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Lacy v. State

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Ashtabula

July 22, 2019

JAVONTE LACY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF OHIO, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

          Civil Appeals from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2018 CV 0092.

          Javonte Lacy, pro se, (Plaintiff-Appellant).

          J. Jeffrey Holland, Holland and Muirden, (For Defendant-Appellee, Animal Protective League).

          Nicholas A. Iarocci, and Catherine R. Colgan, (For Defendant-Appellee, State of Ohio).

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Javonte Lacy, filed a pro se appeal from two entries of the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, in which the court granted the motion to dismiss filed by appellee, the state of Ohio, and granted the motion for summary judgment filed by appellee, Animal Protective League ("APL").

         {¶2} A review of the docket reveals that on February 6, 2018, Mr. Lacy filed a civil complaint against appellees seeking replevin for the return of certain animals or damages in the amount of $10,200. APL filed its answer and a counterclaim. APL also filed a motion for default judgment on its counterclaim along with a motion for summary judgment. On August 13, 2018, the state of Ohio filed a motion to dismiss alleging that Mr. Lacy failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

         {¶3} In a January 29, 2019 entry, the trial court granted the state of Ohio's motion to dismiss. Mr. Lacy appealed that entry, and that appeal was assigned Case No. 2019-A-0030. In an entry dated April 1, 2019, the trial court granted the APL's motion for summary judgment and granted APL's default judgment. The trial court set a "hearing on damages on [Animal Protective League's] counterclaim and [its] request for attorney fees * * *." To date there has been no ruling on the damages from APL's counterclaim. Mr. Lacy also appealed that entry, and that appeal was assigned Case No. 2019-A-0046. Upon Mr. Lacy's request, this court consolidated the two appeals.

         {¶4} On June 5, 2019, APL filed a motion to dismiss the appeal. Mr. Lacy responded to the motion to dismiss on June 19, 2019.

         {¶5} Initially, we must determine whether there is a final, appealable order, as this court may entertain only those appeals from final judgments or orders. Noble v. Colwell, 44 Ohio St.3d 92, 96 (1989). According to Section 3(B)(2), Article IV of the Ohio Constitution, a judgment of a trial court can be immediately reviewed by an appellate court only if it constitutes a "final order in the action. Germ v. Fuerst, 11th Dist. Lake No. 2003-L-116, 2003-Ohio-6241, ¶ 3. If a lower court's order is not final, then an appellate court does not have jurisdiction to review the matter, and the matter must be dismissed. Gen. Acc. Ins. Co. v. Ins. Co. of N. Am., 44 Ohio St.3d 17, 20 (1989). For a judgment to be final and appealable, it must satisfy the requirements of R.C. 2505.02 and if applicable, Civ.R. 54(B). See Children's Hosp. Med. Ctr. v. Tomaiko, 11th Dist. Portage No. 2011-P-0103, 2011-Ohio-6838, ¶ 3.

         {¶6} R.C. 2505.02(B) defines a final order as one of the following:

         {¶7} "An order is a final order that may be reviewed, affirmed, modified, or reversed, with or without retrial, when it is one of the following:

         {¶8} "(1) An order that affects a substantial right in an action that in effect determines the action and prevents a judgment;

         {¶9} "(2) An order that affects a substantial right made in a special proceeding or upon a summary ...


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