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City of Cleveland v. The Bank of New York
2010-CRB-45655
 
April 16, 2012 Judgment Entry
Defendant failed to appear in a criminal case. The Court found Defendant in indirect civil contempt and ordered sanction $1,000 per day until Defendant appeared and entered a plea. Defendant purged itself of the contempt after 62 days.

In weighing Defendant’s failure to appear for 62 days, with the fact that the underlying criminal complaint alleged on-going violations, that Defendant promptly paid its underlying fine and court costs in full, and Defendant’s overall record of appearance in subsequently filed cases, the Court granted Defendant’s Motion to Mitigate, in part, and suspended all but $6200 of the per diem sanctions.

City of Cleveland v. The Bank of New York
2010-CRB-33918
 
April 16, 2012 Judgment Entry
Defendant failed to appear in a criminal case. The Court found defendant in indirect civil contempt and ordered sanction of $1,000 per day until Defendant appeared and entered a plea. Defendant purged itself of the contempt after 209 days.

In weighing Defendant’s failure to appear for 209 days, with the fact that the underlying criminal complaint did not allege on-going violations, that Defendant promptly paid its underlying fine and court costs in full, and Defendant’s overall record of appearance in subsequently filed cases, the Court granted Defendant’s Motion to Mitigate, in part, and suspended but $20,900 of the per diem sanctions previously ordered.

City of Cleveland v. Federal National Mortgage Association, 2009-CRB-41868 
July 22, 2010 Entry and Order 
September 15, 2010 Entry 
October 7, 2010 Entry
On August 12, 2010 and September 22, 2010, hearings were held in the case City of Cleveland v. Federal National Mortgage Association (Case No. 2009-CRB-41868) on the issue of victim restitution. Ohio Revised Code 2929.28(A)(1), and the cases that interpret it, limit restitution to a victim’s economic losses that directly result from Defendant’s criminal conduct as charged and convicted.

The Defendant was previously found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of $25,000 and restitution for building and housing code violations at 4809 East 173rd Street, Cleveland, Ohio. At the August 12 hearing, three residents identified themselves as victims of the Defendant’s conduct. The residents testified about the impact of the property on them and their property values. The Court determined that the neighbors were victims of Defendant’s conduct generally, but that the evidence before it did not show that the neighbors had suffered the kind of losses covered by the statute. The Court was unable, therefore, to award restitution to the neighbors.

The City of Cleveland also presented two claims as victims: a claim for inspection costs and a claim for reduced tax revenue. In a previous ruling, the Court, following numerous cases denying restitution to government institutions, determined that the City was not entitled to restitution for inspection costs, but that the City had other ways to recover its costs. The City declined to present evidence on its tax revenue claim at hearing on September 22. The Court was unable, therefore, to award restitution to the City on any of its claims.

City of Cleveland v. Go Invest Wisely, LLC, 2010-CRB-09822 
July 22, 2010 Entry and Order 
September 15, 2010 Entry 
October 7, 2010 Entry
On September 22, 2010, a hearing was conducted in the case of City of Cleveland v. Go Invest Wisely (2010-CRB-9822) on the issue of victim restitution. Defendant was previously found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of $915,000 for extensive building and housing code violations at 841 East 141st Street, Cleveland, Ohio. No residents came forward to claim restitution in this case.
At the hearing, the City presented presented two claims as victims: a claim for maintenance costs and a claim for reduced tax revenue. In a previous ruling, the Court, following numerous cases denying restitution to government institutions, determined that the City was not entitled to restitution for maintenance costs, but that the City had other ways to recover its costs. The City declined to present evidence on its tax revenue claim at hearing on September 22. The Court was unable, therefore, to award restitution to the City on any of its claims.

City of Cleveland v. Celestia Terrace, LTD 
Case No. 2009 CRB 13214, April 15, 2010

The Court held, in response to a motion to purge civil contempt or in the alternative to vacate sanctions, that a corporate defendant found in contempt for failure to appear was not entitled to have per diem fines vacated once the corporation did appear and purge itself of contempt. Corporations, just like individuals, are required to appear when properly summoned and notified. Per diem fines for a corporation in contempt, like days in jail for an individual, cannot simply be returned upon the defendant’s eventual appearance. The Court also considered defendant’s motion as requesting mitigation and granted, in part, the motion to mitigate. In all future cases, the Court held, defendants must submit a separate motion to mitigate.

City of Cleveland v. AMC Mortgage Services 
Case No. 2008 CRB 35039, January 12, 2010

The Court held that a bank who did not agree to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure from a customer did not become owner of the property when the customer brought the proposed deed to the County Recorder’s Office and had it recorded without the bank’s permission. The bank did not take title to the property under these circumstances because the deed was never delivered to the bank or accepted by the bank, and because the bank never took possession of the property. The bank was not guilty of the charge that it failed to make repairs as ordered because it was not the owner, was not a mortgagee in possession and was not directly in control of the property

City of Cleveland v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. 
Case No. 2008 CRB 42526, January 11, 2010

The Court found that a bank who holds a recorded title to a vacant property is responsible to repair that property when the City, after checking the county’s title records, discovers that the bank has a recorded title and then issues to the bank a notice of violations order the bank to make repairs. The fact that the bank prepared and signed a quitclaim deed transferring the title to another company instead of making the repairs was not a defense to the City’s criminal complaint alleging that bank failed in its duty to make the ordered repairs. The bank was guilty as charged and could be sentenced to pay a fine for its failure to make repairs.

City of Cleveland v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. 
Case No. 2009 CRB 11051 January 12, 2010

The Court found that a bank who takes title to a vacant property become responsible to make repairs to that property based on a city’s violation notice issued to the prior owner but binding on the bank as a subsequent purchaser. The Court found that this responsibility begins when a court hearing a foreclosure confirms the sale of the property to the bank (or any other purchaser). The fact that the purchaser at a foreclosure sale delays recording its deed does not excuse the purchaser from its obligation to make repairs beginning when it takes ownership.