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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Stroud v. Four E Properties, Inc. C-170215APPELLATE REVIEW/CIVIL - CIV.R. 15 - PROCEDURE/RULES: Where appellant failed to transmit all parts of the record necessary to resolve an assignment of error, appellant was unable to demonstrate that error, and the appellate court presumed the regularity of the proceedings below and affirmed the trial court's judgment. Where the trial court had entered a final judgment, appellant's Civ.R. 15 motion for leave to file an amended complaint was a legal nullity.MillerHamilton 5/16/2018 5/16/2018 2018-Ohio-1910
State v. Owens C-170413SENTENCING - MANDATORY FINE - INDIGENCY: Even though defendant did not file an affidavit of indigency under R.C. 2929.18(B)(1) to avoid the imposition of mandatory fines, defendant did not waive his right to challenge on appeal the imposition of mandatory fines where the trial court's insistence on defendant's submission of five years of tax returns before it would consider whether he was indigent made clear that the filing of an affidavit of indigency would be of no consequence and a futile act. The trial court's imposition of mandatory fines pursuant to R.C. 2929.18(B)(1) was contrary to law where the court required as a prerequisite to a finding of indigency the submission of five years of defendant's tax returns.MyersHamilton 5/11/2018 5/11/2018 2018-Ohio-1853
McLaughlin v. Andy's Coin Laundries, L.L.C. C-170198NEGLIGENCE - PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Where plaintiff was injured in a laundromat when he forced open the door on a malfunctioning washing machine with a screwdriver and then reached into the rotating drum to retrieve a comforter the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment on plaintiffs' claim for negligence, because the danger posed by the rotating washing machine drum was open and obvious and defendant laundromat owner owed no duty of care to the plaintiff to protect him from such danger. Because plaintiff's actions of forcing open a locked washing machine door with a screwdriver while the machine's drum was rotating, and then reaching into the rotating drum to remove a comforter, constituted misuse of the product and were not foreseeable, the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment on plaintiffs' products liability claims. [See CONCURRENCE: While plaintiff's act of reaching into the rotating washing machine drum was foreseeable, summary judgment was nonetheless appropriately granted to defendants on plaintiffs' products liability claims, because plaintiff assumed the risk of injury by voluntarily reaching into the rotating washing machine drum.]MyersHamilton 5/9/2018 5/9/2018 2018-Ohio-1798
State v. Robinson C-170473DRUGS - EVIDENCE - PLEAS: Where defendant entered a no-contest plea to possessing drug-abuse instruments under R.C. 2925.12, which applies only where the instrument involved is a hypodermic or syringe, and the state's explanation of the circumstances showed that defendant possessed a crack pipe, the state failed to establish all of the elements of the offense, and the trial court erred in finding defendant guilty of possessing drug-abuse instruments.DetersHamilton 5/9/2018 5/10/2018 2018-Ohio-1315
Loveland City School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Symmes Twp. Bd. of Trustees C-170407; C-170419APPELLATE REVIEW/CIVIL - PROCEDURE/RULES - TAX - TOWNSHIPS - STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS - CONTINUOUS-VIOLATION DOCTRINE - DELAYED-DAMAGE RULE - DISCOVERY RULE: Because the township did not seek to change the judgment being appealed, its use of a "cross-appeal" to assert its arguments was improper and its "cross-appeal" was dismissed. Former R.C. 5715.27(F) did not provide the school board's exclusive remedy to challenge the tax exemptions granted as part of the amendment and expansion of the township's tax-increment fund ("TIF"), because the statute applied to a property owner seeking a real-property tax exemption. The two-year statute of limitations set forth in R.C. 2305.14 for actions against a political subdivision did not apply in an action where the school board challenged the township's amendment and expansion of the TIF, because the essence of the school board's claims was not money damages, but equitable relief. The statute of limitations in R.C. 2305.07 for liability created by a statute applied to the school board's action against the township relating to the amendment and expansion of the TIF, because the township could not have enacted the resolutions amending the TIF without the statutes specifically authorizing it to do so. The school board's cause of action accrued in 2003 when the township amended the TIF and allegedly improperly expanded the scope of the public improvements funded by the TIF, because that was when the alleged statutory violation had occurred. The continuous-violation doctrine did not apply because all of the alleged tortious activity was completed in 2003; the township's acts after that time were merely a continuation of the effects of the 2003 TIF amendment, and the school board knew or should have known about the amendment. The appellate court declined to apply the delayed-damage rule where R.C. 2305.07 applied; even if the rule had applied, the damage occurred in 2003 when the amendment to the original TIF had been made. The discovery rule did not apply where by at least 2004 the school board had information sufficient to put it on notice of the possibility of wrongdoing that gave it a duty inquire into the matter.MockHamilton 5/4/2018 5/4/2018 2018-Ohio-1731
State v. Steelman C-170337CONSTITUTIONAL LAW/CRIMINAL - FIFTH AMENDMENT - EXCITED UTTERANCE - CONFRONTATION CLAUSE - PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT - PLAIN ERROR - HARMLESS ERROR: Where the state presented evidence of defendant's silence and his refusal to talk to police as probative of defendant's guilt his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination was violated; however, there was no plain error because, absent the tainted evidence, there was overwhelming evidence of defendant's guilt. The trial court abused its discretion in admitting a witness's statement under the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule where the statement did not relate to the startling event, was clearly self-serving, and was not the type of reactive statement contemplated by Evid.R. 803(2); but the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt where, even without the statement, there was overwhelming evidence of defendant's guilt. The prosecutor committed misconduct during closing argument by commenting on defendant's silence as evidence of his guilt and stating that the prosecutor knew several things "for a fact"; but there was no plain error where the evidence of defendant's guilt was overwhelming.MillerHamilton 5/4/2018 5/4/2018 2018-Ohio-1732
In re B.M. C-170103SELF-DEFENSE - EVIDENCE: The juvenile court erred in determining that the juvenile did not establish each element of the affirmative defense of self-defense using deadly force where she had stabbed her step-father in the arm and leg with a kitchen knife to free herself from his chokehold.MillerHamilton 5/4/2018 5/4/2018 2018-Ohio-1733
State v. Daniels C-170145CRIM.R. 48(A) - COUNSEL - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - R.C. 2919.25(A) - EVIDENCE - PHYSICAL HARM: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the state's Crim.R. 48(A) motion to dismiss the complaint, because the state did not establish good cause where the complaint was sufficient to charge a domestic-violence offense, the victim was present to testify, and the only explanation given by the state for the motion was that the victim, defendant's wife, had indicated that the charge stemmed from a heated argument with defendant. Defendant failed to show ineffective assistance of trial counsel where counsel's decision to try the case to the court was trial strategy, counsel's failure to object to certain evidence was not outcome determinative, and counsel's eliciting of allegedly prejudicial testimony from the victim was an attempt to impeach the witness. Defendant's conviction for domestic violence was not against the manifest weight of the evidence where the victim testified that the injury inflicted by defendant caused her pain, and the trial court found the victim to be more credible than defendant.ZayasHamilton 5/2/2018 5/2/2018 2018-Ohio-1701
State v. Flagg C-170015CONSTITUTIONAL LAW/CRIMINAL - DOUBLE JEOPARDY - AGGRAVATED MURDER - AGGRAVATED ROBBERY - EVIDENCE - ALLIED OFFENSES - R.C. 2941.25: Defendant's second trial on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse was not barred by double jeopardy where the judicial conduct giving rise to defendant's successful motion for a mistrial during her first jury trial was not intended to provoke the defendant into moving for a mistrial. Where defendant was charged with stabbing the victim to death, the trial court did not err in admitting into evidence four kitchen knives, none of which were the murder weapon, that were found at the scene of the crime, because the knives were admitted only to show the extent of the police investigation. The trial court did not err in admitting into evidence a folding knife, which was not the weapon that had caused the fatal wound, where the knife contained fibers that the trace-evidence expert testified could have come from the shirt the victim had been wearing at the time of the murder and where the coroner's report indicated that the folding knife could have made the three stab wounds on the victim's upper back. Defendant's convictions were supported by sufficient evidence and were not contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence where it was undisputed that the victim was killed shortly before 3:00 p.m.; defendant's drug dealer testified that he picked defendant up close to 2:30 p.m. outside of the victim's apartment, and defendant had offered him the victim's cell phone in exchange for drugs; a paper towel shaped like it had been wrapped around a door knob contained the defendant's DNA and was found just inside the victim's apartment; and the state showed that defendant's half-brother, whom defendant claimed she believed killed the victim, was at work at the time of the murder. Aggravated murder and aggravated robbery were not allied offenses of similar import because the offenses were committed with a separate animus where the jury found that defendant's conduct demonstrated a specific intent to kill while in the course of committing the aggravated robbery.MockHamilton 5/2/2018 5/2/2018 2018-Ohio-1702
State v. Barrow C-160378KIDNAPPING - EVIDENCE - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW/CRIMINAL - OTHER ACTS - EVID.R. 404(B) - R.C. 2945.59 - COUNSEL - CONFLICT OF INTEREST: In a kidnapping prosecution, the trial court did not err in admitting a police officer's testimony regarding the state's investigation of and defendant's conviction for a prior kidnapping where the prior conviction was relevant to prove defendant's motive and intent, and therefore, did not violate the prohibition against "other acts" evidence in Evid.R. 404(B) and R.C. 2945.59, and the trial court properly instructed the jury that it could not consider the evidence to prove the defendant's character or that he had acted in conformity with that character; but the trial court erred in permitting the officer to testify regarding a second kidnapping investigation in which defendant had not been charged, however, the testimony was harmless where the state presented overwhelming evidence of the defendant's guilt. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it overruled defendant's motion for a mistrial, which was based on defendant's assertion that the state had failed to disclose the kidnapping victim's second interview with the investigating police officer in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 87, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), because the defendant could not show that there was a reasonable probability that the outcome of the trial would have been different had the second statement been disclosed to defense counsel prior to trial. Defendant's kidnapping conviction was based on sufficient evidence where the state presented evidence, through testimony and telephone records, that defendant had arranged a meeting with the victim, defendant and his accomplices had removed the victim by force and held him for ransom in a van, telephone records connected defendant and his accomplices to a cell phone used to make ransom demands, and defendant's fingerprints and mail were found in the van where the victim had been held. Defendant's kidnapping conviction was not contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence where the jury chose to accord more weight to testimony of the state's witnesses than to defendant's testimony that he and the victim had devised a plan with others to extort $100,000 from the victim's brother and that victim was to receive $40,000 of the ransom money. Where a codefendant informed the trial court before closing arguments that he had been represented by defendant's counsel nine years earlier in an unrelated matter, and defendant did not raise any objection to the purported conflict, the trial court did not err by failing to conduct a further inquiry into the alleged conflict of interest, and defendant's counsel was not ineffective for failing to ask the court to further investigate the matter where the codefendant did not testify at trial and defendant testified against his counsel's advice that his codefendant had nothing to do with the kidnapping.DetersHamilton 5/2/2018 5/2/2018 2018-Ohio-1703