Scranton-Averell, Inc. v. Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer, CV 13 813694

CourtCourt of Common Pleas of Ohio
Writing for the CourtJOHN P. O'DONNELL JUDGE
PartiesSCRANTON-AVERELL, INC., Plaintiff-appellant v. CUYAHOGA COUNTY FISCAL OFFICER, et al., Defendants-appellees
Docket NumberCV 13 813694
Decision Date14 January 2014

SCRANTON-AVERELL, INC., Plaintiff-appellant
v.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY FISCAL OFFICER, et al., Defendants-appellees

No. CV 13 813694

Court of Common Pleas of Ohio, Cuyahoga

January 14, 2014


JOURNAL ENTRY DENYING THE FISCAL OFFICER'S MOTION TO DISMISS

JOHN P. O'DONNELL JUDGE

This is an administrative appeal by plaintiff-appellant Scranton-Averell, Inc. of an August 13, 2013, decision of the Cuyahoga County board of revision denying Scranton-Averell's request to reduce the appraised tax value of land it owns at 1515 Fairfield Avenue, Cleveland, designated as permanent parcel number 004 - 25 - 020.

The appeal was filed in this court on September 12, 2013. The Cuyahoga County fiscal officer and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, which intervened in the proceedings before the board of revision, are the only named defendants-appellees.

The Cuyahoga County fiscal officer has moved to dismiss the administrative appeal for want of jurisdiction. The fiscal officer bases the motion on his contention that section 5717.05 of the Ohio Revised Code requires service of the appeal by certified mail on the board of revision in order to invoke this court's jurisdiction. Specifically, the fiscal officer argues:

In order for the Appellant to perfect an appeal of the BOR's decision, it was required to file a notice of appeal and serve the same by certified mail on the Fiscal Officer, Board of Revision and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District . . . The BOR was not served with the notice of appeal. The Appellant's failure to comply with the statute deprives this Honorable Court of jurisdiction, and requires that the appeal be dismissed.[1]

The fiscal officer is misreading the statute. R.C. 5717.05 provides, in pertinent part:

[A]n appeal from the decision of a county board of revision may be taken directly to the court of common pleas . . . The county auditor and all parties to the proceeding before the board, other than the appellant filing the appeal in the court, shall be made appellees, and notice of the appeal shall be served upon them by certified mail unless waived.

The fiscal officer agrees that the board of revision does not need to be named as an appellee.[2] Yet the antecedent to the pronoun " them" as used in the statute is " appellees, " i.e., " the county auditor and all parties to the proceeding before the board." Distinctly not included in " them" -- the class of entities that the statute requires to be served with certified...

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