APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, C.P.C.
Stephen P. Linnen, for appellants.
Yost], Attorney General, and Brian R. Honen, for appellee.
Stephen P. Linnen.
1} This is an appeal from a judgment of the Franklin
County Court of Common Pleas that affirmed the order of the
Ohio Real Estate Commission ("the commission"),
which ordered the revocation of Carl H. Woodford's real
estate salesperson's license. Although no action was
taken by the commission regarding Woodford Contemporary Real
Estate Inc. ("Contemporary"), Contemporary joined
in the notice of appeal. For the following reasons, we affirm
the judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
Facts and Procedural History
2} Woodford held a real estate salesperson license.
Benjamin L. Jackson and Woodford entered into an agreement
where Woodford's company, First National Cash Refund
("First National") would bid on Jackson's
property, which was the subject of a tax foreclosure, at an
auction. The two men agreed that if First National were the
high bidder, Jackson could purchase the property back. First
National was the high bidder and paid a deposit. However,
First National failed to complete the purchase but did not
inform Jackson. Between June 21, 2014 and October 28, 2014,
Jackson provided $41, 000 to Woodford, and First National did
not convey the property to Jackson or return the money.
Jackson filed a complaint with the Ohio Division of Real
Estate and Professional Licensing ("the division").
3} On November 7, 2017, the division sent Woodford a
notice of formal hearing which informed him of charges
against him and set a date and time for a formal hearing.
Attached to the hearing notice was Schedule A, which
specified the charges against Woodford. The division served
the notice by certified mail to 798 Euclaire Avenue, the
address Woodford provided to the division. The signed,
certified mail receipt was returned to the division
demonstrating that service had been completed.
4} Subsequently, the division requested a
continuance which the hearing officer granted. On December
18, 2017, the hearing officer held a telephone conference to
schedule a new hearing date. Woodford participated in the
telephone conference with counsel for the division and the
hearing officer. The parties agreed to a new hearing date of
January 26, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. The hearing officer then
confirmed the new hearing date and time through email. A new
scheduling order was sent by certified mail to Woodford at
the Euclaire address. Woodford did not attend the hearing.
5} After the hearing, on January 29, 2018, the
scheduling order was returned marked by the post office as
unclaimed and unable to forward. The division then attempted
to send the notice to an address on the returned envelope at
1620 E. Broad St., however, it was mistakenly sent to 1520 E.
Broad St. The mailing was again returned. Finally, the notice
was sent to the 1620 E. Broad St. address.
6} On February 1, 2018, the hearing officer issued
his report and recommendation finding that Woodford had
violated R.C. 4735.18(A)(6) as it incorporates Section 1,
Article 1 of the Canons of Ethics for the Real Estate
Profession. The report and recommendation was scheduled for
review in front of the commission on March 7, 2018, but
continued to May 9, 2018. As of that date, Woodford had
returned $10, 000 to Jackson. The commission adopted the
hearing officer's report and recommendation and ordered
the revocation of Woodford's real estate
salesperson's license. Woodford and Contemporary filed an
appeal to the common pleas court.
7} Woodford attempted to supplement the common pleas
court record, which the common pleas court denied. The common
pleas court found the adjudication order was supported by
reliable, probative, and substantial evidence and affirmed