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Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Koher

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Belmont

June 28, 2019

CREDIT ACCEPTANCE CORP., Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
AARON KOHER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Civil Appeal from the Court of Belmont County, Western Division of Belmont County, Ohio Case No. 17CVF00530W

          Atty. Yale Levy and Atty. Kathleen Smith, Levy & Associates, LLC., for Plaintiff-Appellee and

          Aaron Koher, PRO SE, for Defendant-Appellant.

          BEFORE: Gene Donofrio, Cheryl L. Waite, David A. D'Apolito, Judges.

          OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          DONOFRIO, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Aaron Koher, appeals the Belmont County Court, Western Division's judgment awarding summary judgment on a breach of contract claim in favor of plaintiff-appellee, Credit Acceptance Corporation.

         {¶2} On January 8, 2016, appellant purchased a 2006 Ford F150 truck with Ohio Motor Group, LLC. Appellant signed a retail installment contract with Ohio Motor Group where he agreed to pay a total of $9, 014.30 consisting of a down payment of $800.00 and 45 monthly payments of $182.54. In the contract, Ohio Motor Group assigned its interest to appellee.

         {¶3} According to appellant, two days after he purchased the truck, it became completely inoperable. Appellant argues that the truck was defective and refused to make any payments on the contract. At some point, the truck was repossessed due to appellant's failure to make payments on the contract. On September 22, 2016, appellee sent appellant a notice that the truck was repossessed due to appellant's failure to make payments.

         {¶4} On October 27, 2016, appellee sent appellant a notice to sell the truck at a public sale via certified mail. On November 28, 2016, appellee sent appellant a notice of disposition of repossessed property. The notice of disposition of repossessed property stated appellant owed a deficiency balance of $4, 865.31 on the truck. Appellant made no payments on the deficiency balance.

         {¶5} On December 22, 2017, appellee filed this action raising a sole breach of contract claim and sought the deficiency balance plus interest from September 21, 2016. Appellee attached to its complaint: an affidavit from one of its employees attesting to the amount owed, appellant's payment history report, a copy of the retail installment contract, a copy of the notice of repossession, a copy of the notice to sell property, and a copy of the notice of disposition of repossessed property. Appellant was served notice of this action by certified mail.

         {¶6} On January 19, 2018, appellant filed what was construed to be an answer. While the answer did not admit or deny the specific allegations in the complaint, appellant generally indicated that he disputed all of appellee's allegations. The answer also argued that the truck began having problems approximately one hour after leaving Ohio Motor Group. Appellant accused Ohio Motor Group of fixing the vehicle to work for only a short period of time in order to sell the truck.

         {¶7} On February 12, 2018, appellee sent appellant its first set of interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admission. Appellee filed a notice of service of these discovery requests on February 14, 2018.

         {¶8} On April 12, 2018, appellee filed a motion for summary judgment. Appellee argued that it was entitled to summary judgment because appellant failed to respond to the requests for admission and the requests were admitted by default. With the requests for admission now admitted by default, appellee argued that there was no genuine issue of material fact regarding its breach of contract claim. Appellee attached to its motion a copy of its requests for admission propounded to appellant as well as the exhibits that were attached to the complaint.

         {¶9} On April 27, 2018, appellant filed two separate motions. The first was a "notice to bring suit." The second was styled as an opposition to summary judgment. In the opposition to summary judgment, appellant generally argued that the facts of the action were in dispute. Appellant also argued that he was not properly served notice of this action. Appellant attached his responses to ...


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