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Volume 131, Number 160

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1st District Court of Appeals Summaries

Print April 19, 2024 First District Court of Appeals Summaries
 
 
FIRST DISTRICT
COURT OF APPEALS
        
THESE SUMMARIES ARE NEITHER APPROVED IN ADVANCE NOR ENDORSED BY THE COURT.  THEY ARE NOT HEADNOTES OR SYLLABI.  INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD OBTAIN COPIES OF THE ACTUAL DECISIONS FROM THE CLERK OF THE COURT OF APPEALS.
 
DATE: Wednesday, April 17, 2024
CAPTION: Wynn v. Crumm
APPEAL NO.: C-230341
TRIAL NO.: 2020-002927
KEY WORDS: Probate Court – Trusts – Trustee – Duties
SUMMARY: The trust agreement is unambiguous in conferring the power upon the trustee to sell trust real estate and distribute the proceeds of the sale to the beneficiaries, therefore the probate court erred in determining that the trustee may not sell the trust real estate.
JUDGMENT: Reversed and Cause Remanded
JUDGES: Opinion by Crouse, J.; Zayas, P.J., and Kinsley, J., concur.
 
CAPTION: DAVID RENTALS, LLC V. VIRGINIA WOODS, LLC
APPEAL NO.: C-230374
TRIAL NO.: A-1703941
KEY WORDS: CONTRACTS – REAL ESTATE – CIV.R. 15(E) – MATERIAL BREACH – ANTICIPATORY REPUDIATION – BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY –R.C. 4735.21 
SUMMARY: The trial court erred in dismissing the property owner’s supplemental counterclaim for slander of title brought against its property-management company on statute-of-limitations grounds because the supplemental counterclaim filed under Civ.R. 15(E) related back to the date of the property owner’s original counterclaim.
The trial court’s determination after trial that the property owner materially breached the property-management contract by terminating the contract without giving the management company the required 60 days’ notice and that the management company did not anticipatorily repudiate the contract was not against the manifest weight of the evidence: the evidence presented at trial showed that the parties’ relationship began to deteriorate regarding financial issues, that the management company proposed a way to continue the relationship and the owner did not respond, and that the management company notified the owner that it would no longer perform repair work, which would require further extension of financial credit, but that it would continue to provide management duties.
The trial court’s decision dismissing the property owner’s breach-of-fiduciary-duty claims against the property-management company after trial was not against the manifest weight of the evidence: the property owner claimed that the management company’s decision to hire a registered sex offender as a caretaker of the property placed tenants in danger, but the property owner failed to show that the caretaker’s placement caused any injury; the property owner claimed that the management company engaged in self-dealing by charging the property owner a commission for finding the caretaker as a tenant and by charging the owner for the caretaker’s labor, but the owner would have been responsible for both charges under the contract, and it just so happened that the management company found one person to fill both roles; the property owner claimed that the management company mishandled security deposits, but the trial court found in favor of the property owner on its breach-of-contract counterclaim for the mishandled security deposits, and the property owner did not show any damages separate from the breach-of-contract counterclaim. 
The trial court erred in failing to apply R.C. 4735.21 to the breach-of-contract claims brought by the property-management company, a limited liability company, against the property owner because a limited liability company qualifies as a “person” for purposes of R.C. 4735.21, and a person cannot seek recovery for real estate broker activities without first proving a valid real estate license under R.C. Chapter 4735. [But see DISSENT: The trial court did not err in holding that limited liability companies (“LLCs”) did not need to be licensed as real estate brokers to recover damages under R.C. 4735.21 for claims relating to real estate broker activities because the General Assembly did not include LLCs in the list of entities regulated by that statute and because an LLC does not qualify as a “person” under that statute based on the text and structure of the statute and the usage of those terms throughout the chapter.]
JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CAUSE REMANDED 
JUDGES: OPINION by WINKLER, J.; BOCK, P.J., CONCURS and BERGERON, J., CONCURS IN PART AND DISSENTS IN PART.
 
CAPTION:  STATE V. PALMER
APPEAL NO.: C-230412 
TRIAL NO.:  23TRC-1318A
KEY WORDS: RESTITUTION – EVIDENTIARY HEARING – DUE PROCESS –  ECONOMIC LOSS - EVIDENCE
SUMMARY: The trial court abused its discretion when ordering restitution where the victim did not appear at the restitution hearing, the state submitted unauthenticated exhibits in support of an award of restitution, and defendant raised significant questions as to the authenticity and relevance of the state’s restitution evidence: defendant was denied her due-process right to a meaningful opportunity to be heard because she was unable to cross-examine the victim about the unauthenticated exhibits submitted by the state. 
 The trial court abused its discretion in ordering restitution where there was insufficient evidence in the record to show that the economic loss sustained by the complaining witness was a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s conduct. [But see DISSENT: Because this case was disposed on its merits, the due-process issue was moot, and the analysis regarding the right to compel a victim’s testimony is dicta.] 
JUDGMENT: REVERSED AND CAUSE REMANDED
JUDGES:  OPINION by KINSLEY, J.; CROUSE, J., CONCURS and ZAYAS, 
P.J., CONCURS IN PART AND DISSENTS IN PART.       
 
CAPTION: STATE V. WEAVER
APPEAL NO.: C-230521
TRIAL NO.: B-1703089
KEY WORDS: SPEEDY TRIAL – SENTENCING – RAPE – R.C. 2929.14 – INTERSTATE AGREEMENT ON DETAINERS
SUMMARY: The trial court did not err in failing to dismiss defendant’s indictment for violation of his speedy-trial rights pursuant to the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, where defendant waived the issue by failing to raise it in the trial court and by entering guilty pleas. 
The trial court did not err in running defendant’s sentences for rape and gross sexual imposition consecutively to each other and consecutively to his federal sentence because the aggregate sentence was within the statutory bounds of R.C. 2929.14 and was otherwise supported by clear and convincing evidence. 
JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED 
JUDGES: OPINION by KINSLEY, J.; BOCK, P.J., and WINKLER, J., CONCUR. 
 
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