Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
JEFFERSON CAPITAL SYSTEMS, L.L.C. Plaintiff-Appellee,
CHARLOTTE GIBSON, Defendant-Appellant.
Appeal from the Bedford Municipal Court Case No. 18CVF04422
Jefferson Capital Systems, L.L.C., and Bradley E. Sherman;
Reminger Co., L.P.A., and Brian D. Sullivan, for appellee.
Luftman, Heck & Associates, L.L.P., and Matthew L. Alden,
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
D. CELEBREZZE, JR, JUDGE
1} This cause came to be heard upon the accelerated
calendar pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and Loc.R. 11.1.
Defendant-appellant, Charlotte Gibson, brings the instant
appeal challenging the trial court's judgment dismissing
plaintiff-appellee, Jefferson Capital Systems, L.L.C.'s
(hereinafter "JCS") civil action without prejudice.
Appellant argues that the trial court erred by dismissing the
case without ruling on her motion to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction and her motion for sanctions. After a
thorough review of the record and law, this court dismisses
the appeal for lack of a final appealable order.
Factual and Procedural History
2} JCS initiated a collection action in an attempt
to collect the outstanding balance on appellant's credit
account. On August 31, 2018, JCS filed a complaint against
appellant in the Bedford Municipal Court. JCS requested a
judgment against appellant in the amount of $1, 972.91, plus
costs and post-judgment interest.
3} On February 12, 2019, appellant filed a motion to
dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction and a
motion for sanctions against JCS. In her motion for
sanctions, appellant argued that JCS's conduct of filing
the lawsuit in the Bedford Municipal Court was
"objectively frivolous[.]" Although she did not
explicitly specify a proper venue, she appeared to argue that
Cleveland Municipal Court was the proper venue for the
4} On February 15, 2019, JCS filed a motion for
default judgment. Therein, JCS requested a judgment against
appellant in the amount of $1, 972.91.
5} JCS filed a brief in opposition to
appellant's motion for sanctions on February 21, 2019.
Therein, JCS asserted that it was contemporaneously filing a
motion to voluntarily dismiss the case based on
appellant's assertion that Bedford Municipal Court was an
improper venue. Furthermore, JCS maintained that any error
with respect to its determination that Bedford Municipal
Court was a proper venue was not objectively frivolous:
"Bedford Municipal Court is 23 miles from
[appellant's] residence and Cleveland Municipal Court is
11 miles from [appellant's] residence. Both courts are in
Cuyahoga County and the difference in miles from each court
is negligible." Finally, JCS argued that the trial court
need not hold a hearing on appellant's motion for
sanctions because appellant failed to demonstrate a basis for
the imposition of sanctions.
6} On February 21, 2019, JCS filed a motion to
dismiss the case without prejudice. JCS asserted that it
moved to dismiss the lawsuit "based on [appellant's]
allegations of improper venue[.]" Appellee's brief
7} On February 28, 2019, the trial court granted
JCS's motion to dismiss the case and dismissed the case
without prejudice. The trial court's February 28, 2019
judgment entry provides, in relevant part, "On motion of
the plaintiff, it is hereby ordered that the within cause be
and the same is hereby dismissed, without prejudice, at
8} It is from this judgment that appellant filed the
instant appeal on March 22, 2019. Appellant assigns two
errors for review:
I. The trial court erred in denying [appellant's]
[m]otion to [d]ismiss the case for lack of [personal]
II. The trial court erred in denying [appellant's]
[m]otion for [s]anctions without holding a hearing on the