By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
WAPAKONETA — An attorney for Kimberly Anderson for a second
time in less than a week is asking an Auglaize County judge
for extra time to answer a wrongful death suit filed by the
family of the deceased Brent Anderson.
Toledo attorney Susan Heywood filed the second motion for extension
of time Monday morning in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court.
In the 15-page document, Heywood asks the court to give her
until Friday to reply to the civil suit filed in late August
on behalf of Brent Anderson’s two young sons and daughter.
No date has been set for the motion hearing.
The civil lawsuit states it seeks “justice” for
the death of Brent Anderson and an amount in excess of $50,000
for his three children. The former Celina attorney was shot
eight times in September 2001 by his estranged wife, Kimberly
Anderson, who resides at the Wapakoneta home on Ohio 67 where
the shooting took place. Kimberly Anderson, 39, was acquitted
of murder charges during a trial in October 2002, claiming she
fired at her husband in self-defense.
Judge Frederick Pepple last week denied Heywood’s first
motion for time extension. Pepple stated Heywood likely would
have been granted a three-week extension had she filed the motion
before the response date allowed — 28 days — had
Pepple also stated Heywood did not show “excusable neglect”
which could have qualified her for an extension.
In the recently filed motion, Heywood admits, “I miscalculated
the answer date and put an improper date on my calendar.”
She also states she believes the action does constitute “excusable
neglect” and asks for only an additional 14 days —
less than the courts usual allowance of 21 days — from
the original answer date of Sept. 26.
Kimberly Anderson was served with the lawsuit Aug. 29.
Heywood, who graduated from law school in May 2002, is an associate
of the Cooper & Walinski law firm of Toledo.
In the latest motion, Heywood asks the court to decide the case
upon its merits rather than on “procedural grounds.”
She minimizes the timely error by stating her request for extension
was filed just four days after it was due.
Dale Perdue of Columbus, the attorney representing Brent Anderson’s
family, could have asked Pepple to make a decision in the case
based on negligence by Heywood. As of Monday, Perdue had not
filed a default motion seeking judgment.
Heywood used the absence of a default motion as a reason for
Pepple to grant her request for more time.
“The Ohio Supreme Court has recognized that leave (extended
time to file an answer) is more liberally granted under (Ohio
Civil) Rule 6 when a motion for default has not been filed,”