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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Kittis v. Cleveland Clinic Found. 112516Motion in limine; Evid.R. 702; medical malpractice; medical expert testimony; proximate cause; motion for summary judgment; and Civ.R. 56. Where the plaintiff-appellant’s medical expert’s opinion was rendered with the requisite medical probability and sufficiently described proximate cause, the trial court abused its discretion when it granted defendants-appellees’ motion in limine to exclude the medical expert’s opinion testimony on causation. Where the plaintiff-appellant’s medical expert testimony created genuine issues of material fact as to whether the defendants-appellees’ acts were the proximate cause of the deceased’s injuries and death, the trial court erred when it granted defendants-appellees’ motion for summary judgment.KilbaneCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-659
Lake Park Estates Pond Assn. v. Brecksville 112589Summary judgment; political subdivision; city; immunity; stormwater; sewer system; pond; private property; property owners; aesthetic; maintain; repair; taking; trespass; natural watercourse; reasonable use. Affirmed the judgment of the trial court that granted the motion for summary judgment of the city of Brecksville upon determining the city is entitled to political-subdivision immunity and that denied the appellants’ motion for summary judgment. Appellants failed to produce evidence upon which to establish the pond at issue and its outlet structure, which are located on private property, are part of the city’s public stormwater sewer system. The R.C. 2744.02(B)(2) exception to the general grant of immunity to a political subdivision did not apply to the case. The record also did not support appellants’ claims that a taking or trespass has occurred.S. GallagherCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-660
In re J.Q.-P 112618Civ.R. 15(B); motion to amend pleadings to conform to the evidence; abuse of discretion; implied consent; motion to modify custody; separate argument; App.R. 12(A)(2); App.R. 16(A)(7). Juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in denying father’s motion to amend his pleadings to conform to the evidence to allow him to seek a change in custody where (1) father had not filed a motion to modify the judgment entry allocating parental rights and responsibilities, (2) mother, who was proceeding pro se, prepared for and argued her motion to terminate or modify father’s parenting time, not a motion to change custody, and (3) the juvenile court found that to consider a change in custody without a motion would be a denial of due process and fundamentally unfair. Appellate court could disregard assignment of error related to juvenile court’s dismissal of father’s motion to modify custody where father did not separately argue the assignment of error in his appellate brief.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-661
State v. Cartwright 112685Substantial impairment; rape; R.C. 2907.02; lay evidence; Evid.R. 701; abuse of discretion; sufficiency of the evidence. Affirmed. The trial court did not err by sustaining an objection to the defendant’s question regarding a specific gradation of a victim’s level of intoxication, and there was sufficient evidence that the defendant raped the victim, who was not his spouse, while she was substantially impaired due to voluntary intoxication.S. GallagherCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-662
Loparo v. Univ. Hosps. Health Sys., Inc. 112765Production of documents; COVID 19; negligence; medical records; time data; physician-patient privilege; waiver; exception; relevance; discovery; interrogatories; medical malpractice; civil action; motion to compel; abuse of discretion; de novo review; protected health information; R.C. 2317.02; causally or historically related; exceptions; confidentiality; treatment; HIPAA; nonparty patient; diagnosis. Appellants claimed immunity in a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit under H.B. 606. Appellants claimed alleged failure to treat decedent in a timely manner was due to the Appellants’ prioritization of COVID patients. Appellee requested nonparty patient data to challenge Appellants’ defense. Appellants objected to the discovery request, arguing the nonparty patient data was protected from disclosure under HIPAA and privileged under R.C. 2317.02. The trial court conducted an in camera review of disputed discovery responses. The trial court properly granted Appellee’s motion to compel the responses for the health data that was not traceable to individual patients, however the trial court erred in ordering the disclosure of patient data that consisted of communications between the provider and patient for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment.GrovesCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-663
State v. Percy 112861Resentencing hearing; limited remand; R.C. 2929.14(C)(4); statutory findings; court not required to provide reasons or support for findings. The trial court did not err in imposing consecutive sentences at appellant’s resentencing hearing. The court made the required statutory findings for the imposition of consecutive sentences, and it was not required to provide any reasons or support thereof.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-664
State v. Butts 112881Petition for postconviction relief; abuse of discretion; convictions for sexually oriented offenses; ineffective assistance of counsel; decision to not present expert testimony; trial strategy. Judgment affirmed. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant’s petition for postconviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Counsel’s decision to not present the defense’s expert witness, whose report contained potentially damaging opinions for the defense and, in some respects, corroborated the state’s case, was trial strategy.RyanCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-665
State v. Murg 112895Gross sexual imposition; pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor; illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance; possessing criminal tools; Crim.R. 32; motion to withdraw guilty plea made during sentencing hearing; highly competent counsel; abuse of discretion. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a motion to withdraw a guilty plea made during sentencing hearing; nothing in the record indicated that the defendant was not represented by highly competent counsel and, the court was not required to inquire as to counsel’s experience.KilbaneCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-666
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Greene 113017 & 113053Foreclosure; order of confirmation of sale; final, appealable order; Civ.R. 60(B); motion for relief from judgment; motion for reimbursement of advances; failure to appeal. Following JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Loseke, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 111983, 2023-Ohio-1893, orders of confirmation of sale were final, appealable orders and appellants could not use a Civ.R. 60(B) motion as a substitute for a timely appeal. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying appellants’ Civ.R. 60(B) motions for relief from orders of confirmation of sale.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-667
State ex rel. Cummings v. Corrigan 113563Procedendo, postconviction-relief petition, mootness. The court dismissed as moot a procedendo action seeking rulings on postconviction-relief petitions when the respondent judge issued findings of fact and conclusions of law denying the subject petitions.S. GallagherCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-668
State ex rel. Johnston v. N. Olmsted City School Dist. Bd. of Edn. 112691Mandamus, teachers’ salary schedule, years of credit, collective bargaining agreement, grievance procedure, and adequate remedy at law. This court dismissed a mandamus action, which sought to place a teacher at a higher level on the salary schedule for four more years of service credit, because the relator had an adequate remedy at law through the collective bargaining agreement’s grievance procedure.SheehanCuyahoga 2/22/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-677
State v. Gibson 111440App.R. 26(B); application for reopening; ineffective assistance of appellate counsel; juror misconduct; voir dire; extraneous influence; Remmer hearing; death penalty specifications; R.C. 2929.04(A)(5); course-of-conduct specification; principal offender; prior calculation and design; selective prosecution; mitigation evidence; R.C. 2929.04(C); proportionality review; independent weighing of aggravating circumstances against the mitigating factors; R.C. 2929.05(A); sentence of a codefendant; disparate treatment of codefendants; abuse of discretion; relevant evidence. An application for reopening was denied where the proposed assignments of error — challenging the failure of a trial judge to allow additional questioning of a juror, the failure to dismiss capital specifications, and in denying the applicant the ability to present evidence of the treatment of codefendants at the penalty phase of a death penalty trial — did not present a colorable claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel.BoyleCuyahoga 2/21/2024 2/22/2024 2024-Ohio-658
State v. Flores 112389Gross sexual imposition, sufficiency; manifest weight of the evidence; Evid.R 803(4) admissibility of social worker’s testimony and video recording of child victim’s interview, exceptions to hearsay, medical diagnosis and treatment; venue; R.C. 2901.12, continuing course of conduct.BoyleCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-571
State v. Golston 112397R.C. 2907.02(D); rape shield; hearing; day of trial; plain error; motion in limine; authentication; social media posts. Appellant argues that the trial court erred in holding a hearing pursuant to R.C. 2907.02(D) on the day of trial. A review of the record demonstrates that appellant did not object to the court holding the hearing the day of trial rather than three days prior pursuant to the statute. Accordingly, appellant waived all but plain error. We find that the appellant did not demonstrate that the court plainly erred because its holding in disallowing the evidence of the victim’s prior sexual encounters was consistent with Eighth District precedent, and appellant did not demonstrate that holding the hearing earlier would have affected the outcome of trial. Further, we find that the trial court did not err in granting the state’s motion in limine regarding apparent printouts of social media posts. The exhibits were not authenticated through testimony of the alleged sender and appellant did not make a proffer to try to authenticate them by other means. Judgment affirmed.ForbesCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-572
M.A.B. v. B.R.L. 112600Civil contempt; show cause; attorney fees; fines; purge; agreed judgment entry; contract interpretation. Trial court properly found Mother in contempt of court for unreasonably withholding parenting time from Father after Father completed a ten-panel drug test required for unsupervised visitation even though one of the results of the test was delayed. Trial court properly required Mother to reimburse Father for the cost of an unnecessary ten-panel toenail test since the test was unnecessary and Mother required it before she would release the child to the Father for visitation. Trial court properly denied Father’s request for attorney fees where Father failed to demonstrate the reasonableness of the fees with an itemized statement and evidence of the parties’ respective incomes.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-573
State v. Pettis 112629Sierah’s Law; violent offender database; VOD; R.C. 2903.41; constitutionality; Retroactivity Clause; Ohio Constitution; Article II, Section 28; separation of powers; motion to vacate; presumption of enrollment; timeliness; notice; R.C. 2903.42(A)(2)(b). The application of Sierah’s Law to offenders who committed their offense before the law’s effective date does not violate Ohio’s Retroactivity Clause or the separation-of-powers doctrine. The offender filed a motion to vacate the requirement that he remain enrolled in the violent offender database (“VOD”) established by Sierah’s Law, but he did so months after he was released from prison. Therefore, the offender failed to comply with R.C. 2903.42(A)(2)(b) (requiring such a motion be made prior to release) and his motion was properly denied. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction provided adequate notice to the offender prior to his release about the VOD enrollment obligations, his right to file a motion seeking to rebut the presumption that he be enrolled and the procedure for filing that motion. The notice could have more clearly stated that the motion must be made prior to release, but the notice was reasonably calculated to inform the offender of the deadline for making a motion and informed him that he could review the relevant legislation in the library upon request. The record reflects that the offender largely ignored the ODRC’s notice while he was incarcerated. When he did review it and realized that it applied to him, he still only briefly scanned the relevant section explaining the procedure for filing a motion. He never requested a copy of the legislation from the library. Under these circumstances, his failure to file a timely motion could not be attributed to insufficient notice or excusable neglect. Judgment affirmed.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-574
Parma v. Jackson 112646Obstructing official business; Parma Cod.Ord. 606.14(a); overt act; refusal to give police name and date of birth. - Evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction for obstructing official business where the defendant merely refused to give police his name and date of birth but did not engage in any overt act that hindered or impeded the police investigation.KeoughCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-575
State v. Ferguson 112650Gross sexual imposition; manifest weight of the evidence; plain error; grand jury; burden of proof; presumption of innocence. The trial court’s statements relating to grand jury proceedings did not impact the defendant’s presumption of innocence or otherwise amount to plain error where the trial court subsequently and repeatedly instructed the jury as to the applicable legal standards and burden of proof at trial. The conviction was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.KilbaneCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-576
State v. Nazir 112726Felony sentencing; appellate review; R.C. 2953.08(G)(2); purposes and principles of sentencing; R.C. 2929.11; seriousness and recidivism factors; R.C. 2929.12; clear and convincing evidence; mitigating factors; particular language; specific findings. A trial court, when crafting a felony sentence, may consider evidence that the defendant failed to appear for a presentence-investigation interview, failed to cooperate with the probation office, and failed to turn himself in when a capias was issued before sentencing. The defendant knew he was required for sentencing but refused to turn himself in; he was arrested around nine months later and brought back before the court for sentencing. Although the trial court did not specifically comment on the underlying facts of the case — other than this failure to appear — before announcing its sentence, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the court failed to consider the purposes and principles of felony sentencing or the R.C. 2929.12 factors before imposing sentence. The court stated that it had considered all required factors of the law. The court ordered and reviewed a presentence-investigation report. It considered the materials submitted by the defendant in mitigation. It heard argument from the prosecutor and defense counsel on the factors. The defendant spoke to the court on his own behalf before sentence. His sentence fell within the permissible statutory range. Judgment affirmed.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-577
State v. Beck 112732R.C. 2921.331; mandatory advisement; consecutive sentence; Crim.R. 11; not a complete failure to comply; prejudice. Where the appellant did not show any prejudice resulted from the trial court’s incomplete advisements on consecutive sentencing pursuant to R.C. 2921.331, the trial court complied with Crim.R. 11(C)(2)(a).KilbaneCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-578
Calabrese Law Firm v. Christie 112736Res judicata; individual capacity; limited liability company; settlement and release; manifest weight of the evidence; hearsay; App.R. 16(D); damages; setoff to jury award; breach of contract; attorney fees; contingency fee agreement; lodestar; prejudgment interest. - Jury verdict finding that defendant breached a sublease with plaintiff affirmed and trial court’s award of attorney fees in favor of plaintiff affirmed. Plaintiff’s earlier settlement with other signatories on the sublease was not res judicata to plaintiff’s claims against defendant, who signed the sublease in his individual capacity; plaintiff could bring its breach-of-contract claim as a limited liability company; plaintiff’s settlement and release of defendant in an unrelated lawsuit did not bar plaintiff’s claims against defendant in this case; the jury’s verdict finding that defendant breached the sublease was not against the manifest weight of the evidence; defendant did not support his argument that two witnesses gave hearsay testimony by reference to the record as required by App.R. 16(D); plaintiff presented sufficient evidence of damages to support the jury’s damages award; plaintiff was entitled to attorney fees as the prevailing party because the sublease expressly provided that plaintiff could recover its attorney fees upon defendant’s breach of the sublease; trial court did not abuse its discretion in not awarding the total amount of attorney fees requested by plaintiff because the court could properly consider that counsel had a contingency fee agreement with plaintiff; trial court erred in denying plaintiff’s motion for prejudgment interest because a party granted judgment on a contract claim is entitled to prejudgment interest as a matter of law.KeoughCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-579
State v. Sanchez 112774Rape; gross sexual imposition; R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b); R.C. 2907.05(A)(4); touching; digital penetration; Evid.R. 803(4); hearsay; medical diagnosis and treatment; plain error; prosecutorial misconduct; closing argument; demeanor; credibility; Crim.R. 29; acquittal; sufficiency; sexual contact; R.C. 2907.01(B); sexual conduct; gratification; time frame; R.C. 2907.01(A); manifest weight; evidence. Affirmed appellant’s convictions for rape and gross sexual imposition. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the child’s statements made for purposes of medical diagnosis and treatment under Evid.R. 803(4), and no plain error was shown. No prosecutorial misconduct occurred with regard to remarks made during closing argument as to the victim’s demeanor in the courtroom. The trial court did not err in denying appellant’s Crim.R. 29 motion for acquittal when sufficient evidence was presented to prove the essential elements of the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt. Appellant’s convictions were not against the manifest weight of the evidence.S. GallagherCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-581
State v. Crawford 112787Restitution; R.C. 2929.18(A); Marsy’s Law; economic loss; related to convictions; jail-time credit; R.C. 2967.191(A). - Trial court erred in ordering defendant to pay restitution because the amount was not based on the economic loss suffered as a direct and proximate result of the commission of the offense. Trial court’s calculation of jail-time credit is reversed and remanded for a recalculation because the defendant was not incarcerated solely on the current case.KeoughCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-582
State v. Jackson 112843Consecutive sentence; R.C. 2929.14(C)(4); findings. Reversed. Based on the arguments and concessions presented by the parties, the trial court erred in concluding that the law required the sentences imposed for violations of community control sanctions to be served consecutive to the sentences imposed on the new offenses committed while the offender was serving the community control sanctions.S. GallagherCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-583
R.W.B. v. T.V. 112883Civil stalking protection order; abuse of discretion; preponderance of evidence; mental distress. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that petitioner has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence the element of mental distress. Mental stress need not be incapacitating or debilitating, and actual treatment by a professional is not required to prove mental distress. The trial court here was permitted to rely on its knowledge and experience in determining whether mental distress has been caused.SheehanCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-584
Guerrini v. Chanell Roofing & Home Improvement 112938 & 112939Arbitration; waiver; declaratory judgment; omitted counterclaim; compulsory counterclaim. No authority supports appellant’s claim that appellee, as the principal of a company that is not a party in the instant case, is bound by the latter’s conduct in a prior dismissed case and should be deemed as having acted inconsistently with his right to arbitration, where appellee, not the company, is the party to the contract containing the arbitration provision. The trial court properly granted appellee’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in this declaratory judgment action.SheehanCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-585
State v. Davis 112986Motion to vacate void sentence; not guilty plea; arraignment; petition for postconviction relief; R.C. 2953.23(A). - Defendant’s sentence was not void for lack of personal jurisdiction because the defendant voluntarily appeared at his arraignment and pleaded not guilty, thereby waiving any challenge to the trial court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction over him; trial court properly considered defendant’s motion to vacate void sentence as a petition for postconviction relief and, because the petition was untimely filed and did not meet the requirements of R.C. 2953.23(A), properly dismissed it.KeoughCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-586
In re A.A.B. 113044Due process; evidentiary hearing; transcript. - Juvenile court’s judgment rendered after an evidentiary hearing affirmed because the appellant did not provide the transcript of the hearing and thus, the appellate court presumed regularity in the juvenile court’s proceedings and appellant failed to demonstrate any violation of due process.KeoughCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-587
In re B.B.C. 113213Manifest weight; permanent custody; best interests of child; CCDCFS; R.C. 2151.414; clear and convincing evidence; reunification; R.C. 2151.419; case plan; incarceration. Judgment affirmed. There is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support the juvenile court’s determination that permanent custody to CCDCFS is in B.B.C.’s best interest. Accordingly, the court’s decision to grant permanent custody is not against the manifest weight of the evidence. Furthermore, the juvenile court complied with the requirements of R.C. 2151.419 in its journal entries granting temporary custody and made reasonable-efforts findings in its final judgment entry granting permanent custody of B.B.C. to CCDCFS. Lastly, the R.C. 2151.419 requirement to make reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child from the child’s home generally does not require CCDCFS to make unreasonable efforts to attempt reunification with an incarcerated parent.BoyleCuyahoga 2/15/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-588
State ex rel. Kushlak v. Cleveland Animal Protective League 112753Mandamus, agreed sentence, community control, adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law, appeal, declaratory judgment, prohibitory injunction. - The relator seeks a writ of mandamus to prevent enforcement of an agreed sentencing provision that provides for the unannounced inspection of the relator’s home by the Animal Protective League. The relator possessed an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law by prosecuting an appeal from the sentencing journal entry that imposed the condition of unannounced inspections of the relator’s home. In addition, the relator actually seeks a declaratory judgment and a prohibitory injunction over which the court of appeals lacks jurisdiction to hear. Complaint for mandamus is dismissed.KeoughCuyahoga 2/9/2024 2/15/2024 2024-Ohio-580
In re Ja.B. 113056Permanent custody; legal custody; extension of temporary custody. Judgment affirmed. The weight of the evidence supports the trial court’s finding that clear and convincing evidence demonstrates that (1) the children cannot be placed with either of their parents within a reasonable time or should not be placed with either of their parents; (2) reasonable efforts were made to prevent the children’s removal and for reunification; and (3) permanent custody to the agency would be in the children’s best interest. In consideration of all the best interest factors, along with the GAL’s opinion that permanent custody to the agency would be in the children’s best interest, a preponderance of the evidence supports the trial court’s denial of alleged Father’s request for legal custody to one of two paternal aunts. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by not extending the temporary custody order. The children were approximately 16 months old at the time of trial and Mother and alleged Father had not made significant progress on their case plans. The children had been with their foster family since birth and were bonded to them and doing well. The record demonstrates that permanent custody was in the children’s best interest.RyanCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-453
In re I.L.J. 112946Guardian ad litem; fees; motion for fees; Loc.Juv.R. 15(D)(5). Judgment reversed and remanded. The trial court erred in prematurely granting the guardian ad litem’s motion for fees without a hearing before 14 days elapsed pursuant to Loc.Juv.R. 15(D)(5).CelebrezzeCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-454
State v. Robinson 112853Gross sexual imposition; R.C. 2907.05(A)(4); sufficiency of evidence; touching bottom. Where the alleged victim repeatedly and unequivocally testified at trial that defendant never touched her “butt” or “bottom” when he ran his hand up her leg and no other witness observed the touching, there was insufficient evidence to support defendant’s conviction for gross sexual imposition based on his touching the alleged victim’s “bottom” as charged.GallagherCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-455
State v. Shahin 112829Court’s dismissal of case with prejudice; lack of statutory or constitutional violation that would bar further prosecution; plain error; prosecutorial vindictiveness; ripeness. Judgment reversed. The trial court’s dismissal with prejudice of the state’s case was plain error because there was no statutory or constitutional violation that would bar further prosecution. The defendant’s claim of vindictive prosecution was not ripe because, at the time of the dismissal, no new charges had been filed.RyanCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-456
State v. Loveless 112809Reagan Tokes Law; constitutionality. The Reagan Tokes Law is constitutional, and appellant was properly sentenced thereunder. The decision of the trial court is affirmed.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-457
State v. Cobb 112785Trafficking; possession; R.C. 2925.03(A)(2); R.C. 2925.11(A); drugs; manifest weight; chain of custody; reliable; sufficiency; complicity; jury instruction; allied offenses; R.C. 2941.25. Appellant’s convictions for trafficking and drug possession were supported by sufficient evidence and were not against the manifest weight of the evidence. The testimony effectively established a proper chain of custody and the reliability of the testing process and results. Circumstantial evidence established appellant not only possessed the drugs but trafficked them and was complicit with his codefendant. The trial court did not err in providing a jury instruction on complicity. The trial court committed plain error in failing to merge appellant’s convictions for trafficking and drug possession as to the same drug as allied offenses of similar import pursuant to R.C. 2941.25.S. GallagherCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-458
State v. Whittaker 112780Improperly furnishing firearm to a minor; R.C. 2923.21(A)(3); sufficiency of the evidence; manifest weight of the evidence. Appellant’s conviction for improperly furnishing a handgun to a minor was supported by sufficient evidence and was not against the manifest weight of the evidence. Evidence at trial established that appellant told police officers that she had given her handgun to her 18-year-old son to protect himself because the area was dangerous and he was being bullied. While appellant and her son testified that she had not given him the firearm and that he had retrieved it from her safe, the factfinder was in the best position to determine the witnesses' credibility. Judgment affirmed.ForbesCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-459
Woods v. Flemings 112749Bench trial; eviction; damages; motion for sanctions; untimely filing of trial brief; abuse of discretion; continuance; inherent authority to manage proceedings; supervisory control of docket; manifest weight of the evidence; competent, credible evidence; bias; cumulative error. The trial court did not err in denying appellant’s motion for sanctions and continuing the trial. The trial court also did not err in declining to award appellant late fees, loss of rental income, back rent, water and sewer fees, and damages beyond those related to the window blinds and the flooring, or in its award of the remainder of the security deposit to appellee. The trial court’s verdict was not against the manifest weight of the evidence, appellant has not demonstrated bias, and there was no cumulative error.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-460
State v. Wilson 111912App.R. 26(B) application for reopening, App.R. 26(B)(2)(b) 90-day period to file timely application, untimely filed, failure to establish good cause for untimely filing of application. The applicant has filed an App.R. 26(B) application for reopening beyond the 90-day period for filing a timely application per App.R. 26(B)(2)(b). The applicant has failed to establish good cause for the untimely filing of the application for reopening.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-461
State v. Lenhart 74332App.R. 26(B); application for reopening; ineffective assistance of appellate counsel; successive applications; untimely application; good cause. The successive, untimely application to reopen was denied where there is no right to successive applications under App.R. 26(B) and the application was untimely filed without a showing of good cause for the delay.ForbesCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-462
Costin v. Midwest Vision Partners, L.L.C. 112651Modification; contract; arbitration, de novo; compel; stay; discovery; intent; unambiguous. In the absence of a valid and enforceable arbitration agreement, the trial court did not err in denying the defendants’ motion to compel arbitration and stay proceedings without an evidentiary hearing or a trial.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-463
State v. Boyce 112610Confrontation clause; ongoing emergency; past event. Trial court’s admission of caller’s statements in 911 call did not violate the Confrontation Clause because the statements related to an ongoing emergency.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-464
State v. Singleton 112588Felonious assault; manifest weight of the evidence; ineffective assistance of counsel; cumulative error. Appellant’s convictions were not against the manifest weight of the evidence where witness testimony contained minor inconsistencies. Appellant did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel. Cumulative error did not deprive appellant of a fair trial.KilbaneCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-465
Lake Cove Apts., L.L.C. v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Revision 112583Board of Tax Appeals; reduction; property value; personal property. - Appellants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by competent and probative evidence their right to decrease the value of real properties because of a transfer of personal property included in a prior sale. The BTA’s determination was neither unreasonable nor unlawful.KeoughCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-466
State v. Woods 112579, 112580Joinder; Crim.R. 8(A); photographs; authentication; Evid.R. 901(A); motion to suppress; voir dire; challenge for cause; impeachment; expert testimony; personal knowledge; Daubert; Evid.R. 702; Evid.R. 703; ballistics evidence; sufficiency; manifest weight; aggravated murder; murder; felonious assault; criminal damaging; carrying a concealed weapon; ineffective assistance of counsel; age as a sentencing factor. Trial court acted within its discretion in joining two cases arising from two separate incidents where the offenses were committed at different locations on different dates and were, therefore, simple and direct. Photographs from crime scene were properly authenticated by an officer who supervised the investigation. Motion to suppress was properly denied where there was no evidence that the search warrant affidavit contained untruthful statements. Denial of motion to excuse juror for cause due to anti-gun sentiments was not an abuse of discretion where the juror stated that she could keep an open mind, would hold the government to its burden of proof, and would listen to the evidence objectively. Trial court acted within its discretion in limiting the scope of cross-examination where defense counsel repeatedly asked objectionable questions and ultimately admitted at side bar that there was no evidence the witness had been reprimanded for dishonesty. Ballistics expert was qualified to testify regarding ballistics testing even though he did not perform the testing himself because he reviewed the examiner’s work and had personal knowledge of the testing. Trial court properly admitted ballistic evidence indicating that shell casings found at multiple crime scenes were discharged from the same gun where the methodology used for the ballistics testing had been accepted by multiple courts as meeting the standards outlined in Daubert for admission of scientific evidence. There was sufficient evidence to support defendant’s felonious assault and criminal damaging convictions where surveillance video showed the defendant shooting at the victim in a parking lot where cars were damaged by bullets. There was sufficient evidence to support defendant’s carrying a concealed weapon conviction where surveillance video showed the defendant walking around the store without the firearm visible but later use the gun to shoot at the victim. There was sufficient evidence to support defendant’s aggravated murder, murder, and felonious assault convictions where surveillance video showed the defendant and his associate waiting for victim’s car to arrive and showed the defendant shoot at the victim’s car almost immediately upon its arrival. Defendant was not denied his right to the effective assistance of counsel even though counsel opened the door to gang affiliation because there was no evidence that the defendant belonged to a gang and the question was intended to show that other young men frequented the gas station where the murder occurred and could be the real culprits. Defendant was not denied his right to the effective assistance of counsel for failing to use a peremptory challenge, failing to challenge the qualifications of the state’s ballistics expert, or in failing to challenge the reliability of the ballistics methodology because any objections on these grounds would have been properly overruled. The trial court erred in failing to consider defendant’s age as a mitigating factor. Defendant failed to show he was prejudiced by cumulative errors.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-467
State v. Kirks 112473Material witness warrant; R.C. 2937.106 through 2937.18; R.C. 2941.48; probable cause; standing of defendant; ineffective assistance of counsel; failure to object; cell phone mapping; lay witness; tactical decision; manifest weight of the evidence; circumstantial evidence. The trial court did not err in ordering the material witness warrant, and appellant did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel. Appellant’s convictions were not against the manifest weight of the evidence.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-468
State v. Williams 112425Motion for new trial; Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination; confession; attempted murder; Crim.R. 33(A)(6); newly discovered evidence. Trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion for new trial is reversed. The defendant was convicted of attempted murder. Subsequently, the defendant’s brother confessed to shooting the victim, in writing and orally during an interview with attorneys from the prosecutor office’s conviction-integrity unit. The confessions are consistent with evidence presented at trial. These confessions amount to newly discovered evidence, and the court erred by denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial.ForbesCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-469
Trunk v. Coleman 112392California marriage laws; Ohio marriage laws; complaint for annulment; ex parte petition; delayed marriage certificate; California residency; consent; nullity of marriage; void ab initio; vexatious litigator; service of process. Judgment affirmed. An ex parte petition establishing the fact of marriage in California is not proof of a valid marriage when it was obtained without the consent of both parties. The nonconsenting party is entitled to an annulment, and the marriage is void ab initio.GrovesCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-470
State v. George 112380Rape; GSI; sufficiency; jury instruction; stepfather; force; alternative definition of force; sexual battery. It is undisputed appellant engaged in sexual activities with 18-year-old M.B., whose mother and appellant were married for six years, and the issue at trial was whether the state proved the element of force to sustain convictions for rape and gross sexual imposition. While M.B.’s testimony might have indicated some degree of physical force was used by appellant, the trial court instructed the jury that the element of force can also be proven by evidence that the victim’s will was overcome by fear or duress alone. The jury instruction was given in error because the alternative definition of force does not apply to an adult child pursuant to Supreme Court of Ohio precedent. The erroneous jury instruction was prejudicial and deprived appellant of a fair trial because it allowed the jury to convict appellant with less evidence for force, especially where the victim’s testimony was equivocal on the issue in this case. Appellant’s conviction of rape and GSI are therefore reversed and the case is remanded for a new trial. Furthermore, appellant’s conviction of sexual battery under R.C. 2907.03(A)(5), Ohio’s incest statute, is reversed due to insufficient evidence because the stepfather-stepchild relationship had dissolved as a result of appellant’s divorce from M.B.’s mother.SheehanCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-471
Cleveland Hts. v. Jackson 112278Operating vehicle under the influence; impeding or blocking traffic; sufficiency of the evidence; weight of the evidence. Affirmed. The defendant’s convictions for the OVI and impeding or blocking traffic offenses were supported by sufficient evidence and not against the weight of that evidence based on the trial evidence demonstrating that the defendant (1) fell asleep while stopped at a traffic intersection, thereby blocking police officers from proceeding through the intersection in their lane of travel, and (2) was intoxicated.S. GallagherCuyahoga 2/8/2024 2/8/2024 2024-Ohio-472