Justia Ohio Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

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In this case involving a subsidy to offset part of the cost of health insurance that Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) provides to retirees receiving an OPERS pension the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's dismissal of the action for failure to state a claim, holding that the court of appeals correctly determined that Plaintiff stated a claim under Civ.R. 12(B)(6).Plaintiff filed a class action suit against OPERS arguing that reducing the subsidy of any retiree who is reemployed by a public employer that is a member of the OPERS network violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Ohio Constitution. The trial court dismissed the case under Civ.R. 12(B)(6). The appellate court reversed, holding that Plaintiff stated a claim under Ohio's Equal Protection Clause. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff alleged facts that, if accepted as true, would entitle him to relief. View "Sherman v. Ohio Public Employees Retirement System" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's petition for a writ of mandamus against Ashland County Court of Common Pleas Judge Ronald Forsthoefel, holding that the court of appeals correctly found that Appellant's complaint failed to state a claim for relief in mandamus.Appellant was found guilty of six drug-related counts, and Judge Forsthoefel sentenced him to an aggregate term of sixty-one months. Appellant later filed a petition seeking a writ of mandamus to compel Judge Forsthoefel to vacate his sentence, merge counts four and five, and resentence him. The court of appeals granted Judge Forsthoefel's motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant had an adequate remedy by way of appeal. View "State ex rel. Olmstead v. Forsthoefel" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's sentence for violating the conditions of his community control, holding that the trial court was within its authority to impose Defendant's full suspended twelve-month prison sentence under the circumstances of this case.As a condition of his community-control sanction Defendant was ordered to complete a drug treatment program. Soon after entering the program, Defendant was kicked out for misconduct. Defendant's probation officer filed a complaint alleging that Defendant had violated the conditions of his community control. Defendant admitted to the alleged violations. The trial court imposed the twelve-month prison term. Defendant appealed, arguing that his failure to complete the programs were technical violations, and therefore, his sentence could not exceed the ninety-day sentencing cap contained in Ohio Rev. Code 2929.15(B)(1)(c)(i). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circumstances surrounding Defendant's violations were such that they could not be deemed merely technical in nature; and (2) therefore, the sentencing cap did not apply, and the trial court had discretion to sentence Defendant to a twelve-month prison term. View "State v. Castner" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's convictions for corrupting another with drugs and other offenses but remanding the matter to the trial court for resentencing because the trial court had erred in failing to merge the two convictions for corrupting another with drugs as allied offenses of similar import, holding that the trial court properly instructed the jury on the causation element of the offense of corrupting another with drugs.On appeal, Defendant argued that, when instructing a jury on the causation element of the offense of corrupting another with drugs, the trial court is required to inform the jury that it must find not only that the accused's conduct was the but-for cause of serious physical harm to the victim but also that it was an independently sufficient cause of that harm. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Defendant did not ask the trial court to give that instruction, the propriety of such an instruction was not before the Court in this case. View "State v. Price" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Fourth District Court of Appeals dismissing Appellant's complaint for a writ of procedendo against Judge Mark Kuhn of the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas, holding that the dismissal of Appellant's complaint was appropriate under the circumstances.Appellant, an inmate, filed a complaint for a writ of procedendo seeking an order compelling Judge Kuhn to journalize a final judgment of conviction. The Fourth District dismissed Appellant's complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court affirmed on different grounds, holding that the dismissal of Appellant's petition was appropriate because Appellant failed to show a clear legal right to relief in procedendo. View "McDougald v. Kuhn" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's petition for a writ of mandamus, holding that the court of appeals correctly dismissed the mandamus petition.Appellant pleaded guilty to one count of rape and was sentenced to life imprisonment with parole eligibility after ten years. The trial court later entered a nunc pro tunc judgment of conviction to specify that Appellant's sentence included five years of mandatory postrelease control. Appellant later commenced this mandamus action arguing that his sentence was void. The court of appeals dismissed the action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant had adequate remedies at law that precluded extraordinary relief in mandamus. View "State ex rel. Crangle v. Summit County Common Pleas Court" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, holding that the court of appeals properly determined that Appellant's claim was barred by res judicata.Appellant pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery and was later released on parole. The Ohio Parole Board later found that Appellant had violated the conditions of his release and revoked his parole. Later that year, Appellant filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, which the common pleas court dismissed. Appellant subsequently filed a second petition for writ of habeas corpus alleging that the Parole Board lacked authority to revoke his parole. The court of appeals dismissed the petition, concluding that the claim was barred under the doctrine of res judicata. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals did not err. View "Jones v. Wainwright" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals sua sponte dismissing Appellant's complaint seeking a writ of mandamus to compel Lucas County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dean Mandros to grant him judicial release from prison, holding that Appellant failed to state a valid claim for a writ of mandamus.Appellant, an inmate, filed a motion for judicial release under Ohio Rev. Code 2929.20(C)(2). Judge Mandros denied the motion. Appellant subsequently filed this mandamus action seeking a writ of mandamus ordering Judge Mandros to grant judicial release. The court of appeals sua sponte dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the proper writ for Appellant's purpose was a writ of habeas corpus. View "State ex rel. Neal v. Mandros" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court denied Relator's application for an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs in this mandamus action, holding that attorney fees were not available.The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus to compel the Ohio Department of Transportation and its director (ODOT) to conduct appropriation proceedings to determine the appropriate amount of compensation it should pay to New Wen, Inc., whose Wendy's restaurant was located at an intersection that ODOT closed. Thereafter, New Wen filed an application for attorney fees and other costs. ODOT opposed the application. The Supreme Court denied the application, holding that attorney fees were not available in this type of action. View "State ex rel. New Wen, Inc. v. Marchbanks" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals in this criminal case, holding that Ohio Rev. Code 2913.61(C)(1) unambiguously allows for the aggregation of multiple theft offenses involving one victim into a single count, regardless of the status of the victim.In connection with multiple alleged incidents of passing fraudulent checks at four separate banks, Defendant was convicted of four counts of theft in violation of Ohio Rev. Code 2913.02(A)(3). In accordance with section 2913.61(C)(1), each theft count aggregated the multiple instances of theft alleged against each respective bank. The court of appeals vacated Defendant's sentences in part and otherwise affirmed. In so doing, the court held that section 2913.61(C)(1) does not limit the aggregation of theft offenses under section 2913.02 to offenses involving victims who are disabled adults, elderly persons, or military persons. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the unambiguous language of section 2913.61(C)(1) allows aggregation of theft offenses, regardless of the status of the victim. View "State v. Pettus" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law