Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Garfield Heights Municipal Court Case No.
Woods, pro se.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
C. GALLAGHER, PRESIDING JUDGE.
1} This cause came to be heard on the accelerated
calendar pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and LocApp.R. 11.1.
Plaintiff-appellant Doug Woods d.b.a. What a Lovely Home
("Woods") appeals the decision of the Garfield
Heights Municipal Court that denied his objection and adopted
the magistrate's decision finding defendant-appellee
Latasha Moore ("Moore") should not be held in
contempt of court. We dismiss the action because appellant
has no right to appeal the trial court's decision.
2} In Denovchek v. Bd. of Trumbull Cty.
Commrs., 36 Ohio St.3d 14, 520 N.E.2d 1362 (1988), the
Supreme Court of Ohio held that "there is no right of
appeal from the dismissal of a contempt motion when the party
making the motion is not prejudiced by the dismissal."
Id. at 17. This is because contempt is generally a
matter between the court and the person failing to obey a
court order or interfering with court processes. Id.
3} In this case, the trial court denied Woods's
motion for contempt upon finding Moore's failure to
disclose her ownership interest in an automobile during a
debtor's exam did not obstruct Woods's ability to
collect on the judgment because Woods had knowledge of all
the necessary vehicle information, including the existence,
make, and model of the vehicle. Nevertheless, Woods argues
that his ability to collect on the judgment was obstructed
because Moore did not disclose the vehicle's title or the
amount of her ownership interest and she failed to disclose
her other sources of income that may be subject to
4} The record reflects that Woods, who was acting
pro se, testified to having knowledge of Moore's vehicle.
In fact, he had obtained a copy of the vehicle's
registration from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Because
Woods had knowledge of the vehicle's information, the
trial court found the false testimony provided by Moore did
not obstruct Woods's ability to collect on the judgment.
Further, since no obstruction occurred, the court did not
believe a hearing was warranted and elected to conserve
5} Woods argued in his objection to the
magistrate's decision that his collection efforts had
been obstructed because Moore was not forthcoming with the
vehicle's information and did not provide a copy of the
vehicle's title. Additionally, Woods sought to amend or
supplement his objection, and he filed a second motion for
contempt in which he maintained that Moore also had
obstructed his collection efforts by failing to disclose all
of her sources of income and he attached unauthenticated
account statements to that motion. The trial court denied
Woods's repeated attempts to obtain a contempt ruling. As
stated by the magistrate, "the determination as to
whether the Defendant should be held in contempt of court is
a decision to be made by the Court[, ] not the
Plaintiff." The trial court exercised its discretion and
decided not to hold appellant in contempt of court.
6} Woods has not demonstrated either that he was
irreparably prejudiced by the denial of his motion for
contempt or that the trial court's order prevented him
from ultimately collecting the full amount due. Accordingly,
Woods has no right to appeal.
7} Appeal dismissed.
ordered that appellant pay the costs herein taxed.
ordered that a special mandate issue out of this court
directing the municipal court to carry this judgment into
certified copy of this entry shall constitute the mandate
pursuant to Rule 27 ...