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The Supreme Court denied Relators’ petition seeking a writ of mandamus compelling the Lorain County Board of Election to certify an initiative petition for the November ballot. The petition sought to repeal a county permissive sales tax. The Lorain County Board of Elections voted not to place the petition on the general election ballot on the grounds that Ohio Rev. Code 5739.022 does not permit an initiative petition to repeal a county permissive tax that was not passed or enacted as an emergency measure. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that section 5739.022(A) did not provide Relators the clear legal right to have the petition placed on the November ballot. View "State ex rel. Repeal Lorain County Permissive Sales Tax Committee v. Lorain County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that valued the land underlying the North Bank Condominiums in Franklin County for tax year 2013. The BTA adopted the value found in an appraisal report submitted by the Columbus City Schools Board of Education (BOE). The unit owners appealed, arguing that the BTA should have adopted the land value in their appraisal report rather than the higher value in the BOE’s appraisal report. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA did not abuse its discretion in finding the BOE’s appraisal to be more probative and in thus adopting the land value found in the BOE’s appraisal. View "NWD 300 Spring, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that increased the tax value of property owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. On appeal, State Farm challenged the BTA’s reliance on a November 2013 sale price in ordering an increase from the $14,000,000 value adopted by the BTA for tax year 2011 to $25,092,330 for tax year 2012. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the 2013 sale price was not indicative of value because it was not at arm’s length for purposes of determining property value. The court then ordered that the Board of Revision’s value of $14,000,000 be reinstated for tax year 2012. View "Columbus City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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An employer does not face liability for the violation of a specific safety requirement (VSSR) when it lacked knowledge of a specific danger requiring a safety device. Employee suffered a head injury while working for Employer. The Industrial Commission awarded workers’ compensation benefits and granted an additional award to Employee based upon its finding that Employer had violated a specific safety requirement in failing to provide Employee with protective headgear. Employer filed a mandamus action in the court of appeals challenging the additional award. The court of appeals denied the writ, concluding that Employer had waived a central issue in its mandamus action by not raising it during proceedings before the Commission. The Supreme Court reversed and ordered a limited writ of mandamus ordering the Commission to determine whether Employer knew or should have known about the latent defect at the time that Employee was injured, holding (1) waiver did not apply in this case because the central issue raised in Employer’s mandamus action was not raised by the parties below; and (2) if Employer lacked the requisite knowledge of a design defect at the time of the injury, it cannot have violated a specific safety requirement. View "State ex rel. Camaco, LLC v. Albu" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission to vacate its award to Employee of permanent-partial-disability compensation under Ohio Rev. Code 4123.57(A) and to issue an order denying the award, holding that, pursuant to State ex rel. Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, Inc. v. Industrial Commission (“Ohio Presbyterian I”), 79 N.E.3d 522 (Ohio 2016), when an injured employee is receiving permanent-total-disability compensation pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 4123.58, the Commission is without statutory authority to grant in the same claim permanent-partial-disability compensation under section 4123.57(A). Employee in this case moved the court to reconsider its holding in Ohio Presbyterian I. The Supreme Court granted the motion, reopened the case for further consideration, and concluded that its holding in Ohio Presbyterian I was not made in error. Because the Commission granted Employee permanent-total-disability compensation and then permanent-partial-disability compensation in the same claim, the Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus ordering the Commission to vacate its award of permanent-partial-disability compensation to Employee under section 4123.57(A) and to issue an order denying the award. View "State ex rel. Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Servs., Inc. v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the orders issued by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) finding that the presence of stray gas near Appellants’ properties created a verifiable safety hazard that justified Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc.’s discontinuing gas service to the homes. Specifically, the court held (1) Appellants’ argument that PUCO misinterpreted Ohio Rev. Code 4905.20 and 4905.21 by permitting Columbia Gas to withdraw natural-gas service without filing an abandonment application was unavailing; and (2) PUCO did not err in determining that Columbia Gas did not violate Ohio Rev. Code 4905.22’s prohibition against furnishing inadequate service. View "In re Complaints of Lycourt-Donovan v. Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc." on Justia Law

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When a juvenile whose parents are deceased appears at an amenability hearing, the juvenile is not required to ask for the appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL). Rather, a GAL must be appointed as mandated by Ohio Rev. Code 2151.281(A)(1) and Juv. R. 4(B)(1). Further, the juvenile court’s failure to appoint a GAL in a delinquency proceeding is subject to criminal plain-error review if the juvenile does not object. After an amenability hearing, a judge concluded that Appellant, a juvenile, was not amenable to care and rehabilitation in the juvenile system and that Appellant was to be transferred to adult court. In common pleas court, Appellant pleaded guilty to one count of burglary, two counts of felonious assault, and one count of aggravated robbery, each including a firearm specification. On appeal, Appellant argued that the juvenile court committed plain error when it failed to appoint a GAL for his amenability hearing. The court of appeals concluded that the juvenile court erred in failing to appoint a GAL but that Appellant was unable to demonstrate prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to show that the juvenile court’s error in failing to appoint a GAL at the amenability hearing affected the outcome of the proceeding. View "State v. Morgan" on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law

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There was no error in the determination of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that the plan of the Illuminating Company to remove a silver maple tree located near the company’s transmission line was reasonable. The tree belonged to Mary-Martha and Dennis Corrigan and stood within the company’s easement running through the Corrigan’s property. The Corrigans appealed, arguing primarily that the evidence did not support findings that pruning was impracticable and that the tree posed a threat to the line. The Supreme Court rejected the Corrigans’ evidentiary challenges, holding that the Corrigans failed to show that the Commission’s decision was unlawful or unreasonable. View "Corrigan v. Illuminating Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of aggravated murder with three death specifications and his sentence of death. The court held (1) the trial court did not err by denying Defendant’s motion for change of venue; (2) Defendant’s trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance in conducting voir dire; (3) the trial court did not err by denying Defendant’s motion to suppress the murder weapon as evidence; (4) the trial court did not err in refusing to suppress Defendant’s post-arrest statements; (5) the evidence was legally sufficient to convict Defendant of tampering with evidence; (6) guilt-phase evidence was properly used against Defendant in the penalty phase; (7) the state did not make improper statements during closing arguments in the penalty phase; (8) there was no error in the trial court’s sentencing opinion; and (9) the death sentence was proportionate to those affirmed in similar cases. View "State v. Martin" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that the common pleas court had jurisdiction over a motion to show cause. Appellant, an attorney, filed this action for a writ of prohibition arguing that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hold a show cause hearing in a civil lawsuit. The court of appeals granted the motion to dismiss filed by the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas and Judge Elizabeth Thomakos, holding that the trial court had jurisdiction over the contempt proceedings and that Appellant had an adequate remedy at law by way of appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed on appeal, holding that Appellant failed to establish the trial court’s lack of jurisdiction to rule on the contempt motion. View "State ex rel. Mancino v. Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure