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

Posted in: Criminal Law

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

Posted in: Business Law, Contracts

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

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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

Posted in: Criminal Law

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

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
Appellant filed a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking an order compelling Appellee, a Court of Common Pleas of Hamilton county judge, to vacate his sentence as void and to resentencing him “according to the verdict returned by the jury.” The court of appeals dismissed Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus. Appellant appealed and also filed a motion for reversal of judgment under S. Ct. Prac. R. 16.07(B) claiming that he was entitled to judgment in his favor because the judge failed to file a brief in this appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed and denied Appellant’s motion, holding (1) the court of appeals correctly dismissed Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus; and (2) Appellant’s brief did not reasonably appear to sustain reversal. View "State ex rel. Bradford v. Dinkelacker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
Relator filed an original action in mandamus against the Cuyahoga County sheriff seeking to compel, pursuant to Ohio’s Public Records Act, the production of all offense or incident reports in the possession, custody or control of the sheriff’s office in which Edward Fitzgerald was identified as reported, complainant, or victim. Respondent, the public records manager for the sheriff, denied the request on the grounds that the records were security records pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 149.433(A)(1). The Supreme Court sua sponte ordered Respondents to submit the documents sought by Relator so the Court could review them in camera to determine which reports satisfied the definition of a “security record.” The Supreme Court granted the writ in part and denied it in part, concluding that certain records were not security records and were subject to release with the redaction of exempt information. View "State ex rel. Miller v. Pinkney" on Justia Law

Posted in: Constitutional Law

by
At issue in this case were the proper valuations for tax year 2008 of two government-subsidized housing complexes in Franklin County. For each of the two properties, the property owner filed a complaint challenging the auditor’s 2008 valuations. The Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR) rejected the appraisal evidence the property owner presented in support of a claimed reduction and adopted the auditor’s original valuation. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reversed and adopted the property owners’ appraisal valuations. The South-Western City Schools Board of Education (BOE) appealed. The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the BTA and remanded for further proceedings, holding that the BTA erred by failing to give any consideration to the contravening evidence presented by the BOE at the BTA hearing. View "Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio Village Housing, Inc. v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law