Steel Capital Steel, LLC v. Williams

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 02-11-2015
  • Case #: A152566
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J., for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; and Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORCP 26 A, a court must allow a reasonable time for the substitution of a real party in interest once the objection has been raised. The denial of an ORCP 71 B motion may not be considered on appeal unless a new or amended notice of appeal is filed, where a party received a general judgment, filed an ORCP 71 B motion for relief, filed a notice of appeal of the general judgment, and the ORCP 71 B motion was denied.

Defendant Patricia Williams, was the subject of an action for forcible entry and detainer initiated by TD Service Company (TD) when she refused to vacate property after it was foreclosed and sold. Williams objected that TD was not the real party in interest because TD was an agent of the property’s owner Steel Capital Steel, LLC (Steel). The trial judge determined TD was the manager for the property owned by Steel, who had hired TD to provide services including eviction of Williams. TD moved to substitute Steel as the real party in interest; Williams objected on the ground that the motion could have been made earlier to avoid time and expense. The court (1) determined it did not need to determine whether TD was a real party in interest because “there’s . . . been a ratification” by Steel and (2) granted TD’s motion to substitute Steel. After trial and closing arguments, Steel asked the court to issue a judgment of restitution, to which Williams asked for a reasonable period of time to leave the premises. The trial court entered a judgment against Williams for Steel for restitution plus costs and disbursements. Williams moved for relief from the judgment under ORCP 71 B on the basis of surprise caused by the substitution of Steel during trial. Williams also filed a notice of appeal of the general judgment. The trial court denied Williams’s motion for relief. On appeal, Williams argued the trial court erred (1) in substituting Steel because it resulted in unfair surprise, (2) when it did not allow Williams additional time for discovery after the substitution, and (3) when it denied Williams’s ORCP 71 B motion. The Court held (1) the trial court did not err in allowing the substitution of Steel because, under ORCP 26 A, the court must allow a reasonable time for the substitution of the real party in interest; (2) the trial court did not err by allowing the trial to go forward after Steel was substituted because Williams did not request additional time for discovery, thus the argument was not preserved for appeal; and (3) the ORCP 71 B motion could not be considered because Williams did not file a new or amended notice of appeal. Affirmed.

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