Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

December 10, 2013

Ohio Court Finds That Plaintiffs Were Not Bona Fide Purchasers

By Ebube Okoli

The Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth Appellate District, in deciding Bank of N.Y. Mellon v. Casey, 2013-Ohio-4686 (Ohio Ct. App., Fairfield County Oct. 21, 2013) affirmed the lower court’s judgment and held that the plaintiffs were not bona fide purchasers and the defendants had standing.

The court found that under the doctrine of lis pendens plaintiffs were not bona fide purchasers of a property encumbered by the mortgage because they took title during the pendency of a declaratory judgment action to which they were a party. Consequently, they did not take the property free from unrecorded liens. The claim that the mortgage was invalid was barred by res judicata as the validity of the mortgage was fully litigated in the declaratory judgment action.

Lastly, the court found that the defendant had standing to seek the foreclosure, as it was the current holder of the note and mortgage, and that it had physical possession of the note and mortgage documents.

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