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Mariotti v. Mariotti

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Ashtabula

June 10, 2019

APRIL T. MARIOTTI, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
PAUL D. MARIOTTI, SR., Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017 DR 0011. Judgment: Affirmed.

          Virginia K. Miller, Smith & Miller, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Gary L Pasqualone, (For Defendant-Appellant).

          OPINION

          CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Paul D. Mariotti, Sr., appeals from the final judgment of divorce entered by the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas. We affirm.

         {¶2} On January 9, 2017, appellee, April T. Mariotti, filed a complaint for divorce and appellant subsequently answered and filed a counterclaim. Ultimately, the parties entered into settlement negotiations. At a final hearing before the magistrate, the parties testified to the terms of the settlement into which they entered. The magistrate filed her decision on April 23, 2018, which indicated the grounds for the divorce and attached two joint exhibits to the decision, which included various details of the settlement. The magistrate additionally ordered appellee's attorney to prepare a proposed final agreed judgment entry. On June 5, 2018, the trial court entered judgment which ordered both parties to submit respective proposed agreed judgments. Appellee submitted a judgment entry; on June 28, 2018, however, in lieu of drafting a proposed entry, appellant filed an "objection" to appellee's proposed judgment.

         {¶3} In his "objection," appellant generally asserted the joint exhibits were merely "illustrative/representative and not definitive lists" of items subject to the settlement agreement. Specifically, appellant complained appellee's proposed judgment referred to a "chainsaw" and a "generator to which appellee was entitled. Appellant argued there was no reference to these items in the joint exhibits or at the hearing. He further asserted appellee's claimed entitlement to "unredeemed gift certificates, encumbrances, discounts or gifts," was not an aspect of their agreement.

         {¶4} On August 17, 2018, the trial court entered judgment on appellant's objection. The court initially noted that appellant failed to file objections directly to the magistrate's decision; the court appeared, however, to treat the objection as an abbreviated proposed judgment entry, i.e., appellant accepted appellee's judgment with the exception of the challenges outlined in the pleading. The court agreed with appellant that there was no reference to a chainsaw or a generator at the hearing. As such, the trial court struck the sentence in the proposed entry relating to these objects. Notwithstanding this removal, the court determined that the reference to the generator and chainsaw was redundant because the proposed entry provided "that each party shall retain the personal property and household goods in their possession at their own place of residence except for the items listed in Exhibits 1 and 2." And the reference to each parties' retention of such property was discussed before the magistrate at the final hearing. The court subsequently adopted appellee's proposed entry which was filed and signed as the final decree of divorce. Appellant appeals the judgment assigning two errors. His first assignment of error provides:

         {¶5} "The trial court erred in adopting the proposed judgment entry final decree of divorce submitted by appellee as it does not accurately reflect the terms of the settlement agreement."

         {¶6} Appellant argues the proposed final judgment filed by appellee includes the following six provisions that were not submitted to the court at the hearing nor agreed upon by the parties:

         {¶7} "1. Defendant shall pay Plaintiff the final two (2) months rent of $1, 200 immediately, without deductions.

         {¶8} "2. Defendant shall leave the total amounts of any unredeemed gift certificates, encumbrances, promotion discounts or gifts in the metal Massage Andover Bank account and documentation of the unredeemed certificated [sic] provided to Plaintiff.

         {¶9} "3. Defendant shall timely and by May 30, 2018 sign any and all forms, approvals or otherwise arrange for all service contracts to be in Plaintiff's control commencing June 30, 2018.

         {¶10} "4. Defendant shall provide Plaintiff with all information including passwords to all services and accounts, including naming Plaintiff as the ...


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