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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
State v. White C-190589RAPE – GROSS SEXUAL IMPOSITION – CHILD ENDANGERING – EVIDENCE/WITNESS/TRIAL – CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT – CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES: In defendant’s trial for rape, gross sexual imposition, and child endangering, any evidentiary error was either harmless error or did not amount to plain error where both victims testified at trial in detail regarding physical and/or sexual abuse against them, defendant had the ability to cross-examine the victims and other witnesses, the victims’ medical records were properly admitted into evidence and the police officer testified from his personal experience. The medical expert did not vouch for the victims’ veracity where he relied not only on victims’ statements but also on victims’ medical records, the expert’s physical exam of victims and professional conversations with the social workers who had interviewed the victims. Defendant’s convictions for the multiple counts of rape and gross sexual imposition were not contrary to the weight of the evidence: the victims testified in detail to the sexual abuse and two witnesses testified that defendant, unsolicited, had told them that he was going to be accused of sexually molesting the victims. The child-endangering offenses were supported by sufficient evidence and not contrary to the weight of the evidence where victims testified to the physical abuse, and a majority of that testimony was corroborated by the two adults living in the home with defendant and victims. Defendant’s sentences were contrary to law in part where the trial court failed to calculate and include jail time credit, the court miscalculated the aggregate sentence, the court cited the wrong parole statute applicable to rape and the sentences for rape were not within the statutory guidelines. See State v. Bowers, Slip Opinion No. 2020-Ohio-5167, ¶ 3.BockHamilton 5/12/2021 5/12/2021 2021-Ohio-1644
State v. Green C-200068DUE PROCESS – DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE: Defendant’s due-process rights were not violated where the state failed to preserve an officer’s body camera video where the video was only potentially useful and not materially exculpatory, and defendant did not show bad faith on the part of the state.ZayasHamilton 5/12/2021 5/12/2021 2021-Ohio-1645
State v. Jackson C-200153R.C. 2937.36 – BOND FORFEITURE – R.C. 2937.40 – SURETIES: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the surety’s motion to set aside a bond-forfeiture judgment where defendant’s incarceration in Kentucky did not constitute good cause to exonerate the surety for failing to produce defendant in Hamilton County. R.C. 2937.40(A)(1) does not apply when a surety seeks to surrender a defendant after the defendant has failed to appear in court. The surety was not prejudiced by the trial court’s failure to notify it of a declaration of forfeiture within 15 days of forfeiture being declared.MyersHamilton 5/12/2021 5/12/2021 2021-Ohio-1646
State v. Christen C-200158, C-200159SEALING OF RECORDS: The trial court erred in denying defendant’s application to seal the records pertaining to a reckless-operation conviction and a dismissed charge of operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited blood alcohol level where R.C. 2953.61(B)(1) explicitly allowed the conviction and dismissal to be sealed.ZayasHamilton 5/12/2021 5/12/2021 2021-Ohio-1647
Fifth Third Bank v. Ricci C-200222, C-200237DEFAULT JUDGMENT: The trial court erred by overruling defendant’s motion to vacate a default judgment without first holding an evidentiary hearing to assess the credibility of defendant’s unrebutted assertion that he had not received service of the complaint.MyersHamilton 5/12/2021 5/12/2021 2021-Ohio-1648
Heiert v. Crossroads Community Church, Inc. C-200244, C-200391NEGLIGENCE – RES IPSA LOQUITOR: The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of defendants where (1) the evidence in the record at most reasonably established only a possibility that a defendant may have been negligent, and (2) the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor was inapplicable.ZayasHamilton 5/12/2021 5/12/2021 2021-Ohio-1649
He v. Half Price Heating & Air C-200312CONTRACTS: In a breach-of-contract action based on plaintiff’s allegation that defendant installed the wrong brand of furnace, the trial court did not err in entering judgment for defendant where the court’s conclusion that plaintiff failed to prove that defendant breached the contract by installing the wrong furnace was supported by the record; the trial court was entitled to believe defendant’s testimony and evidence that defendant installed the correct brand of furnace.MyersHamilton 5/7/2021 5/7/2021 2021-Ohio-1599
State v. Barber C-190338Crim.R. 16 – EVIDENCE/WITNESS/TRIAL – JUROR MISCONDUCT – JUDICIAL NOTICE: Although the state’s witness nondisclosure certification under Crim.R. 16(D) was not sufficiently case-specific, defendant could not show that he was materially prejudiced. Testimony by a detective that purported to interpret video evidence did not warrant a mistrial because the trial court took immediate steps to blunt potential prejudice. The trial court did not abuse its direction in denying a mistrial for juror misconduct because the court dismissed the offending juror and appropriately investigated the misconduct. The trial court did not commit plain error by taking judicial notice of the date of a Facebook post because the primary value of the evidence was the post itself.BergeronHamilton 4/30/2021 4/30/2021 2021-Ohio-1506
State v. Cole-Walker C-200038R.C. 2907.06(B) – CORRABORATION – SUFFICIENCY – MANIFEST WEIGHT: The state presented sufficient corroborative evidence of victim’s testimony to support a conviction for sexual imposition. The manifest weight of the evidence did not support defendant-appellant’s assertion that the victim’s testimony lacked credibility.BergeronHamilton 4/30/2021 4/30/2021 2021-Ohio-1507
State v. Rouzier C-200039; C-200040UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT — ASSAULT — EVIDENCE — PROSECUTOR — SENTENCING — ALLOCUTION — CRIM.R. 32(A): Defendant’s convictions for unlawful restraint and assault were supported by sufficient evidence and not were not against the weight of the evidence where the victim credibly testified that defendant barricaded her in his house preventing her from leaving and separately injured her hand. The prosecuting attorney’s unobjected-to use of “I believe” and “I think” to preface credibility arguments during closing argument, while improper, was not outcome determinative in a bench trial. The trial court erred by sentencing defendant without affording him the right of allocution as required by Crim.R. 32(A).WinklerHamilton 4/28/2021 4/28/2021 2021-Ohio-1466