Justia Ohio Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

By
At issue was whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the judgment of the county court of common pleas suppressing evidence seized during the warrantless search of an unattended book bag conducted by a school employee and the school principal. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the school’s protocol requiring searches of unattended book bags to determine ownership and to ensure the safety of its contents furthers a compelling governmental interest in protecting public school students from physical harm; and (2) the school employees’ search of the unattended book bag belonging to Defendant was limited to fulfilling the purposes of the school’s search protocol and was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. View "State v. Polk" on Justia Law

By
The owner of property consisting of several residential parcels that were part of a government-subsidized, low-income housing project, challenged the valuations of the property for tax years 2008, 2009, and 2010. The Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR) adopted the appraisal presented by the property owner. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reversed and reinstated the county auditor’s valuations. The Supreme Court held that the BTA’s rejection of the owner’s appraisal was based upon an erroneous interpretation of Woda Ivy Glen Ltd. Partnership v. Fayette County Bd. of Revision, 902 N.E.2d 984, the proper legal analysis for the type of property at issue in this case. In so holding, the court reversed the BTA’s decision as to its 2009 and 2010 valuations and reinstated the BOR’s valuation for those years. View "Columbus City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

By
The former owner of the subject property at issue in this case filed a valuation complaint in 2006 seeking to reduce the property’s tax-year-2005 value. The Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR) lowered the value but failed to send that notice to the Groveport Madison Local Schools Board of Education (BOE) at the time. When no appeal was timely filed, a refund was issued to a prior owner, and the case was closed. NSCO International Investment, LLC subsequently acquired the property. More than four years later, the BOE appealed, citing its lack of notice as the reason for its delay. The BOR made no effort to notify NSCO of the appeal. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reinstated the auditor’s valuation. Two years after the BTA decision, NSCO asked the BTA to vacate its decision and schedule a new hearing because it had not been given notice or an opportunity to be heard. the BTA denied NSCO’s motion to vacate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BTA lacked jurisdiction to vacate its decision after the time to appeal that decision had passed; and (2) the BTA complied with Ohio Rev. Code 5717.03(B) by sending a copy of its decision to NSCO’s tax mailing address. View "Groveport Madison Local Schools Bd. of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

By
Norman James was injured while employed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. James later quit his job at Wal-Mart. James briefly got a job with Casper Transport Inc. and Casper Service Automotive (Casper). On June 1, 2007, James was involved in an auto accident unrelated to his employment. Casper fired James on November 16, 2007 for excessive absenteeism, and James had not worked since that time. James filed a motion requesting temporary-total-disability benefits beginning November 17, 2007. The Industrial Commission denied benefits for the period from November 17, 2007 through September 29, 2009, the date of the Commission hearing. James then filed an original action in mandamus. The court of appeals granted a limited writ vacating the denial of temporary-total-disability benefits and returned the case to the Commission to further address the end of James’ employment at Casper. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals to the extent that the court issued a limited writ of mandamus and affirmed the remainder of the appellate court’s judgment, holding that the evidence supported the Commission’s decision to deny temporary-total-disability compensation. View "State ex rel. James v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc." on Justia Law

By
In 2007, Appellant was charged in Warren County, Ohio with two drug-related felony offenses. Appellant fled the jurisdiction before trial and was later imprisoned in Pennsylvania for federal drug convictions. In 2012, Appellant was extradited to Warren County. Appellant filed a pretrial motion to dismiss the indictment, alleging a violation of Article IV(d) of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers and, alternatively, that he was extradited to Ohio from Pennsylvania without a hearing. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Appellant was convicted of the felony charges and sentenced to six years’ incarceration. Appellant then filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that Ohio lacked jurisdiction over him because he was returned to the state pursuant to a defective extradition request. The court of appeals dismissed the motion for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, as “[a] claim of illegal extradition does not state a claim in habeas corpus and will not void [a] conviction.” View "State ex rel. Thomas v. Richard" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated:

By
Appellants and Grady Reed were shareholders in a closely held corporation. In a 2010 complaint, Reed alleged that Appellants had breached the shareholders’ agreement and demanded relief in the form of money damages. After a jury trial, Judge Richard Ferenc granted Reed’s motion for a directed verdict and awarded him money damages, apportioning the liability among Appellants in proportion to their shares in the corporation. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the trial court erred by treating the complaint as an action for money damages when the only available remedy was specific performance. On remand, Judge Ferenc concluded that Appellants had no right to a jury trial because Reed’s predominant claim for relief was equitable in nature. Appellants sought a writ of prohibition arguing that Judge Ferenc’s exercise of judicial power was unauthorized by law and that they did not have an adequate remedy by way of appeal from his adverse rulings. The court of appeals granted Judge Ferenc’s motion to dismiss the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellants failed to establish their entitlement to a writ of prohibition. View "State ex rel. Samarghandi v. Ferenc" on Justia Law

By
At issue in these three consolidated appeals was whether the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) acted reasonably and lawfully in valuing properties based on recent arm’s-length-sale prices. The first case involved a residential property owned by Gale Dauch, and the other two cases involved residential properties owned by Dauch in his personal capacity. Dauch challenged the Erie County auditor’s valuation for tax year 2013, asserting that his recent arm’s-length purchase established a lower true value. The Board of Revision retained the valuations. The BTA reversed and valued the properties according to the sale prices. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, based on Lunn v. Lorain County Board of Revision, the BTA’s findings that the sales were arm’s length in nature were reasonable and lawful. View "Dauch v. Erie County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

By
Joseph Gorman contracted with James Wilson to purchase a fifteen percent interest in Marine 1, LLC for $300,000. At the time Gorman died, he owed Wilson $187,000 on the contract. The probate court appointed William Lawrence as the executor of Gorman’s estate. The estate’s counsel was Joseph Goldsmith. Wilson’s attorney sent a letter addressed to both Gorman’s personal secretary and the trustee of his trust, purporting to present Wilson’s claim for approximately $200,000 to the executor of Gorman’s estate. The letter was then forwarded to Goldsmith and Lawrence. The trial judge found that the letter was not legally sufficient for presenting Wilson’s claim and granted the estate’s motion for summary judgment. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Ohio law permits a claim against an estate to be deemed presented when “other individuals connected with the estate receive the claim[.]” The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a claimant against an estate does not meet the mandatory requirement under Ohio Rev. Code 2117.06(A)(1)(a) to present a claim to the executor or administrator of an estate if the claimant delivers the claim to a person not appointed by the probate court, even if that person gives it to the executor or administrator. View "Wilson v. Lawrence" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated:

By
Defendant was charged with burglary. Before Defendant’s trial was to begin, the court confirmed that Defendant had been offered and rejected a plea offer. After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty. Following a sentencing hearing, the court imposed a six-year term of imprisonment. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court vindictively imposed a sentence in retaliation for the exercise of his right to a jury trial in violation of his due process rights. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there is no presumption of vindictiveness when, after trial, a court sentences a defendant to a longer term than was offered by the state in plea negotiations; (2) an appellate court may reverse a sentence for vindictiveness only if, upon its examination of the entire record, it clearly and convincingly finds the sentence was based on actual vindictiveness; and (3) applying this standard, the trial court did not vindictively sentence Defendant. View "State v. Rahab" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated:

By
The Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted five individuals with two misdemeanor counts of dereliction of duty. Thereafter, the city of East Cleveland filed an identical dereliction-of-duty charge against each of the defendants in the East Cleveland Municipal Court. The defendants filed a complaint requesting a writ of prohibition, seeking to prohibit Judge William L. Dawson of the municipal court from exercising jurisdiction over the identical dereliction-of-duty charges against each of the defendants. Thereafter, the county prosecutor moved to dismiss the indictments pending in the common pleas court. The common pleas court found that the duplicate charges filed in the municipal court constituted good cause for dismissal. The defendants amended their complaint in prohibition arguing that Judge Dawson and the municipal court lacked jurisdiction over their cases, that the common pleas court inappropriate dismissed the charges previously filed in that court, and that they could not appeal from those dismissals. The court of appeals granted the requested writ. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Judge Dawson did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction to consider the indictments filed against the defendants in the municipal court and that the defendants had an adequate remedy at law in the form of appeal. View "State ex rel. Dailey v. Dawson" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated: