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Under Ohio law, an employer may appeal a determination by the Industrial Commission that an employee has the right to participate in the workers’ compensation fund, and although the employer files the appeal in the common pleas court, the employee is the plaintiff. At issue was whether a provision enacted in 2006 allowing an employee to dismiss an employer-initiated appeal only with the consent of the employer is constitutional. The court of appeals in this case affirmed the trial court’s judgment declaring the so-called “consent provision” of Ohio Rev. Code 4123.512(D) unconstitutional. The trial court concluded that the consent provision was unconstitutional on the grounds of due process and equal protection and violates the doctrine of separation of powers. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the consent provision of section 4123.512(D) does not improperly conflict with the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, nor does it violate the equal-protection or due-process guarantees of the federal and state Constitutions. View "Ferguson v. State" on Justia Law

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Pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 2953.52(B)(4), a trial court may seal the records in a case dismissed without prejudice before the statute of limitations has expired. Here, the State filed a complaint against Defendant charging him with arson, among other crimes. The State later dismissed the complaint without prejudice. Defendant filed an application to seal the official records of the case pursuant to section 2953.52. The trial court denied the application on the grounds that the case had been dismissed without prejudice and the statute of limitations had not yet expired. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that section 2953.52 does not require the relevant statute of limitations to expire before a trial court can grant an application to seal the records of a case dismissed without prejudice. View "State v. Dye" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of the petition for a writ of mandamus that Appellant filed against Appellees, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and related parties. In his petition, Appellant alleged that he was denied “fair and meaningful consideration” of his parole application. Appellees filed a motion to dismiss, and a court of appeals magistrate recommended dismissal on the grounds that the petition failed to state a claim. The court of appeals granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to establish that he was entitled to a writ of mandamus in this matter. View "State ex rel. Stith v. Department of Rehabilitation & Correction" on Justia Law

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In this original action, Relator sought a writ of prohibition to bar the Twelfth District Court of Appeals from hearing the State’s appeal of the trial court’s judgment of acquittal under Ohio R. Crim. P. 29(A). The appellate court filed a motion to dismiss, and Relator asked for leave to amend his complaint. The Supreme Court granted Relator’s motion for leave to amend, denied the appellate court’s motion to dismiss, and granted a peremptory writ of prohibition barring the Court of Appeals from hearing the State’s appeal, holding that the Twelfth District failed to show that it had jurisdiction to hear the State’s appeal. View "State ex rel. Ramirez-Ortiz v. Twelfth District Court of Appeals" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the tax commissioner’s denial of 2350 Morse LLC’s application for tax exemption of real property leased to a community school, holding that the BTA unreasonably ignored evidence of 2350 Morse’s intent in leasing the property. Morse sought an exemption for the property for tax year 2010 under both Ohio Rev. Code 5709.07 and 5709.121. The commissioner decided that 2350 Morse was not entitled to an exemption because the property had been leased “with a view to profit” for purposes of former section 5709.07(A)(1). The BTA affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that no reasonable reading of the record could support a finding that 2350 Morse leased the property with a view to profit. View "2350 Morse, LLC v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that denied a tax exemption for real property leased to a community school. The tax commissioner determined that for tax years 2008 through 2010, because the property owner had collected “substantial market-rate rent,” the property was leased “with a view to profit” for purposes of former Ohio Rev. Code 5709.07(A)(1), and therefore, no exemption was available. The BTA affirmed on the basis that the school’s rental payments exceeded the lessor’s expenses under the lease. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision and remanded the case, holding (1) the key inquiry in determining whether property is lease with a view to profit focuses on the intention of the lessor; and (2) the BTA unreasonably ignored evidence of the lessor’s intent in this case. View "Breeze, Inc. v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Petitioner’s petition for a writ of mandamus, holding that the claims asserted in the petition were barred by res judicata. Petitioner pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to two counts of aggravated murder. Instead of appealing, Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of mandamus, arguing that the sentencing entry was void and that he was entitled to a new sentencing hearing. The issues for review presented in the mandamus petition were identical to the claims asserted in Petitioner’s motion before the trial court. The court of appeals denied the mandamus petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the claims asserted in the petition were barred by res judicata. View "State ex rel. Hughes v. Cuyahoga County" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) determining that a corporate executive’s supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP) was not subject to the city of Cleveland’s income tax. Upon retirement, the executive became entitled to receive benefits from the SERP, which was to be paid from an annuity over the court of his and his spouse’s lives. Cleveland sought to tax the present value of those future payments at the time of the retirement. The Supreme Court held that because a Cleveland ordinance exempts “pensions” from the city income tax and because the SERP constitutes a pension, the city income tax does not apply. View "MacDonald v. Cleveland Income Tax Board of Review" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied writs of mandamus requested by Relators - the members of the Athens County and Medina County Committees of Petitioners - seeking to compel Respondents - Relators’ respective county board of elections - to certify initiative petitions to the November ballot. The petitions, which proposed the adoption of a county charter, were denied on the grounds that they were invalid. The Supreme Court held that the boards of elections were justified in finding the petitions invalid and that that issue was dispositive. Because the committees failed to establish a clear legal duty on the part of the boards to place the charter petitions on the ballot, the committees were not entitled to writs of mandamus. View "State ex rel. McGinn v. Walker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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The Supreme Court granted in part a writ of prohibition requested by Relators - Rocky Ridge Development, LLC and Stanley Industries, Inc. - against common laws court judge Bruce Winters after Judge Winters issued a temporary restraining order against Relators enjoining them from operating in Benton Township until “they are in compliance with the Benton Township Zoning Resolution and the laws of the State of Ohio.” Benton Township had filed a compliant for declaratory and injunctive relief against Relators, alleging that the companies were violating the terms of a Land Application Management Plan (LAMP), were in violation of local zoning ordinances and state law, and were creating a public nuisance. The Supreme Court (1) granted a limited writ of prohibition to prevent the judge from deciding any issues that properly belong to the Environmental Review Appeals Commission, such as the wisdom or propriety of issuing the LAMP or Rocky Ridge’s compliance with the LAMP; but (2) denied the writ as to all claims involving alleged violations of Benton Township’s local ordinances or allegations that Rocky Ridge’s operations were creating a public nuisance. View "State ex rel. Rocky Ridge, LLC v. Winters" on Justia Law