Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant’s complaint for writs of prohibition and procedendo against Darke County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jonathan P. Hein, holding that Appellant was not entitled to either writ. In his complaint, Appellant asked for a writ of procedendo directing Judge Hein to vacate an order confirming the sale of property at a foreclosure sale. The court of appeals dismissed the procedendo claim as seeking the wrong form of relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that procedendo was inappropriate because Appellant sought to undo a court order rather than to compel the judge to issue a ruling. As to the request for a writ of prohibition, the Supreme Court held that even if Appellant had sought to undo the confirmation order through a writ of prohibition, that request would be moot because the court of appeals had already vacated the confirmation order. Lastly, Appellant had an adequate remedy at law by way of appeal. View "State ex rel. Sponaugle v. Hein" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s complaint for a writ of procedendo against Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Jenifer French, holding that the intermediate appellate court properly dismissed Appellant’s complaint for failure to attach the statement of inmate account required by Ohio Rev. Code 2969.25(C). In his complaint, Appellant alleged that he had filed a petition for postconviction relief and that Judge French had not yet ruled on the petition, as required by Ohio R. Crim. P. 35(C). The court of appeals dismissed the complaint on the grounds that Appellant had failed to comply with the requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 2969.25(C). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant’s noncompliance with section 2969.25(C) required dismissal of his complaint. View "State ex rel. Neil v. French" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ to Relator, who filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus to compel the common pleas court to enforce its 2013 order sealing the record in a criminal case against Relator and to rule on his 2017 motion to reseal the record. Relator alleged that after the records at issue were sealed the court of appeals made his appellate records public again. Relator then filed an emergency motion for an order resealing his records. When no action was taken to enforce the order to seal or ruling on the motion to reseal Relator filed his complaint for a writ of mandamus. The common pleas court filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. The Supreme Court denied the motion to dismiss, sue sponte converted Relator’s complaint to a request for a writ of procedendo, granted a writ ordering the common pleas court to rule on Relator’s motion to reseal, and granted Relator’s motion to seal the pleadings filed in this original action. View "State ex rel. Doe v. Gallia County Court of Common Pleas" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting a motion to dismiss Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus challenging the Industrial Commission’s determination that it had continuing jurisdiction to reconsider a previous order denying a claim for death benefits because of a clear mistake of fact regarding how the decedent worker died, holding that the complaint did state a claim for relief. Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus alleged that the Commission abused its discretion in determining that the staff hearing officer had based the disallowance of the claim for death benefits on a clear mistake of fact. Because this question involved whether there was a factual mistake sufficient to invoke the continuing-jurisdiction provisions of Ohio Rev. Code 4123.52, the question was a proper subject matter for an action seeking a writ of mandamus. Therefore, the court of appeals erred in dismissing the action on the basis that the Commission’s decision to exercise its continuing jurisdiction was appealable to the court of common pleas. View "State ex rel. Belle Tire Distributors, Inc. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio" on Justia Law

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The law of the case from the first appeal in this case was not relevant in the second appeal because, on remand from the first appeal, the trial court had relied on new evidence to decide that Nicholas Giancola had signed an arbitration agreement. Plaintiff brought this survival action and wrongful death action, claiming that Giancola’s death was caused by injuries that he sustained while he was at Walton Manor Health Care Center. Walton Manor moved to compel arbitration, arguing that Giancola had entered into a binding arbitration agreement with Walton Manor. The trial court ordered arbitration of the survival action, finding that Giancola’s mother had signed the arbitration agreement and that she had apparent authority to bind her son to its terms. The appellate court reversed. On remand, the trial court referred the appropriate counts to arbitration, concluding that Giancola had signed the arbitration agreement. The appellate court held that the trial court had violated the law-of-the-case doctrine when it reconsidered the issue of who had signed the arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the law-of-the-case doctrine did not prevent the trial court on remand from considering new evidence as to whether Giancola signed the arbitration agreement. View "Giancola v. Azem" on Justia Law

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When reviewing a decision of a common pleas court confirming, modifying, vacating, or correcting an arbitration award, an appellate court should accept finding of fact that are not clearly erroneous but should decide questions of law de novo. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Eleventh District Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision of the trial court vacating an arbitration award and reinstated the arbitration award, holding that the court of appeals conducted a proper de novo review of the trial court’s decision. Because the court of appeals’ judgment conflicted with judgments of the Eighth District and the Twelfth District, where the court of appeals concluded that the standard of review for an appellate court reviewing a trial court decision confirming or vacating an arbitration award is an abuse of discretion, the Supreme Court determined that a conflict existed and agreed to resolve the matter. View "Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities v. Portage County. Educators' Association for Developmental Disabilities" on Justia Law

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Rebecca and Curtis divorced. A shared-parenting decree was put into effect for their sons. In June 2015, Rebecca sought a domestic-violence civil protection order against Curtis, R.C. 3113.31, stating that she was approaching Curtis’s house to pick up the children when Curtis rushed out and threw her backward into the bushes and said Rebecca was lucky that he did not shoot her. In August 2015, the court entered a permanent domestic-violence civil protection order that expired on June 19, 2016. On September 9, the appellate court issued a show-cause order asking the parties to explain why an appeal should not be dismissed as moot because the protection order had expired. Curtis responded that Rebecca had sought the order as leverage for future post-divorce proceedings and that he faced possible collateral consequences concerning his concealed-firearm permit, his credit report, his ability to obtain housing, drive certain vehicles, and obtain future employment. Rebecca did not respond. The appellate court dismissed. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed. Absent demonstrated legal collateral consequences, the collateral-consequences exception to the mootness doctrine does not apply to an expired domestic-violence civil protection order. The court declined to establish a rebuttable presumption that an appeal from an expired domestic-violence civil protection order is not moot. View "Cyran v. Cyran" on Justia Law

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In 2004, McCain was charged with felony murder, aggravated robbery, and falsification. Judge Froelich, of the Montgomery County Court, entered a not-guilty plea on McCain’s behalf after McCain “stood mute.” McCain’s later claimed that he attempted to plead guilty at his arraignment. Later, before Judge Huffman, McCain pleaded guilty to felony-murder and aggravated-robbery. Judge Huffman erroneously informed McCain that he would be subject to postrelease control on the felony-murder charge. Felony murder is an unclassified felony to which the postrelease-control statute does not apply. The sentence erroneously included postrelease control on both convictions. Judge Huffman later issued a nunc pro tunc entry correcting the error. McCain requested records relating to his arraignment, including video and transcripts. Judge Huffman denied his request. In 2016, McCain sought a writ of mandamus in the Second District, claiming that his attempt to enter a guilty plea at his arraignment divested Judge Huffman of jurisdiction; demanding a full copy of the arraignment transcripts, Referee Report and Video; and claiming constitutional deprivations and ineffective assistance of counsel. He sought to invalidate his plea agreement. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed dismissal. Habeas corpus, not mandamus, is the appropriate action when an inmate seeks release. The court rejected McCain’s argument that his alleged attempt to enter a guilty plea divested Judge Huffman of jurisdiction; a trial court’s jurisdiction does not end until a final judgment has been entered. Judge Huffman properly corrected the sentencing error. View "McCain v. Huffman" on Justia Law

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In 1981, McDermott was sentenced to life in prison. The Adult Parole Authority (APA) has repeatedly denied McDermott parole, most recently in 2015, finding substantial reason to believe that his release would create undue risk to public safety, or would not further the interest of justice. "The offender brutally stabbed the female victim to death while her minor children were in the house. He has completed programming, but lacks insight…. has gone some time without an infraction and [has] a supportive family." McDermott alleged that the APA had considered its erroneous belief that he had a history of stalking the victim and had violated a protection order. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed the Tenth District's denial of relief. To obtain mandamus relief, McDermott must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, a clear legal right to relief, that APA has a clear legal duty to provide it, and the lack of an adequate remedy in the course of law. The APA’s obligation to “investigate and correct any significant errors” arises when it is presented with “credible allegations, supported by evidence, that the materials relied on at a parole hearing were substantively inaccurate.” The evidence did not demonstrate that his APA record contained inaccurate information or that the APA relied on inaccurate information. McDermott sought no relief relating to alleged inaccuracies in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s report regarding inmates over the age of 65 who were parole-eligible. View "McDermott v. Adult Parole Authority" on Justia Law

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In 2004, McKinney was convicted of five counts arising from a single event: robbery, aggravated theft, receiving stolen property, and two counts of failing to comply with a police officer’s order. He was sentenced to consecutive prison terms totaling 20.5 years. The Third District rejected arguments that the robbery and theft counts and the two failing-to-comply counts were allied offenses of similar import but reversed his conviction for receiving stolen property and remanded for resentencing. He was resentenced to consecutive prison terms totaling 18.5 years. Ten years later, McKinney moved to “Correct Void Allied Convictions/Sentences” and for a resentencing hearing, then filed a mandamus petition, seeking to compel the trial judge to merge the convictions that he claimed were for allied offenses and arguing that until the judge does so, there is no final, appealable order. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed the Third District’s dismissal of the petition. McKinney has unsuccessfully litigated whether he was improperly convicted of duplicative charges, so his effort to collaterally attack his convictions as allied offenses is barred by res judicata. When “a plain and adequate remedy at law has been unsuccessfully invoked, a writ of mandamus will not lie to relitigate the same issue.” View "McKinney v. Schmenk" on Justia Law