Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Trial Court Case No.
ANDERSON, Petitioner-Appellee, Pro Se.
PAULISHA GREGORY, Defendant-Appellant, Pro Se.
1} Paulisha Gregory appeals from a final civil
stalking protection order granted by the trial court on
January 22, 2019, in favor of Janis Anderson. Because Gregory
is not permitted to appeal the trial court's adoption of
the magistrate's decision granting the protection order
without having filed timely objections in the trial court,
the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
2} In response to a prompt on her petition for a
civil stalking protection order which asked the petitioner to
"describe the nature and extent of the pattern of
conduct that causes you to believe that Respondent will cause
you physical harm or causes (or has caused) mental
distress," Anderson's petition stated:
On 1-6-19 Paulisha Gregory use a tracker or location device
to find me and Jamel Kirk at my job [at] Homewood Suites.
While sitting in the car try to get away [sic] Paulisha
blocked the car in. I managed to get away and she proceeded
to follow me until I got to my cousin * * * She then started
circling the car and parking lot before pulling off.
3} The magistrate did not grant an ex parte order,
and the matter was set for a full hearing before the
magistrate on January 15, 2019. The notice of the hearing
provided in part: "Failure of the Respondent to appear
may result in a default judgment granted against Paulisha
Gregory in accordance with Civil Rule 55." The record
reflects that Gregory was served with the notice of the
hearing on January 8, 2019. The final protection order stated
that Anderson was present at the January 15, 2019 hearing,
and it set forth the following findings of fact:
"Respondent has called the Petitioner more than 50 times
over the course of a couple days. Respondent has threatened
to kill Petitioner and beat her up." The final
protection order provided: "IF THE FULL HEARING
PROCEEDING WAS REFERRED TO A MAGISTRATE, the Court has
reviewed the magistrate's granting of this Order and
finds no error of law or other defect evident on the face of
the Order. Accordingly, the Court adopts the magistrate's
granting of this Order." The final protection order was
signed by the trial court judge. The record reflects that
Gregory was served with the final protection order on January
4} Gregory's brief states in part as follows:
"January 15, 2019 I wasn't able to attend the court
hearing for the civil stalking order that was against me due
to illness. I was diagnosed with Influenza A on January 14,
2019. I tried calling the courts early morning on the 15,
2019 [sic] but the case was still on the docket."
Gregory asserts that she "would like the chance to
defend" herself in this matter because, but for her
illness, she would have attended the January 15, 2019
hearing. Gregory also requests that Anderson pay the court
costs and fees and that the judgment against her (Gregory)
for court costs be vacated.
5} As this Court has noted:
Notably, pro se litigants are required to follow the same
procedures as parties who are represented by counsel.
State ex rel. Gessner v. Vore, 123 Ohio St.3d 96,
2009-Ohio-4150, 914 N.E.2d 376, ¶ 5." 'It is
well established that pro se litigants are presumed
to have knowledge of the law and legal procedures and that
they are held to the same standard as litigants who are
represented by counsel.'" (Italics sic.) State
ex rel. Fuller v. Mengel, 100 Ohio St.3d 352,
2003-Ohio-6448, 800 N.E.2d 25, ¶ 10, quoting Sabouri
v. Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Servs., 145 Ohio
App.3d 651, 654, 763 N.E.2d 1238 (10th Dist.2001).
Scaccia v. Fidelity Investments, 2d Dist. Greene No.
2018-CA-5, 2019-Ohio-50, ¶ 34.
6} Civ.R. 65.1 governs civil protection orders.
Civ.R. 65.1(F)(3)(b) provides: "A magistrate's
denial or granting of a protection order after a full hearing
under this division does not constitute a magistrate's
order or a magistrate's decision under Civ.R. 53(D)(2) or
(3) and is not subject to the requirements of those
rules." Civ.R. 65.1(F)(3)(c)(ii) states: "When a
magistrate has denied or granted a protection order after a
full hearing, the court may adopt the magistrate's denial
or granting of the protection order upon review of the order
and a determination that there is no error of law or other
defect evident on the face of the order." A "party
may file written objections to a court's adoption,
modification, or rejection of a magistrate's denial or
granting of a protection order after a full hearing, or any
terms of such order, within fourteen days of the court's
filing of the order." Civ.R. 65.1(F)(3)(d).