If you are an Ohio Landowner who participates in the CAUV program and would like to get more involved or have questions, please call Ben Calkins, initiating attorney and agriculture liaison, at 440-796-4592, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information is factual, based on public court records, and current as of February 1. 2018. This information will be updated periodically, but not daily. Updates will be dated.
Ben Calkins initiated the pending CAUV class action in May, 2015, after being approached several months earlier by several northeast Ohio farmers, including Bruce Vance and Frederick Pierce-Ruhland, with their concerns regarding Ohio’s application of the CAUV tax scheme. Ben Calkins has made arrangements to share updates regarding the case available to Ohio’s farmers and other interested parties.
Ben Calkins is a long-time sheep farmer as well as an established agricultural lawyer. While many other law firms and attorneys are today assisting with the case, Ben Calkins is the only farmer or agricultural lawyer on the legal “team” and has assumed responsibility for keeping both the class representative, named plaintiff farmers, as well as all other Ohio farmers and interested parties, informed regarding developments in this important case.
Real property taxes are increasingly a focus and area of tremendous concern for Ohio’s farmers as real property taxes have increased very substantially over the past decade while crop prices have been disappointing and the costs of production continue to increase.
Farmers and others with an interest in Ohio’s CAUV lawsuit and related matters should feel free to call or email attorney Ben Calkins. His telephone number is 440-796-4592 and his email address is BCalkins@CalkinsLawFirm.com.
CURRENT STATUS OF CASE
MARCH 1, 2018
On February 8, 2018, the Court issued an Amended Case Schedule formally granting the Joint Motion to Continue the Final Pretrial and Trial Dates. The Court rescheduled this case for a Final Pretrial Conference on April 12, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. and a Jury Trial on June 4, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.
HISTORY OF CASE
On January 22, 2018, Defendant Tax Commissioner of Ohio filed a Reply Brief in Support of Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court had scheduled a deadline to issue rulings on all motions on December 29, 2017. However, many motions are still pending as of February 1, 2018.
On January 15, 2018, the Plaintiffs filed a Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (based on Jurisdiction).
On December 22, 2017, the Plaintiffs and Defendants filed a Joint Motion to Continue the Final Pretrial and Trial Dates. The Court orally granted the Motion for Continuance, but new Final Pretrial and Trial dates are still pending. The Court instructed Plaintiffs’ counsel to contact all counsel and notify the Court of mutually agreeable dates for the new Final Pretrial Conference and Trial dates. The Court scheduled this matter for a Final Pretrial Conference on 01/18/2018 and Trial on 02/12/18.
On December 22, 2017, Defendant Tax Commissioner of Ohio filed a Motion for Leave to File First Amended Answer to Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Complaint to assert the defense that this case should be dismissed by the court as the plaintiff farmers failed to exhaust administrative remedies. This Motion remains pending.
The Court scheduled this case for a Final Pretrial Conference on January 18, 2018, and a Jury Trial on February 12, 2018.
On October 13, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Continue Limited Discovery. On October 23, 2017, Defendant Tax Commissioner of Ohio filed a Motion for Protective Order. On November 16, 2017, the Court issued a Decision and Entry Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion to Continue Limited Discovery and Denying Defendant Tax Commissioner of Ohio’s Motion for Protective Order.
Defendant Tax Commissioner of Ohio filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on May 12, 2017, seeking judgment because the equitable relief sought by the plaintiffs is not available from the defendant as, per the defendant, there exists no “fund” which holds the alleged overage of tax collections from which plaintiffs can recover. This motion is being contested by the Plaintiffs who have sought and conducted discovery on this issue.
The Plaintiffs filed an Initial Brief in Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment on July 23, 2017. The Motion remains pending. Thereafter, Plaintiffs filed a Memorandum in Opposition to this Motion for Summary Judgment on January 15, 2018. Defendant Tax Commissioner of Ohio has filed a reply.
This CAUV class action is pending in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Jenifer A. French, captioned Bruce A. Vance et al. v. Ohio State, et al., Case No. 16 CV 003295.
The case was filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on April 6, 2016, and captioned Bruce A. Vance, et al. v. Ohio State, et al., Case No. 16 CV 003295. A Second Amended Class Action Complaint was filed on November 10, 2016.
On September 15, 2015, the Defendants filed a Motion to Transfer Venue and Dismiss. The Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Leave to file a Second Amended Complaint on November 9, 2015. Following a hearing, the Court issued a Journal Entry on February 24, 2016, transferring the case to Franklin County.
On June 25, 2015, a Complaint was filed in the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, captioned Bruce A. Vance, et al. v. Joseph W. Testa, Commissioner, et al., Case No. 2015 CV 00363. The Complaint was Amended on July 27, 2015.
After being approached by Ohio Farmers, Ben Calkins researched and validated their concerns, and brought in Attorney Kevin Roberts to assist him with the case. Roberts then enlisted additional attorneys.
RELEVANT COURT DOCUMENTS
RELEVANT NEWS ARTICLES
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