Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

June 12, 2014

Ohio Court Finds that Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Foreclosure Complaint did not Deprive it of Jurisdiction Over Defendants and Their TILA Claims

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Wick, 2013-Ohio-5422 (Ohio Ct. App., Cuyahoga County, 2013) found that the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s foreclosure complaint did not deprive it of jurisdiction over defendants and their TILA claims, as these claims were separate and independent of the foreclosure complaint.

The Wicks claimed that the trial court erred in dismissing all of their counterclaims, cross-claims, and third-party claims when it dismissed Wells Fargo’s foreclosure complaint for failure to invoke the court’s jurisdiction. In ruling on the Wicks’ motion for reconsideration, however, this court determined that, with the exception of the TILA claims, the trial court’s dismissal of the Wicks’ claims was without prejudice and, therefore, as it related to those non-TILA claims, the trial court’s dismissal was not a final, appealable order.

On appeal, this court determined in considering the merits of the case, that a proper and validly asserted counterclaim is not extinguished by a plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of its claims when the court has jurisdiction to proceed on the counterclaim. This court found, therefore, that where the court has jurisdiction over the parties and over the controversy, the borrowers’ counterclaim that does not arise from the note or mortgage can remain pending for independent adjudication.

Similarly, this court found that the trial court’s conclusion in this case that it lacked jurisdiction over the foreclosure claim because the bank lacked standing did not extinguished the Wicks’ proper and validly asserted claims.

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