Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus for failure to pay the filing fee but modified the judgment to hold that the dismissal was without prejudice, holding that the mandamus complaint should have been dismissed on the basis that it was filed by non-licensed attorney. Sean Swain, then an inmate and the authorized agent for the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, an unincorporated nonprofit association, filed a complaint on behalf of the Army for a writ of mandamus in the court of appeals against the Warren County Court of Common Pleas alleging that the common pleas court failed in its duty to provide the Army with copies of filings in a pending lawsuit that the Army had filed against the Warren Correctional Institution. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint with prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the mandamus complaint that Swain filed on behalf of the Army violated Ohio Rev. Code 4705.01 and should have been dismissed on that basis. View "State ex rel. Army of the Twelve Monkeys v. Warren County Court of Common Pleas" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ denial of Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus in this workers’ compensation case, holding that the Industrial Commission did not abuse its discretion by concluding that res judicata barred Appellant’s motion to recalculate his average weekly wage (AWW). In challenging the calculation of his AWW, Appellant requested that the Commission forgo the standard statutory formal and to instead calculate his AWW using a method that would do him “substantial justice,” as statutorily permitted in cases of “special circumstances.” The Commission denied the motion, first on the merits and second on grounds of res judicata. The court of appeals denied Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus, concluding that Appellant had not established special circumstances. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the writ solely on the basis of res judicata, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it concluded that the issue of special circumstances was previously decided and therefore res judicata. View "State ex rel. Tantarelli v. Decapua Enterprises, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted in part an itemized application filed by Relators seeking a total of $106,172.50 in attorney fees and $1,256.65 in costs after the Court granted Relators their allowable costs and reasonable attorney fees under Ohio Rev. Code 733.61 in connection with their successful petition for a writ of mandamus, holding that, in the future, billing for a block of time in which several separate tasks were performed, or block billing, will no longer be permitting in applications for attorney fees in the Court and that tasks should be billed individually and in tenths of an hour. The Court ultimately granted in part the application for attorney fees and denied the application for costs, awarding Relators $58,655 in attorney fees. The Court held (1) the hours in Relators’ application warranted substantial reductions; and (2) Relators were not entitled for the costs they sought. View "State ex rel. Harris v. Rubino" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus against Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Lou A. D’Apolito, holding that the court of appeals correctly concluded that Appellant had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law. In his complaint for a writ of mandamus Appellant sought to vacate a default judgment and a foreclosure judgment foreclosing on his property. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the trial court had personal jurisdiction over Appellant before the entry of the default judgment and the foreclosure decree, Appellant had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law by a direct appeal of those orders. View "State ex rel. Washington v. D'Apolito" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant’s complaint for writs of mandamus and prohibition against Richland County Court of Common Pleas Judge James DeWeese seeking to compel Judge DeWeese to enter a final, appealable order on prior rulings made by Judge James Henson, vacate several orders Judge DeWeese had entered in the underlying case, and bar Judge DeWeese from moving forward with a trial, holding that Appellant was not entitled to the relief it sought. Appellant filed a complaint for breach of contract. Judge Henson granted summary judgment in favor of Appellant as to certain defendants. The trial court then awarded Appellant attorney fees. While appeals that were ultimately dismissed for lack of a final, appealable order were pending Judge Henson retired, and the case was reassigned to Judge DeWeese. Judge DeWeese vacated the summary judgment orders and granted summary judgment for one defendant. Appellant then filed this action. The court of appeals denied relief, and the Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Judge DeWeese clearly exercised jurisdiction in the underlying case, and that exercise of jurisdiction was authorized; and (2) because Appellant could not show that it had clear legal right to relief, it was not entitled to a writ of mandamus. View "State ex rel. Technical Construction Specialties, Inc. v. DeWeese" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether Intermessage Communications and members of a proposed class of retail cellular-telephone-service subscribers seeking to recover treble damages under Ohio Rev. Code 4905.61 for regulatory violations related to the wholesale cellular-service market committed in the 1990s, as determined by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), had standing to bring this action. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Eighth District Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s decision to certify the class and dismissed this matter, holding that Intermessage and the proposed class of retail cellular-service subscribers lacked standing to bring an action pursuant to section 4905.61 because the language of the statute limits recovery of treble damages to the “person, firm, or corporation” directly injured as a result of the “violation, failure, or omission” found by the PUCO. View "Satterfield v. Ameritech Mobile Communications, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s complaint for writs of mandamus and prohibition, holding that Appellant was not entitled to a writ of mandamus, nor was he entitled to a writ of prohibition. In his mandamus and prohibition complaint, Appellant alleged that the common pleas court and its judges unlawfully conveyed to another assets that Appellant’s deceased father had bequeathed to him. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief because he failed to demonstrate that he lacked an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law and because he did not demonstrate that the courts lacked statutory jurisdiction over the matter. View "State ex rel. Evans v. Scioto County Common Pleas Court" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether an order by the General Division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas requiring Appellant, a Cuyahoga County court reporter, to submit sealed grand-jury materials for in camera court inspection was a final and appealable under Ohio Rev. Code 2505.02(B)(4). The Eighth District Court of Appeals dismissed Appellant’s appeal for lack of a final, appealable order, concluding that only when the trial court compelled disclosure of the materials would there be a final, appealable order for appellate review. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that an order for a trial court’s in camera inspection of grand-jury materials is not a final, appealable order. View "Daher v. Cuyahoga Community College District" on Justia Law

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In this property tax appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) concluding that the Marion County Board of Revision (BOR) and the River Valley Local School District Board of Education (school board) were barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel from seeking to enforce a recorded covenant that purported to prohibit Kohl’s Illinois, Inc., the property owner in this case, from contesting the Marion County auditor’s valuations of the property, holding that the BTA properly applied collateral estoppel. After the Supreme Court remanded this case in Kohl’s I, the BTA remanded the matter to the BOR to determine value. No appeal was taken from this decision. On remand at the BOR, Kohl’s introduced an appraisal report and testimony in support of a reduced value. When the BOR retained the auditor’s valuation, Kohl’s appealed. The BTA held that it had already decided not to enforce the covenant at issue in its earlier decision and that the BOR and school board were barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel from seeking enforcement of the covenant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA did make a determination as to the covenant issue. View "Kohl's Illinois, Inc. v. Marion County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals denying Appellant’s complaint for a writ of procedendo against Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Donnelly, holding that Appellant was not entitled to the relief he sought. In his complaint for a writ of procedendo, Appellant alleged that his postconviction petition had been pending before Judge Donnelly for more than six months without decision. Thereafter, Judge Donnelly denied Appellant’s postconviction petition. The Court of Appeal denied the writ on the ground of mootness. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Court of Appeals correctly determined that Appellant’s complaint failed to state a claim in procedendo. View "Thompson v. Donnelly" on Justia Law