Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals' denial of a writ of prohibition sought by Appellants against Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose, holding that the judge had jurisdiction over a breach of contract case against Appellants, a law firm and its then named partners. A company sued Appellants for the deductible due under a malpractice insurance policy. The named partners moved for partial judgment on the pleadings, arguing that they were not individually liable for the debts of the partnership. Judge Ambrose denied the motion and allowed the case to proceed with the partners as named defendants. A jury found against Appellants. Appellants then filed a complaint for a writ of prohibition, arguing that Judge Ambrose exceeded his statutory authority by permitting the trial to go forward against the named partners. The court of appeals granted summary judgment to Judge Ambrose. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellants failed to show that Judge Ambrose's exercise of judicial power was unauthorized by law. View "State ex rel. Novak, LLP v. Ambrose" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's complaint for a writ of mandamus, holding that the court of appeals correctly dismissed Appellant's petition for noncompliance with Ohio Rev. Code 2969.25(A). Appellant, an inmate at the Marion Correctional Institution, filed a mandamus petition alleging that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction had miscalculated his maximum-sentence release date. Appellant attached to his compliant an affidavit listing three civil actions he had filed in the previous five years, but the list did not include a mandamus action Appellant had filed two weeks earlier. The court of appeals dismissed the case for failure to comply with the mandatory requirements of section 2969.25(A). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the affidavit listed some, but not all, of Appellant's prior actions, the petition was correctly dismissed. View "State ex rel. Swanson v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction" on Justia Law

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In this original action brought by Relator seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the Guernsey County Sheriff to release records related to a criminal case against Bryan Bates, the Supreme Court denied Relator's petition for a writ of mandamus and denied her request for court costs but awarded her statutory damages in the amount of $1,000. When the sheriff did not respond to Relator's requests seeking public records relating to the criminal case State v. Bates, Relator brought this action seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the sheriff to provide the requested records. The Supreme Court (1) denied Relator's mandamus claim because Relator failed to prove that the requested records existed or that they were in the custody of the sheriff's office, (2) denied Relator's request for court costs because the Court denied Relator's mandamus claim, and (3) granted Relator the maximum amount of statutory damages because Relator showed that the sheriff's response was incomplete. View "State ex rel. Cordell v. Paden" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus against Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Jill Lanzinger, holding that the court of appeals correctly dismissed the petition. In his petition, Appellant alleged that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over his criminal case because a criminal complaint was never filed against him. Appellant requested the writ compelling Judge Lanzinger to produce the criminal complaint or else dismiss the judgment against him. The court of appeals dismissed the petition sua sponte on the grounds that Appellant failed to comply with the filing requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 2969.25(C). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Appellant did not comply with the requirements of section 2969.25(C) the court of appeals properly dismissed his complaint. View "State ex rel. Powe v. Lanzinger" 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 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