Articles Posted in Constitutional Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of aggravated murder with a death specification, felony-murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and other crimes and the trial court’s imposition of the death penalty. On appeal, Defendant presented eighteen propositions of law. The Supreme Court examined each of Defendant’s claims and found that none had merit. Accordingly, the Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentence of death, holding that there was no reversible error committed in the proceedings below and that Defendant was not entitled to relief. View "State v. Myers" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that Ohio’s death-penalty scheme does not violate the right to a trial by jury as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Appellant was sentenced to death. The court of appeals remanded the case to the trial court for a new penalty-phase trial. On remand, Appellant moved to dismiss the capital specification from his indictment, arguing that Ohio’s death-penalty scheme is unconstitutional under the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Hurst v. Florida, __ U.S. __ (2016). Hurst invalidated Florida’s former capital-sentencing scheme because it “required the judge alone to find the existence of an aggravating circumstance.” The trial court granted the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Ohio law requires the critical jury findings that were not required by the law at issue in Hurst, Ohio’s death-penalty scheme does not violate a defendant’s right to a trial by jury as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. View "State v. Mason" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Relator’s motion for leave to amend his complaint and denied the writ of mandamus he sought to compel Respondents, the City of Columbus and the Franklin County Board of Elections, to remove a proposal to amend the Columbus city charter from the May 8, 2018 ballot. On March 9, 2018, Relator filed a formal protest against the proposed charter amendment, arguing that it was substantively unconstitutional and that the summary language was false and deceptive. Three days later, the office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted approved the final ballot language. The board of elections then informed Relator it would not hold a hearing on his protest. Relator then filed this complaint against the city and the board of elections seeking a writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court (1) denied the writ, holding that the language of the proposed Columbus charter conveyed enough information for voters to know what they were being asked to vote on; and (2) denied as moot the motion for leave to amend the complaint to name Husted as a respondent. View "State ex rel. Schuck v. Columbus" on Justia Law

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Preterm, a state licensed ambulatory surgical facility that provides abortion services, sued asserting that provisions of H.B. 59 (R.C. 3702.30, 3702.302-3702.308, 3727.60; 2317.56, 2919.19-2919.193, 4731.22, 5101.80, 5101.801, 5101.804) are unrelated to the state budget and should be declared void as violating the Single Subject Clause of Article II of the Ohio Constitution. The Written Transfer Agreement Provisions require that an ambulatory surgical facility “shall have a written transfer agreement with a local hospital" and prohibit a “public hospital” from entering into such an agreement with a facility “in which nontherapeutic abortions are performed or induced.” The Heartbeat Provisions provide that unless there is a medical emergency, no person shall perform or induce an abortion before “determining if the unborn human individual has a detectable fetal heartbeat” and notifying the pregnant woman of the results. The Parenting and Pregnancy Provisions permit the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to offer TANF (federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) block grant funds to certain entities “not involved in or associated with any abortion activities.” The Supreme Court of Ohio held that Preterm lacked standing to bring the challenge. Preterm has not proven it suffered or is threatened with direct and concrete injury from the passage of the 2013 state budget bill. View "Preterm-Cleveland, Inc. v. Kasich" on Justia Law

Posted in: Constitutional Law

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Since 1996, Ohio Department of Health regulations have required ambulatory surgical facilities to have a written transfer agreement with a hospital to facilitate treatment in the event of an emergency beyond the capability of the facility. ODH interprets Ohio Adm.Code 3701-83-19(E) to require ambulatory surgical facilities to have a transfer agreement with a hospital within 30 minutes’ transport from the facility. In 2013, the General Assembly enacted R.C. 3702.303(A), expressly requiring written transfer agreements to be negotiated with local hospitals. Capital operated with a negotiated written transfer agreement with the University of Toledo Medical Center but in April 2013, the university advised Capital that it would not renew its contract, which expired in July 2013. Capital continued operating without an agreement until January 20, 2014, when it negotiated a new agreement with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor,52 miles from Capital’s facility. ODH revoked Capital’s health care facility license. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the law, rejecting an argument that its enactment impedes rights guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. The matter is a policy decision made by the legislature, vesting the authority to license ambulatory surgical facilities in the ODH and defining the scope of judicial review of its decisions. Adhering to the doctrine of separation of powers, the court held that the order revoking Capital’s license was supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence and is in accordance with law. View "Capital Care Network of Toledo v. Ohio Department of Health" on Justia Law

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Since 1996, Ohio Department of Health regulations have required ambulatory surgical facilities to have a written transfer agreement with a hospital to facilitate treatment in the event of an emergency beyond the capability of the facility. ODH interprets Ohio Adm.Code 3701-83-19(E) to require ambulatory surgical facilities to have a transfer agreement with a hospital within 30 minutes’ transport from the facility. In 2013, the General Assembly enacted R.C. 3702.303(A), expressly requiring written transfer agreements to be negotiated with local hospitals. Capital operated with a negotiated written transfer agreement with the University of Toledo Medical Center but in April 2013, the university advised Capital that it would not renew its contract, which expired in July 2013. Capital continued operating without an agreement until January 20, 2014, when it negotiated a new agreement with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor,52 miles from Capital’s facility. ODH revoked Capital’s health care facility license. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the law, rejecting an argument that its enactment impedes rights guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. The matter is a policy decision made by the legislature, vesting the authority to license ambulatory surgical facilities in the ODH and defining the scope of judicial review of its decisions. Adhering to the doctrine of separation of powers, the court held that the order revoking Capital’s license was supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence and is in accordance with law. View "Capital Care Network of Toledo v. Ohio Department of Health" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of mandamus filed by a group of landowners (“Landowners”) seeking an order compelling the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (“the Division”) and its chief to commence appropriation proceedings to compensate Landowners for their land that was included in an oil and gas drilling unit. Landowners objected an an order issued by the chief requiring that a reservoir of oil and gas underlying multiple tracts of land be operated as a unit to recover the oil and gas, arguing that the order amounted to a taking of their property for which they must be compensated. The Supreme Court denied Landowners’ petition for a writ of mandamus, holding that Landowners had an adequate remedy by way of appeal to the county court of common pleas. View "State ex rel. Kerns v. Simmers" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of mandamus filed by a group of landowners (“Landowners”) seeking an order compelling the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (“the Division”) and its chief to commence appropriation proceedings to compensate Landowners for their land that was included in an oil and gas drilling unit. Landowners objected an an order issued by the chief requiring that a reservoir of oil and gas underlying multiple tracts of land be operated as a unit to recover the oil and gas, arguing that the order amounted to a taking of their property for which they must be compensated. The Supreme Court denied Landowners’ petition for a writ of mandamus, holding that Landowners had an adequate remedy by way of appeal to the county court of common pleas. View "State ex rel. Kerns v. Simmers" on Justia Law

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A law enforcement agency’s policy that an arrestee’s personal effects must accompany the arrestee to jail, on its own, cannot justify the warrantless retrieval of an arrestee’s personal effects from a location that is protected under the Fourth Amendment. Further, a search of personal effects obtained as a result of following such a policy is not a valid inventory search. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals, which upheld the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence found during the search of her purse, and vacated Defendant’s convictions for felony possession of drugs and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and drug-abuse instruments. The court held (1) the removal of Defendant’s purse from a car in which Defendant was a passenger and the subsequent search of the purse was unlawful; and (2) the exclusionary rule applied to require the suppression of the evidence obtained during the unconstitutional search. View "State v. Banks-Harvey" on Justia Law

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In this case alleging breach of contract, fraud, retaliation, constructive discharge, and invasion of privacy, the Supreme Court held (1) in Ohio, punitive damages may not be awarded for a breach of contract; (2) a party to a contract does not breach the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing by seeking to enforce the agreement as written or by acting in accordance with its express terms, and the implied duty is not breached unless a specific obligation imposed by the contract is not met; (3) a release of liability is an absolute bar to a later action on any claim encompassed within it absent a showing of fraud, duress, or other wrongful conduct in procuring it, and a party must prove duress by clear and convincing evidence; (4) the prevention of performance doctrine is not a defense to a release of liability and therefore cannot be asserted as a defense to a release; and (5) a claimant cannot rely on predictions or projections that relate to future performance or that are made to third parties to establish a fraud claim. View "Lucarell v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co." on Justia Law