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Jones v. Dlugos

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

July 25, 2019

GREGORY A. JONES, ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
KARL DLUGOS, ET AL., Defendants-Appellants.

          Civil Appeal from Rocky River Municipal Court Case No. 18 CVG 549

          Vincent Esquire, Ltd., Paul W. Vincent, and Adam James Vincent, for appellees.

          Karl Dlugos, pro se, and Lisa Gottschalt, pro se.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          LARRY A. JONES, SR., JUDGE

         {¶ 1} In this accelerated appeal, [1] the defendants-appellants Karl Dlugos and Lisa Gottschalt[2] appeal from the March 26, 2018 judgment of the Rocky River Municipal Court, which "accepted, approved and adopted" the magistrate's decision. The decision found the appellants liable for nonpayment of rent. For the reasons that follow, we dismiss this appeal.

         Factual and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} The record before us demonstrates that in February 2017, the appellants entered into a land installment contract with the plaintiffs-appellees, Gregory and Sharon Jones. The contract was for property located in North Olmsted, Ohio, and the monthly payment was $772.64, plus a $50 late fee, if applicable.

         {¶ 3} In February 2018, the appellants failed to make payments according to the contract, and the appellees provided notice to them of their breach and how it could be remedied according to the terms of their contract. On March 5, 2018, the appellants made a $500 payment. On March 7, 2018, the appellees filed an action in the Rocky River Municipal Court; the complaint was for forcible entry and detainer and forfeiture. The appellants filed an answer in which they claimed, in part, that the appellees accepted their $500 payment.

         {¶ 4} A trial before the magistrate was held on March 26, 2018. At the conclusion of the trial, the magistrate found in favor of the appellees and against the appellants for nonpayment of rent on the "first cause of action," that is, the forcible entry and detainer. The magistrate granted the appellants until April 16, 2018, to move to plead or file an answer as to the "second cause of action," that is, the forfeiture. The trial court "accepted, approved and adopted" the magistrate's decision as the judgment of the court.

         {¶ 5} On April 2, 2018, appellants filed a motion to stay eviction, which was denied on April 5. A writ of restitution was filed, ordering that the appellants be "forthwith removed" from the property and the appellees have restitution of it. Appellants apparently did not vacate the property, and therefore the appellees filed a request to execute writ of restitution. The appellants filed a motion to set aside the magistrate's order and stay the writ of restitution, which the trial court denied. Thereafter, the appellants filed objections to the magistrate's order; the objections were overruled.

         {¶ 6} On April 13, 2018, appellants filed an answer to the second cause of the complaint and a counterclaim. Their counterclaim sought an amount for equity they claim to have in the house.

         {¶ 7} According to the appellees, the appellants were ordered to be out of the subject property on April 13, 2018. However, due to the trial court's schedule, the date was continued one week, until April 20, 2018. The record demonstrates that on April 19, 2018, appellants filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy that resulted in an automatic stay of the case.

         {¶ 8} The bankruptcy stay was lifted in August 2018, and the eviction proceedings resumed. On October 4, 2018, the day set for their eviction, appellants filed an emergency motion for stay of eviction in this court; they also filed an appeal in this court of the municipal court's March 2018 judgment that again stayed the eviction date. Their emergency motion was denied on the same day it was filed, October 4, 2018. The appellants then filed a second notice of appeal on October 5, 2018, that was transferred to the first appeal. Meanwhile, the eviction proceeded and the appellants were evicted in October 2018, and the property was restored to the plaintiffs.

         {¶ 9} This court dismissed the appeal as untimely, but subsequently granted appellants' motion for reconsideration and ordered appellants to file an App.R. 9(C) statement by November 26, 2018. On November 23, 2018, appellants filed a "notice of trial court's inability to settle ...


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