323.69 Complaint for foreclosure - dismissal by board.

(A) Upon the completion of the title search required by section 323.68 of the Revised Code, the prosecuting attorney, representing the county treasurer, the county land reutilization corporation, or the certificate holder may file with the clerk of court a complaint for the foreclosure of each parcel of abandoned land appearing on the abandoned land list , and for the equity of redemption on each parcel. The complaint shall name all parties having any interest of record in the abandoned land that was discovered in the title search.

(B)

(1) In accordance with Civil Rule 4, the clerk of court promptly shall serve notice of the summons and the complaint filed under division (A) of this section to the last known address of the record owner of the abandoned land and to the last known address of each lienholder or other person having a legal or equitable ownership interest or security interest of record identified by the title search. The notice shall inform the addressee that delinquent taxes stand charged against the abandoned land; that the land will be sold at public auction or otherwise disposed of if not redeemed by the owner or other addressee; that the sale or transfer will occur at a date, time, and place, and in the manner prescribed in sections 323.65 to 323.79 of the Revised Code; that the owner or other addressee may redeem the land by paying the total of the impositions against the land at any time before confirmation of sale or transfer of the parcel as prescribed in sections 323.65 to 323.79 of the Revised Code or before the expiration of the alternative redemption period, as may be applicable to the proceeding; that the case is being prosecuted by the prosecuting attorney of the county in the name of the county treasurer for the county in which the abandoned land is located or by a certificate holder, whichever is applicable; of the name, address, and telephone number of the county board of revision before which the action is pending; of the board case number for the action, which shall be maintained in the official file and docket of the clerk of court; and that all subsequent pleadings, petitions, and papers associated with the case and filed by any interested party must be filed with the clerk of court and will become part of the case file for the board of revision.

(2) The notice required by division (B)(1) of this section also shall inform the addressee that any owner of record may, at any time on or before the twentieth day after service of process is perfected, file a pleading with the clerk of court requesting that the board dismiss the complaint and order that the abandoned land identified in the notice be removed from the abandoned land list . The notice shall further inform the addressee that, upon filing such a pleading to remove the abandoned land from that list, the abandoned land will be removed from the list and cannot thereafter be disposed of under sections 323.65 to 323.79 of the Revised Code, until the record owner of the abandoned land who is provided notice under division (B)(1) of this section sells or otherwise conveys the owner's ownership interest, and that any future attempts to collect delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and charges owed with respect to that land and appearing on the delinquent tax list or delinquent vacant land tax list, whichever the case may be, will be conducted in accordance with the judicial foreclosure proceedings and other remedies and procedures prescribed under sections 323.25 to 323.28 or under Chapters 5721., 5722., and 5723. of the Revised Code until the record owner sells or otherwise conveys the owner's ownership interest.

(C) Subsequent pleadings, motions, or papers associated with the case and filed with the clerk of court shall be served upon all parties of record in accordance with Civil Rules 4 and 5, except that service by publication in any case requiring such service shall require that any such publication shall be advertised in the manner, and for the time periods and frequency, prescribed in section 5721.18 of the Revised Code. A party that fails to appear after being served with notice of a final or interim hearing, by publication or otherwise, shall be deemed to be in default, and no further service as to any subsequent proceedings is required on such a party. Any inadvertent noncompliance with those rules does not serve to defeat or terminate the case, or subject the case to dismissal, as long as actual notice or service of filed papers is shown by a preponderance of the evidence or is acknowledged by the party charged with notice or service, including by having made an appearance or filing in relation to the case. The county board of revision may conduct evidentiary hearings on the sufficiency of process, service of process, or sufficiency of service of papers in any proceeding arising from a complaint filed under this section. Other than the notice and service provisions contained in Civil Rules 4 and 5, the Rules of Civil Procedure shall not be applicable to the proceedings of the board. The board of revision may utilize procedures contained in the Rules of Civil Procedure to the extent that such use facilitates the needs of the proceedings, such as vacating orders, correcting clerical mistakes, and providing notice to parties. To the extent not otherwise provided in sections 323.65 to 323.79 of the Revised Code, the board may apply the procedures prescribed by sections 323.25 to 323.28 or Chapters 5721., 5722., and 5723. of the Revised Code. Board practice shall be in accordance with the practice and rules, if any, of the board that are promulgated by the board under section 323.66 of the Revised Code and are not inconsistent with sections 323.65 to 323.79 of the Revised Code.

(D) At any time after a foreclosure action is filed under this section, the county board of revision may, upon its own motion, dismiss the case without prejudice if it determines that, given the complexity of the case or other circumstances, a court would be a more appropriate forum for the action.

Effective Date: 09-28-2006; 2008 SB353 04-07-2009