SW Legal Educational Publishing

Details of Sheriff's Sale of Property Need Not Be Included in Proper Notice to Lienholders
Description Ohio high court held that an existing court procedure, where recorded lienholders of property are provided legal notice of sheriff sale of property to settle claims against the property, is adequate due process to notify the party of the need to appear to defend their rights to the property.
Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words Lienholder Rights; Due Process; Judgment Liens
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Creditors initiated a foreclosure action. They held judgment liens covering certain property obtained against the owner of the property. KeyBank had a mortgage on the property and was served the complaint but did not respond. The trial court issued a notice of foreclosure on a specific date and, again, KeyBank was served. The court entered judgment on the foreclosure and ordered the sheriff to sell the property, noting that KeyBank failed to respond. The property was sold and the judgment lienholders were paid. Later, KeyBank appeared for the first time and moved to vacate the previous actions. The issue of who had priority was appealed to the Ohio high court.
Decision There were no deprivations of due process, so the judgment of the trial court is valid. KeyBank claims the notice was insufficient because it did not specify the date, time and location of the sheriff's sale. "Due process requires that persons whose property interests are jeopardized by the filing of legal proceedings be given notice reasonably calculated ... to apprise those persons of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections." KeyBank was properly notified but failed to respond, so its mortgage lien, which had priority over the judgment liens, was lost. More detailed notice would not have affected the outcome, as KeyBank had been fully notified more than once of the claims against the property and the pending sale by the sheriff.
Citation Galt Alloys, Inc. v. KeyBank N.A., 708 N.E.2d 701 (Sup. Ct., Ohio, 1999)

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