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Dodson Entertainment I, LLC v. Ohio Department of Job & Family Services

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

August 27, 2019

Dodson Entertainment I, LLC, Appellant-Appellant,
v.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Appellee-Appellee.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 16CV-7958

         On brief:

          Boucher & Boucher Co., L.PA., Richard A. Boucher, and Julia C. Kolber, for appellant.

          Dave Yost, Attorney General, and Melissa L. Wilburn, for appellee.

          DECISION

          LUPER SCHUSTER, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Dodson Entertainment I, LLC ("Dodson Entertainment"), appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas affirming a decision of the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Review Commission ("commission") finding that Dodson Entertainment is the successor in interest to Café Anticoli, Inc. ("Café Anticoli"). For the following reasons, we affirm.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} In April 2015, Bennett Dodson, who along with his wife Shaun Dodson own Dodson Entertainment, entered into a contract with Leo Anticoli to purchase the restaurant business known as Café Anticoli and the real estate located at 67 South Main Street, Miamisburg, Ohio, for $490, 000. Pursuant to the contract, the "business shall include the liquor license, equipment, supplies, sales records, customer lists, cost records, working inventory, contracts, furnishings, furniture, leasehold improvements, and all other noncash assets." (Apr. 10, 2015 Contract to Purchase Business and Real Estate at 1.) The purchase did not include the liabilities of the business.

         {¶ 3} On June 26, 2015, Leo Anticoli, as president of Café Anticoli, signed a bill of sale transferring to Dodson Entertainment "[a]ll of the equipment, furnishings, fixtures and leasehold improvements" listed on an attached five-page exhibit. The listed items were located throughout the restaurant building, including in the kitchen, the bar area, the dining rooms, and the patio. On the same day, The Publical Group, LLC, and its owners, Bennett Dodson and three of his family members, closed on the purchase of the property at 67 South Main Street. The Publical Group now leases the real estate to Dodson Entertainment.

         {¶ 4} After the closing, the building at 67 South Main Street was remodeled and converted from an Italian restaurant to a sports bar and grill. On October 9, 2015, the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control, transferred the liquor license from Café Anticoli to Dodson Entertainment. Three days later, Dodson Entertainment opened Bennett's Publical Family Sports Grill.

         {¶ 5} In February 2016, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services ("ODJFS") notified Dodson Entertainment that it had determined Dodson Entertainment is the successor in interest to Café Anticoli, and it assigned contribution rates based on that finding. Dodson Entertainment requested reconsideration of that decision, and the ODJFS director affirmed the successor in interest determination in May 2016. Dodson Entertainment appealed the director's decision to the commission, and the commission held a telephone hearing regarding the appeal on July 18, 2016. On August 3, 2016, the commission issued a decision affirming the director's determination. Pursuant to R.C. 4141.26, Dodson Entertainment appealed the commission's decision to the trial court. The trial court affirmed.

         {¶ 6} Dodson Entertainment timely appeals from the trial court's decision.

         II. Assignment of Error

         {¶ 7} Dodson Entertainment assigns the following ...


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