On Thursday, May 9, 2024, Cynthia M. Lundeen filed an emergency verified complaint for writs of prohibition and mandamus with the Supreme Court of Ohio against Joan Synenberg, Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and Harold Pretel, Sheriff of Cuyahoga County Ohio.

The complaint involves a long-running foreclosure dispute between Lundeen and Wells Fargo Bank over a property located at 2380 Overlook Road in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Lundeen has lived at the property continuously since 1993 and claims she has never been properly served for the foreclosure case filed against her in 2016.

In the complaint, Lundeen alleges that Wells Fargo failed to properly serve her with the foreclosure summons and complaint, which is required to commence a legal case under Ohio civil rules. She states that the only attempt at service was regular mail on January 16, 2017, which was after the one-year deadline to serve had passed on January 8, 2017. Due to lack of service, Lundeen argues the foreclosure case was never properly commenced against her.

Additionally, Lundeen claims that even if the case was commenced, Wells Fargo did not obtain a final order of sale and sell the property before the six-year statute of limitations expired on January 8, 2022. Under Ohio law, a bank must execute a foreclosure judgment, which includes selling the property, within six years of accelerating the loan.

In her complaint, Lundeen is requesting several writs against the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge and sheriff. This includes writs of prohibition to prevent a sheriff’s sale of the property, as well as confirmation of any sale. She is also seeking a writ of mandamus ordering the judge to issue a quiet title ruling declaring Wells Fargo has no legal claim to the property.

Lundeen maintains she has a clear legal right to the relief requested, given the defendants’ lack of authority to sell her home due to failures to properly commence the case or execute the foreclosure judgment in a timely manner. She argues the six-year statute of limitations has run out, making any foreclosure judgment void.

The dispute’s convoluted procedural history dates back to January 2016 and involves ongoing litigation up through the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and Eighth District Court of Appeals. Lundeen now seeks intervention from the Ohio Supreme Court, arguing extraordinary relief is necessary to prevent the loss of her family home of over 30 years. A decision from the high court could have broad implications for due process and time limitation rules in Ohio foreclosure cases.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.