Following the publicized overhaul of the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, property owners and practitioners alike should be aware of the Board’s recent changes in procedures regarding hearing notices to Complainants, in addition to the implementation of the Board’s updated Rules of Valuation Procedure (which quietly went into effect December 2011).
When a property owner has filed a Complaint seeking a reduction in excess of $50,000 market value in valuation on their property, under Ohio Revised Code 5715.19(B), the Board of Revision must notify the affected school district of the filing of the Complaint and afford them the opportunity to file a Counter-Complaint in opposition. In contrast, there is no requirement under the ORC requiring the Board of Revision to notify the Complainant of the filing of the Counter-Complaint. Instead, in past years, the Board of Revision would “informally” notify a property owner that a Counter-Complaint had been filed by sending the property owner a copy of the hearing docket before the scheduled hearing referencing both the Complaint and Counter-Complaint.
Under their updated procedures, the County Board of Revision has stopped distributing hearing dockets to Complainants. Instead, under Section IV (C) of their updated Rules of Valuation Procedure, the Board of Revision relies upon the counsel for a Counter-Complainant to contact the Complainant. Counsel is now required to certify to the Board of Revision that they served a copy of the Counter-Complaint to the Complainant at the address as stated on the Complaint. This rule went into effect beginning with the Counter-Complaints that were filed in May 2012. Knowledge of, and compliance with, the new rule this past spring was spotty. Of course, ignorance of the pending Counter-Complaint is no excuse for a Complainant’s failure to serve the Counter-Complainant with evidence in advance of the hearing.
Property owners and practitioners seeking a reduction in value in excess of $50,000 in market value before a Board of Revision should ASSUME that they are being opposed and should contact the Board of Revision to inquire if there has been a Counter-Complaint filed in their case (http://www.bor.cuyahogacounty.us/find_complaint.asp) and should closely follow the Board’s rules.