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Scoot v. Akron Housing Appeals Board

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

December 26, 2019

JOYCE SCOTT, EXECUTRIX Appellant
v.
AKRON HOUSING APPEALS BOARD Appellee

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2018-04-1708

          ALAN M. MEDVICK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          EVE V. BELFANCE, Director of Law, and JOHN R. YORK and BRIAN D. BREMER, Assistant Directors of Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          THOMAS A. TEODOSIO JUDGE

         {¶1} Joyce Scott appeals the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas dismissing her administrative appeal and its order denying her motion for relief from judgment. We affirm.

         I.

         {¶2} In March 2018, the City of Akron Housing Appeals Board ordered the demolition of the structure located at 1291 Tampa Avenue. Joyce Scott appealed the decision to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, which dismissed the appeal pursuant to Loc.R. 19.03(D) of the Court of Common Pleas of Summit County, General Division, for Ms. Scott's failure to file her assignments of error and brief. Ms. Scott appealed the judgment to this Court and also filed a Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment with the court of common pleas. We remanded to the court of common pleas for consideration of the motion.

         {¶3} The court of common pleas denied the motion, concluding that Ms. Scott had failed to provide operative facts that would support her claim of a meritorious defense. Ms. Scott subsequently appealed that decision to this Court, which we have consolidated with the prior appeal. Each of Ms. Scott's appeals raise one assignment of error, which are addressed separately below.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR (No. 29163)

         THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY DISMISSING APPELLANT'S ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL.

         {¶4} In her first assignment of error, Ms. Scott argues the court of common pleas abused its discretion when it sua sponte dismissed her appeal for failure to file a brief. We disagree.

         {¶5} "We review the [court of common pleas'] interpretation or application of its local rules for an abuse of discretion." Meador v. Bath Twp., 9th Dist. Summit No. 25007, 2010-Ohio-2570, ¶ 8. An abuse of discretion is more than an error of judgment; it means that the court of common pleas was unreasonable, arbitrary, or unconscionable in its ruling. Blakemore v. Blakemore, 5 Ohio St.3d 217, 219 (1983). When applying this standard, a reviewing court is precluded from simply substituting its own judgment for that of the court of common pleas. Pons v. Ohio State Med. Bd, 66 Ohio St.3d 619, 621 (1993).

         {¶6} The local rule relied upon by the court of common pleas provides: "Within thirty (30) days after the filing of the Record of Proceedings with the Clerk, the appellant shall file its assignments of error and brief * * *." Loc.R. 19.03(A) of the Court of Common Pleas of Summit County, General Division. The rule further instructs: "For good cause shown, the Court may, upon motion, extend or otherwise modify the foregoing schedule. If the appellant fails to file its brief and assignments of error within the time provided, the Court may dismiss the appeal ...


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