WILMINGTON SAVINGS FUND SOCIETY FSB, et al. Appellee
RONALD EASLEY, JR., et al. Appellant
FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2015-02-0651
EASLEY, pro se, Appellant.
J. DEMERS and MICHELLE POLLY-MURPHY, Attorneys at Law, for
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. TEODOSIO, JUDGE
Ronald L. Easley, Jr. appeals the judgment of the Summit
County Court of Common Pleas granting summary judgment in
favor of Wilmington Savings Fund, FSB, dba Christiana Trust.
We reverse and remand.
The factual background of this case was previously set forth
in Green Tree Servicing, L.L.C. v. Easley,
9th Dist. Summit No. 28056, 2016-Ohio-7880 (" Easley
In 2005, Mr. Easley executed a promissory note in favor of
America's Wholesale Lender for the property located at
490 Saunders Avenue, Akron, Ohio 44319. Mr. Easley also
signed a mortgage with America's Wholesale Lender,
granting it a security interest in the property. Mortgage
Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. ("MERS") is
listed as nominee for America's Wholesale Lender and its
successors and assigns. The Note was endorsed in blank by
"Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., a New York Corporation
Doing Business as America's Wholesale Lender." As of
December 23, 2010, MERS assigned the Mortgage, together with
the Note, to BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P., fka, Countrywide
Home Loans Servicing, L.P. Additionally, as of November 5,
2014, Bank of America, N.A. successor bank to BAC Home Loans
Servicing, L.P., formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans
Servicing, LP., assigned the Mortgage, together with the
Note, to appellee, Green Tree Servicing, LLC ("Green
On February 2, 2015, Green Tree filed a complaint in
foreclosure alleging that: (1) it was the holder of the Note
and Mortgage and (2) Mr. Easley was in default under the
terms and conditions of the Note and Mortgage. Mr. Easley
filed a pro se answer and the matter proceeded to mediation.
After unsuccessful attempts at mediation, Green Tree moved
for summary judgment. Mr. Easley retained counsel, moved to
file an amended answer, and also filed a memorandum in
opposition to Green Tree's motion for summary judgment.
In response, Green Tree filed a memorandum in opposition to
Mr. Easley's motion to file an amended answer, and
replied to his memorandum in opposition to its motion for
summary judgment. The trial court did not allow Mr.
Easley's amended answer and, instead, granted Green
Tree's motion for summary judgment.
Id. at ¶ 2-3.
In Easley I, we reversed and remanded the matter
after concluding that the trial court erred in granting
summary judgment because there was a dispute of fact as to
whether Green Tree had possession of the note at the time it
filed its complaint. Id. at ¶ 6-15. After
remand, Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB, dba Christian
Trust ("Wilmington Savings") was substituted for
Green Tree as the plaintiff. Wilmington Savings subsequently
filed its motion for summary judgment, and Mr. Easley filed a
combined motion for summary judgment and motion to dismiss
for lack of standing. On March 5, 2018, the trial court
denied Mr. Easley's combined motion and granted summary
judgment in favor of Wilmington Savings. Mr. Easley now
appeals, raising two assignments of error.
As a preliminary matter, Wilmington Savings has raised the
argument that we do not have jurisdiction to hear this appeal
for lack of a final, appealable order. In a foreclosure
action, a judgment entry is final only "if it resolves
all remaining issues involved in the foreclosure. This
includes the questions of outstanding liens, including what
other liens must be marshaled before distribution is ordered,
the priority of any such liens, and the amounts that are due
the various claimants." Mtge. Electronic
Registrations Sys., Inc. v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC,
9th Dist. Summit No. 23723, 2007-Ohio-6295, ¶ 9.
Although the order granting summary judgment in favor of
Wilmington Savings does not meet these requirements, the
trial court proceeded to enter a judgment decree in
foreclosure that did meet the requirements of a final
judgment. It was only after the entry of that final judgment
that Mr. Easley filed his appeal.
"When a final judgment is issued, all interlocutory
orders are merged into the final judgment." Handel
v. White, 9th Dist. Summit No. 21716, 2004-Ohio-1588,
¶ 8. "Any error resulting from a trial court's
interlocutory order may be raised after a final judgment is
entered." Ohio Edison Co. v. Havens, 9th Dist.
Summit No. 13851, 1989 WL 25698, *1 (Mar. 22, ...