later, the
commission issued a decision affirming the director's
determination. Pursuant to R.C. 4141.26, Cleveland Plating
appealed the commission's decision to the trial court,
and the trial court reversed the decision of the commission.
The trial court concluded that Cleveland Plating is not a
successor in interest to Barker Products.
4} ODJFS timely appeals from the trial court's
Assignment of Error
5} ODJFS assigns the following error for our review:
The lower court erred as a matter of law when it reversed the
Decision of the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Review
Commission finding Cleveland Plating, LLC to be a successor