Ohio Law

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

Friday, March 18, 2005

Ohio's County Law Libraries Spared....For Now

According to sources in the Statehouse, the Ohio State Bar Association and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio reached a compromise in which the language within HB 66 shifting costs from the County to the Libraries over a five-year period would be replaced by an amendment on Monday, March 21. The amendment would give libraries, via some type of task force, 6-18 months to recommend changes. If nothing new is in place by January 1, 2007, the phased cost shifting in the current budget bill would go into effect.

Note that all of the above is subject to change because nothing has yet been set in stone.


Ohioans May Cash In on Drug Settlement

Attorney General Jim Petro announced today that Ohioans may get money back for purchasing the drug Remeron or its generic equivalent, Mirtazapine, between June 15, 2001, and Jan. 25, 2005, as a result of a $36 million nationwide settlement with drug maker Organon USA Inc. and its parent company, Akzo Nobel N.V., for improperly monopolizing the U.S. market for the drugs. The settlement is subject to court approval before it can become final.

Click here for the full press release.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Latest Bill Introductions

SB 107 TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS Replaces the name "township clerk" with the name "township fiscal officer." Full Text

SB 108 PARITY AID PAYMENTS To eliminate the payment of state parity aid to community schools. Am. 3314.08 Full Text

SB 109 911 SERVICE PAYMENTS To require health care policies, contracts and agreements that provide coverage for 9-1-1 emergency services to pay the provider of the services directly. En. 1753.281 & 3923.651 Full Text

SB 110 COMMUNITY SCHOOLS To revise the Community School Law, to place a two-year moratorium on the establishment of new community schools sponsored by entities other than the school districts in which they would be located and to create the Joint Study Committee on Ohio's Community Schools. Am. 3314.012, 3314.013, 3314.015, 3314.02, 3314.03, 3314.12, 3314.18, 3314.19, 3314.21 & 3314.22 Full Text

HB 138 TAX PAYMENT INTEREST RATE To reduce the rate at which interest accrues on estate tax and personal property tax overpayments and underpayments, to change the penalty for late estate tax payments and filings, and to authorize county auditors to forgive such penalties for good cause. Am. 5703.47, 5719.041, 5731.22, & 5731.23 Full Text

HB 139 LAND CONVEYANCE To authorize the conveyance to Liberty Township of all of the state's right, title and interest in certain real estate located in Trumbull County. Full Text

HB 140 BEER/LIQUOR SAMPLES To authorize entities involved in the manufacture or distribution of beer or intoxicating liquor to conduct consumer product instruction, or provide sample servings of their products, at an event at a retail permit holder's premises without having to obtain a retail liquor permit. 4303.251 Full Text


Justice Pfeifer's Weekly Column: Time Served

Here's the link.


SCO Decisions Posted on 3/16/2005

State v. Mason 2003-2146 Criminal procedure — Assessment and collection of court costs — Court of appeals’ judgment affirmed on the authority of State v. White. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-791

State v. Barlow 2004-0049 Criminal procedure — Assessment and collection of court costs — Court of appeals’ judgment affirmed on the authority of State v. White. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-790

State v. May 2004-0240 & 2004-0372 Criminal procedure — Assessment and collection of court costs — Court of appeals’ judgment affirmed on the authority of State v. White. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-789

State v. Horton 2004-0523 Appeal dismissed as improvidently accepted. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-788

State v. Glavic 2004-0537 Criminal procedure — Assessment and collection of court costs — Court of appeals’ judgment affirmed on the authority of State v. White. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-787

State v. Johnson 2004-0690 Criminal procedure — Assessment and collection of court costs — Court of appeals’ judgment affirmed on the authority of State v. White. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-786

State v. Haynie 2004-1049 Criminal procedure — Assessment and collection of court costs — Court of appeals’ judgment affirmed on the authority of State v. White. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-785

State v. Nipper 2003-1782 Appeal dismissed as improvidently accepted. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-784

State v. Roux 2003-1886 & 2003-1887 Criminal procedure — Assessment and collection of court costs — Court of appeals’ judgment affirmed on the authority of State v. White. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-783

State v. Back 2003-2182 Criminal procedure — Assessment and collection of court costs — Court of appeals’ judgment affirmed on the authority of State v. White. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-782

State v. Danison 2003-2155 Criminal law — Sentencing — Appeals — R.C. 2953.02 — Order of restitution imposed by sentencing court on a felony offender is final and appealable order. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-781

State ex rel. Waver v. Gallagher 2004-1502 Criminal law – Sentencing – R.C. 2945.05 -- Jury-trial waiver on specifications – Alleged failure to procure defendant’s waiver in writing cannot be remedied in mandamus or prohibition. 3/16/2005 2005-Ohio-780

State ex rel. Bortoli v. Dinkelacker 2004-1473 Criminal law – Motion to vacate guilty plea – Procedendo will not issue to compel performance of act already performed.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Texas Court Allows Hospital to Pull the Plug on Infant

The blog Captain's Quarters has this post on the above. Here is a synopsis:

"A critically ill 5-month-old was taken off life support and died Tuesday, a day after a judge cleared the way for doctors to halt care they believed to be futile. The infant's mother had fought to keep him alive."



New Bill Introductions

SB 106 STATE PARK PARKING FEES To prohibit the Division of Parks and Recreation in the Department of Natural Resources from charging a fee to park a motor vehicle in a park that the state does not own but that the Division manages and to declare an emergency.

HB 128 EDUCATION CHOICE To establish the Educational Choice Scholarship program for students in academic watch and academic emergency school districts.

HB 129 ELECTION LAW To revise the Election Law. Full Text

HB 130 RADIOACTIVE WASTE To create the High-level Radioactive Waste Transportation Study Commission to review and evaluate issues relating to the transportation of high-level radioactive waste in this state.

HB 131 RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL To require a person shipping certain radioactive material within or through this state to provide the Emergency Management Agency with notice of the shipment and pay the Department of Public Safety a fee for each shipment, and to establish the Radiation Response Fund. Full Text

HB 132 PERFORMANCE BUDGETING To require performance budgeting by most state agencies and to require performance audits of those agencies. Full Text

HB 133 EDUCATION COLLECTIVE BARGAINING To eliminate an exemption from the Public Employees' Collective Bargaining Law for specified educational employees. Full Text

HB 134 VEHICLE INSURANCE To require proof of financial responsibility to be submitted as a condition of registering a motor vehicle and of being issued or renewing a driver's license
Full Text

HB 135 SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS To prohibit the inclusion of an individual's Social Security number on copies of documents submitted for recording in the office of the county recorder, and to create an affirmative defense to associated civil liability of a good faith effort to comply with the noninclusion requirement. Full Text

HB 136 CHILD SUPPORT Relative to paternity actions and interest on child support arrearages. Full Text

HB 137 JUVENILE RECORDS To revise the procedure by which a juvenile court may seal records of alleged and adjudicated delinquent and unruly children and adjudicated juvenile traffic offenders.


SB 20 Passes the House

The Ohio House of Representatives passed SB 20 by a vote of 96-0, a bill that will hopefully clarify state law (jurisdictional statutes R.C. 2901.11 and 2901.12) that prompted the Ohio Supreme Court to throw out the death penalty of a man convicted in a 1999 double murder because the two Ohio victims were slain in Pennsylvania. The Ohio Senate had previously passed the bill by a vote of 31-0.


SCO Case Announcements and Admin. Actions for 3/15/05

Here is the link.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ohio's Criminal Sentencing Now Enters Its Catch-22 Phase

The Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals rendered a decision last Friday that, while following recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent, throws a monkey wrench into criminal sentencing scenarios in the state of Ohio.

The Cincinnati Enquirer had this to say:

"Hamilton County Common Pleas judges can impose only a minimum sentence for anyone who has never spent time in prison before, the 1st District Court of Appeals has ruled.

Friday's decision comes on the heels of another appellate court decision in February that says judges cannot impose a maximum prison term.

In both cases, the appeals court said juries in Ohio must play a role in sentencing. The problem? Ohio's court system doesn't allow juries to participate in sentencing."

The problem was created when the U.S. Supreme Court decision that threw out Washington State's sentencing laws. In a 5-4 ruling in Blakely vs. Washington, the court threw out a state law that allowed judges to increase a defendant's sentence without input from a jury. Although the decision supposedly applied only to Washington, a ripple effect has started throughout the country in other states' appellate courts.


RSS Feeds Offered By Stateline.org

Stateline now is offering RSS feeds on a variety of subjects as well as one for each state, including Ohio.

Thanks to Inter Alia for the tip.


Board of Tax Appeals Decisions Announced 3/11/2005

Follow this link for access to full text decisions from the BTA's merit docket.


SCO Case Announcements & Admin. Actions for 3/14/2005

Here is the link.


Monday, March 14, 2005

Cigarette Tax Dodgers Pursued

From the Statehouse News Bureau:

Collectors want smokers buying out of state to cough up state taxes

Some Ohioans who’ve been buying cheap cigarettes over the internet to avoid paying taxes are now receiving tax bills in the mail. Smokers can buy a carton of cigarettes for half of the 30-dollars they’d normally pay at a store, but tax officials say one reason for the cheaper price is the lack of any taxes. So the Ohio Department of Taxation has sent out bills to 12-hundred people, telling them to send in 5 dollars and fifty cents for each carton they’ve bought over the internet. Tax officials got their names and addresses from internet cigarette operations in Virginia and Kentucky. Gary Gudmundson of the state tax department says the names of smokers who continue to ignore the tax bills will be sent to the Ohio Attorney General. This is the first major drive by tax officials to collect money owed on un-taxed cigarette purchases. Gudmundson says earlier, smaller efforts collected money about two-thirds of the time. This time around, the smokers who've been billed owe a total of about 93-thousand dollars. One smoker owes more than 800 dollars.


Ohio Cases Dot U.S. Supreme Court Calendar

The following Ohio cases appear on the U.S. Supreme Court's docket for thie term:

Cutter v. Wilkinson, 03-9877, seeking a ruling on whether the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act is constitutional as applied to state prisoners. This case has been recognized as one of the most important religion cases of the term.

Wilkinson v. Austin, 04-495, which asks the Court to determine how much process is due before a prisoner is transferred to a “supermax” prison facility. Attorney General Petro will appear for the State of Ohio in this case, marking the first time since William Saxbe that a sitting Attorney General argued on behalf of Ohio.

Mitchell v. Stumpf, 04-637, a death penalty case that seeks to clarify whether a defendant who states in open court that his attorney has explained the elements of the charges against the defendant can later escape his guilty plea by merely alleging that his attorney did not in fact do so.

Wilkinson v. Dotson, 03-287, which asked the Court to determine what is the appropriate vehicle for a prisoner to use in pursuing a claim that prison officials used the wrong procedures in his parole hearing. A decision was handed down by the high court last week.

The Ohio AG's office has an announcement concerning the above.


Court of Claims Calendar for Week of 3/14/05

Here is the link.