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Major Change to Franklin County, Ohio Eviction Process: Landlord Testimony Required

Client Alert

Although there is currently a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020, the eviction process in Franklin County – which processes the highest number of evictions in the State of Ohio at approximately 18,000 a year – recently changed significantly. On September 3, 2020, the Tenth District Court of Appeals issued a decision holding that landlords and property managers must provide live testimony, as opposed to an affidavit, in order to evict a tenant. T&R Properties, Inc. v. Wimberly, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 19AP-567, 2020-Ohio-4279. This decision comes after the August 2019 eviction of Traci Wiberly, who was evicted from her Canal Winchester Apartment following a hearing in which neither she nor her landlord were present. Judgment was granted in favor of the landlord based solely on an affidavit, with no live testimony presented by either party in court. 

This decision overruled the 32-year old precedent set forth in Oakbrook Realty Corp. v. Blout, which was long interpreted by the Franklin County Municipal Court to “grant judgment on a forcible entry and detainer claim relying solely on the statements contained in an affidavit without any testimony being offered in open court. Wimberly at ¶46 citing Oakbrook Realty Corp v. Blout, 48 Ohio App. 3d 69 (Ohio Ct. App. 1988). The Wimberly decision rewrites a longstanding policy in Franklin County Municipal Court eviction proceedings. Now, live testimony must be given by the landlord and/or property manager in open court in an eviction proceeding, unless an enumerated exception applies. See Wimberly at ¶37.

If you have questions or need more information regarding the potential impact of the Wimberly decision, please contact your primary BMD attorney.


Community Banks: Collaboration, not isolation, is the key to protecting/ enhancing the cannabis business you pioneered

As we prepare for the plenary session of the informal institutional cannabis lenders community announced in my previous article, I am pleased to advise that participants now include 5 of the best-known dedicated loan funds; a select group of commercial banks ranging in size from single state community banks to mid-size regionals making cannabis loans into the mid-8 figures; and, a syndicator of credit union cannabis loans.

Inflation Reduction Act: Healthcare Provisions

On August 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (the “Act”), a landmark climate, healthcare, and tax bill. Though the Act’s climate provisions have received most of the media attention, the healthcare aspects of the Act present some of the most significant changes to the American healthcare system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The Current State of Assignment of Benefits Litigation in Florida

On May 25, 2022, Florida lawmakers approved property insurance reforms that remove attorney’s fees, with respect to assignment of benefits (“AOB”) property insurance litigation. One-way attorney’s fees are a longstanding problem in Florida and the reforms come at a time when AOB litigation increasingly affects homeowners in a negative way.

Proposed Community Revitalization Grants for Ohio Projects

Jason A. Butterworth client alert ohio tax credits historic preservation tax credits community revitalization grants

Ohio Senate Bill 225 Paves the Way for Greater Investment in Opportunity Zones and Historic Districts

Ohio Senate Bill 225 is poised to make dramatic enhancements to certain tax credit programs in Ohio, specifically those surrounding investments in “Opportunity Funds” and historic buildings. Signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in June 2022, the Bill is positive news for real estate developers working to revitalize Ohio communities with investment and rehabilitation projects.