Wadesisi v. Catholic Diocese of Cleveland et al
Opinion and Order signed by Judge James S. Gwin on 9/16/22. The Court GRANTS Defendant Shill's motion to dismiss. re 20 (T,A)
Case: 1:22-cv-00422-JG Doc #: 50 Filed: 09/16/22 1 of 5. PageID #: 498
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF
CLEVELAND, et al.,
CASE NO. 1‐:22‐CV‐422
OPINION & ORDER
[Resolving Doc. 20]
JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE:
In this action against multiple defendants with ties to the Cleveland Catholic
Diocese, Plaintiff Tatu Wadesisi alleges that a maintenance worker at her Catholic church
sexually abused her while she was a minor. Relevant to this motion, Wadesisi also says that
two members of the Catholic clergy made inappropriate comments about her appearance
and desirability while she was a minor.
As part of this case, Plaintiff Wadesisi sues Defendant Suzanne Schill, the estate
fiduciary of now-deceased Deacon William E. Schill.
Defendant Schill now moves to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6)
on the grounds that William Schill’s estate is closed and that, as a matter of law, Plaintiff
cannot to state a claim against the estate.
For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant Schill’s motion to dismiss.
Case: 1:22-cv-00422-JG Doc #: 50 Filed: 09/16/22 2 of 5. PageID #: 499
At age 14, Plaintiff Tatu Wadesisi became a server for her congregation at St. Colman’s
Church.2 St. Colman’s is a member-church of the Cleveland Diocese.3 Shortly after Wadesisi
began as a St. Colman’s server, St. Colman’s hired Defendant Brandon MacDowell as a
Defendant Robert Begin, a priest at St. Colman’s, gave maintenance worker
MacDowell supervision over Wadesisi whenever she came to the church to prepare for
Mass.5 MacDowell and Wadesisi spent large amounts of time together. Years after Plaintiff
Wadesisi began working at the church, MacDowell began a sexual relationship with
Wadesisi when she was 17.6
As to the claim against decedent Schill, Plaintiff alleges that in Spring 2017, and
before MacDowell began having sex with Wadesisi, MacDowell told Wadesisi that Deacon
William Schill had made comments about Plaintiff being a “looker.”7 At some point after
MacDowell told Wadesisi about William Schill’s comments, William Schill died. His death
certificate was filed with the Lorain County Probate Court on July 21, 2021.8 Plaintiff’s
Amended Complaint does not specifically allege William Schill’s death date.9
The Court discusses the factual background of this case only as necessary to resolve the instant motion. The Court takes
as true all well-pleaded factual allegations when deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, and nothing in this factual
background section should be construed as the Court's findings of fact.
Doc. 15 at ¶¶ 21–22.
Id. at ¶ 19.
Id. at ¶ 23.
Id. at ¶¶ 24–26.
Id. at ¶¶ 37–52.
Id. at ¶36.
“COPY OF DEATH CERTIFICATE,” Estate of William E. Schill, Lorain P.C. No. 2021ES00773 (July 21, 2021). The Court takes
judicial notice of Schill’s death certificate on the Lorain County Probate Court’s docket. See Lynch v. Leis, 382 F.3d 642,
647 n.5 (6th Cir. 2004) (taking judicial notice of municipal court records).
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On March 16, 2022, Wadesisi brought claims for breach of fiduciary duty,
negligence, and gross negligence against the Cleveland Catholic Diocese for not
safeguarding her.10 On June 17, 2022, she amended her complaint but did not substantively
alter the claims relevant here.11
Wadesisi apparently sues the Schill estate because William Schill commented to
MacDowell that Plaintiff Wadesisi was attractive.12 Plaintiff Wadesisi does not allege that
William Schill otherwise inappropriately engaged with Wadesisi.13
On June 28, 2022, Defendant Schill moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim.14
Schill contends that Plaintiff has “incorrectly named [her] as the Fiduciary of the Estate of
Deacon William E. Schill” and that she cannot be sued because William Schill’s estate is
closed.15 Plaintiff did not file an opposition to Defendant Schill’s motion.
When considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the Court
construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, accepting its
allegations as true, and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of finding the
complaint sufficient.16 To survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must allege
sufficient facts “to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.”17 Plaintiff’s factual
pleadings must “allow the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
See Doc. 15.
See id. at ¶¶ 108, 130, 154.
Cates v. Crystal Clear Techs., LLC, 874 F.3d 530, 534 (6th Cir. 2017) (quoting Bikerstaff v. Lucarelli, 830 F.3d 388, 396
(6th Cir. 2016)).
See Nikolao v. Lyon, 875 F.3d 310, 317 (6th Cir. 2017) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
Case: 1:22-cv-00422-JG Doc #: 50 Filed: 09/16/22 4 of 5. PageID #: 501
liable for the misconduct alleged.”18 A plaintiff who fails to respond to a motion to
dismiss waives her arguments opposing the motion.19
Failure to state a claim
Defendant Schill argues that the closing of William Schill’s estate stops this case as
against Defendant Suzanne Schill. Generally, under Ohio law an estate closure stops
claims against the estate.
However, Ohio gives a limited set of circumstances that allow a fiduciary account to
be reopened.20 In general, Ohio R.C. § 2117.06 requires an estate creditor make a
written claim against the estate within six months of the decedent’s death. If a written
claim has been made within six months, Ohio allows the estate to be reopened as to the
written claim upon a showing of good cause.21
The Amended Complaint does not give sufficient information to allege whether
Wadesisi shows good cause to reopen Schill’s estate.
However, the Court need not reach the issue of whether Plaintiff can seek or has
sought to reopen William Schill’s estate. Under R.C. § 2117.06, a creditor of an estate
must present their claim in writing to the executor or administrator of an estate within six
months after a decedent's death.22 Otherwise, the creditor's claim is “forever barred” and
“no action shall be maintained on the claim, except as otherwise provided in sections
Smith v. Bd. of Trustees Lakeland Cmty. Coll., 746 F. Supp. 2d 877, 889 (N.D. Ohio 2010) (quoting Ashcroft, 556 U.S.
Humphrey v. U.S. Att'y Gen.'s Off., 279 F. App'x 328, 331 (6th Cir. 2008) (“[W]here, as here, plaintiff has not raised
arguments in the district court by virtue of his failure to oppose defendants' motions to dismiss, the arguments have been
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2109.35 (West).
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2109.35 (West).
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2117.06(A)(1) (West), Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2117.06(C) (West).
Case: 1:22-cv-00422-JG Doc #: 50 Filed: 09/16/22 5 of 5. PageID #: 502
2117.37 to 2117.42 of the Revised Code with reference to contingent claims.”23 This
statute “requires strict compliance” with the six-month limitation period.24
Plaintiff bears the burden of pleading facts sufficient to show she is entitled to
relief.25 This includes a burden to plead that she presented a written claim against
William Schill’s estate within the strict six-month limitation period. As the Court noted
above, Plaintiff has not pled William Schill’s death date. But public records show that
William Schill’s death certificate was filed with the Lorain County Probate Court on July
21, 2021—more than six months before Plaintiff initiated this suit in March 2022. Plaintiff
has failed to show that her claim meets 2117.06’s requirements for claims against an
estate and can go forward.
Alternatively, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to state a claim for relief because
Plaintiff did not file an opposition to Defendant’s motion to dismiss. By waiving her
opposition to Defendant’s argument that Defendant is not the fiduciary for William Schill’s
estate, Plaintiff concedes that Defendant Schill is an improper party.
The Court GRANTS Defendant Shill’s motion to dismiss.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: September 16, 2022
James S. Gwin
JAMES S. GWIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2117.06(C).
Saber Healthcare v. Hudgins, 2020-Ohio-5603, ¶ 7 (citing Wilson v. Lawrence, 150 Ohio St.3d 368, 2017-Ohio-1410,
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