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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
State v. Donaldson 29473Appellate counsel moved to withdraw pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), having found no non-frivolous issues for appeal. An examination of the record reveals no non-frivolous issues having arguable merit. Judgments affirmed.WelbaumMontgomery 1/27/2023 1/27/2023 2023-Ohio-234
State v. Whitfield 29442The trial court did not err in overruling appellant’s motion to dismiss the charges against him on statutory speedy-trial grounds. With the exception of a specification accompanying two vehicular assault charges, appellant’s convictions were based on legally sufficient evidence and were not against the weight of the evidence. The State did present legally insufficient evidence to prove the vehicular-assault specification, which applied only to driving with a suspended license, not to driving without any license. The trial court erred in admitting evidence of appellant’s prior juvenile adjudication for burglary, but the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. The trial court also erred in refusing to allow defense counsel to engage in certain cross-examination of a detective, but again the error was harmless. No cumulative error deprived appellant of a fair trial. Judgment affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for resentencing.TuckerMontgomery 1/27/2023 1/27/2023 2023-Ohio-240
Budz v. Somerfield 29550The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to plaintiffs-appellees on their claim under R.C. 2117.12 (action on rejected claim in probate court) and denying defendants-appellants’ motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs-appellees were not required to address affirmative defenses in their summary judgment motion. Defendants-appellants did not raise their affirmative defenses in their own summary judgment motion, and they did not file a memorandum in opposition to plaintiffs-appellee’s motion for summary judgment. Defendants-appellants’ failure to raise their affirmative defenses in the trial court waived those defenses, and they could not be raised for the first time on appeal when seeking reversal of the judgment. Judgment affirmed.EpleyMontgomery 1/20/2023 1/20/2023 2023-Ohio-155
State v. Cunningham 29122The trial court erred in instructing the jury that self-defense was an affirmative defense on which appellant bore the burden of proof. Under State v. Brooks, Ohio Slip Opinion No. 2022-Ohio-2478, __ N.E.3d __, the State bore the burden to disprove appellant’s self-defense claim. The trial court’s error in allocating the burden of proof was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, however, because the evidence at trial did not support a self-defense instruction. Judgment affirmed.TuckerMontgomery 1/20/2023 1/20/2023 2023-Ohio-157
State v. Hartley 29510Appellant’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct lack merit because appellant failed to establish that the alleged inappropriate conduct by the State prejudiced him at trial. Appellant’s claim that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance during voir dire by failing to effectively challenge certain jurors lacks merit because whether and how to challenge a juror is a matter of trial strategy, which cannot form the basis of an ineffective assistance claim. Appellant’s trial counsel was also not ineffective for failing to object to inappropriate comments made by the State during voir dire regarding the reasonable doubt standard of proof; the comments at issue did not result in any prejudice to appellant given that the trial court subsequently provided jury instructions that properly explained reasonable doubt. Appellant’s claim that the trial court abused its discretion by denying two of his challenges for cause during voir dire lacks merit; the record indicates that the challenged jurors indicated that they could remain fair and impartial during trial. Appellant also failed to establish that his conviction for assault was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Judgment affirmed.WelbaumMontgomery 1/20/2023 1/20/2023 2023-Ohio-158
State v. Prichard 29509The trial court did not err in imposing a mandatory fine based on appellant’s failure to demonstrate a future inability to pay over time. The record does not portray ineffective assistance of counsel in connection with submitting appellant’s affidavit of indigence. The affidavit was timely because it was filed before the trial court’s final judgment entry imposing sentence. Judgment affirmed.TuckerMontgomery 1/20/2023 1/20/2023 2023-Ohio-160
State v. Boulware 2022-CA-38The length of appellant’s sentence was proper, but the trial court did not comply with the notification requirements of R.C. 2929.19(B)(2)(c). Judgment affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.EpleyClark 1/20/2023 1/20/2023 2023-Ohio-154
State v. Petticrew 2022-CA-29Appellant waived the ability to challenge the trial court’s ruling on her motion to dismiss for a statutory speedy trial violation by entering a guilty plea. Additionally, the trial court did not err in imposing restitution. Judgment affirmed.LewisClark 1/20/2023 1/20/2023 2023-Ohio-159
State v. Blair 29378Appellant’s convictions for persistent disorderly conduct and obstructing official business were supported by sufficient evidence and were not against the manifest weight of the evidence. Those convictions will be affirmed. Appellant’s conviction for failure to disclose personal information will be vacated, because there was no evidence that officers asked for his information in a public place. Judgment affirmed in part and vacated in part.EpleyMontgomery 1/13/2023 1/13/2023 2023-Ohio-88
State v. Blanton 29451The trial court did not err by failing to include a jury instruction on involuntary manslaughter as a lesser included offense of purposeful murder and felony murder because, under the circumstances of this case, such an instruction would have improperly duplicated the murder charges. The trial court also did not err by adding language to the standard jury instruction on appellant’s blackout defense where the additional language was a correct, pertinent statement of law that applied to the facts of appellant’s case. In addition, appellant’s convictions were not against the manifest weight of the evidence, and the various ineffective assistance claims raised by appellant lack merit. Judgment affirmed.WelbaumMontgomery 1/13/2023 1/13/2023 2023-Ohio-89
State v. Leigh 28821Appellant was convicted of murder, involuntary manslaughter, improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, and having weapons while under disability. Appellant’s convictions were based on sufficient evidence and were not against the manifest weight of the evidence. The trial court did not err in admitting Facebook Messenger messages; the messages were properly authenticated, did not contain inadmissible hearsay, and were not contrary to Evid.R. 404(B). The playing of an audio-recording of an absent witness’s prior probable cause hearing testimony did not violate appellant’s rights under the Confrontation Clause or Evid.R. 804. No ineffective assistance of counsel or cumulative error demonstrated. Judgment affirmed.EpleyMontgomery 1/13/2023 1/13/2023 2023-Ohio-91
In re K.P. 2022-CA-43The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting permanent custody of two of appellant’s children to a children services agency or in ordering that a third child be placed in a planned permanent living arrangement (“PPLA”) with the agency. Appellant’s persistent failure to remedy her substance abuse problems and to recognize their negative impact on her children provided clear and convincing evidence that the permanent custody award and the PPLA placement were in the children’s best interests. The court’s decision was supported by competent, credible evidence. Judgments affirmed.WelbaumGreene 1/13/2023 1/13/2023 2023-Ohio-90
State v. Nolan 2022-CA-29Following a jury trial, appellant was convicted of several drug possession and drug trafficking counts. Additionally, based upon a forfeiture specification included in the indictment and following a hearing, the trial court ordered the forfeiture of monies held in a bank account appellant maintained. The convictions were not against the manifest weight of the evidence, and the trial court’s forfeiture decision was supported by clear and convincing evidence. Judgment affirmed.TuckerGreene 1/13/2023 1/13/2023 2023-Ohio-92
Pacetti's Apothecary, Inc. v. Rebound Bracing & Pain Solutions, L.L.C. 2022-CA-28The trial court did not err in finding that a late payment fee provision in a contract was a penalty instead of being enforceable as liquidated damages. Under the established test for resolving this issue, appellant’s damages were not uncertain as to amount or difficult to prove. The trial court correctly found no relationship between the late fee and appellant’s damages. The court also did not err in refusing to pierce the corporate veil, as there was insufficient evidence that the party who signed the contract had exercised control over a limited liability corporation in such a manner as to commit fraud, an illegal act, or a similarly unlawful act. Judgment affirmed.WelbaumGreene 1/13/2023 1/13/2023 2023-Ohio-93
State v. Alexander 29465The trial court did not abuse its discretion in overruling appellant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea where the evidence pointed toward a change of heart rather than a legitimate and reasonable basis to withdraw the guilty plea. Judgment affirmed.LewisMontgomery 1/6/2023 1/6/2023 2023-Ohio-21
State v. Chirco 29399 & 29400In the context of a bench trial, appellant failed to establish plain error in the trial judge’s decision to allow a witness to testify regarding appellant’s state of mind, where defense counsel failed to object to the question asked, the judge did not mention this testimony when explaining the guilty finding, and logical inferences from the other evidence of record established beyond a reasonable doubt all of the necessary elements of the retaliation offense. Judgments affirmed.LewisMontgomery 1/6/2023 1/6/2023 2023-Ohio-22
State v. Dixon 29548The trial court did not err in overruling appellant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained during a traffic stop where the police officer’s decision to initiate the traffic stop was based on his estimation of speed and observance of a turn signal violation. Judgment affirmed.LewisMontgomery 1/6/2023 1/6/2023 2023-Ohio-23
State v. Wilson 29349Appellant was not denied a fair trial when the trial court failed to excuse a juror for cause. Appellant failed to object at trial and waived the error, other than consideration of plain error or whether substantial defects affected appellant’s rights. No plain error existed, because the juror did not exhibit bias against appellant. There also was no prejudice significant enough to affect the trial’s outcome, because the evidence against appellant was overwhelming. In addition, the trial court did not err in admitting text messages between appellant and the victim, which were properly authenticated by the victim and by appellant himself. Further, the court did not err in admitting “other bad acts” evidence under Evid.R. 404(B) and did not exacerbate the alleged error in its limiting instruction to the jury. The evidence in question was relevant to appellant’s credibility and to his access to the weapon used to injure the victim. Appellant’s convictions were based on sufficient evidence and were not against the manifest weight of the evidence; the evidence supporting the verdict was overwhelming. Finally, no cumulative error existed. However, the trial court did make a clerical mistake in the judgment entry, which the State has conceded, but it is not a basis for reversal. Judgment affirmed; remanded for the filing of a nunc pro tunc entry correcting the clerical mistake in the judgment entry.WelbaumMontgomery 1/6/2023 1/6/2023 2023-Ohio-27
State v. Dwyer 2022-CA-30In appellant’s first appeal, the case was remanded to the trial court for a new sentencing hearing regarding one firearm specification. The trial court addressed the remanded issue at a new sentencing hearing, prompting the current appeal, in which appellant raises a sentencing issue not raised in the first appeal and unrelated to the remanded firearm specification issue. As such, appellant’s assignment of error is beyond the scope of the remand and, since the assignment of error could have been raised in the first appeal, its consideration is barred by res judicata. Judgment affirmed.TuckerGreene 1/6/2023 1/6/2023 2023-Ohio-24
In re Dissolution of Marriage of Mongkollugsana 2022-CA-15The parties’ separation agreement, which was incorporated into a final judgment and decree of dissolution, did not contain a provision specifically authorizing the trial court to modify the amount or terms of appellant’s spousal support obligation. As such, the trial court correctly concluded, under R.C. 3105.18(E), that it was without jurisdiction to modify or terminate appellant’s spousal support obligation. Judgment affirmed.TuckerChampaign 1/6/2023 1/6/2023 2023-Ohio-25