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Reese v. Reese

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

July 10, 2019

JEFFREY A. REESE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JULIE A REESE, Defendant-Appellee.

          Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, TRIAL No. DR1600595

          Cordell Law, LLP, and Dorothy Walsh Ripka, for Plaintiff-Appellant,

          Tibbs Law Office, LLC, and Daryle C. Tibbs, for Defendant-Appellee.

          OPINION

          Crouse, Judge.

         {¶1} Plaintiff-appellant Jeffrey Reese ("Jeff) appeals the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court's final entry issued on December 14, 2017, and the entry granting plaintiffs "Motion for Relief with Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law" entered on May 4, 2018.

         {¶2} In three assignments of error, Jeff argues that the trial court erred in granting his motion for relief from judgment based on mistake instead of fraud; the trial court improperly ordered him to pay a "distributive award" in the form of a lumpum spousal-support payment; and the trial court erred when it found that defendant-appellee Julie Reese ("Julie") was not voluntarily underemployed and ordered Jeff to pay monthly child support.

         I. Facts and Procedure

         {¶3} The parties were married on August 24, 2002. Three children were born of the marriage. The parties separated on March 23, 2016, and Jeff filed for divorce on April 6, 2016. In August 2017, the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court ordered shared parenting of the three children. On November 28, 2017, the court held a property trial to determine the issues of equitable property distribution, spousal support, and child support. The court issued a final entry on December 14, 2017. As relevant to this appeal, the court ordered Jeff to pay Julie a lump-sum spousal-support payment in the amount of $75, 000, and monthly child-support payments in the amount of $1, 014.50. The court also ordered that the parties' marital home be sold and the first $118, 223.13 in proceeds to be paid to Julie's parents as repayment on a loan.

         {¶4} Jeff filed this appeal on February 8, 2018. The following day, Jeff filed a postdecree motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Civ.R 60(B) in the trial court, contesting the grant of marital-home proceeds to Julie's parents. On March 2, 2018, Jeff filed with this court a "Motion to Remand to Trial Court Pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B)." On March 21, 2018, this court granted Jeff's motion and remanded the matter for the limited purpose of permitting the trial court to consider Jeff's postdecree motion for relief.

         {¶5} On April 23, 2018, the trial court heard argument on the postdecree motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B). The trial court issued an entry granting plaintiffs "Motion for Relief from Judgment Pursuant to Rule 60(B)" on April 24, 2018. Upon Jeff's request, the trial court subsequently issued an entry granting plaintiffs motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B) with findings of fact and conclusion of law on May 4, 2018. Jeff now appeals both the final entry issued on December 14, 2017, and the entry granting his motion for relief entered on May 4, 2018.

         II. Motion for Relief from Judgment

         {¶6} In his first assignment of error, Jeff argues that the trial court erred in granting his Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment based on mistake instead of fraud.

         {¶7} During the April 23 hearing on his motion, Jeff asked the trial court to find he was entitled to relief from judgment under Civ.R 60(B)(3) based on fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct, or, in the alternative, under Civ.R 60(B)(1) based on mistake. By its May 4 entry, the court concluded that Jeff was entitled to relief under Civ.R 60(B)(1) based on the mistaken testimony of Julie and her mother. The court also granted Jeff attorney fees incurred in pursuit of the motion for relief.

         {¶8} "[A]n appeal lies only on behalf of a party aggrieved by the final order appealed from." Ohio Contract Carriers Assn. v. Pub. Utilities Comm., 140 Ohio St. 160, 42 N.E.2d 758 (1942), paragraph one of the syllabus; see Young v. Durrani,2016-Ohio-5526, 61 N.E.3d 34, ¶ 17 (1st Dist.). Accordingly, a party who is not aggrieved or prejudiced by a judgment does not have standing to appeal. See Young at ΒΆ 17. Without standing, a party's ...


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