Clifford L. Boggs, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Craig Denmead et al., Defendants-Appellees.
from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
Stewart & DeChant, LLC, and Scott E. Stewart, for
Reminger Co., L.PA., Melvin J. Davis, and Allison R. Thomas,
Allison R. Thomas.
1} This is an appeal by plaintiff-appellant,
Clifford L. Boggs, from a judgment of the Franklin County
Court of Common Pleas overruling his objections to a
magistrate's decision and granting the motion to dismiss
filed by defendants-appellees, Craig Denmead (individually
"Denmead") and Denmead Law Office.
2} On November 2, 2012, appellant filed a complaint
against appellees alleging legal malpractice. On November 20,
2012, appellant filed a motion for leave to file an amended
complaint, which the trial court granted by entry filed
November 27, 2012.
3} On December 1, 2013, appellees filed a motion to
dismiss the complaint and amended complaint, pursuant to
Civ.R. 12(B), asserting insufficiency of service of process,
insufficiency of process, and lack of personal jurisdiction.
Attached to the motion was the affidavit of Denmead, who
averred he had never received certified or express mail
service of the summons and complaint filed in Franklin C.P.
No. 12CV-13858. On December 10, 2013, appellant filed a brief
in response to appellees' motion to dismiss.
4} On December 5, 2014, a magistrate of the trial
court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the motion to
dismiss. During the hearing, Denmead testified on behalf of
appellees, while appellant presented the testimony of Joyce
Beauman, manager of the clerk's office for the Franklin
County Court of Common Pleas, General Division. Appellant
also called Denmead to testify on cross-examination.
5} On February 6, 2015, the magistrate issued a
decision which included the following findings of fact.
Appellee Denmead is an Ohio licensed attorney "doing
business as Denmead Law Office." In November 2012, the
Denmead Law Office was located at 17 South High Street, Suite
620, Columbus, Ohio, 43215. Denmead is a sole practitioner,
and in November 2012 "he did not employ any staff, nor
did he share office space with any other attorney, or anyone
else." Denmead was also "the only person who had
access to Suite 620 on November 24, 2012."
6} Prior to the filing of the instant action,
"Denmead was contacted in writing by an attorney
representing Clifford Boggs, " requesting a copy of a
file "related to a potential malpractice lawsuit."
Denmead "notified his malpractice insurance carrier,
" and the carrier retained counsel for Denmead.
7} On November 2, 2012, appellant requested
certified mail service of the complaint filed against both
appellees. Thereafter, the complaint and summonses "were
sent to Craig Denmead and Denmead Law Office at 17 South High
Street, Suite 620, Columbus, Ohio 43215."
8} On November 20, 2012, appellant filed a motion
for leave to file an amended complaint. Appellant mailed a
copy of his motion "to Craig Denmead and Denmead Law
Office at 17 S. High Street, Suite 620, Columbus, Ohio
43215." On November 27, 2012, the trial court granted
appellant's motion for leave to file his amended
complaint instanter. On that same date, "the Franklin
County Clerk of Courts filed 'return receipts' for
the Complaint and summonses issued to [appellees] Craig
Denmead and Denmead Law Office." Both certified mail
envelopes "were delivered on November 24, 2012 at ...