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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Brown v. Conway C-140086CONTRACTS - EVIDENCE - APPELLATE REVIEW/CIVIL: The trial court's determination that there was no operating agreement between the parties was contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence where both parties sought relief under the agreement: defendant's assertion in his answer and counterclaim that he and plaintiff had executed an operating agreement constituted a judicial admission for purposes of trial. The holding that the trial court erred in determining that there was no operating agreement between the parties rendered moot plaintiff-appellant's arguments that the trial court erred in finding that appellant had committed fraud and in awarding damages to a party who lacked standing. [But see DISSENT: The plaintiff-appellant's arguments relating to fraud and standing are independent of and are not implicated by this court's holding regarding the existence of an operating agreement, and therefore, were not rendered moot by our holding that the trial court erred in determining that there was no operating agreement between the parties.]HendonHamilton 5/27/2015 5/27/2015 2015-Ohio-2007
State v. McDonald C-140303, C-140304, C-140305, C-140306SENTENCING: The defendant's appeals taken from his convictions for possession of heroin in the case numbered B-1301298 (appeal numbered C-140304) and for possession of cocaine in the case numbered B-1401180 (appeal numbered C-140303) were subject to dismissal as abandoned appeals where the defendant had not assigned any error relating to the convictions. The trial court committed plain error by refusing to award jail-time credit in the case numbered B-08o724 (appeal numbered C-140305) when it had ordered the sentence in that case be served concurrently to the sentence in the case numbered B-0609239, in which the trial court had awarded the defendant 158 days of jail-time credit. Because the defendant had been sentenced to concurrent prison terms, the same number of days of jail-time credit had to be applied toward each concurrent term. State v. Fugate, 117 Ohio St.3d 261, 2008-Ohio-856, 883 N.E.2d 440 (followed). Where the defendant was sentenced to a prison term following the revocation of his community control in the case numbered B-0609239 (appeal numbered C-140306), and the sentencing had occurred after the effective date of Am.Sub. H.B. 86, which had reduced the penalties for possession of cocaine from a fourth-degree felony to a fifth-degree felony, the defendant was entitled under R.C. 1.58 to be sentenced for a fifth-degree felony [But see DISSENT: Because the trial court imposed a penalty for the crack-cocaine-possession offense in 2008, when it sentenced the defendant to community control, and Am.Sub.H.B. did not contain any provision reducing the degree and penalty for those found guilty of violating the terms of community control, R.C. 1.58(B) did not apply, and the defendant was properly sentenced without the benefit of the reductions provided by Am.Sub.H.B. 86.]FischerHamilton 5/20/2015 5/20/2015 2015-Ohio-1911
IN re M.B. C-140405, C-140406BURGLARY/B&E/TRESPASS - DELINQUENCY - POSSESSION OF CRIMINAL TOOLS: Where the rear door of a closed store was damaged, its deadbolt lock pried nearly completely out of the door, leaving a small circular hole in the door, and exposing the lock's bolt, which extended through the door's edge into its strike plate in the doorframe, and the edge of the door near the lock had been pushed slightly inward, about a half inch from its original seating in the frame, and the juvenile, who was seen running from the store with a crowbar in his hand, admitted that he had been trying to break into the store to steal cigarettes, the juvenile court erred by adjudicating the juvenile delinquent for breaking and entering under R.C. 2911.13(A), because the record was devoid of evidence that any part of the juvenile's body had protruded through or beyond the door of the store; however, the evidence was sufficient for a adjudication of delinquency for attempted breaking and entering. Where the juvenile is properly adjudicated delinquent for an attempted breaking and entering for his attempt to enter a closed store to steal cigarettes by prying the store's door with a crowbar, the juvenile court properly adjudicated him for what would have constituted felony possession of criminal tools had he been an adult, because his intent was not to simply commit an attempted breaking and entering; his conduct, if successful, would have resulted in the offense of breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree.HendonHamilton 5/20/2015 5/20/2015 2015-Ohio-1912
State v. Prince C-140496, C-140497, C-140498SPEEDY TRIAL: The trial court did not err in denying the defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of a speedy trial, because the defendant's speedy-trial rights were not violated where the trial began before the defendant's speedy-trial time expired and the continuance granted to the state was of reasonable cause and duration.DeWineHamilton 5/20/2015 5/20/2015 2015-Ohio-1913
State v. Washington C-140315JURISDICTION/VENUE - SENTENCING - JAIL-TIME CREDIT: The common pleas court lacked jurisdiction to correct the amount of jail-time credit in the sentencing entry after defendant had appealed the court's judgment, because the trial court's granting defendant additional days of jail-time credit constituted an act inconsistent with the appeals court's jurisdiction to review the original judgment. The common pleas court should have included 212 days of jail-time credit in the sentencing entry, where the record reflected that defendant had been arrested on October 30, 2013, and had been confined continuously until he had been sentenced on May 29, 2014.FischerHamilton 5/15/2015 5/15/2015 2015-Ohio-1815
State v. Keeling C-140393POSTCONVICTION-CONSTITUTIONAL LAW/CRIMINAL: The common pleas court properly dismissed the postconviction petition for lack of jurisdiction: R.C. 2953.21 et seq. did not confer jurisdiction to entertain the late and successive petition; and petitioner's allied-offenses and double-jeopardy claims, even if demonstrated, would not have rendered his convictions void. The common pleas court did not violate the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the United States Constitution or deny the rights to due process and equal protection secured by the Fourteenth Amendment, when it refused to apply State v. Johnson, 128 Ohio St.3d 153, 2010-Ohio-6314, 942 N.E.2d 1061, retroactively or to rule that petitioner's Johnson-based allied-offenses claims were not barred under the doctrine of res judicata: the Ohio Supreme Court held in State v. Ketterer, 140 Ohio St.3d 400, 2014-Ohio-3973, 18 N.E.3d 1199, that res judicata applies, and that Johnson does not apply retroactively to convictions that have become final before Johnson was decided; and neither the common pleas court nor the court of appeals was free to decide otherwise, because an inferior court must follow the controlling authority of a higher court, leaving to the higher court the prerogative of overruling its own decision. R.C. 2953.23(A)(1)(a) does not violate the federal constitutional right to due process or the due-course-of-law or access-to-courts guarantees of Article I, Section 16, of the Ohio Constitution, to the extent that it affords jurisdiction to entertain a late or successive postconviction claim based on a new, retrospectively applicable federal or state right recognized by the United States Supreme Court, but not a claim that, like petitioner's allied-offenses claim, is based on the new ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court in State v. Johnson, 128 Ohio St.3d 153, 2010-Ohio-6314, 942 N.E.2d 1061.HendonHamilton 5/13/2015 5/13/2015 2015-Ohio-1774
Lyons v. Kindell C-140160DISCOVERY-PROCEDURE/RULES-APPELLATE REVIEW/CIVIL: The trial court did not abuse its discretion by entering a default judgment as a sanction under Civ.R. 37 for the defendant's willful failure to comply with its discovery order, where the record demonstrates that despite an order that the defendant respond to the plaintiff's discovery requests by a certain date, the defendant produced nothing in response. [See CONCURRENCE: The defendant's behavior, ignoring discovery requests for months and failing to respond until a motion to compel or for sanctions was filed, is harmful to the parties, costly to the courts and taxpayers, and brings disrepute to the justice system.] [But see DISSENT: The trial court abused its discretion by entering a default judgment as a sanction for violating its discovery order, where the defendant's conduct in failing to respond to the plaintiff's discovery requests was neither willful nor in bad faith, and the court should have imposed a far less drastic sanction before resorting to the harshest possible sanction.] The trial court properly denied defendant's Civ.R. 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss the complaint on statute-of-limitations grounds, because the question of whether the plaintiff's claims were time-barred could not be resolved conclusively on the face of the complaint.Where the appellant failed to file all portions of the transcript relevant to his allegation that the trial court's judgment was unsupported by the evidence, the appellate court must presume the validity of the trial court's proceedings.Cunningham  5/6/2015 5/6/2015 2015-Ohio-1709
Siegel v. Siegel C-140296CHILDREN: The trial court abused its discretion when it failed to consider shared parenting for the reason that the shared-parenting plan filed 26 days before the custody hearing was untimely filed, because the court retained flexibility to accept a plan filed outside the 30-day statutory deadline, the other party did not object to the technically late filing and her due-process rights were not impaired by the delay, and the court's actions prior to and during the custody hearing demonstrated that the court was considering shared parenting in making its parenting-allocation decision.Cunningham  5/6/2015 5/6/2015 2015-Ohio-1710
State v. Bell C-140345EVIDENCE - HOMICIDE - JURISDICTION/VENUE - MIRANDA - NEW TRIAL - ALLIED OFFENSES - R.C. 2941.25 - SENTENCING: The trial court did not err in overruling the defendant's motion to sever counts in the indictment related to two sets of offenses that occurred on separate dates and at separate places, where evidence from a robbery in the first set of offenses would have been admissible as other-acts evidence in the trial of the second set of offenses, and where the evidence as to both sets of offenses was simple and direct. Under R.C. 2901.12(H), venue was proper in Hamilton County on two counts of the indictment that involved a robbery that occurred in Butler County, because all of the charged offenses involved a course of conduct in both counties using the same modus operandi. When the defendant was handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser at the scene of a suspected shooting after he had been seen running down the street, a reasonable person in the defendant's situation would not have felt free to leave, and therefore, the defendant was in custody for purposes of determining whether the police officers should have read him his Miranda rights. Even though the defendant was in custody, the admission into evidence of statements he made as the result of police questioning before he was read his Miranda rights was harmless, because he made the same statements to the homicide detectives after being read his rights, and the evidence against the defendant was otherwise overwhelming. Under R.C. 2933.81(B), because the defendant was suspected of committing a homicide and his interview with police detectives was both audibly and visually recorded, the defendant's statements were presumed to be voluntary, and the burden shifted to him to prove that his statements were not voluntary. The trial court did not err in overruling the defendant's motion to suppress his statements to homicide detectives after being read his Miranda rights, because the defendant failed to overcome the presumption that the waiver of his rights was voluntary, where there was no evidence that the defendant suffered any deprivation or that he was subjected to coercive interrogation techniques, and nothing in the record showed that his will was overborne by coercive police misconduct. The trial court did not err in overruling the defendant's motion for a mistrial even though his girlfriend/coconspirator testified on two occasions that the defendant had been to prison, where the record does not show that the state deliberately elicited the testimony, and the trial court instructed the jury to disregard the statements and ordered them stricken. The trial court did not err in admitting into evidence letters the defendant had written to his girlfriend while in jail awaiting trial, even though they contained evidence if other bad acts, where the letters were admitted to show the defendant's identity as the shooter, as well as his motive, intent and plan. The trial court did not err in overruling the defendant's motion to exclude from evidence letters and text messages between him and his girlfriend that directly tied the defendant to the criminal acts, because while their admission into evidence prejudiced the defendant, they did not unfairly prejudice him. The trial court did not err in failing to merge three counts of the indictment, even though the defendant argued they were allied offenses of similar import, because they involved a continuing course of conduct, and because two of the offenses involved separate victims and the third involved a harm separate from the other two. The defendant was not subject to cruel and unusual punishment when he received a total sentence of life plus 45 years, because the individual sentences fell within the appropriate statutory ranges, the trial court made the appropriate findings justifying consecutive sentences, and none of the individual sentences was grossly disproportionate to its respective offense, even though a large aggregate prison term resulted from the imposition of those sentences.FischerHamilton 5/6/2015 5/6/2015 2015-Ohio-1711
Stewart v. Boland C-140376, C-140395PROBATE - ESTATE ASSETS - JOINT-AND-SURVIVORSHIP ACCOUNT - ATTORNEY FEES: In the absence of fraud, duress, undue influence, or lack of mental capacity on the part of the depositor, the opening of a joint-and-survivorship account is conclusive evidence that the depositor intended to transfer to the survivor the balance remaining in the account at the depositor's death, and where the administrator of the decedent's estate failed to overcome the presumption with clear and convincing evidence, the funds remaining in the account were nonprobate assets, not subject to the probate court's jurisdiction. In an assets-concealment action, the probate court erred by determining that funds remaining in a joint-and-survivorship account upon the depositor's death were probate assets, where the evidence did not support a finding that the depositor had lacked the capacity to create the account. In an assets-concealment action under R.C. 2109.52, the probate court did not err in failing to award attorney fees to the administrator of the decedent's estate, where the court determined that the magistrate's failure to award attorney fees was not an abuse of discretion and the administrator had not presented any evidence of what fees were incurred.HendonHamilton 5/6/2015 5/6/2015 2015-Ohio-1712