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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Northern Frozen Foods, Inc. v. Saadey 113048Civ.R. 60(B); motion to vacate; Civ.R. 58; Civ.R. 5; service; abuse of discretion. While the delay between trial and judgment was extraordinary, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant’s Civ.R. 60(B) motion to vacate judgment.KilbaneCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2264
State v. Cawthorne 112795Aggravated murder; plea; firearm specification; Crim.R. 11(C)(2) and (3); maximum fine; harmless error; plea colloquy; prejudice. - Appellant’s mid-trial change of plea upheld. Crim.R. 11(C)(3) only applies to aggravated murder with a death specification. Trial court complied with Crim.R. 11(C)(2) in accepting appellant’s guilty plea to the firearm specification attendant to the aggravated murder offense. Trial court’s incorrect advisement regarding the maximum fine was harmless error because the court found appellant indigent and did not impose a fine. Trial court’s run-on advisement of appellant’s constitutional rights during the plea was not in error because the manner in which the court provided the statement was effective; appellant was not prejudiced.KeoughCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2258
State v. Wilson 112690Double homicide; murder; R.C. 2903.02(A); R.C. 2903.02(B); felonious assault; R.C. 2903.11(A)(1)-(2); bench trial; manifest weight of the evidence, insufficient evidence; complicity theory; circumstantial evidence. Defendant-appellant was convicted at a bench trial of two homicides and various assaults that stem from two separate instances. We find on review that the state presented sufficient evidence in the first instance that the defendant was complicit in the first murder and related felonious assault charges. However, we find the state failed to present sufficient evidence for the second murder and related felonious assaults charges. Appellant’s convictions as to the first murder and related assault charges are sustained. Appellant’s convictions for the second murder and assault charges are vacated. All remaining convictions are affirmed. Case remanded to the trial court for resentencing.ForbesCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2257
State v. Miklavcic 113263Attempted felonious assault; clearly and convincingly; maximum sentence; abuse of discretion; ability to pay fine. Judgment affirmed. The record clearly and convincingly supports defendant’s 36-month maximum sentence. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in imposing maximum fine because even though the trial court did not specifically inquire into defendant’s present and future ability to pay the fine, the record supports it.BoyleCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2268
Malaj v. Abeid 112658Motion to vacate judgment; Civ.R. 60(B); default judgment; service by publication; reasonable efforts; concealment to avoid service. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied the defendant’s motion to vacate a default judgment, where service by publication had been authorized and properly effected. The record reasonably supported a conclusion that the defendant left the state and concealed his whereabouts to avoid service and that the plaintiff used reasonable diligence to ascertain his residence before resorting to service by publication. The defendant’s argument based on the statute of limitations was also rejected, since that is an affirmative defense that cannot be raised where a defendant never appears and instead defaults.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2256
In re M.I. 113093In-court identification; gun; felony assault; firearm specification; sufficient evidence shooter; reasonable doubt; trial court erred; beyond reasonable doubt; manifest weight; adjudication; delinquency; assignment; weight of the evidence; testify; manifest weight of the evidence; discharge; no pretrial identification procedure; prohibition; premises; burden of production; trier of fact; conviction; circumstantial element of the offense; witness testimony. The trial court erred by admitting unreliable in-court identification of the juvenile defendant when no pretrial identification procedure was at issue. The error was harmless because the remaining evidence supported the delinquency adjudications of felonious assault, one- and three-year firearm specifications, and discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited place.GrovesCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2266
Cuyahoga Cty. Treasurer v. Henen 112983Material breach; essential terms; substantial performance; land-purchase contract; foreclosure; de novo; manifest weight; abuse of discretion. Trial court properly ordered foreclosure of the premises pursuant to the terms of the land contract, as a result of appellant’s breach. A de novo review of the undisputed facts found that appellant materially breached the land contract. The trial court did not abuse its discretion ordering the foreclosure pursuant to the terms of the contract. The trial court’s finding that appellant failed to prove his breach-of-contract, fraud, and partition claims was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.ForbesCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2263
Steigerwald v. Berea 112933Summary judgment; genuine issues of material fact. The appellees’ summary judgment motion was improperly granted because there are genuine issues of material fact for trial.Laster MaysCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2260
Caston v. Woodlands of Shaker Hts. 113262Motion to enforce arbitration; arbitration agreement; valid contract; apparent authority or apparent agency; burden of proof; equitable estoppel; moot; implied authority. The trial court erred when it granted defendants’ motion to stay proceedings and compel arbitration where the record did not establish that the nursing home resident cloaked her daughter with authority to execute a binding arbitration agreement. Absent the daughter’s apparent authority to execute the arbitration agreement on behalf of her mother, the resident was not bound by the arbitration agreement.KilbaneCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2267
State v. Hall 113423Reagan Tokes Law; indefinite sentences; constitutional challenges; due process; separation of powers; right to jury trial. Pursuant to State v. Hacker, 173 Ohio St.3d 219, 2023-Ohio-2535, 229 N.E.3d 38, appellant’s constitutional challenges to the indefinite sentencing provisions of the Reagan Tokes Law are overruled.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2270
Goldstein v. Saber Healthcare Group, L.L.C. 112907R.C. Chapter 2711, arbitration, reconsideration, jurisdiction. The trial court lacked jurisdiction to reconsider a final appealable order denying a motion to compel arbitration and stay the proceedings.Laster MaysCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2259
In re L.H. 113479Permanent custody; termination; parental rights; case plan; reasonable; diligent efforts; findings; manifest weight; visitation; substance abuse. The trial court’s award of permanent custody and termination of appellant’s parental rights is against the manifest weight of the evidence.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2271
In re M.F. 113525Permanent custody; R.C. 2151.414; best interest; manifest weight of the evidence; hearsay; plain error. The juvenile court’s decision to grant the agency’s motion for permanent custody was not against the manifest weight of the evidence where the court made appropriate findings pursuant to R.C. 2151.414 and those findings were supported by clear and convincing evidence. The admission of testimony from the foster father and agency social worker regarding allegations of abuse against Father from his wife did not amount to plain error.KilbaneCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2272
Hopkins v. Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Auth. 113088Political subdivision; immunity; final judgment; journalized entry; abuse of discretion; discovery; jurisdiction; due process; deadline; affirmative defense. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it refused to consider appellant’s untimely immunity defense. Appellant’s motion for summary judgment, alleging the affirmative defense of political subdivision immunity, was filed without leave of court and provided the nonmoving party insufficient time to respond. The trial court has inherent authority to manage its docket, absent an abuse of discretion. Appellant did not request a continuance of the trial date and consideration of the motion would have prejudiced appellee.GrovesCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2265
State v. Allie 112953Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material; R.C. 2907.323; photographs; unknown females; unknown ages; lay witness testimony; Evid.R. 402, 403, 602, and 701; prosecutorial misconduct; closing argument. - Appellant’s convictions for illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, in violation of R.C. 2907.323, upheld where jury viewed the photographs of the unknown females and could determine whether they were minors. Detective’s opinion testimony that was based on his training and experience in analyzing, detecting, and deciphering child pornography was relevant and admissible under Evid.R. 402, 602, and 701. Prosecutor did not engage in misconduct during her rebuttal closing arguments when her comments refuted appellant’s closing argument and were based on the evidence presented.KeoughCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2262
State v. Hughes 113382Res judicata; aggravated murder; guilty plea. Appellant’s attempt to address claimed errors in his initial case that were the subject of a direct appeal and multiple subsequent appeals must be barred by res judicata. With respect to errors in the sentencing entry, the claimed errors were readily apparent and available for challenge during the direct appeal of his convictions. With respect to his challenge to the conviction, appellant raised the issue on direct appeal and his objection was overruled. Appellant’s claims are therefore barred by res judicata and his conviction must be affirmed.GrovesCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2269
State v. Jackson 112944Motion for leave to file motion for new trial; Crim.R. 33; abuse of discretion. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Jackson’s motion for leave to file an untimely motion for new trial without hearing because the motion on its face does not support Jackson’s claim that he was unavoidable prevented from discovering the evidence within the prescribed time.BoyleCuyahoga 6/13/2024 6/13/2024 2024-Ohio-2261
Frederick v. Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited, Inc. 112631Federal Arbitration Act; 9 U.S.C. 1; agreement to arbitrate; delegation clause. The parties entered into a purchase agreement regarding a timeshare property. Plaintiffs filed suit, alleging fraud, violations of the consumer sales practices act, and misrepresentation among other causes of action. The court granted the defendant’s motion to compel arbitration. Upon review, we find that the court did not err or abused its discretion in compelling arbitration, because the delegation clause within the arbitration agreement was enforceable and dictated that “gateway issues,” such as arbitrability, are to be decided in arbitration.ForbesCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2162
In re A.H.W. 113147Application to establish parenting plan, continuance, failure to proffer testimony, reopening of hearing, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, abuse of discretion. Father filed an application to establish a shared parenting plan. Prior to hearing, Mother moved for continuance because witnesses would not be available. Magistrate denied the motion and held a hearing as to the only issue contested, the parenting schedule. Magistrate issued a decision adopting Father’s shared parenting plan that the juvenile court adopted over Mother’s objections. Mother filed objections to the magistrate’s decision. She argued that the magistrate should have granted her a continuance and asked the juvenile court to reopen the hearing and take new evidence in light of Father’s post-hearing messages to her. She also argued that the magistrate erred in adopting Father’s parenting schedule because it was not in the child’s best interest because it deviated from the court’s standard parenting time schedule and it gave parenting time to Father when he was at work. The juvenile court did not err in overruling Mother’s objections. The decision to grant a continuance or reopen a hearing is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Juvenile court found that Mother did not proffer the witness testimony or explain how the post-hearing messages would affect the outcome of the hearing; as such, Mother did not demonstrate the juvenile court abused its discretion. Further, by failing to proffer testimony, Mother forfeited the right to contest the denial of motion to continue the hearing. The juvenile court’s decision concerning the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion. Adoption of the Father’s parenting schedule was not an abuse of discretion where the court considered the relevant factors to determine the best of the child.SheehanCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2168
State v. Osborne 113294Strangulation; R.C. 2903.18(B)(2); sufficiency of the evidence; manifest weight of the evidence. Defendant’s conviction for strangulation in violation of R.C. 2903.18(B)(2) was supported by sufficient evidence and was not against the manifest weight of the evidence where, even without considering the victim’s written statement to the police about the incident, the victim’s 911 call, her medical records, and her trial testimony demonstrated that the defendant knowingly created a substantial risk of serious physical harm to victim by strangling her.KeoughCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2173
State v. Guffie 112642Murder; conspiracy; music video; ambush; inference stacking; self-defense; transferred intent self-defense; jury instructions; double hearsay; confrontation clause; excited utterance; hearsay; rap lyrics; ballistic; flight instruction; cumulative error. - Appellant’s convictions upheld where the state presented direct and circumstantial evidence that appellant conspired with individuals to set up and ambush the victims at an abandoned church during a music video. State did not engage in impermissible inference stacking because each inference was supported by the evidence. Jury properly rejected appellant’s self-defense claim because the evidence established that the appellant contributed to creating the situation giving rise to the affray, and appellant did not have a bona fide belief that he was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. Trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to seek a jury instruction on transferred intent self-defense, nor did the trial court commit plain error in failing to instruct the jury on transferred intent self-defense because the jury rejected that appellant acted in self-defense. Moreover, trial counsel successfully sought a self-defense jury instruction that permitted the jury to consider appellant’s actions in light of the situation he perceived from all individuals present. Trial court did not abuse its discretion in (1) denying appellant’s attempt to introduce double hearsay, (2) permitting a detective to testify about non-testimonial, excited utterance statements made by a victim who did not testify, (3) admitting rap lyrics penned by appellant hours after the shooting, and (4) permitting a detective to testify about shell casings and a ballistic match from a prior murder.KeoughCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2163
State v. Martin 113250Murder; self-defense; manifest weight of the evidence. Affirmed. The defendant’s conviction for murder was not against the weight of the evidence where the state demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense when shooting the victim in the back from the roof of a house when it was relatively dark.S. GallagherCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2172
McMahon v. Cooke 113190Attorney fees; fees pursuant to agreement or contract; probate; trusts; contract interpretation; New York law. Appellant appealed the probate court’s award of attorney fees to appellee pursuant to the terms of a royalty agreement that was to be interpreted under New York state law. Pursuant to the plain meaning of the agreement, the probate court erred in awarding all attorney fees except for $27,417.50, which were incurred from appellee’s efforts to enforce a judgment.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2170
State v. Barnes 112712Restitution; Marsy’s Law; victim; sentenced to time served; direct appeal; res judicata; void; jurisdiction; double jeopardy; final appealable order; interlocutory appeal. Judgment vacated. Defendant’s interlocutory appeal from an order scheduling a restitution hearing is a final appealable order. The denial of defendant’s interlocutory appeal in this case would force him to “run the gauntlet” a second time before an appeal could be taken because if the defendant waits to file an appeal following the second restitution hearing, he will be precluded from meaningful review and will not be afforded appropriate relief in the future. Under Brasher II, we find the trial court was without jurisdiction to order a restitution hearing in May 2023 after the defendant was sentenced to time served in November 2018. While the victim did initially file a direct appeal, she subsequently dismissed the appeal, opting instead to pursue a writ action. According to Brasher II, the victim forfeited her right to challenge the sentencing order when she dismissed her direct appeal because the trial court’s initial judgment on the defendant’s sentence devoid of any order of restitution to the victims became final, and res judicata attached. Moreover, when the trial court sentenced the defendant to time served, the court lost any jurisdiction to modify the sentence. Therefore, the trial court’s April 27, 2023 journal entry is void and is hereby vacated.BoyleCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2184
Garfield Hts. v. Smith 112688Aggravated menacing; R.C. 2903.21(A); sufficiency; manifest weight; admissibility; evidence; Evid.R. 401; Evid.R. 403(A); Evid.R. 701; victim impact; abuse of discretion; prejudice. Judgment affirmed. The court properly denied Smith’s Crim.R. 29 motion for acquittal because his aggravated menacing conviction was supported by sufficient evidence. Furthermore, his conviction was not against the manifest weight of the evidence. Finally, the court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the victim’s testimony about obtaining protection order, her son’s belief that Smith was going to shoot his mom, and her other son’s testimony that the incident impacted him and he wished it never happened.BoyleCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2164
Mobley v. Klimas 113032Breach of contract; fraud; professional negligence; breach of fiduciary duty; judgment on the pleadings; Civ.R. 12(C); failure to disclose; statute of limitations. The court did not err by granting defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Plaintiff’s claims concerning failure to disclose water issues at real property they purchased were barred by the statute of limitations. Allegations in the complaint showed that plaintiffs knew about the water issues prior to signing the purchase agreement.ForbesCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2167
McMahon v. Cooke 113186Dismissed; moot; stay; exception to the mootness doctrine; satisfaction of judgment. - Appeal dismissed as moot where record demonstrates that appellant voluntarily satisfied the judgment rendered against her without seeking a stay prior to the execution and payment of the judgment. Appellant’s conduct did not display “a reservation of the right of appeal” for an exception to the general rule of the mootness doctrine to apply.KeoughCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2169
State v. Scales 113229Murder; attempted murder; purposely; self-defense; jury instructions; inferior offenses. Appellant’s convictions for murder and attempted murder upheld where the evidence showed that he acted purposely when he shot into a crowd of people, killing one person, and severely injuring another. The jury properly rejected appellant’s claim of self-defense because the evidence showed that the defendant created the situation, escalated the affray, and acted with deadly force despite his perceived threat backing away with his empty hands raised. Trial court properly denied appellant’s request for a jury instruction on voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault as inferior offenses because the instructions were inconsistent with appellant’s theory that he acted in self-defense; serious provocation was never alleged.KeoughCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2171
State v. Green 113595Conceded error; Crim.R. 11; burglary; strangulation; assault; plea. Reversed and vacated. The trial court erred by inadvertently omitting an advisement on the privilege against self-incrimination at the change-of-plea colloquy.S. GallagherCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2174
State v. Carter 113021Aggravated robbery, R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), circumstantial evidence, sufficiency of the evidence, manifest weight of the evidence. Appellant’s convictions are supported by sufficient evidence and are not against the manifest weight of the evidence. Circumstantial evidence and direct evidence carry equal weight.Laster MaysCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2166
State v. Mann 113616Conceded error; indefinite sentence; mandatory advisements. Appellant’s indefinite sentence imposed under the Reagan Tokes Law is contrary to law because the trial court failed to provide the mandatory advisements required by R.C. 2929.19(B)(2)(c) when imposing an indefinite sentence. The case is remanded to the trial court for resentencing for the sole purpose of providing appellant with the requisite statutory advisements.SheehanCuyahoga 6/6/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2175
State v. Hubbard 111939App.R. 26(B); ineffective assistance of appellate counsel; ineffective assistance of trial counsel; jury instructions; lesser included offense, murder; felonious assault; couching for truthfulness, informant’s proffer, and prejudice. This court denied the appellant’s App.R. 26(B) application to reopen on the grounds of ineffective assistance of appellate and trial counsel. The trial court did not err in instructing on felonious assault, even when one of the defendants unloaded his clip at the murder victim. The evidence that the appellant was repulsed by the killing allowed the jury to conclude reasonably that he thought he and his codefendant were only going to harm the victim and not kill him. Asking what jury instructions should be given is a question of strategy and tactics and does not establish ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Appellate counsel in the exercise of professional judgment made a forceful argument that the appellant was not guilty of felonious assault, instead of arguing that the trial court should not have instructed on felonious assault. The police officer did not vouch for an informant’s truthfulness; rather he noted how the informant’s proffer corroborated with evidence from the crime scene and obtained from the cell phones and DNA analysis. Appellant did not show prejudice from one victim’s testimony.BoyleCuyahoga 5/31/2024 6/6/2024 2024-Ohio-2161
Osborne v. J.T.O., Inc. 113336Summary judgment; derivative action; Civ.R. 23.1; double-derivative action; interest in parent company; subsidiary; standing; limited partnership; motion for leave to amend complaint; abuse of discretion; timely; good faith; no justification for denial apparent from record; failure to rule on motion; implicit denial. The trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of appellees because appellants had standing to pursue a double-derivative action. Further, the trial court abused its discretion in denying appellants’ motion for leave to amend the complaint and failing to rule upon appellants’ motion to modify discovery order and motion to compel.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2070
Estate of Shury v. Cusato 112960Attorney fees; CSPA; Civ.R. 52. Trial court did not abuse its discretion when it elected to award an amount in attorney fees that was approximately 16 percent of the award appellant requested under the CSPA. The record reflected that the trial court’s order took into consideration the work that applied to the CSPA defense as well as the other claims in the case and adjusted the award accordingly. Additionally, the trial court did not err when it denied appellant’s request for findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Civ.R. 52. In the instant case, the trial court’s ruling coupled with other parts of the record provided an adequate basis for appellate review, such that the trial court substantially complied with Civ.R. 52.GrovesCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2066
State v. J.W.G. 113338Former R.C. 2953.32; sealing of record of conviction; expungement; statutory construction; hearing. The version of R.C. 2953.32 that was in effect at the time appellant filed his application is unambiguous and mandates the trial court to hold a hearing on appellant’s application to have his record of conviction expunged or sealed. The trial court in this case failed to follow the statute’s mandates and erred in summarily denying appellant’s application without a hearing.RyanCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2071
Morgan v. Morgan 112972Post-divorce decree proceedings; denial of motion for continuance; contempt of court; denial of motion to modify life insurance obligation; attorney fees. The court did not abuse its discretion in ruling on various post-divorce decree motions. Husband repeatedly failed to abide by the terms of the separation agreement concerning his life insurance obligation to wife.ForbesCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2067
Cleveland v. Newell 112873Expert witness; Evid.R. 703; opinion based on personal knowledge and experience; lay witness; Evid.R. 701; sufficiency of the evidence; manifest weight of the evidence; App.R. 12(A)(2); App.R. 16(A)(7). The trial court did not err when it admitted expert testimony, pursuant to Evid.R. 703, based upon the expert’s personal knowledge and experience. The trial court did not err when it admitted lay testimony, pursuant to Evid.R. 701, rationally based upon a humane officer’s perceptions and that aided to determine a fact in issue. The trial court did not err in accepting a guilty plea where no plea was entered and the case was tried to a jury. A review of the record demonstrates that the appellant’s conviction was supported by sufficient evidence and was not against the manifest weight of the evidence. Where appellant failed to cite case law or provide cogent arguments in support of her claims that the city asked leading questions of its witnesses; a witness perjured himself; and appellant’s due process rights were violated, this court may decline to address the assignments of error. Because the trial court’s judgment entry incorrectly stated the code section under which appellant was convicted, the case is remanded so that the trial court can correct the clerical error with a nunc pro tunc judgment entry.KilbaneCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2064
Warthog Mgt., L.L.C. v. Fares 112905Summary judgment, breach of contract, contract interpretation, plain language, declaratory judgment, specific performance, effect of breach. Potential buyer of property filed complaint against sellers alleging breach of a purchase agreement for residential property. Potential buyer also sought declaratory judgment the purchase agreement was valid and prayed for specific performance of the purchase agreement. The purchase agreement was signed and binding and required potential buyer to pay earnest money immediately upon receipt of purchase agreement. The potential buyer did not pay the earnest money upon receipt. Sellers thereafter notified potential buyer they breached the purchase agreement and thereafter entered into a subsequent purchase agreement with new buyers. The trial court granted summary judgment to sellers, finding potential buyer to be in breach of the purchase agreement. The trial court also denied summary judgment on potential buyer’s declaratory judgment because it found it was not entitled to specific performance because it was in breach of the purchase agreement. A trial court’s grant of summary judgment is reviewed de novo. In interpreting a contract, courts will construe a contract to give effect to the plain language used. The purchase agreement required potential buyer to pay earnest money immediately upon the receipt of the signed purchase agreement. Potential buyer did not do so and thus breached the purchase agreement. Sellers were therefore entitled to summary judgment on potential buyer’s claim that sellers breached the purchase agreement. Because potential buyer was in breach of the purchase agreement, it was not entitled to specific performance of the purchase agreement and it was not entitled to declaratory judgment.SheehanCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2065
In re Contempt of Zuckerman 113344, 113345, 113439Contempt; dismissed; final, appealable order; jurisdiction; sanction; conditional sanction; show cause hearing; warrant; arrest; debtor’s examination; Civ.R. 60(B); bootstrap. Appeal was dismissed for the lack of a final, appealable order and for want of jurisdiction. Without the imposition of a conditional or unconditional sanction, the orders finding appellants in contempt for failing to appear for a debtor’s examination were not final, appealable orders. The trial court possessed the authority to order that warrants be issued for arrest to bring the contemnors before the court to answer for their contemptuous conduct, and the appellants had yet to appear before the court. Also, a party cannot bootstrap a ruling on a Civ.R. 60(B) motion into a final, appealable order where the underlying contested order is not final.S. GallagherCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2072
State v. Spann 113310Pro se litigants; Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment; petition for postconviction relief. Defendant was convicted of aggravated murder in 2009. In 2022, he filed a Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment concerning his felony conviction. We treated this motion as a petition for postconviction relief. The defendant argued that he recently acquired his medical records from the time he was awaiting trial for the aggravated murder, and these records indicate that he was improperly medicated; therefore, his plea was not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent. Defendant failed to demonstrate that he was unavoidably prevented from discovering his own medical records, and his petition for postconviction relief was untimely and properly denied.ForbesCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2069
State v. Foster 112564Crim.R. 11; knowing, intelligent, and voluntary guilty pleas; R.C. 2929.14(C)(4), consecutive sentences; firearm specification, R.C. 2941.145(A); mandatory prison term. Judgment is affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. Appellant’s plea was knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily made. The trial court partially complied with Crim.R. 11(C)(2)(a) regarding mandatory imprisonment and consecutive service of the firearm specification and appellant failed to demonstrate prejudice. The trial court failed to make the R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) consecutive sentence findings on the record or in the judgment entry.Laster MaysCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2075
Mitchell v. Dir., Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Servs. 113395Administrative appeal; timeliness; subject-matter jurisdiction; court of common pleas; App.R. 12; App.R. 16. The trial court properly dismissed the complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction where it was filed outside the 30-day timeframe for an administrative appeal.KilbaneCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2073
Kamms Plaza Shopping Ctr., L.L.C. v. Nida Ents., Inc. 113046Commercial lease; guaranty; Civ.R. 12(B)(6); motion to dismiss; R.C. 2305.06; statute of limitations. Appellees are not bound by subsequent variations of a 1993 original lease, to which they signed personal guaranties, when appellees were not parties to or named as tenants to the modified lease agreement. This court need not decide the claim that the statute of limitations expired because appellees were not parties to the commercial lease in question.RyanCuyahoga 5/30/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2068
State v. Goodykoontz 112016App.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.GrovesCuyahoga 5/28/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2063
State ex rel. Rosolowski v. Scott 116709Writ of mandamus; 24 C.F.R. 982.310; forcible entry and detainer action; notice to public housing authority; forcible entry and detainer; motion to dismiss; Civ.R. 12(B)(6); adequate remedy at law; dismissal without prejudice; R.C. 2505.02; Civ.R. 54(B); jurisdiction; Housing and Urban Development subsidized housing; lease; notice. A complaint for writ of mandamus was dismissed where the relator possessed an adequate remedy at law in the form of an appeal. Even though the underlying action was dismissed without prejudice, in virtually identical circumstances this court determined that the order dismissing a forcible entry and detainer action without prejudice was a final appealable order under R.C. 2505.02.ForbesCuyahoga 5/28/2024 5/30/2024 2024-Ohio-2074
In re A.I. 113447Permanent custody; child cannot be placed with either parent within a reasonable time or should not be placed with the parents; failure to remedy; lack of commitment; abandonment; best interest determination; clear and convincing evidence; manifest weight of the evidence; extension of temporary custody; termination of custody when child reaches age of majority. Judgment affirmed. The juvenile court’s judgment granting permanent custody of the child clearly and convincingly was supported by the weight of the evidence. Several of the provisions under R.C. 2151.414(E) applied and, thus, the trial court was required to find that the child cannot be placed with Mother within a reasonable time or should not be placed with Mother. Further, the juvenile court’s best interest finding was supported by clear and convincing evidence. Because Mother had not made significant progress on her case plan, a first extension of temporary custody could not have been ordered and would not have been in the best interest of the child. The juvenile court lost jurisdiction over Mother when she turned 18 years old and none of the very limited exceptions under R.C. 2151.353(F)(1) applied to allow it to continue jurisdiction over her.RyanCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1992
State v. Miles 113129Involuntary manslaughter; felonious assault; having weapons while under disability; plea agreement; jointly recommended sentence; sentence; discretion; more severe; R.C. 2953.02(G); standard of review; court costs; indigent; R.C. 2947.23(A)(1); R.C. 2947.23(C); community work service. Affirmed. The trial court retained discretion to impose a sentence that was more severe than the jointly recommended sentence in a case in which appellant, pursuant to a plea agreement, pled guilty to three of six charges, including an amended charge of involuntary manslaughter as well as charges of felonious assault and having weapons while under disability, with the remaining charges being nolled. Upon applying the standard of review under R.C. 2953.02(G), it could not be clearly and convincingly found that the record does not support the sentencing court’s findings or that the sentence is otherwise contrary to law. The trial court did not err when it ordered appellant, who was indigent, to pay court costs pursuant to R.C. 2947.23(A)(1), which could be satisfied through community work service.S. GallagherCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1982
In re B.F. 113323R.C. 2317.02(B)(1)(b), privileged communications exception, neglect and dependency, permanent custody. The admission of appellant’s medical records was improper under R.C. 2317.02(B)(1)(b). A thorough review of the record reveals that the inadmissible evidence was relied on in the court’s judgment. The court’s judgment is vacated.Laster MaysCuyahoga 5/23/2024 6/12/2024 2024-Ohio-2252
Hashem v. Perk Co., Inc. 113149Trespass; apparent authority; agent; principal; ratification; landlord; possessory interest. Trial court properly granted summary judgment in favor of defendant on plaintiffs’ trespass claim where the undisputed evidence showed that plaintiffs’ tenants gave defendant permission to enter onto the property to dump concrete and plaintiffs received 50 percent of the fees charged for the dumping.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1984
State v. Grier 113065Rape R.C. 2907.02(d); manifest weight of the evidence; conflict in testimony; credibility determination. Defendant was convicted after trial of rape. Defendant asserted his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence because the victim’s testimony was incredible and contradicted her prior statements. After a review of the entire record and in considering the victim’s credibility, the appellate court did not find the victim’s testimony to be so incredible that the jury lost its way in resolving conflicts in the victim’s testimony and prior statements. Because of this, the appellate court did not find the conviction to be against the manifest weight or that the case was the exceptional one in which a manifest injustice occurredSheehanCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1980