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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
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
State v. Kirby 113161Consecutive sentence; R.C. 2953.08(G)(2); R.C. 2929.14(C); R.C. 2929.11; R.C. 2929.12; ineffective assistance of counsel; waive fine and costs; mandatory. Judgment affirmed. The record supports the imposition of a consecutive sentence because the trial court engaged in the proper analysis and made all the consecutive-sentence findings required by R.C. 2929.14(C)(4). Furthermore, the court incorporated its statutory findings into the sentencing entry. In addition, the trial court properly considered the R.C. 2929.11 and 2929.12 sentencing factors. The court stated in its sentencing entries that it had “considered all required factors of the law” and the defendant has not affirmatively demonstrated otherwise. Lastly, defense counsel was not ineffective for failing to timely file a motion to waive the drug fine and costs prior to the sentencing hearing because the fine was mandatory and there was evidence defendant had the ability to pay the fine.BoyleCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1985
State v. Shephard 113143Sexual assault; two victims; DNA evidence; guilty plea; presentence motion to withdraw plea; consecutive sentence; speedy trial. Judgment affirmed. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the appellant’s presentence motion to withdraw his plea. The appellant was represented by competent counsel throughout the proceeding and was afforded a full Crim.R. 11 plea hearing before entering his plea. At the plea hearing, appellant indicated that he understood the nature of the charges and the possible penalties. Appellant was also afforded a complete and impartial hearing on his motion to withdraw his plea. The record further demonstrated that the victims would be prejudiced if, after three years since the charges had been filed against the appellant, he were permitted to withdraw his plea, especially because there was no new evidence that had come to light and DNA evidence tied appellant to the crimes. The record demonstrates that the trial court gave appellant’s motion to withdraw his plea full and fair consideration. The request was nothing more than a change of heart, which is insufficient to vacate a plea. The sentence was not contrary to law. The trial court’s imposition of consecutive terms reflected the harm caused to each of the two victims. The trial court made the required findings for the imposition of consecutive terms, the record supports them, and the sentence was not contrary to law. Further, the trial court imposed sentences within the statutory sentencing ranges and the sentence was not excessive. Appellant’s plea and failure to raise a speedy trial violation in the trial court waives review of statutory speedy trial. Notwithstanding waiver, we find no violation of appellant’s statutory right to a speedy trial. Further, under a plain error review for a constitutional speedy trial violation, we likewise find no violation.RyanCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-2010
Estate of Crnjak v. Lake Hosp. Sys. Inc. 113027Medical negligence; wrongful death; R.C. 2125.01; R.C. 2125.02; standing; capacity; personal representative; estate; administrator; Civ.R. 15; Civ.R. 17; relation back; statute of limitations; motion for summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; motion for directed verdict; motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict; closing arguments; abuse of discretion. The trial court properly denied defendant-appellant’s motion for summary judgment where the plaintiff had standing to commence a wrongful death action. Where the defect in plaintiff’s capacity to commence the action was corrected with an amended complaint pursuant to Civ.R. 15, the amended complaint related back to the original filing and the action was therefore not time barred. Likewise, the trial court properly denied defendant-appellant’s motion for directed verdict on this basis. The trial court properly denied defendant-appellant’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict where sufficient evidence, including expert testimony, was presented at trial to show that the hospital had inadequate notification policies. Plaintiff’s counsel’s comments during closing arguments were not so heinous as to prejudice defendant-appellant and therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting the comments.KilbaneCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1977
Novak, L.L.P. v Professional Solutions Ins., Co. 113040Res judicata; summary judgment; claim preclusion; estoppel. Trial court appropriately granted summary judgment on claims for supplemental payments and abuse of process on claims that had previously been tried to final judgment in second action involving the same parties. However, the trial court erred in finding that the litigation foreclosed further litigation where although the claims addressed the same contract it did not address the same underlying facts and had not been litigated in the original action.GrovesCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1978
State v. Smith 113059Guilty plea; Crim.R. 11; State v. Dangler; protestation of innocence; Alford plea. Judgment affirmed. Defendant’s plea was not an Alford plea. At no point during the plea hearing did the defendant assert his innocence in any form or fashion. Rather, when the trial court advised him that by entering a plea of guilty, he would be admitting the charged offenses, the defendant expressed that he understood. Implicit in any Alford plea is the requirement a defendant actually state his innocence on the record when entering a guilty plea. Furthermore, we find that under the totality of the circumstances, the defendant understood the consequences of pleading guilty and that his guilty plea was knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily made.BoyleCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1979
State v. Beidleman 113270Murder; R.C. 2903.02(A); discovery; ineffective assistance of counsel. Affirmed. Trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to procure forensic testing results because those results were produced by the state during pretrial discovery and before the defendant pleaded guilty to the single count of murder after receiving the testing results.S. GallagherCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1988
Benton Village Condominium Owner's Assn. v. Holdings, JRG Ltd. 113357Condominium lien; statute; declaration; bylaws; contract; interpretation; de novo; summary judgment; mitigation; damages; attorney fees; legal costs; interest; conditions precedent; burden; material fact. The trial court did not err by granting summary judgment in favor of the condominium association on its complaint for foreclosure while denying the unit owner’s competing motion for summary judgment.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1990
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
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. Jones 113266Voir dire, probable cause, firearm specifications, firearm, operability, sufficiency, circumstantial evidence, plain error, Crim.R. 29, R.C. 2941.141, R.C. 2941.145, R.C. 2923.11, aggravated robbery. Jones’s convictions for aggravated robbery with accompanying firearm specifications are affirmed. Jones was not prejudiced by the trial court’s incorrect definition of probable cause set forth during the voir dire process. Circumstantial evidence of operability is sufficient.BoyleCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1987
State v. Ruediger 112830Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles; motion to suppress; waiver of Miranda rights; right to make a phone call; sufficiency of the evidence; manifest weight of the evidence; obscenity; jury instructions; admissibility of photographic evidence; ineffective assistance of counsel. Defendant’s conviction for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles is affirmed. Suppression of evidence is not the appropriate remedy for failure to allow a phone call from jail. Defendant’s text messages to a 13-year-old minor were sexually explicit; therefore, they were obscene as a matter of law. There was conflicting evidence in the record regarding whether defendant knew that the victim was a minor. However, because the defendant saw the victim through a window, the weight of the evidence supports the finding that the defendant knew, or acted recklessly in that regard, that the victim was a minor.ForbesCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1975
Allied Health & Chiropractic, L.L.C. v. State 112991One-subject rule; logrolling; unconstitutional statute; constitutional challenge; budget bill; justiciability. The trial court did not err in finding that R.C. 149.43(A)(1)(mm) and 1349.05 violated Article II, Section 15(D) of the Ohio Constitution (“the one-subject rule”) and issuing a permanent injunction barring their enforcement. The circumstances of the enactment of these provisions indicate that these provisions were enacted in violation of the one-subject rule. Even though the contested sections have since been amended, the sections were not reenacted and therefore, the amendments cannot cure an infirmity in their enactment.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1976
Haddad v. Maalouf-Masek 113132Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; tortious interference with expectancy of inheritance; Civ.R. 56(F); request for continuance; unjust enrichment; conversion; R.C. 2307.60(A)(1); constructive trust; accounting; denial of right to remedy; Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution. Because appellant did not seek relief under Civ.R. 56(F), trial court did not err in ruling on appellee’s motion for summary judgment even though appellant had not completed all desired discovery. Trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of appellee on appellant’s claim for tortious interference with expectancy of inheritance. Appellant’s inheritance under her mother’s will, which had been deemed valid in prior will contest action, was limited to $1 regardless of the amount of assets in her mother’s probate estate, and appellant offered no evidence of a promise or other statement by her mother that indicated her intent to gift appellant any particular assets or property or her intent to make appellant a joint owner or beneficiary of any particular asset that would have transferred outside of probate following her death. Trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of appellee on appellant’s claims for unjust enrichment, conversion, damages under R.C. 2307.60(A)(1), or constructive trust/accounting. Appellant’s claims for unjust enrichment and conversion were predicated on allegations that appellee did some wrong to their mother or their mother’s property. Appellant did not allege any facts that showed that appellant conferred a benefit on appellee, that appellee was unjustly enriched by appellant or that appellee converted any property owned by appellant. Appellant’s claim for damages under R.C. 2307.60(A)(1) was based on appellee’s alleged theft and embezzlement of their mother’s assets, not appellant’s assets. The imposition of a constructive trust and a request for an accounting are generally considered to be remedies, not independent causes of action, and appellant had not identified any basis on which appellee could be compelled to account to her, other than in connection with her role in probate court as executor of their mother’s estate, which accounting had already occurred and been approved by the probate court. Where appellant did not seek relief under Civ.R. 56(F) and where trial court properly granted appellee’s motion for summary judgment because, based on the evidence presented, there was no genuine issue of material fact that appellant could not prove essential elements of her claims against appellee, trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment to appellee did not violate Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1983
State v. Brown 113104Manifest weight; identity; expert; fingerprint; report; service; experience; training; method; comparison; hearsay; exception; harmless error. The defendant’s convictions are not against the manifest weight of the evidence. The state complied with the requirements of Crim.R. 16, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion by permitting a city detective to testify as a fingerprint expert. Assuming arguendo that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting hearsay testimony, the introduction of the narrative statement obtained by a SANE nurse was harmless error.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1981
State v. Buckhalter 113162R.C. 2945.28; absence of affirmative statement jury sworn in transcript; withdrawal of question during witness examination. Defendant was convicted of murder and felonious assault at a jury trial. Defendant argued on appeal that the transcript of proceedings did not indicate the jury was sworn pursuant to R.C. 2945.28. The absence in the transcript of an affirmative statement that the jury was sworn is not conclusive evidence the jury was not sworn. The appellate court found that defendant did not show error occurred where the trial court’s journal indicated the jurors were sworn, the trial court reminded the jury of its sworn duty in its instructions, and the jurors signed the verdict forms indicating they were duly impaneled and sworn. Defendant was arrested after fleeing police. During trial, defense counsel asked a police officer if defendant had any outstanding arrest warrants. The state objected, and after sidebar discussion, defendant’s counsel withdrew the question. Defendant argued that the trial court impermissibly prevented the introduction of evidence of warrants. However, defendant could not complain of error where trial counsel withdrew the objection and the trial court did not prevent him from introducing evidence regarding outstanding warrants.SheehanCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1986
In re S.L. 113278Temporary custody; neglected; dependent; motion for legal custody; legal custody; protective supervision; R.C. 2151.353(A); R.C. 2151.353(F)(1); R.C. 2151.353(F)(2); Juv.R. 20(B); Civ.R. 5(B); service; counsel; ineffective assistance; change of circumstances; dispositional hearing; best interest; factors; preponderance of the evidence. Affirmed juvenile court’s judgment that adopted the magistrate’s decision and committed the minor child to the legal custody of the child’s father with protective supervision to the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services. After the child was adjudicated to be abused and neglected and eventually placed in the legal custody of mother with protective supervision, the juvenile court retained continuing jurisdiction over the child pursuant to R.C. 2151.353(F)(1). Mother’s counsel was properly served with father’s motion for legal custody in accordance with Juv.R. 20(B) and Civ.R. 5(B), personal service upon mother was not required, and mother’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and of a lack of change of circumstances failed. Pursuant to R.C. 2151.353(F)(2), the juvenile court was to treat the hearing on father’s motion “as if the hearing were the original dispositional hearing.” The juvenile court considered relevant best-interest factors, and its determination was supported by a preponderance of the evidence.S. GallagherCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1989
Gozion v. Cleveland School of the Arts Bd. of Trustees 113358Civ.R. 12(B)(6); breach of contract; oral contract; statute of limitations; fraud. Appellant’s complaint on its face conclusively demonstrates that his breach-of-contract claim was barred by the applicable statute of limitations and his fraud claim was appropriately dismissed because he failed to plead the claim with sufficient particularity as required by Civ.R. 9(B). Consequently, we affirm the trial court’s judgment granting a motion to dismiss filed by appellee Cleveland School of the Arts Board of TrusteesSheehanCuyahoga 5/23/2024 5/23/2024 2024-Ohio-1991
Bedford City Schools Bd. of Edn. v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Revision 112878Administrative appeal; R.C. 5717.01; R.C. 5717.05; R.C. 2506.01; standing; motion to dismiss; Civ.R. 12(B)(6); valuation; property; school board. The appellant school board had no standing to appeal a valuation decision made by a county board of revision to the common pleas court when the board did not own or lease the property at issue. We rejected the argument that R.C. 2506.01 conferred standing to appeal. That is a general statute, which is silent as to who has standing to file an administrative appeal. Later-enacted statutes specifically covering these kinds of valuation appeals — R.C. 5717.01 and 5717.05 — clearly prohibit a school board from appealing adverse decisions to a common pleas court when the board is not the property owner or a lessee. Recent amendments to these statutes, which eliminated a school board’s ability to appeal valuation decisions even to the board of tax appeals, further support the conclusion that the legislature’s intent was to eliminate a school board’s ability to appeal these decisions under most circumstances. The trial court correctly dismissed the school board’s appeal, and therefore its judgment is affirmed.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1894
State v. Schall 113070Res judicata; collateral estoppel; charges tried to the jury; charges tried to the bench; inconsistent verdicts. Where charges of felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation and discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises were tried to the jury and having weapons while under disability charge was tried to the bench, jury’s not guilty findings on felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation and discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises charges did not preclude defendant’s conviction for having weapons while under disability based on res judicata or collateral estoppel.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1896
Cleveland v. Jones-McFarlane 113433Conceded error; domestic violence; sufficiency of the evidence. The city conceded that defendant’s conviction for domestic violence was not supported by sufficient evidence. Judgment reversed; conviction vacated.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1886
State v. Carnegie 112342Evid.R. 803(4); Evid.R. 801(D)(2); Evid.R. 805; hearsay within hearsay; abuse of discretion; admissibility. Trial court abused its discretion where it failed to independently determine whether appellant’s statement to victim, which victim relayed to a medical professional, was admissible under an applicable hearsay rule. The statement was not admissible under Evid.R. 803(4) nor was it admissible as an admission under Evid.R. 801(D)(2). The statement was the sole evidence introduced to establish an essential element of the offense; accordingly, appellant was prejudiced by its admission such that the conviction must be reversed. Nevertheless, in a sufficiency analysis, the reviewing court looks at all the submitted evidence regardless of its admissibility. Here there was sufficient evidence presented as to each element of the offense; accordingly, double jeopardy does not attach to bar retrial.GrovesCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1892
Cleveland Muni. School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Rev. 113334Administrative appeal; board of revision; R.C. 5717.01; school board; appeal to common pleas court; R.C. 5717.05; R.C. Chapter 2506; standing. The trial court did not err in dismissing the school board’s administrative appeal. The school board did not have standing under R.C. 2506.01 to appeal a decision of a board of revision to the common pleas court.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1887
State v. Gardner 113111Civ.R. 65.1(F)(3)(d)(i); untimely objections. The trial court did not err in dismissing the appellant’s motion because his objections to the magistrate’s decision were untimely in accordance with Civ.R. 65.1(F)(3)(d)(i).Laster MaysCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1897
State v. Mack 112544Voluntary manslaughter; R.C. 2903.03(A); aggravated assault; R.C. 2903.12(A); inferior offense; serious provocation; cooling-off period; abuse of discretion; jury instructions; manifest weight; sufficiency; murder; R.C. 2903.01(A) and (B); R.C. 2903.11(A). We affirm Mack’s convictions for two counts of murder and two counts of felonious assault with the accompanying firearm specifications. Her convictions were supported by sufficient evidence and not against the manifest weight of the evidence. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it did not instruct on the inferior offenses of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault because provocation by the victim was insufficient to incite the use of deadly force and Mack had sufficient time to cool off before acting.BoyleCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1893
In re O.G. 113444Termination of parental rights; permanent custody; best interest of the child. Juvenile court did not err when terminating the mother’s parental rights and granting custody of the child to the agency. Mother has chronic mental-health issues, including schizoaffective disorder, and developmental delays. Mother did not make enough progress on her case-plan objectives to warrant reunification with her child. Mother was receiving some services at an organization that was not an agency referral, and the court found that the two witnesses that testified from this organization had credibility issues. The guardian ad litem and the agency case worker both recommended that Mother’s parental rights be terminated.ForbesCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1884
In re R.M. 113443Permanent custody; continuance; best interests of the child; hearsay; GAL; oath; ineffective assistance of counsel. Trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Father’s motion for continuance where Father was properly served through counsel and Father failed to have contact with counsel for seven months before trial. The reasons for the trial court’s grant of permanent custody were supported by competent, credible evidence. Out-of-court statements were properly admitted as nonhearsay where they were not offered for the truth of the matter asserted but to explain why the child was placed with a foster family instead of relatives. Acceptance of GAL’s unsworn recommendation was not an abuse of discretion where statute does not require the GAL’s recommendation to be under oath and the parties chose not to cross-examine the GAL. Father’s right to the effective assistance of counsel was not violated since there was no evidence of deficient performance and Father could not establish prejudice.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1885
State v. Chappell 112935Aggravated murder; R.C. 2903.01(A); prior calculation and design; Crim.R. 29; sufficiency of the evidence; self-defense. There was sufficient evidence to convict appellant of aggravated murder when the evidence at trial showed that she killed the victim with prior calculation and design. The appellant and victim knew each other, had a strained relationship, the appellant had a firearm at her place of employment, and went to grab her purse with the gun in it before pursuing one of the victims outside. The appellant got into an altercation with the victims and then pursued her outside when she came upon the second victim. Appellant unloaded her gun into the second victim’s car, killing her and injuring the first victim. Even though this occurred in a very short time period, there is no bright-line test for determining whether a defendant’s actions show a premeditated decision or studied consideration to kill — each case turns on its own facts, and the facts of this case support a conviction for aggravated murder. The state met its burden of persuading the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant was not acting in defense of herself or her cousin. The evidence showed that the victims were in the process of leaving when appellant pursued them and ordered them to fight. Although there were two shots fired from inside the car, the testifying expert could not conclude which shot was fired first and the jury believed the state’s witnesses’ testimonies that the victim did not fire first. The jury could consider evidence that the appellant had a firearm unlawfully on work premises when determining whether appellant acted in self-defense.RyanCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1895
In re J.C. 113476Delinquency; mandatory transfer; bindover; juvenile; final appealable order; jurisdiction. State’s appeal from a juvenile court’s order on a motion for mandatory transfer (bindover) dismissed, because the order was not a final, appealable order. The order failed to indicate whether the court found probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed several of the acts charged and failed to indicate whether the court granted or denied mandatory transfer. Juvenile court directed to enter a final order as soon as possible.E.A. GallagherCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1883
TMS Ents., Ltd. v. Cleveland Bd. of Zoning Appeals 113259Zoning appeal; use variance; nonconforming use; change-of-use application; vested right; spot-zoning. Trial court erred in concluding that property owner did not have a vested right in a prior nonconforming use where evidence showed that the property owner applied for permits to use the property as a business before the zoning classification changed to residential.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 5/16/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1888
Smith v. Neff 113807Writ of prohibition; amended complaint; motion to dismiss; moot; sua sponte dismissal; sealed record; ex parte protection order; misdemeanor; violation of a protection order; subject-matter jurisdiction; R.C. 2903.214(G)(2); lack of jurisdiction; failure to follow mandate of a superior court; stay of order pending appeal; evidentiary ruling; adequate remedy at law; appeal. A second amended complaint for writ of prohibition was sua sponte dismissed where relator was essentially challenging an evidentiary ruling by the respondent to allow discussion and evidence related to sealed case involving the issuance of a protection order where relator was being prosecuted for violating an ex parte order issued in the sealed case. Respondent did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction, and relator had an adequate remedy at law.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 5/15/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1881
State ex rel. Anderson v. Warrensville Hts. 113601Public Records Mandamus; writ of mandamus; R.C. 149.43; non-written records request; written records request; moot; statutory damages; duty to accept verbal request; reasonable time; duty to produce records; Civ.R. 10(A). A claim for writ of mandamus in a public records mandamus action was denied as moot where the respondent produced the records during the pendency of the case. A request for statutory damages based on respondent’s failure to accept a non-written records request was also denied because the award of statutory damages requires a written records request. Relator’s request for statutory damages for the written requests was also denied because respondent produced the records within a reasonable time given the broad nature of the request.BoyleCuyahoga 5/10/2024 5/16/2024 2024-Ohio-1882
State v. Lewis 112730Sufficiency; manifest weight of the evidence; imposition of sentence on firearm specification; S.B. 201 constitutionality. Sufficient evidence was presented regarding the identity of the perpetrator where a witness who knew appellant identified him from surveillance footage of the incident and other witnesses and DNA evidence connected appellant to the additional crime of leaving the scene of an accident. Additionally, the convictions were supported by the manifest weight of the evidence where the primary witness on identification knew appellant and maintained that identification throughout the case. Although the witness received a favorable plea deal on her charges for testifying in court, the witness identified appellant prior to receiving that deal, there was no evidence of a prior statement that she changed after receiving the deal, or evidence that the witness held animosity towards appellant due to relationship issues. The trial court did not err in sentencing appellant to a firearm specification that was attached to a count that merged based on State v. Bollar, 171 Ohio St.3d 678, 2022-Ohio-4370, 220 N.E.3d 690. Finally, appellant’s sentence under S.B. 201 was not unconstitutional based on State v. Hacker, 173 Ohio St.3d 219, 2023-Ohio-2535, 229 N.E.3d 38.GrovesCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1786
State v. K.L. 113168Motion to seal record of conviction; R.C. 2953.32; hearing. Ohio precedent that courts need not hold a hearing for ineligible offenders who have filed a motion to seal their record under R.C. 2953.32 is no longer applicable after the April 2023 amendment of the statute.ForbesCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1777
Berner v. New Leaf Residential Servs., Inc. 112841Motion to dismiss; Civ.R. 12(B)(6); political subdivision immunity; R.C. Chapter 2744; de novo review; four corners of the complaint; exception to immunity; physical defect of building; notice pleading; sufficient operative facts. The trial court did not err in denying CCBDD’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(6) because both the amended complaint and the crossclaim alleged sufficient facts under which they might plausibly demonstrate that the R.C. 2744.02(B)(4) exception to immunity was applicable.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1788
State v. Moore 113041Complicity; felonious assault; ineffective assistance of counsel; joinder; Crim.R. 14; severance; Batson; sufficiency of the evidence; manifest weight of the evidence. Affirmed. The appellant’s four assignments of error claiming that error occurred are without merit. Appellant’s trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to file a motion to sever under Crim.R. 14; the state’s use of a peremptory challenge did not rise to a constitutional violation, as defined under federal law, based on the prospective juror’s combined race and gender; and the conviction was based on sufficient, credible evidence.S. GallagherCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1783
Cleveland v. Brown 113084Modification of community-control sanctions; final appealable order. Appeal dismissed. The trial court’s judgment removing a portion of Brown’s community-control sanctions was not a final, appealable order that is reviewable by this court.CelebrezzeCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1782
Parnell v. Zielinski 112778Manifest weight of the evidence; expert witness; stipulated negligence. The defense verdict rendered by the jury was not against the manifest weight of the evidence where the verdict was supported by credible and competent evidence that goes to all the essential elements of the case.KilbaneCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1789
Song v. Rom 112770Res judicata; claim preclusion; summary judgment; judgment on the pleadings. Appellants’ third lawsuit was barred by res judicata where their original lawsuit was tried to resolution and subsequent litigation attempted to reach the parties involved in the original lawsuit as well as parties in privity with the original parties where the claims arose out of the same transactions that were the basis of the original lawsuit and the claims in the current case could have or should have been raised in the original lawsuit.GrovesCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1787
McDermott v. Bd. of Zoning Appeals 113123Zoning, R.C. 713.15, use variance, R.C. Chapter 2505, R.C. Chapter 2506, administrative appeal, questions of law, “grandfather clause,” C.C.O. 359.01, C.C.O. 329, unnecessary hardship, abuse of discretion. BZA denied a variance to a property owner who built a structure without a permit. The trial court affirmed. After a thorough review of all the evidence in the record, we cannot say as a matter of law that the BZA’s denial of appellant’s requested variance is unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, or unsupported by a preponderance of the evidence on the whole record. As such, the trial court did not err in coming to the same conclusion.BoyleCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1780
State v. Washington 112872Presentence motion to withdraw guilty plea; Crim.R. 32.1; abuse of discretion. Summary: The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Washington’s presentence motion to withdraw guilty plea. Washington was not coerced into pleading and a mere change of heart is not sufficient reason to withdraw a guilty plea.BoyleCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1784
State v. Kendricks 113134Crim.R. 32.1, presentence guilty plea withdrawal. The trial court’s denial of appellant’s presentence motion to withdraw guilty plea was not an abuse of discretion.Laster MaysCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1779
State v. K.W. 113160R.C. 2953.32; application to seal record of conviction; competing interests; abuse of discretion; rehabilitation. The trial court abused its discretion in denying an application to seal a record of conviction where it conflated expungement with sealing a record and therefore improperly weighed the competing interests at play.KilbaneCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1778
State v. Walker 113103Sentencing; consecutive sentencing; R.C. 2929.14(C)(4). The trial court complied with the mandates of R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) and made the findings necessary to impose consecutive sentences, and those findings are not clearly and convincingly unsupported by the record.KilbaneCuyahoga 5/9/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1781
A.E. v. J.E. 112847Financial misconduct; spousal support; child support; marital property; marital home; temporary spousal support; attorney fees; marital debt; loan; life insurance; proposed shared parenting; parenting time; restraining orders. Trial court erred in finding that husband committed financial misconduct by dissipating marital funds when he liquidated restricted stock units when the court restrained his income and he had no other means of paying his tax liabilities. The trial court erred by ordering husband to pay wife more than half of his income as temporary spousal support. The trial court erred in substituting its own valuation for the marital home based on the court’s review of comparable home values instead of the valuation of husband’s appraiser, who appraised the property one month before trial. Trial court erred in ordering husband to pay wife’s attorney fees when there was no evidence that he was in a superior financial position or that he caused wife to incur an increase in attorney fees. Trial court erred in requiring husband to pay off a loan wife received from her parents when the loan was used to pay college tuitions for the parties’ adult children and to pay real estate taxes on the parties’ marital home, which was wife’s responsibility. Trial court erred in designating wife the beneficiary of a lapsed insurance policy. Trial court erred in not adopting the husband’s shared parenting plan and in finding that a reduction in father’s parenting time was in the child’s best interest. The trial court failed to account for funding missing from wife’s lawyer’s IOLTA account. Trial court erred in leaving all restraining orders in place without specifically identifying the restraining orders and identifying the restrained parties.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 5/3/2024 5/9/2024 2024-Ohio-1785
State v. Jackson 113185Abuse of discretion; mistrial; discovery; sanction; parole; facility; records; hearsay; exception; nonhearsay; unavailable; harmless error. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying defense counsel’s request for a mistrial based on an alleged discovery violation. The trial court did not abuse its discretion from excluding a recorded jailhouse phone call from evidence.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 5/2/2024 5/2/2024 2024-Ohio-1687
Master Nails, Inc. v Master Nails Lana, L.L.C. 112677Subject-matter jurisdiction; jurisdictional priority; whole issue; common pleas; domestic relations; divorce; division of property; tort; injunction; temporary restraining order. The plaintiff-corporation filed a complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas seeking injunctive relief and damages for certain alleged torts, including conversion and fraud. The defendants argued that the court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction by operation of the jurisdictional-priority rule, because there was a pending divorce case in a domestic-relations court between one of the defendants and her husband. That defendant claimed that ownership of the plaintiff-corporation was an issue to be decided in the divorce case. We found that the jurisdictional-priority rule does not apply under the circumstances. The parties and claims were not the same between the two cases. The tort case did not present part of the same whole issue pending in the domestic-relations court. And the domestic-relations court does not have jurisdiction to give the plaintiff the relief to which it may be entitled. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings.Laster MaysCuyahoga 5/2/2024 5/2/2024 2024-Ohio-1694
Cleveland Browns Football Co., L.L.C. v. Antonio's Pizza, Inc. 113301Signatory; arbitration; agreement; jurisdiction; mistake; defense; vacate; appeal; Civ.R. 60(B); confirmation; award; contract. The trial court did not commit reversible error by denying defendant’s motion to vacate the trial court’s confirmation order. The trial court did not commit reversible error by denying defendant’s motion to vacate or modify an arbitration award.E.T. GallagherCuyahoga 5/2/2024 5/2/2024 2024-Ohio-1686
State v. Fips 113061Manifest weight of the evidence; consecutive sentences. The appellant’s convictions are supported by the manifest weight of the evidence, and the imposition of consecutive sentences are supported by the record.Laster MaysCuyahoga 5/2/2024 5/2/2024 2024-Ohio-1692
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