Ohio Supreme Court Holds Website Notice of Sheriff’s Sale Does Not Satisfy Due Process


On September 6, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that notice of a sheriff’s sale via the sheriff’s website was insufficient to satisfy due process and reversed an appellate court decision that denied a foreclosing lender’s motion to set aside the sheriff’s sale. PHH Mortg. Corp. v. Prater, No. CA2010-12-095, WL 3848454 (Ohio Sept. 6, 2012). The lender obtained a motion for default judgment and permission to foreclose on a borrower. The sheriff’s office tried multiple times to schedule a sale and each time withdrew the sale at the lender’s request. The sheriff’s office informed the lender in a letter that the sheriff’s office no longer would send notices of scheduled sales via letter, and that the lender would need to check the sheriff’s website for future notices. Notice subsequently was posted on the website and the property was sold. Both the trial court and intermediate appellate court denied the lender’s request to set aside the sale. The lender argued that the sale was invalid because it had not received written notice. In a unanimous decision, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the notice directing the lender to check the sheriff’s website was notice of a change in procedure and did not constitute actual notice of the sale. While the court acknowledged that Internet publication may conserve resources, it held that such notice is akin to newspaper notice and is insufficient to satisfy due process. The court agreed with a dissenting appellate court judge who identified e-mail notice as a closer substitute for mail notice, and explained that, in any event, such a change in notice requirements would have to be effectuated through a change to state or local law. The court reversed the appellate court’s decision and set aside the sheriff’s sale.


Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© BuckleySandler LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.