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Court of Appeals of Kentucky.

Stephen price APPELLANT v.

NO. 2011–CA–000011–MR

Decided: May 31, 2013

BEFORE:  ACREE, CHIEF JUDGE;  KELLER Double s AND Maze, JUDGES. BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT:  Stephen Price, pro se Georgetown, Kentucky BRIEF FOR APPELLEES:  Douglas L. McSwain Patsey Jacobs Lexington, Kentucky



Stephen D. Price (Price) appeals from an order of the Scott Circuit Court granting the Appellees' motion to dismiss his complaint.   For the following reasons, we affirm.


Price filed an action in the Scott Circuit Court on February 8, 2010, against the Appellees alleging that he had been damaged by actions of the City of Georgetown Code Enforcement Office and its employees.   The Appellees filed a motion to dismiss arguing that Price's complaint was barred by the applicable statutes of limitations.   On November 16, 2010, the trial court entered an order granting the Appellees' motion to dismiss for failing to file the action within the applicable statutes of limitations.   This appeal followed.


It is well established that a court should not grant a motion to dismiss a complaint “unless it appears the pleading party would not be entitled to relief under any set of facts which could be proved in support of his claim.”   Pari–Mutuel Clerks' Union v. Kentucky Jockey Club, 551 S.W.2d 801, 803 (Ky.1977).   In determining whether a trial court properly dismissed a complaint on statute of limitations grounds, the issue is a matter of law.   Therefore, our standard of review is de novo.  Benningfield v. Pettit Environmental, Inc., 183 S.W.3d 567, 570 (Ky.App.2005).   Furthermore, “[a]s an appellate court may affirm a trial court for reasons other than those relied on by the trial court, so long as such is sustainable under the record[.]”  Brewick v. Brewick, 121 S.W.3d 524, 527 (Ky.App.2003).


As correctly noted by the Appellees, Price's complaint alleges a number of wrongs against him which are difficult to classify.   However, we have identified the following causes of action in Price's complaint:  (1) a taking of personal property;  (2) condemnation of Price's house;  and (3) violations of Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 413.072. Double We address each cause of action below.

1. Taking of Personal Property

To the extent that Price's complaint alleges a taking of personal property, it is time barred.  KRS 413.125 requires that actions for the taking of personal property, including actions for specific recovery, “be commenced within two (2) years from the time the cause of action accrued.”   In his complaint, Price alleges that all of the improper actions taken by the Appellees occurred from 2000 to 2007.   Because Price did not file his complaint until February 2010, his claim for a taking of personal property by the Appellees is time barred.

2. Condemnation of Price's House

Price also alleges that his house was wrongfully condemned.   By notice dated October 15, 2004, the City of Georgetown Code Enforcement condemned Price's house located on 159 Rucker Avenue in Georgetown, Kentucky.   Price did not appeal to the Property Maintenance Appeals Board.   Therefore, he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, which deprived the Scott Circuit Court of subject matter jurisdiction.  Commonwealth v. DLX, Inc., 42 S.W.3d 624, 625 (Ky.2001) (noting that “[a]s a general rule, exhaustion of administrative remedies is a jurisdictional prerequisite to seeking judicial relief”).   Because the trial court lacked jurisdiction, its dismissal of price's condemnation claim was not only appropriate but mandatory.

3. Violations of KRS 413.072

Throughout his complaint, Price alleges that the Appellees violated KRS 413.072, “which prohibits local regulations on agricultural uses.”  Nash v. Campbell County Fiscal Court, 345 S.W.3d 811, 815 (Ky.2011).   Because Price's land is zoned for residential use, KRS 413.072 is not applicable to his property.   Thus, any claim he alleges pursuant to KRS 413.072 would fail on the merits.   Accordingly, the trial court properly dismissed them.


For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the order of the Scott Circuit Court.