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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Torbeck v. Indus. Mfg. Co. C-140533APPELLATE REVIEW/CIVIL - PROCEDURE/RULES - STANDING: Where the corporation was not named as an appellant in the notice of appeal, the principal shareholder's appeal must be dismissed, because the principal shareholder lacked standing to appeal the trial court's entry of a directed verdict on the corporation's claims for breach of the duty of loyalty and misappropriation of trade secrets and the court's denial of punitive damages on the corporation's misappropriation of trade secrets claim.MockHamilton 7/31/2015 7/31/2015 2015-Ohio-3041
State v. Bailey C-140129HEARSAY - PROSECUTOR - COUNSEL - EVIDENCE - SENTENCING - ALLIED OFFENSES - R.C. 2941.25: The victim's initial statements to her father describing her attack and identifying her "neighbor" as her assailant were admissible as excited utterances under Evid.R. 803(2), and their admission was not plain error, where they related to a brutal and terrifying attack, and they were made while the victim was under the stress of excitement caused by that startling attack, which dominated her reflective faculties. Plain error may not be invoke to exclude allegedly prejudicial hearsay testimony to which defense counsel did not object, when the record demonstrates that counsel's failure to object was deliberate and a part of a legitimate trial strategy. The defendant failed to demonstrate prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument, where the challenged comments of the prosecutor were based on the evidence and within the latitude afforded the prosecutor in closing argument. The defendant failed to demonstrate that counsel was ineffective for not objecting to allegedly hearsay statements of the victim identifying her "neighbor" as her assailant, where the victim's initial statements to her father were admissible as excited utterances, and where counsel's failure to object to the other allegedly hearsay statements was part of a reasonably sound trial strategy that fell with the wide range of professionally competent assistance as it provided the foundation for the argument that the victim, who was mentally disabled, had been misled into identifying the defendant as her assailant. The defendant's convictions for burglary, robbery, and felonious assault were supported by sufficient evidence and were not against the manifest weight of the evidence, where the victim identified him as her assailant, the defendant demonstrated knowledge of an undisclosed crime detail during a police interview, his DNA was found on tape placed over the peephole on a neighbor's door, and nothing in the record demonstrated that the jury lost its way in convicting the defendant. Where the trial court failed to incorporate the R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) findings for consecutive sentences into the sentencing entry, the failure must be corrected on remand. The merger of the burglary and robbery offenses was not appropriate: the offenses were of a dissimilar import where the commission of the robbery resulted in physical harm that had a significance apart from the harm inflicted when the defendant committed the burglary by trespassing into the victim's apartment with the intent to deprive her of her property. The merger of the robbery and felonious-assault offenses was not appropriate: the defendant gratuitously and repeatedly inflicted serious physical harm on the victim by choking her with her scarf, beating her in the face, and stabbing her in the neck with a knife, and the manner in which the harm was inflicted, in conjunction with the other circumstances, including the absence of evidence that she resisted the attack, demonstrated that the defendant acted with a specific intent to seriously harm her.CunninghamHamilton 7/29/2015 7/29/2015 2015-Ohio-2997
State v. Brown C-140509SENTENCING - PROCEDURE/RULES: The trial court did not fail to comply with Crim.R. 32(A)(1) where it afforded the defendant and defense counsel the opportunity to present information in mitigation of punishment, and where the defendant took full advantage of the opportunity by engaging in a vulgar and profanity-laden tirade.HendonHamilton 7/24/2015 7/24/2015 2015-Ohio-2960
Deutsche Bank v. Smith C-140514FORECLOSURE - REAL PROPERTY - PROCEDURE/RULES - RES JUDICATA/ESTOPPEL: The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to the bank in its foreclosure action where the evidence was uncontroverted that the homeowner had not made payments since 2008 and that the loan had been accelerated, and the homeowner did not put forth any evidence that she had tendered any payment that was rejected or that amounts due had been miscalculated. The two-dismissal rule does not apply where the present claim is different from the previously dismissed claims. The homeowner was barred from asserting res judicata in her motion for summary judgment because it was not timely raised. The homeowner did not demonstrate that she was prejudiced when the assigned judge determined the material issues but another judge signed the judgment entry.DeWineHamilton 7/24/2015 7/24/2015 2015-Ohio-2961
Carnes v. Carnes C-140520DIVORCE AND DISSOLUTION - DOMESTIC RELATIONS - PROCEDURE/RULES: The trial court abused its discretion when it denied wife's Civ.R. 60(B) motion to set aside the divorce decree: the movant established that the parties were mistaken as to the validity of their marriage, which satisfied the ground to vacate set forth in Civ.R. 60(B)(1); she should have proceeded under a different statutory provision in terminating her marriage; and she timely filed her motion several months after the journalization of the decree. A marriage is presumed to continue until the death of a spouse or the entry of a court decree dissolving the marriage. Where two marriages have been "solemnized" and the record is silent as to whether there has been a divorce of the parties to the first marriage, there is a presumption that the status of the parties to the first marriage continues. The burden is on the party claiming the validity of the second marriage to overcome the presumption. If that presumption is not overcome, the second marriage is determined to be bigamous and void. Although the movant did not refer to Civ.R. 60(B)(1) or use the term "mistake" when presenting her motion to vacate the divorce decree based in part upon the recent discovery of bigamy, this court may address the issue because the mistake of the parties was necessarily a subpart of her argument in the lower and appellate courts, the evidentiary basis for the issue was adduced before the trial court, and the nonmovant has had the opportunity to challenge it. [But see DISSENT: The majority exceeds the appropriate limits of appellate review by upsetting a final judgment on a ground that was not raised below and that finds only tenuous support in the record.]CunninghamHamilton 7/22/2015 7/22/2015 2015-Ohio-2925
Lepore v. Breidenbach C-140310DOMESTIC RELATIONS-CHILD SUPPORT-CONTEMPT-APPELLATE REVIEW/CIVIL-RES JUDICATA/ESTOPPEL: In an action for contempt for failing to pay child support, the domestic relations court erred in vacating the magistrate's contempt finding on the basis that the child-support order was invalid. The domestic relations court's failure to order the payment of child support through the child support enforcement agency, as required by R.C. 3121.44 and 3121.45, rendered the order voidable and thus assailable only on direct appeal or in a timely Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment. The domestic relations court's child-support order, while voidable, was valid and enforceable through contempt, because the order had not been reversed, vacated, or set aside. In an action for contempt for failing to pay child support, the doctrine of res judicata barred consideration of the validity of the child-support order, when the contemnor had not appealed either the order or the overruling of his Civ.R. 60(B) motion challenging the order.FischerHamilton 7/22/2015 7/22/2015 2015-Ohio-2929
Pierce v. Durrani C-140276COUNSEL - DAMAGES - JURIES - NEW TRIAL - MALPRACTICE: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in overruling the defendant's motion for a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct where the defendant failed to demonstrate prejudice from the alleged juror misconduct. The trial court did not err in overruling the defendant's motion for a new trial on the basis of misconduct by the plaintiff's counsel where the record did not show egregious misconduct by counsel or that counsel's conduct affected the basic fairness and integrity of the proceedings. Jury interrogatories stating that the plaintiff had given informed consent for a surgery but that the defendant doctor had fraudulently misrepresented the need for the surgery were not contradictory to each other or inconsistent with the general verdict in favor of the plaintiff. [But see CONCURRENCE: The jury's interrogatories were contradictory to each other, but not inconsistent with the general verdict for the plaintiff.] The trial court did not err in overruling the defendant's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the issue of damages for the plaintiff's lost wages, because competent, credible evidence supported the jury's award.MockHamilton 7/15/2015 7/15/2015 2015-Ohio-2835
State v. Thompson C-140746, C-140747COMMUNITY CONTROL - SENTENCING: Any error in the trial court's failure to conduct a preliminary "probable-cause" hearing during defendant's community-control-revocation proceeding was harmless, because defendant did not object to the lack of a hearing, pleaded "no contest" to the charges and could not demonstrate any prejudice. We can presume from a silent record that the trial court considered the factors set forth in R.C. 2929.11 and 2929.12 prior to imposing sentence.MockHamilton 7/15/2015 7/15/2015 2015-Ohio-2836
State v. Smith C-140599CONSTITUTIONAL LAW/CRIMINAL - WEAPONS: R.C. 2923.16 is not void for vagueness or ambiguous, because it provides a person of ordinary intelligence with fair notice as to what type of conduct is prohibited. While R.C. 2923.16(B) prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle if the firearm is accessible to any operator or passenger without leaving the vehicle, it does not make lawful the carrying of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle if the firearm is not accessible without leaving the vehicle. R.C. 2923.16(B) and (C) are not internally inconsistent: R.C. 2923.16(B) prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in the passenger compartment of a vehicle, while R.C. 2923.16(C) regulates the manner in which an unloaded firearm may be transported. Where the defendant violated R.C. 2923.16(C) by transporting loaded firearms in the trunk of his car, the trial court erred in finding the defendant guilty of and imposing sentence for a first-degree misdemeanor, because a violation of R.C. 2923.16(C) is a fourth-degree misdemeanor.HendonHamilton 7/10/2015 7/10/2015 2015-Ohio-2769
Richardson v. Campbell C-140692DAMAGES - LANDLORD/TENANT: The trial court did not err in failing to award plaintiff landlord reimbursement for repairs the landlord claimed she had to make to the leased property due to the tenant's conduct, because the landlord failed to meet her burden to prove the damages by a preponderance of the evidence. The trial court erred in failing to award unpaid rent for a month when the landlord could not rent the property due to damage, even though the tenant had moved out, where the lease specifically stated that the tenant was liable for unpaid rents until the expiration of the lease or until the property was leased to another tenant. The trial court erred in failing to award the landlord damages for reimbursement for a water bill not paid by the tenant where the landlord presented evidence of the unpaid bill and where the lease stated that the tenant was responsible for all utilities.MockHamilton 7/10/2015 7/10/2015 2015-Ohio-2770