Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Latest Announcements from Supreme Court of Ohio

It's all about the disciplinary cases. Read it here.

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Ohio AG Files Suit Against Canadian Telemarketer

Read the press release and see if you would have fallen for the scam.

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Supreme Court of Ohio Oral Argument Calendar for Next Week

ORAL ARGUMENT CALENDAR
FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2005
9:00 A.M.

03-1960
CREW 4 YOU, INC. v. THOMAS M. ZAINO [WILLIAM W. WILKINS], TAX COMMISSIONER OF OHIO

04-0695
CITY OF AKRON v. GERALD WILLIAMS

04-0737
AMANDA GALLAND ET AL. v. MERIDIA HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC.

04-1550
CLEVELAND BAR ASSOCIATION v. ALAN G. PEARLMAN

04-1770
DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL v. SANDRA K. HUNTER

ORAL ARGUMENT CALENDAR
FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2005
9:00 A.M.

04-0193
FRANCISCO SARMIENTO ET AL. v. GRANGE MUTUAL INSURANCE CO.

04-0247
IN RE: S.J., A MINOR CHILD

04-0403
WILLIAM YOUNG, AS EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF MARGARET YOUNG, DECEASED, ET AL. v. CINCINNATI INSURANCE CO. ET AL.

04-1808
COLUMBUS BAR ASSOCIATION v. KIM M. HALLIBURTON-COHEN

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Copy of 911 Tape Must Be Provided

Released yesterday by the Supreme Court of Ohio:

State ex rel Dispatch Printing Company v. Morrow County Prosecutor's Office


The Dispatch was allowed to listen to the tape, and the county offered to provide a transcription, but for some reason would not provide a copy of the tape. The Dispatch filed a mandamus action to compel production of the tape under the Ohio Open Records Act. The Supreme Court agreed with the Dispatch and ordered the county to produce a copy of the 911 tape at cost, along with attorneys fees.

However, Justice Paul Pfeifer concurred separately and argued:

I concur in the decision of the majority. The law is clear.
However, as I wrote in State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer v. Hamilton Cty.
(1996), 75 Ohio St.3d 374, 662 N.E.2d 334, the General Assembly
should consider changing the law. The public’s right to scrutinize the
workings of the government should be balanced against an individual
citizen’s right to privacy. A person should be able to summon the help
of police officers or firefighters without having his plea broadcast on the
evening news. A transcript of a 911 call would convey the necessary
information without transforming a personal tragedy into a public spectacle.

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Ohio Budget Bill Attempting to Gut Funding of State's County Law Libraries

The recently introduced Ohio Budget Bill (HB 66), contains sections that would effectively put just about every county law library out of business by 2010, and probably sooner. Here is the Legislative Service Commission analysis of the sections. What the bill will do if passed is pass on from an individual county to the board of trustees of a county law library the responsibility to pay the salaries of the librarian, two assistants, and the library spaces. The reversal of responsibilities will start in 2006 (80% county / 20% board) and evolve until 2010 when the board must pick up the entire tab. Frankly, this is unacceptable as a lot of the county law libraries are existing by the skins of their teeth right now without a further erosion of funding. The County Commissioners Association of Ohio is providing the force behind this money grab. Their reasoning for it? Here is some info from their "Legislative Program" for 2005-06:

In light of technological advances in the reporting of judicial decisions and access to legal research and writing through media other than by print publication, county responsibility for funding and providing space to support law libraries should be reevaluated.

Translation: It's All on the Internet

Now that's an argument I haven't heard before.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Money Stolen From Justice's Car

From the Associated Press:

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O'Donnell had $18,000 stolen from his car while he was being recognized by a high school at a dinner, authorities said. Justice O'Donnell told police he parked his car in the Flats riverfront entertainment district in Cleveland when he was being honored as St. Edward High School's 2004 Alumnus of the Year on Feb. 16.

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Ohio Bankruptcies Way Up Since 2000

From Ohio News Network:

A new study has found that Ohio bankruptcies increased at more than twice the national average from 2000 to 2003. The report, co-written by nonprofit groups Policy Matters Ohio and the Center for American Progress, reports that the national rate of increase was 31%. Ohio's rate was 67%, but at least we beat Michigan, whose rate topped out at 72%.


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New Bill Introductions

SB 76 SCHOOL EMPLOYEE ASSAULT To make assault on any school employee a felony of the fifth degree.

SB 77 ELECTRONIC VOTING DEVICES To permit direct recording electronic voting machines certified for use in Ohio on January 1, 2005, to continue to be used in this state if they are modified to meet the requirements of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and, when technologically and economically feasible, modified to include a voter verified paper audit trail.

SB 78 GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION To reorganize the executive branch of state government.

HB 78 CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING COVERAGE To require health care policies, plans, and agreements to extend coverage to newer forms of screening for cervical cancer detection.

HB 79 TEACHER MISCONDUCT To require that information about professional misconduct or child abuse or neglect committed by a person licensed by the State Board of Education be submitted to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and to require the State Board to request a criminal records check prior to renewing an educator license.

HB 80 PUBLIC CONTRACT AWARD CONDITIONS To prohibit a state agency from awarding a public improvement contract unless its terms require the contractor to participate in a specified drug-free workplace program.

HB 81 CREDIT UNION LAW To make changes in the Credit Union Law relating to fields of membership, expansion of authorities, meetings of directors, compensation of officers, fees and interest chargeable on loans, record keeping, eligible investments, liquidity fund requirements, public records, amendments to articles, and use of name; to authorize accounts to be held by credit unions under laws relating to probate and intestate succession; to authorize a credit union insured by a credit union guaranty corporation to maintain interest-bearing trust accounts on behalf of attorneys; and to authorize credit union designees acting for or on the premises of a credit union to be appointed as police officers.

HB 82 OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY TITLES To make changes related to the prohibition against using certain titles in the practice of occupational safety or industrial hygiene.

HB 83 INHERITANCE DISTRIBUTIONS To require the probate court, upon application by a fiduciary or interested party, to determine the fairness of an agreement requiring a fiduciary to pay a percentage of an inheritance or a dollar amount to any person other than the beneficiary and to allow the probate court to approve, modify, or invalidate the agreement.

HB 84 RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT To prohibit political subdivisions from imposing residency requirements on certain employees.

HB 85 ELECTRIC UTILITY AGGREGATION To limit retail electric service automatic governmental aggregation and to create a "Do Not Aggregate" list.

HB 86 MEDICAID INSURANCE OPTION To establish a medical assistance program that offers access to sickness and accident insurance as an alternative to standard Medicaid pay-per-service coverage.

HB 87 PHYSICIAN LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM To require the Director of Health to designate state correctional institutions as health resource shortage areas for the purposes of the Physician Loan Repayment Program.

HB 88 RETIREMENT INCOME EXEMPTION To exempt from the personal income tax up to $10,000 in state and federal government and military retirement benefits.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Budget Bill Legislative Analysis

The Legislative Service Commission's analysis of HB 66 offers this material on the law library sections. I believe the latter link will take you right there.

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County Law Library Budget Info

HB 66 is the huge budget bill for the state of Ohio. There are County Law Library implications as to the salaries of the Librarian and the provision of space and utilities for the library. To find the info, click on the link for the bill and then search for the code section 3375.48. I think the third instance of the section number will be the starting point for the text.

Later

Cost of Filing a Suit?

The Civil Department of the Franklin County Municipal Court has posted a Civil Cost Sheet that allows individuals to guage the costs of filing various civil actions. Click here for the PDF. The date on this sheet is 2003. Nothing new here, but I've never seen it before.

Later

New Bill Introductions

For the full text of any of the below, go to the Ohio General Assembly's web site.

SB 72 CREDIT UNION LAW To make changes in the Credit Union Law relating to fields of membership, expansion of authorities, meetings of directors, compensation of officers, fees and interest chargeable on loans, record keeping, eligible investments, liquidity fund requirements, public records, amendments to articles and use of name; to authorize accounts to be held by credit unions under laws relating to probate and intestate success; to authorize a credit union insured by a credit union guaranty corporation to maintain interest-bearing trust accounts on behalf of attorneys and to authorize credit union designees acting for or on the premises of a credit union to be appointed as police officers.

SB 73 LIVESTOCK ANTIBIOTICS To establish requirements governing the use of antibiotics in livestock and livestock products and to ban the purchase for school meals of poultry products that have been treated with an antibiotic belonging to the class of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

SB 74 MEDICAL MARIHUANA To regulate the medical use of marihuana.

SB 75 UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION To change the requirements to qualify for unemployment compensation from earning a percentage of the statewide average weekly wage to working a certain number of hours each qualifying week.

HB 73 INCOME TAX DOMICILE TEST To establish new income tax domicile tests.

HB 74 DESTINATION-BASED SOURCING To phase-in destination-based sourcing of sales for small businesses. Am. 5739.031, 5739.033, 5739.034, 5739.035, 5739.123, & 5740.10

HB 75 DEBRIS DISPOSAL SITING LAW To revise the siting criteria for a construction and demolition debris facility, to establish an application fee for an initial construction and demolition debris facility license, to require monthly inspections of construction and demolition debris facilities, to require background checks for the operation of such a facility, to require post-closure bonding for certain construction and demolition debris facilities, and to make other changes in the Construction and Demolition Debris Disposal Law.

HB 76 VILLAGE SOLICITORS To permit the electors of a statutory village to vote on a question to authorize the mayor to appoint the village solicitor with the advice and consent of the village's legislative authority.

HB 77 STATE GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION To reorganize the executive branch of state government.

Later


Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements and Administrative Actions

Here is the release for 2-22-2005.

Later

More Amici Curiae in one of the Election Cases

Ohio State Senators Teresa Fedor (Toledo), Ray Miller (Columbus), C.J. Prentiss (Cleveland), and State Representative Mike Mitchell (Columbus) have motioned for leave to join as amici curiae in the memorandum filed yesterday (2-22-05) by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) that opposes the action for sanctions against the attorneys who filed protests over the election of Chief Justice Thomas Moyer last November. (04-2106)

Later

Mayor's Court Statistics

The Supreme Court of Ohio's site has a link to this information. You will have to search for a court code number to access the reports, but it's pretty easy.

Later

Canned Software Ruled to be Tangible Personal Property

Andrew Jurgens Co. v. Zaine (2002-P-403) Board of Tax Appeals, 2/18/05

Canned or off-the-shelf software was ruled to be tangible personal property within the contemplation of Ohio's personal property tax. Jurgens was appealing a ruling handed down by the Tax Commissioner. ORC 5701.03(A) describes personal property as "tangible." Jurgens was arguing that the software was "intangible." They lost.

Later

Ohio Court Rules

Here's a suggestion for a site that has collated web sites offering Ohio federal, state, and local court rules: LLRX. LLRX used to go by the name "Law Library Resource Exchange," but is now referred to almost exclusively by its more diminutive moniker. The Ohio page can be found here. The URL I have for the latter link is http://tinyurl.com/5wm35. If you haven't heard of Tiny URL before, go to their site and explore. It's free, and very useful when you have to place a URL like this:

http://www.llrx.com/cgi-bin/courtrules/index.cgi?what=list&match=exact&numtolist=100&searchfield=jurisdiction&search=
&searchfield=type&search=&searchfield=state&search=Ohio


...into a blog post. After TinyURL is set up on your computer's toolbar (IE) or a Firefox Extension, one click is all it takes to generate the smaller URL for inclusion within a post or an e-mail.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Battle Over Printer Ink

Here is the raw data:
2/15/05 ORDER filed denying petition for en banc rehearing
[3055177-1] filed by Joseph M. Potenza [03-5400].

The case is Lexmark Intl. v. Static Control (03-5400).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled against Lexmark's request that it reconsider an earlier decision that favored Lexmark's opponent in the case, Static Control Components (SCC), a maker of components used by third parties to make refurbished cartridges.

Here is a link to a story from PC World.

Later

E-Check to be Minimized

Gongwer News Service reports that a press conference was held today that announced a recommendation that the E-Check program be eliminated in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas by the end of 2005, but retained in a modified format in the Cleveland and Akron areas. The new program would only test tailpipe emissions on cars older than four years. More later when it becomes available, and if this would impact on federal highway funding in any way.

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Iwo Jima

If anyone is unfamiliar with this 60-year old battle from WWII, take a short bit of time to read this post from one of the military blogs that I monitor. If you can't take the time right now, just remember these numbers: 70,000 Marines invaded the island, and close to 10% of them never made it home again.

Later

Two New Blogs

Robert Ambrogi's Lawsites offers links to the following:

- InternetCases.com
- Electronic Service and Filing in U.S. Courts

For those of you that use an aggregator and are interested in cases involving online matters and the courts' move towards all electronic filing, these could be for you.

Later

Justice Paul Pfeifer's Weekly Column

As I explore the Supreme Court of Ohio's web site, I find new things such as this weekly column authored by Justice Pfeifer. Last week's dealt with Procedural Leeway. Other topics covered include "Retroactive Child Support" and "Reckless State of Mind." All of the columns can be found here. Next one is scheduled for tomorrow.

Later

News From Choicepoint

Straight from the horse's mouth: link. Keep a close watch on your credit reports. I think it's a good idea to subscribe to one of those credit watch services. I use Equifax and they e-mail and send me a text message when an event occurs based on pre-set parameters (balance goes up a certain percentage, new account, etc.). Costs about 70 bucks a year and you get credit scores and 3 credit reports per year.

Later

THE OSU President for Sale on Ebay

Here's an Ohio News Network link for the story. It was actually posted as a joke, but as of yesterday, 26 bids had come in and the tally was up to $110.

Later

UPDATE: The Columbus Dispatch reported today that Ebay had pulled the auction after bidding reached nearly $100 million.

Monday, February 21, 2005

No-Post Weekend

Sorry for the lack of posts, but today is President's Day - a day of rest for all of us state workers in Ohio. I'm off to finally see Ocean's 12 at the local dollar theater. Nothing else to report. Expect a full slate of back-to-work posts tomorrow morning.

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