Expedited Delinquent Tax Foreclosure Hearing Rules and Procedures
Hearing Rules & Procedures,
Rev. Effective Date 11/01/17
The Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (“BOR”) hears expedited delinquent tax foreclosure cases for vacant and abandoned real property in lieu of the judicial foreclosure process. Pursuant to section 323.66 (B) (1) of the Ohio Revised Code (“Revised Code”) rules adopted by the BOR shall be limited to rules relating to hearing procedures, the scheduling and location of proceedings, case management and practice forms. The BOR follows the authority found in Chapter 323 and Titles 53 & 57 of the Revised Code, to carry out the intended function of expedited foreclosures while providing due process to those affected.
Rule 1. Commencement of Case; Pleadings; Service of Process
1.1 A Plaintiff prepares and files a complaint (“Complaint”) with the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts (“Clerk of Courts”) for the foreclosure of a property tax lien, naming those Defendants it has identified to be necessary parties after examination of title.
1.2 Plaintiff provides notice and service to all necessary parties in compliance with Rules 4 and 5 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.
1.3 At any time before adjudication of foreclosure, Plaintiff may amend or supplement its complaint and complete service as necessary under Ohio Civil Rules 4 & 5. Plaintiff must file amended or supplemental complaints with the Clerk of Court, Board of Revision and copy service to all parties.
Rule 2. Motions and Other Preliminary Matters
2.1 Unless otherwise provided by law, motions must be filed with the Clerk of Court and the BOR, with notice issued to all parties named in the complaint, not later than (14) fourteen days prior to the final hearing. Failure to file a timely motion with the Clerk of Court and the BOR may result in summary denial.
A. Parties shall have (7) seven days to file a response with the Clerk of Court and the BOR, with notice to all named parties.
B. The BOR may schedule a special hearing to hear oral arguments on any matter.
C. All decisions by the BOR shall be journalized and filed with the Clerk of Court.
2.2 The BOR has the discretion to allow documentary evidence to supplement the record at any hearing.
2.3 Requests for the BOR to exercise its subpoena authority must be filed with the Clerk of Court and the BOR, with notice issued to all parties named in the complaint, not later than (15) fifteen days prior to the final hearing date. The BOR will consider the request and determine whether a subpoena will be issued.
Rule 3. Transfer to a Court
3.1 The Revised Code permits parties to request transfer of an expedited foreclosure case from the BOR to a court of competent jurisdiction in certain limited circumstances.
3.2 Prior to adjudication, the BOR may order a matter transferred to a court of competent jurisdiction if it determines, given the complexity of the case or other circumstances, that a court would be a more appropriate forum for the action.
Rule 4. Expedited Delinquent Tax Foreclosure Hearing
4.1 Upon motion of the Plaintiff the BOR shall conduct a final hearing on the merits of the Complaint. Notice of the hearing, including the date, time, and location, is provided by the Clerk of Courts and/or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
4.2 Expedited delinquent tax foreclosure cases are heard before a panel consisting of three (3) BOR hearing officers, who shall hear all witness testimony under oath or affirmation. All hearings are recorded according to law. A quorum shall consist of two (2) BOR hearing officers, which shall constitute the minimum number of hearing officers required to conduct proceedings.
4.3 An Assistant County Prosecutor will represent the Treasurer at the hearing and present evidence. The Treasurer will testify regarding the total impositions, fair market value, and whether there is any Community Development Organization or Municipal interest in the property.
4.4 Parties appearing for an expedited delinquent tax foreclosure hearing may testify before the BOR and may be represented by legal counsel.
4.5 Requests for a continuance, including oral motions made at the final hearing, shall be considered at the discretion of the BOR.
Rule 5. Impositions & Challenges
5.1 The BOR may rely on the Treasurer’s testimony to determine the amount and validity of impositions against the subject property. The parties have the opportunity to challenge the amount and/or validity of the impositions alleged in the Complaint, and may submit factual documentation demonstrating measures taken on their part to resolve the outstanding impositions.
5.2 The BOR may call additional witnesses and/or consider evidence to determine the amount and/or the validity of any imposition. The BOR has the authority to remove from the tax duplicate impositions it finds are not valid or those not supported by a preponderance of the evidence, but where impositions remain, the case will proceed to adjudication.
Rule 6. Essential Findings
6.1 If the BOR determines that a decree of foreclosure is warranted, a final decision shall include the following findings and orders:
A. The subject property is “delinquent land” pursuant to section 5721.01 and/or “abandoned land” as defined in section 323.65 (a) and as used in sections 323.65 to 323.78 of the Revised Code.
B. Taxes and other impositions are due, owing, and delinquent and that the subject property should be foreclosed according to law.
C. Whether the aggregate amount of impositions against the subject property exceeds the fair market value of the subject property.
D. An order to execute the foreclosure by sheriff’s sale, direct transfer or other appropriate exercise of power upon the entry of an adjudication of delinquency and foreclosure.
Rule 7. Post Judgment
7.1 Parties may appeal a BOR decision, by filing an appeal in the Court of Common Pleas within (14) fourteen days after a final order of foreclosure and forfeiture is journalized by the Clerk of Courts.
7.2 The BOR has continuing jurisdiction according to law.