Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler
APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No.
McMahon Copetas LLC, Robert A. McMahon, for appellee.
Timothy R. Evans, for appellant.
1} Appellant, SAFA, Inc. dba Mo Auto Sales
("SAFA"), appeals from the decision of Butler
County Court of Common Pleas denying its motion to dismiss a
foreign judgment. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
2} In July 2017, appellee, Reliable Credit
Association, Inc. ("Reliable Credit") received a
default judgment against SAFA in the Clackamas County Circuit
Court located in Oregon. The judgment against SAFA was in the
amount of $8, 845 plus interest, costs, and attorney fees.
Several months later, in October 2017, Reliable Credit filed
the foreign judgment in the Butler County Common Pleas Court
("trial court") as provided for by R.C. 2329.022.
Three days later, notice of the foreign judgment was sent to
SAFA in accordance with R.C. 2329.023. In that notice, the
trial court informed SAFA that the foreign judgment was filed
by Reliable Credit and that "[execution may issue on
this Judgment thirty (30) days after the above date."
3} Thereafter, in December 2017, Reliable Credit
filed an Affidavit, Order and Notice of Garnishment with the
trial court. The garnishment affidavit stated SAFA owed
Reliable Credit $10, 915.53 and named Fifth Third Bank as the
garnishee. Along with the affidavit, a Notice to Judgment
Debtor was also filed with the trial court, which notified
SAFA that the trial court had issued an order in favor of
Reliable Credit, and that some of its funds at Fifth Third
Bank would be used to satisfy its debt to Reliable Credit.
The notice also included the following disclosure:
If you dispute [Reliable Credit's] right to garnish your
property and believe that h [sic] should not be given your
money, property or credits * * * now in the possession of
[Fifth Third Bank, ] because they are exempt or feel that
this order is improper for any other reason, you may request
a hearing before this court by disputing the claim in the
request for hearing form * * * and delivering the request for
hearing to this court at the above address. * * * If you
request a hearing, the hearing will be limited to a
consideration of the amount of your money, property, or
credits, other than personal earnings, in the possession or
control of [Fifth Third Bank], if any, that can be used to
satisfy all or part of the judgement you owe to [Reliable
Credit]. No objections to the judgment itself will be heard
or considered at any hearing. (Emphasis added).
garnishment notice and affidavit were served upon SAFA.
4} In January 2018, SAFA requested a hearing
regarding the garnishment. In its request, SAFA indicated it
disputed Reliable Credit's right to garnish SAFA's
property for the following reasons: it had not received
notice of the Oregon foreign judgment; there was no service
of the Oregon lawsuit upon SAFA; Reliable Credit knowingly
used SAFAs incorrect address; and SAFA only received the
garnishment from Fifth Third. SAFA signed and confirmed that
it understood no objections to the judgment itself would be
heard or considered at the hearing.
5} After a hearing before the magistrate, the trial
court found that SAFA failed to demonstrate that Reliable
Credit sought funds that were statutorily exempt. The trial
court further noted that SAFA attempted to collaterally
attack the judgment out of Oregon, but the garnishment was to
stand. SAFA did not file any objections to that decision.
6} Thereafter, in April 2018, the Clackamas County
Circuit Court informed the trial court that the judgment was
fully paid and satisfied. As such, the trial court filed an
entry of satisfaction.
7} Several months later, in September 2018, SAFA
filed a motion to dismiss the foreign judgment. In its
motion, SAFA argued the default judgment was invalid and void
because SAFA was never served with the Oregon lawsuit, and
therefore, the Clackamas County Circuit Court did not have
personal jurisdiction over SAFA. The trial court denied SAFAs
motion, finding that "[a]ny basis for voiding the
judgment should have been presented and preserved prior to
the entry of garnishment[.]" The trial court further
indicated it was not inclined to disrupt the finality of
judgment that came with the satisfaction of the judgment.
8} SAFA now appeals, raising one ...