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Professional Bank Services v. Abboud

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

July 18, 2019

PROFESSIONAL BANK SERVICES, ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
MICHEL F. ABBOUD, ET AL., Defendants-Appellants.

          Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-05-579415

          Weltman, Weinberg & Reis, Co., L.PA., and Daniel B. Friedlander, for appellees.

          Myron P. Watson, for appellants.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          ANITA LASTER MAYS, JUDGE

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Elie F. Abboud ("Abboud") appeals the trial court's denial of his motion for relief from judgment. We affirm the trial court's decision.

         I. Facts and Procedural Posture

         {¶ 2} Plaintiffs-appellees Professional Bank Services and Francis H. Calvert filed a complaint against Abboud and his brother Michel Abboud ("Michel") on December 12, 2005. Neither Abboud nor Michel entered an appearance and a default judgment was rendered against them in favor of the appellees. Michel moved the court to have the judgment against him vacated as void for want of personal jurisdiction. At the time of the complaint, Michel was incarcerated. The judgment against Michel was vacated, and the claims against him were dismissed. This current action is Abboud's appeal of the trial court's denial of his motion for relief from the judgment.

         {¶ 3} The appellees filed a complaint against Abboud on December 12, 2005. The summons and complaint were served upon Abboud on January 3, 2006, at 470 West Boston Rd., Hinckley, Ohio 44233 by certified mail and was signed for by Ruth Abboud ("Ruth"), Abboud's ex-wife. Abboud claims that the appellees had not perfected service on him because he was not living at that address when the complaint was delivered. Abboud also claims that he did not have contact with Ruth from the date of the complaint until 2006, when he was incarcerated on federal charges of bank fraud.

         {¶ 4} Abboud claims that he moved out of the family home around 2002, into the adjacent property located at 468 West Boston Rd., Hinckley, Ohio 44233 and continued to reside there until 2006. As a result of not living in the family home, Abboud argues that he did not receive the summons and complaint, because it was delivered to the family home and not to him personally. The appellees claim, however, that Abboud represented his address as the address of the family home in legal filings such as his motion for permission to travel presented to the federal court.

         {¶ 5} Abboud filed a motion to vacate and set aside default judgment on March 20, 2018, and the court issued its decision and journal entry on October 17, 2018. The journal entry stated,

This court finds that Defendant Elie Abboud listed the 470 West Boston Road address in documents he filed on his own behalf weeks before plaintiff sent service of process to the same address. The evidence further shows that Elie Abboud signed a judgment entry of divorce which stated he resided at 470 West Boston Road through August 2006 when he was incarcerated in federal prison. The evidence shows that Ruth Abboud signed for the complaints in January 2005 [sic], and this court held a default hearing on April 12, 2006. Elie Abboud listed the 470 West Boston Road address in court documents both before and after Plaintiff perfected valid service upon Defendant Elie Abboud at the time of the default hearing. The default judgment granted on April 12, 2006 against Elie Abboud is valid. Defendant's motion to vacate and set aside default judgment is denied.

Journal entry No. 10592110 (Oct. 17, 2018).

         {¶ 6} Abboud filed this appeal assigning one error for our review:

         I. The trial court erred and abused its discretion in overruling appellant's motion for relief ...


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