Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Lake
Appeal from the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic
Relations Division, Case No. 2017 DV 000153.
M. Lynch, For Petitioner-Appellant.
Tassi, For Respondent-Appellee.
V. GRENDELL, J.
Petitioner-appellant, Antoinette Tredanary, appeals an award
of attorney fees from the Lake County Court of Common Pleas,
Domestic Relations Division. The issue before this court is
whether a court may avoid holding a hearing on a motion for
sanctions pursuant to R.C. 2323.51 and Civil Rule 11 where
the court determines such a hearing would be burdensome for
the parties. For the following reasons, we reverse the
decision of the court below and remand for further
On July 19, 2017, Tredanary filed a Petition for Domestic
Violence Civil Protection Order (R.C. 3113.31) alleging that
the respondent-appellee, Daniel Fritz, had committed acts of
domestic violence against their son. A Civil Protection Order was
issued ex parte allocating to Tredanary "temporary
possession of the protected child."
On August 17, 2017, following the full hearing on the
Petition mandated by Civil Rule 65.1, a Magistrate's
Order issued, dismissing the Petition and terminating the ex
parte Order as Tredanary failed to meet her burden of proof.
On August 29, 2017, Tredanary filed Objections to the
Magistrate's Decision with a Request for Leave to
Supplement these Objections once the Transcript of the
Hearing is Prepared. The domestic relations court granted
Tredanary until September 29, 2017, to file the transcript
and supplemental objections.
On September 15, 2017, Fritz filed a Motion for Attorney Fees
and Expenses pursuant to R.C. 2323.51 and a Motion for
Sanctions pursuant to Civil Rule 11.
On September 25, 2017, a Magistrate's Order issued,
ruling that "the respondent's motions shall be set
for hearing, once the petitioner's objections have been
On October 23, 2017, the domestic relations court adopted the
August 17 Magistrate's Order and overruled
Tredanary's Objections. The court noted that Tredanary
failed to file a transcript of supplementary objections and,
inasmuch as "the Petitioner's objection is fact
based, said objection cannot be considered without a
transcript." With respect to Fritz' Motions for
Attorney Fees and Sanctions, the court ruled: "Counsel
for the Respondent is ordered to file by November 9, 2017,
her affidavit of fees and companion billing invoice detailing
the legal services provided in the instant case for the
On November 3, 2017, counsel for Fritz submitted an Affidavit
of Reasonable Attorney Fees and Costs in the amount of $3,
On November 27, 2017, the domestic relations court awarded
Fritz attorney fees in the amount of $3, 690. The court held:
The Court finds a hearing on the Respondent's August 29,
2017 Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs will only increase
the attorney fees incurred by both parties. Such a hearing
would be burdensome for both parties and inequitable as to
the Respondent. The Petitioner has had over 21 days to file a
response to the Respondent's fee affidavit and chose not
to do so. The Court finds the fee ...