Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Harrison
IN THE ESTATE OF: CHARLES RAY DEVORE, DECEASEDLORRIE DEVORE, ADMINISTRATRIX, Plaintiff-Appellee,
SHANNON MALONE, et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, of
Harrison County, Ohio Case No. 20171058.
John O. Tabacchi, for Plaintiff-Appellee.
Travis Collins, for Defendants-Appellants.
BEFORE: Cheryl L. Waite, Gene Donofrio, David A.
OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
Appellants Shannon Malone, Travis DeVore and Kyle Devore
appeal from the judgment of the Harrison County Court of
Common Pleas, Probate Division. The probate court approved
Appellee Lorrie DeVore's appraisal of the marital real
estate and inventory of personal property filed as part of
the estate of her late husband, Charles Ray DeVore ("the
decedent"). After Appellee filed the inventory and
appraisal with the probate court, Appellants filed
exceptions. Following a hearing on the matter, the probate
court adjusted Appellee's appraisal of the real estate
and the valuation of the personal property, both in
Appellants' favor. However, the probate court held a
decision as to other claimed assets of the estate in
abeyance, including those involving ownership of a pizza
business. On appeal, Appellee indicates that at some time
after the hearing at issue here was held, she received a
notification from the IRS of an outstanding income tax
liability belonging to her and the decedent. It is apparent
that, based on the outstanding issues regarding ownership of
the pizza restaurant and possible income tax liability, an
amended inventory must be filed in this case in order to
fully address these issues. Therefore, as the probate court
did not rule on all of the property issues in the estate in
the judgment entry currently on appeal, the judgment is not
final and appealable. We are without jurisdiction to review
the matter at this time. The appeal is dismissed for lack of
and Procedural History
The decedent passed away on March 2, 2017, intestate.
Appellee is the decedent's surviving spouse and
stepparent to Appellants, who are the decedent's three
surviving adult children. On August 7, 2017, Appellant Travis
DeVore filed an application with the Harrison County Probate
Court for authority to administer his father's estate. On
October 26, 2017, Appellee filed a competing application for
authority to administer the estate. By agreement of the
parties, Appellee was appointed as the administrator.
On January 17, 2018, Appellants filed a motion to be present
during the scheduled appraisal of the decedent's house
and personal property. The probate court granted the motion
on the same day. An appraisal was conducted on February 6,
2018 by Phillip J. Flenniken ("Flenniken"). Present
were all three of the Appellants and Appellee, who still
lives in the marital residence. According to Appellants,
during the appraisal they were permitted access only to the
basement, the kitchen, and the outdoor area. Appellee and
Flenniken dispute Appellants' contention that they were
not permitted to be present in any other part of the house
during this appraisal. The record also indicates that,
although this was the formal inventory and appraisal,
Flenniken had actually visited the property three times while
the matter was pending. On the appraisal report the date of
inspection is listed as November 20, 2017, the effective date
of appraisal is listed as May 2, 2017, and the date of the
signature is March 26, 2018.
The final appraisal report by Flenniken contained many
specifics regarding the property. The real estate was
appraised at $55, 000. In making that determination,
Flenniken's report contained a provision reading:
"The property is being appraised assuming several
EXTRAORDINARY ASSUMPTIONS." These assumptions were as
1.) The water supply was inadequate and would not pass county
2.) The septic system was inadequate and would not pass
3.) The tin roof on the house was properly installed;
4.) Despite selling the mineral rights to the property, the
DeVores retained the surface rights free, clear, and suitable
for mortgage purposes as certified by a real estate title
5.) No binding agreements for the burial of Mr. DeVore on the
subject property prior to his death and prior to the
effective date of the report existed;
6.) The basement of the house was infested with snakes;
7.) A home inspection made by a qualified professional
inspector would agree to the list of repairs needed. (5/18/18
Flenniken's appraisal also listed the repairs needed,
again with the caveat that the suggested repairs should be
confirmed by a home inspector:
1.) The barn needed to be torn down.
2.) A new approved water well and septic system needed to be
3) A new forced air furnace, duct work, and registers needed
to be installed.
4.) The bathroom and kitchen needed a complete remodel and
new floor coverings needed to be installed. The interior
walls and ceiling needed patched and painted throughout.
5.) Trim work needed installed throughout the house.
6.) Windows needed to be framed and cased.
7.) The snakes had to be removed and the house was to be
sealed in manner to prevent snakes and rodents from entering.
8.) The basement floor needed concrete installed and an
appropriate basement or garage door needed to be installed.
The foundation wall needed sealed against leaks and the
basement stairs were to be replaced.
9.) Plumbing was to be repaired or replaced, both as to
supply and drain lines.
10.) Electrical wiring throughout the house ...