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The Daily



10-07-03: Anderson wants more time to answer suit


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 expired.
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,” she wrote.


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