Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Garfield Heights Municipal Court Case No.
L. Carter, for appellee.
Woods, pro se.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, PRESIDING JUDGE.
1} This cause came to be upon the accelerated
calendar pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and LocApp.R. 11.1.
Defendant-appellant, Doug Woods, appeals from the judgment of
the trial court that dismissed both his motion to show cause
stemming from plaintiff-appellee, Dana Stallworth's
nonpayment of costs, and his motion to disqualify a
magistrate. He assigns the following error for our review:
The trial court's dismissal of the order to show cause
and subsequent determination that [Woods] was not entitled to
court costs, to proceed with a debtor's examination or
disqualify the magistrate was erroneous, against the manifest
weight of the evidence, constituted a denial of due process,
violation of [Woods's] rights as a creditor and was an
abuse of discretion.
2} Having reviewed the record and the controlling
case law, we affirm the decision of the trial court.
3} This matter arises in connection with a 2014
landlord-tenant dispute between landlord Woods d.b.a. What a
Lovely Home ("WALH") and former tenant Stallworth.
See Stallworth v. Woods, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.
106633, 2018-Ohio-3185 ("Stallworth I ").
Woods eventually initiated eviction proceedings against
Stallworth in Garfield Heights M. C. No. CVG 1402113.
Stallworth v. Woods, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 107832,
2019-Ohio-2828, ¶ 2 ("Stallworth II
"). The parties later entered into a settlement
agreement, and Stallworth voluntarily moved out of the
4} Several months later, Stallworth filed the
instant matter in Garfield Heights Municipal Court against
Woods "c/o [WALH]" for breach of contract and
retaliatory eviction. Stallworth I at ¶ 2.
Woods filed a counterclaim, and on September 23, 2015, he was
granted judgment against Stallworth in the amount of $815.99,
plus interest at the rate of 3 percent per year, and costs.
Id. Thereafter, in 2016, Stallworth filed a
complaint against Woods and WALH in the Cuyahoga County Court
of Common Pleas, alleging fraud, intentional infliction of
emotional distress, conversion, and invasion of privacy.
Following trial, a verdict was entered in favor of defendant.
Id. . at ¶ 4.
5} On May 11, 2016, Woods "d.b.a. WALH,
L.L.C." began collection efforts on his 2015 judgment on
his counterclaim. He also sought sanctions against Stallworth
for vexatious litigation. See Stallworth II. The
trial court denied Woods's motion, and this court
6} Woods eventually recovered $898.88 on his 2015
judgment from the counterclaim, thereby satisfying the base
judgment award of $815.99. However, Woods asserted that
interest and costs remain unpaid, and he filed a summons for
Stallworth to appear for a debtor's examination. After
Stallworth failed to appear for the debtor's examination,
Woods filed a motion to show cause. Following a hearing
before a magistrate, Woods's motion to show cause was
dismissed. The magistrate determined that Woods "has
effectively received full payment on the judgment amount
including interest [and therefore, there] was no reason to
conduct the debtor's exam in this matter because the
Court finds that [Woods's] judgment has been
7} Woods filed objections to the magistrate's
decision and also filed a motion to disqualify the
magistrate. Woods supported his objections with a
"partial transcript of relevant testimony." The
trial court overruled the objections, adopted the
magistrate's findings, dismissed the motion to show
cause, and denied the motion to disqualify.
that Woods Engaged in Unauthorized Practice of Law
8} Before addressing Woods's assigned error, we
must first consider Stallworth's claim that Woods is
engaging in the unauthorized practice of law by representing
both himself ...