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The Supreme Court vacated the adoption decree entered in the probate court, holding that the probate judge Mark Costine patently and unambiguously lacked jurisdiction to grant Elizabeth Garrett’s petition to adopt G.G. G.G. was the granddaughter of Tamalie Garrett, who was the mother of Elizabeth. A West Virginia family court designated Elizabeth, the birth mother’s sister, as G.G.’s legal guardian and awarded Tamalie visitation. Elizabeth and G.G. subsequently moved to Ohio and filed a petition to adopt G.G. in Belmont County Probate Court. Judge Costine issued a final decree granting Elizabeth’s adoption petition. The Supreme Court vacated the adoption decree, holding that because neither the West Virginia court nor the Ohio court made a determination that the relevant persons no longer resided in West Virginia, Judge Costine’s granting of Elizabeth’s petition for adoption was a “modification” of the West Virginia order in violation of 28 U.S.C. 1738A(h). View "State ex rel. Garrett v. Costine" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In this real property valuation case involving tax year 2012, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) adopting the Franklin County Board of Revision’s (BOR) rejection of the sale price of the property at issue as the criterion of value and instead retaining the county auditor’s valuation. On appeal, the BTA found that the sale was too remote in relation to the tax-lien date. The Supreme Court remanded the case with instructions that the BTA use the sale price to value the property for tax year 2012, holding that the BTA misapplied court precedent in determining that the sale was too remote. View "Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon of Ohio, Inc. v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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At issue in this valuation case was the 2011 value, with carryover to 2012 and 2013, of a nursing home that was purchased by its former lessee in April 2011 and to what extent the sale price ought to have been allocated to assets other than the real estate. The Board of Revision (BOR) ordered a small reduction in value to $7,202,900 after making a small deduction for furniture, fixtures, and equipment. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reinstated the entire sale price of $7,490,000 as the value of the real estate. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings, holding that the BTA neglected to exercise its statutory authority to obtain a complete record and predicated its decision in part on legal errors. View "Arbors East RE, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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When reviewing a decision of a common pleas court confirming, modifying, vacating, or correcting an arbitration award, an appellate court should accept finding of fact that are not clearly erroneous but should decide questions of law de novo. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Eleventh District Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision of the trial court vacating an arbitration award and reinstated the arbitration award, holding that the court of appeals conducted a proper de novo review of the trial court’s decision. Because the court of appeals’ judgment conflicted with judgments of the Eighth District and the Twelfth District, where the court of appeals concluded that the standard of review for an appellate court reviewing a trial court decision confirming or vacating an arbitration award is an abuse of discretion, the Supreme Court determined that a conflict existed and agreed to resolve the matter. View "Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities v. Portage County. Educators' Association for Developmental Disabilities" on Justia Law

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In this challenge to the real property valuation of a Walgreens drugstore in Lancaster for tax year 2014 the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) disregarding the property owners’ appraisal and valuing the property according to a recent arm’s-length sale price. Here, as in Terraza 8, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision, 83 N.E.3d 916, the school board sought to have the real property valued according to the sale price, while the owners, relying on appraisal evidence, argued that under Ohio Rev. Code 5713.03, as amended by 2012 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 487 (“H.B. 487”), a lease encumbrance precluded use of the sale price to value the property. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the BTA to weigh and address the appraisal evidence, holding that this appeal presented a straightforward application of Terraza. In other words, the recent sale presumptively represented the value of the unencumbered fee simple estate, but the BTA must also weigh the appraisal evidence. View "Bronx Park South III Lancaster, LLC v. Fairfield County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the decision of the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (BOR) rejecting Appellant’s challenge to the tax-year-2012 valuation of his residential property by the Cuyahoga County fiscal officer. On appeal, Appellant argued that the BTA misplaced the burden of proof and did not give proper consideration to the evidence he presented in support of his claim. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the BTA acted reasonably and lawfully in retaining the fiscal officer’s valuation. View "Schutz v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus requested by Relators seeking to compel Respondents, the Mahoning County Board of Elections and its members (collectively, the Board), to place a proposed amendment to the Youngstown city charter on the May 2018 ballot. The Board voted not to place the proposed amendment on the ballot, finding that the proposed amendment “contained provisions that are beyond the scope of the City of Youngstown’s power” to enact. The Supreme Court held that Relators were entitled to a writ of mandamus because the Board offered no clear support for its conclusion that Relators’ current proposal was beyond the scope of the City’s legislative power. Therefore, Relators had a clear legal right to have their proposal placed on the ballot, and the Board had a clear legal duty to provide that relief. View "State ex rel. Khumprakob v. Mahoning County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s convictions for aggravated murder and two counts of attempted murder and Appellant’s sentence of death, imposed after a jury trial. The Court held (1) the prosecutor had no obligation to present allegedly exculpatory evidence to the grand jury; (2) the prosecutor did not commit misconduct before the grand jury or during various phases of the proceedings; (3) the trial court did not err by excusing a Spanish-speaking prospective juror; (4) courtroom closures during individual voir dire and the penalty-phase instructions did not violate Appellant’s constitutional rights to a public trial; (5) the trial court did not commit prejudicial error in its evidentiary rulings; (6) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering that Appellant be placed in restraints; (7) the trial court properly instructed the jury on transferred intent, aggravated murder, and lesser included offenses; (8) the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (9) defense counsel did not provide ineffective assistance; and (10) Appellant’s sentence was appropriate and proportional. View "State v. Wilks" 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 order of two reductions that decreased Dana Corporation’s amortizable amount against the commercial-activity tax (CAT) to $4,728,051. At issue was the special credit against the CAT set forth at Ohio Rev. Code 5751.53. One factor in calculating the CAT credit was the net operating losses (NOLs) that were incurred by the corporation before the CAT. To take the credit, Dana Corporation was required to file report with the tax commissioner that calculated an amount that would be applied gradually over a period of up to twenty years (amortizable amount) against the CAT. Dana Corporation argued that its amortizable amount was $12,493,003. The tax commissioner ordered two reductions that ultimately decreased the amortizable amount to $4,728,051. On appeal, Dana argued that the second adjustment was not authorized by 5751.53(F). The BTA disagreed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the BTA erred in affirming the reduction of the amortizable amount based on cancellation-of-debt income offset of federal NOLs. View "Dana Corp. v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The definition of “claimant” for purposes of Ohio Rev. Code 4123.931(G) is any party who is eligible to receive compensation, medical benefits, or death benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Further, a claimant becomes eligible at the time of the injury or death that occurred during the course of employment and remains eligible unless and until a determination that the claimant is not entitled to benefits has been made and has become final or, if no claim is filed, until the time allowed for filing a claim has elapsed. Loretta Verlinger, a benefits applicant, appealed the denial of her application to the Industrial Commission. During the pendency of the appeal, Verlinger settled claims with Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and Foremost Property and Casualty Insurance Company. The Commission subsequently allowed Verlinger’s claim. The trial court granted summary judgment for Verlinger, concluding that she was not a claimant pursuant to section 4123.931. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment, holding (1) Verlinger was a claimant at the time she settled with the insurance companies; and (2) Metropolitan and Foremost were jointly and severally liable to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, a statutory subrogee, for the full amount of its subrogation interest. View "Bureau of Workers' Compensation v. Verlinger" on Justia Law