Medina County Courthouse

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ninth District Appellate Opinions for August 21, 2013

Opinions Released August 21, 2013

Savoy v. Kramer, 2013-Ohio-3607 was an appeal from a Summit County Court of Common Pleas order dismissing a civil case because the case was filed outside of the one year period allowed under Ohio's savings statute, R.C. 2305.19(A). Mr. Savoy filed a personal injury action against Ms. Kramer. He then filed a motion to dismiss, citing to Civ. R. 41 (A) (1) and not Civ. R. 41 (A) (2). 

When the trial court granted the motion the judge wrote on the entry that the case was dismissed even though under Civ. R. 41 (A) (1) the plaintiff didn't need to file the motion since he could obtain a dismissal under that rule by just putting on a notice. 

Savoy then refiled within one year of the judge's entry, but outside of one year from the time that he filed the motion. In the trial court Kramer argued that since Civ. R. 41 (A) (1) only requires a notice, the time period should start when the motion was filed because, in effect, the motion was a notice of dismissal. The trial court agreed with Kramer and dismissed the case. 

Savoy argued on appeal that his motion was actually filed under Civ. R. 41 (A) (2) since it was a motion and not under Civ. R. 41 (A) (1), even though he cited to that rule in the motion. The trial court noted in its dismissal entry that Savoy hadn't filed a response memorandum, even though one had been filed six days earlier. Kramer argued that Savoy's memorandum was filed outside of the time limits set forth in the Summit County Local Rules. 

The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for the trial court to consider the arguments raised in Savoy's memorandum and also to consider Kramer's objection based on the Local Rules. 

State v. Quarterman, 2013-Ohio-3606 was an appeal from a Summit County Common Pleas conviction of Mr. Quarterman following his bind over from the Summit County Juvenile Court. Quarterman listed four assignments of error. Three of them concerned challenges to the bind over statute, including constitutionality arguments, and one was for ineffectiveness of counsel for not raising the constitutional arguments. Unfortunately for Quarterman he pled guilty in the Common Pleas Court and thereby waived all of his assignments of error. The conviction was affirmed. 

Kolenz v. Kolenz, 2013-Ohio-3605 was an appeal from the Summit County Domestic Relations Court finding that Mr. Kolenz was voluntarily unemployed and imputing income to him of $60,000.00 per year and ordering spousal support of $1375.00. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court and ruled against Kolenz on his two assignments of error. 

State v. Jones, 2013-Ohio-3604 was an appeal from a criminal conviction in the Summit County Common Pleas Court. Mr. Jones was convicted of multiple felonies. He appealed citing two assignments of error. One was that there was not sufficient evidence to convict him and the other was that the jury verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Both assignments of error were rejected by the appellate court. 

Eckmeyer v. Blough, 2013-Ohio-3603 was an appeal from a decision of the Summit County Common Pleas Court granting a summary judgment to the defendants on the basis that the complaint was time barred. Eckmeyer had originally filed in United States District Court. The District Court dismissed federal claims against government officials and the political entity that they worked for, and then, some time later, dismissed the private individuals. The reason for the dismissal of the private individuals was because the Federal Court did not have jurisdiction over the claims against those defendants. Those claims were based on state law and not on federal law. 

Eckmeyer then filed in the Summit County Common Pleas Court. The defendants moved to dismiss on the grounds that the claims against them were time barred. In particular they argued that the Summit County complaint had not been filed within one year as required by Ohio's savings statute, R.C. 2305.19. The state court agreed with their position and dismissed the case. 

On appeal Eckmeyer argued that the savings statute should commence to run when the entire action is dismissed as opposed to starting to run when individual claims are dismissed. The Court of Appeals, noting that there was no case law directly on point, rejected that argument. 

The Court noted that there are three requirements for an action to be "saved" under R.C. 2305.19. Those are: "(1) an action must have been commenced or attempted to have been commenced prior to the expiration of the 
applicable statute of limitations; (2) the cause of action must have failed otherwise than upon the merits; and (3) the failure of that action must have occurred after the statute of limitations period has expired.”

In this case the appellate court found that all three conditions were satisfied, and held that the Summit County case should have been brought within a year of the Federal Court's dismissal and not within a year of the entire action being dismissed. 

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