JOHN L. REIGERT, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF LORI A. REIGERT, DECEASED Appellant
KEVIN A. RUSCIN Appellee
FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 16PC00032
L. REIGERT, pro se, Appellant.
D. FALVEY, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. TEODOSIO JUDGE
John L. Reigert, executor of the estate of Lori A. Reigert,
appeals the judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common
Pleas, Probate Division, entered on August 10, 2017,
overruling his objections and adopting the magistrate's
decision. We affirm.
Lori A. Reigert passed away in March 2016, and her father,
John L. Reigert, was appointed as executor of the estate. In
June 2016, Mr. Reigert filed a complaint alleging concealment
of assets against Kevin A. Ruscin, who had been Ms.
Reigert's fiancé. The assets at issue included an
engagement ring, a bike rack, a space heater, and two card
tables. At a hearing before the magistrate in November 2016,
Mr. Reigert also disputed ownership of the proceeds of a
fundraiser held at the Willoughby Brewing Company. Also at
the hearing, Mr. Ruscin was questioned with regard to a
proposed release of claims drafted by his attorney and
presented to Mr. Reigert.
The magistrate issued a decision in December 2016, and upon
Mr. Reigert's request for findings of fact and
conclusions of law, the magistrate issued a supplemental
decision in January 2017. Mr. Reigert filed objections to
these decisions, and on August 10, 2017, the trial court
overruled Mr. Reigert's objections and adopted the
decision of the magistrate, finding Mr. Ruscin not guilty of
the concealment of assets. The trial court entered judgment
that the engagement ring and bike rack were the property of
Mr. Ruscin, denied Mr. Reigert's claims as to the
remaining tangible personal property items, and divided the
proceeds of the Willoughby Brewing Company fundraiser equally
between Mr. Ruscin and Ms. Reigert's estate.
Mr. Reigert now appeals, raising one assignment of error.
MAGISTRATE IN THE HEARING AND IN HIS DECISION/SUPPLEMENT
DECISION (AKA DECISION) AND THE TRIAL COURT IN ITS JUDGMENT
IGNORED THE PLAINTIFF'S/APPELLANT'S OBJECTIONS TO THE
DECISION, ABUSED JUDICIAL DISCRETION, IGNORED MULTIPLE,
OBVIOUS PLAIN ERRORS, MADE DECISIONS AGAINST THE MANIFEST
WEIGHT AND SUFFICENCY OF THE EVIDENCE[, ] AND [WERE]
BIAS[ED]/PREJUDICE[D] AGAINST THE PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT
REIGERT, THE EXECUTOR, THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS SO THAT THE
PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT REIGERT, EXECUTOR[, ] WAS NOT AFFORDED
HIS RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL.
In his assignment of error, Mr. Reigert raises multiple
arguments which he has divided into six categories: bias, the
release, the ring, fundraiser proceeds, the bike rack, and
miscellaneous personal property. We adopt this structure in
addressing his arguments below.
"This Court reviews a trial court's action with
respect to a magistrate's decision for an abuse of
discretion." Tabatabai v. Tabatabai, 9th Dist.
Medina No. 08CA0049-M, 2009- Ohio-3139, ¶ 17. An abuse
of discretion is more than an error of judgment; it means
that the trial court was unreasonable, arbitrary, or
unconscionable in its ruling. Blakemore v. Blakemore,
5 Ohio St.3d 217, 219 (1983). As a reviewing court
applying the abuse of discretion standard, we may not
substitute our judgment for that of the trial court. Pons
v. Ohio State Med. Bd., 66 Ohio St.3d 619, 621 ...