Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Domestic Relations Division Case No. DV-17-368501
S. Baker, for appellee.
S.E.J., pro se.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, PRESIDING JUDGE.
1} Appellant S.E.J. appeals from the judgment of the
trial court that granted appellee's petition for a
domestic violence civil protection order pursuant to R.C.
3113.31. He assigns three errors for our review:
I. The trial court erred and abused its discretion when trial
[court] continued to proceed with trial after the appellant
established for the record the appellee had procedural [sic]
defaulted by failing to timely answer the admissions as
required by Civ.R 36(C).
II. The trial court erred and abused its discretion when
trial [court] continued to proceed with trial after the
appellant established for the record the court's order of
service had not been perfected.
III. The appellee failed to establish perfected service on
three separate occasions without any proof of service.
2} Having reviewed the record and the controlling
law, we affirm the decision of the trial court. For the sake
of clarity, we shall address the assigned errors out of their
3} The record indicates that appellant and appellee
were married in 2008 and have one son who was born the
following year. On August 22, 2017, appellee filed a petition
for an ex parte domestic violence civil protection order
against appellant. The court issued an ex parte protection
order that day.
4} The court scheduled a full hearing on the matter
commencing in February 2018, after both parties signed an
agreed entry approving trial dates. Appellant filed discovery
requests, including multiple requests for admissions under
Civ.R. 36. He also filed motions to deem various matters
admitted that were later denied by the trial court. Both
parties appeared at the evidentiary hearing and presented
evidence. According to the App.R. 9(C) statement of the
evidence submitted in this case:
On February 7, 2018, [appellee] was sworn and gave testimony
that supports finding that [appellant] committed domestic
violence as defined in RC. 3113.31 and that the [appellee] is
in danger of domestic violence. Her testimony is found to be
credible. [Appellant's] testimony was marginally
credible. * * *
[Appellee] testified that on or about August 1, 2017,
[appellant] forcefully took [appellee's] backpack from
[Appellant] picked up a box and threw it forcefully at
[appellee's] face, while she was wearing her glasses
causing injury and bleeding. [Appellee] played an audio
recording of the incident. [Appellee] was hysterical and
crying. [Appellant] profusely apologized. [Appellee]
submitted four (4) cell-phone photographs of herself taken 30
minutes after the aforementioned incident. The photographs
clearly depict [appellee's] swollen face, cheek and lips.
[Appellant's] objection to [the recording] is overruled
as the [appellee] testified that she recorded the incident,
and that the recording was accurate. Same corroborated her
On or about August 15, 2017, [appellant] dropped [appellee]
off at Rite-Aid drug store to pick up a prescription.
[Appellant] left Petitioner at the drug store and she had to
take bus home. Upon her return home, [appellee] noticed a
camera set up with note that stated, "Don't touch
the camera." [Appellee] testified that she was so
frightened she called the police. The Police advised her to
go to a shelter. [Appellee] contacted shelters and they were
filled up [so she] stayed at a hotel. *
[Appellant] disputed that on August 1, 2017, he threw a box
at [appellee]. He testified that it was a "flinch,"
and that [appellee] "bumped his wrist with her
lips." However, [appellant] conceded that the
photographs accurately reflected [appellee's] injuries.
As such, it is readily apparent that [appellant] caused