Ohio Law

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

Saturday, March 26, 2005

It's Still Domestic Violence in Franklin County

Ah, the rare Saturday post. However, a story in this morning's Columbus Dispatch relates that Franklin County Common Please Judge Richard A. Frye had this to say after refusing to dismiss a domestic violence charge against Terry Rodgers, accused of pouring hot coffee on his girlfriend and then beating her:

"In this court's view, the Ohio constitutional provision called the Marriage Amendment has limited scope."

He also went on to say that previous court decisions did not discount that people living together could be considered family household members.

Stay tuned

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Cuyahoga County Judge Rules that Domestic Violence Laws Apply Only to the Married

Stating that he found Ohio's Domestic Violence statute (ORC 2929.25) to be incompatible with the recent marriage amendment to the Ohio Constitution, Judge Stuart Friedman stated that a man who had assaulted his live-in girlfriend could not be prosecuted under the law. Instead, the Judge reduced the charge to assault, a first-degree misdemeanor. Expect this to reach the Supreme Court of Ohio before it's all over.

Here is a link to the full text of Judge Friedman's opinion.

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Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline

The Board has released three opinions this year, at least that's how many are on their web page. Here are the summaries:

Opinions 2005-3 (Feb. 4, 2005)

SYLLABUS: Counsel representing an interest adverse to a corporation may communicate without the consent of a corporation’s lawyer with certain current employees and former employees of the corporation, even when corporate counsel asserts blanket representation of the corporation and all its current and former employees.

Opinion 2005-2 (Feb. 4, 2005)

SYLLABUS: It is proper for an association of judicial employees (Ohio Association for Court Administration) to charge vendors a fee to set up a booth at the association’s educational conference to display products or services of interest to members. And, it is proper for an association of judicial employees (Ohio Association for Court Administration) to permit vendors to sponsor a meal, reception, open house, or other similar activity at the association’s educational conference and discuss their products or services at the meal, reception, open house, or activity. Of course, there must be no strings attached to the vendor’s support, in particular, no overt or sub rosa agreements that a judicial employee will try to influence a court to use a vendor’s products or services.

Opinion 2005-1 (Feb. 4, 2005)

SYLLABUS: An attorney who performs research and writing on a contract basis to other attorneys, but who is not engaged by, does not meet with, and does not offer advice to clients is not considered to be engaged in the practice of law and is not subject to the professional liability insurance notice requirements of DR 1-104.

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Status Report of Ohio Legislation

Here is a link to the latest Status Report issued by the Legislative Service Commission dated March 18, 2005.

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"Public" Utilities Commission of Ohio?

In an order released yesterday, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has reaffirmed its approval of a rate plan it approved earlier this year for American Electric Power. The proposal permits the utility to increase rates by 3% or 7% per year between 2006 and 2008.

The rate increases permitted under the AEP plan differ for customers of Ohio Power and Columbus Southern Power. Consumers can avoid the increases if they are able to find a competitive supplier that offers lower rates, the commission said (I think that's in the "fat chance" category)

The rate plan also allows the utility to seek increases in generation rates to cover environmental and security costs, tax law changes, customer load switches and generation-related regulatory requirements (but of course).

The commissioners also addressed concerns that interested parties raised about the PUCO's off-point encouragement of the utility to build a new coal-fired baseload plant in Ohio. The commission said the criticisms were "premature and speculative."

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One SCO Opinion Released Yesterday

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

2004-1227. Ohio Consumers' Counsel v. Pub. Util. Comm., 2005-Ohio-1023.
Public Utilities Commission, Nos. 03-1459-GA-ATA, 94-987-GA-AIR, 96-1113-GA-ATA, and 98-222-GA-GCR. On motion to intervene and motions to dismiss. Motion to intervene granted. Sua sponte, notice of appeal is stricken. Motions to dismiss granted.
Cause dismissed.
Moyer, C.J., Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Resnick and Pfeifer, JJ., concur in part and dissent in part.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1023.pdf

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Board of Tax Appeals Merit Decisions Released 3/18/2005

MERIT DOCKET

2003-T-291 Cleveland Municipal School District Board of Education v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, Cuyahoga County Auditor, and Michael E. Fazio. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2003-M-1230 John David Fridley v. Columbiana County Board of Revision and the Columbiana County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2003-A-1732, 2003-A-1733 New World Communications of Ohio, Inc. and WJW License, Inc. v. Thomas M. Zaino, Tax Commissioner of Ohio. Corporation Franchise Tax. Tax Commissioner affirmed. Ms. Margulies and Mr. Eberhart concur. Ms. Jackson not participating.

2003-G-1835 Lakota Local School District Board of Education v. Butler County Board of Revision, Butler County Auditor, and Fox 75, LLC. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2004-J-377 Latino, LLC v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision and Cuyahoga County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Remanded with instructions. Board members concur.

2004-A-562 Board of Education for the Berea City School District v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, Cuyahoga County Auditor, and Colombo Enterprises, Inc. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2004-A-582, 2004-A-583, 2004-A-584 Brunswick City School District Board of Education v. Medina County Board of Revision, Medina County Auditor, and Hickory Hill Apartments, L.P. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2004-M-647 Isabel Reisser Ungurean v. Coshocton County Board of Revision and the Coshocton County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2004-A-772 James MacFadyen v. Montgomery County Board of Revision and Montgomery County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Dismissed--lack of jurisdiction. Board members concur.

2004-A-1011 Andy Breece v. Erie County Board of Revision and Erie County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Dismissed--lack of jurisdiction. Board members concur.

2004-A-1073 Dennis P. Orr v. Mahoning County Board of Revision and Mahoning County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Dismissed--lack of jurisdiction. Board members concur.

2004-T-1443 Eugene Tareshawty, Trustee, and Elvina Tareshawty, Trustee v. Mahoning County Board of Revision and the Mahoning County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Dismissed--lack of jurisdiction. Board members concur.

2005-B-95 Jacobs West St. Clair Ltd. Part. v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, Cuyahoga County Auditor, and the Cleveland Municipal School District Board of Education. Real Property Tax. Remanded with instructions. Board members concur.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

SCO Case Announcements and Administrative Actions for 3/23/2005

This release runs a rather hefty 10 pages, so if you're expecting something from the court, take a quick look.

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New Bill Introductions

SB 111 LANDFILL MORATORIUM To establish a two-year moratorium on the issuance of licenses for new construction and demolition debris facilities Full Text

HB 141 PERSONAL INFORMATION To give parole officers, probation officers, and field officers the same options as peace officers with respect to confidentiality of certain personal information. Full Text

HB 142 DEBT COLLECTION To authorize the Tax Commissioner to collect from state income tax refunds certain debts owed to courts, counties, municipal corporations, and townships.
Full Text

HB 143 DENTAL HYGIENIST ANESTHESIA To allow a dental hygienist under the supervision of a dentist to administer local anesthesia to a patient. Full Text

HB 144 PRIVILEGE WAIVERS To waive the physician-patient and attorney-client privileges in probate cases under certain circumstances. Full Text

HB 145 FIRE DEPARTMENT AUTHORITY To give townships authority to confer certain investigative and arrest powers upon officers in their fire departments. Full Text

HB 146 MOTORCYCLE SEIZURES To modify the guidelines governing seizure of a motorcycle by a law enforcement officer when the identity of the motorcycle cannot be determined and to establish limited civil liability with certain exceptions if the law enforcement officer or agency fails to comply with specified guidelines. Full Text

HB 147 PARK FEES To prohibit the Division of Parks and Recreation in the Department of Natural Resources from adopting rules establishing a fee for parking a motor vehicle in a state park or for admission to a state park, to allow the Director of Natural Resources to transfer up to four million dollars from the Waterways Safety Fund to the State Park Fund, and to declare an emergency Full Text

HB 148 HOME CONTRACTORS To adopt the Home Improvement Contractor Law, establish the Home Improvement Contractor Registration Board in the Department of Commerce, establish civil and criminal penalties for violation of the law, and grant the attorney general enforcement powers. Full Text


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Ohio's eSORN Warns of Sexual Predators

Ohio's Attorney General has urged citizens to take advantage of eSORN, the Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification database, in light of the tragedy in Florida concerning 9-year old Jessica Lunsford. This database is linked to all 88 of Ohio's sheriff's offices and all 32 correctional facility records offices operated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. It can be searched ny name, county, school district, or zip code. Users can also perform an address search and see if any sexual predators are working or living within a one mile radius of that address.

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SCO Case Announcements for 3/22/2005

Here is the link.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

SCO Case Announcements for 3/21/2005

Here is the link.

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