On Tuesday, July 15, 2022, Appellant Huber Heights Veterans Club, Inc filed a brief entitled Appeal regarding Common Pleas Court Judge Richard S. Skelton in the Supreme Court of Ohio. The case is styled as ‘Huber Heights Veterans Club, Inc v. Hon. Richard S. Skelton’ with case number #2022-0677.
The appellant’s allegations include violations of judicial canon Rule 1.1, Rule 2.6, Rule 2.7, and Rule 2.9. These ethics rules generally require:
A judge shall comply with the law.
A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person’s lawyer the right to be heard according to law.
A judge shall hear and decide matters assigned to the judge, except when disqualification is required by Rule 2.11 or other law.
A judge shall not initiate, receive, permit or consider ex parte Communications.
A judge shall not investigate facts in a matter independently and shall consider only the evidence presented and any facts that may properly be judicially noticed.
A judge shall make reasonable efforts, including providing appropriate supervision to ensure that this rule is not violated by court staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control.
The judicial canons can be found here.
In the brief, Appellant Huber Heights Veterans Club, Inc alleged that
“On December 13, 2021, Plaintiff filed a motion for partial summary judgment asking for judgment on the question of liability and for the scheduling of a jury trial to determine the issue of damages. Plaintiff included as evidence in support of its motion exhibits (A) a copy of the fraudulent deed executed by and to the defendants. (B) a copy of the deed from Plaintiff to Plaintiff in its current name; and (C), (D) & (E) affidavits of Plaintiff’s President, Plaintiff’s Secretary, and a Trustee. The affidavits confirm the allegations of the complaint as to the defendants’ acts of fraud and larceny. Defendants filed a response but did not address or refute any of the issues or claims set forth in the Plaintiff’s complaint.”
The brief goes on:
“On March 10, 2022, Defendants filed a joint motion for summary judgment on their counterclaim for vexatious litigation. The motion failed to address the claims of the plaintiff’s complaint and motion for partial summary judgment. The defendant’s motion did not show or attempt to show that Plaintiff’s complaint was frivolous or baseless. There was no claim of any prior litigation between the parties and no claim that the defendants were in any way concerned or affected by the fact that Plaintiff’s counsel had filed previous unrelated actions on behalf of Plaintiff. Plaintiff filed a response to Defendant’s motion on March 22, 2022, and at that time reasserted Plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment and a trial on the merits of Plaintiff’s claim for damages. Plaintiff also submitted copies of the unanswered interrogatories and requests for admissions which Plaintiff had submitted to each defendant.”
The brief also reads:
“On May 6, 2022 Defendants’ counsel prepared and submitted to the court a proposed decision and order on the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the matter of vexatious conduct. The decision and order ignored the issues of the complaint and made no finding of fact to support a claim of vexatious conduct.”
Lastly from the brief:
“The primary concern of the complaint is the lack of adjudication on the merits of the complaint in the trial court. Of subordinate or secondary concern is the matter of vexatious conduct since it must first be determined that the complaint is without merit before the matter of vexatious conduct can be considered. The trial court’s order granting an order of vexatious conduct is claimed to be invalid inasmuch as it did not include an adjudication of the claims presented by the plaintiff. The court’s order did not include a determination of no just reason for the delay and therefore, pursuant to rule. did not adjudicate any of the rights and liabilities of any of the parties. The Court of Appeals, however, on its own initiative and without authorization of law, improperly took notice of the disputed order of vexatious conduct. The court, without evidence or consideration of the complaint, determined that Petitioner and Petitioner’s counsel were prohibited from filing the complaint and dismissed the complaint. In doing so the Court violated its duty to hear and determine the Petitioner’s complaint and denied to Petitioner its constitutional right of access to all courts and to due process.”
Appellant Huber Heights Veterans Club, Inc requested that the decision should be reversed and the cause remanded for a determination of the Petitioner’s complaint.
The Judge earned a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1988.
The Judge is in Courtroom 9, 41 N Perry St in Dayton, and can be reached at (937) 225-4368 https://www.montcourt.oh.gov/about-our-courts/general-division-judges/richard-s-skelton/
Please contact AbusiveDiscretion for access to a copy of this filing.