Ohio Law

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

Friday, April 08, 2005

ACLU Files Complaint on Behalf of Sex Offenders

The ACLU, along with the Prison Reform Advocacy Center, have filed a class action lawsuit in federal court at Cincinnati (it's actually a second amended complaint including the class action allegations) challenging the constitutionality of a new Ohio law that would allow prosecutors to evict registered sex offenders living near schools. The statute (SB5, 125th General Assembly) took effect July 31, 2003. However, a new provision that goes into effect April 29 allows prosecutors to seek the eviction of sex offenders living within 1,000 feet of a school (ORC 2950.031).

Commentary from plaintiffs' counsel:

David Singleton, lead counsel in the lawsuit, characterized the statute as a bad law that does nothing to protect children but makes it difficult for sex offenders to find a place to live. That, he said, makes it more difficult for them to become productive members of the community.

"This is particularly true in densely populated urban communities with a lot of schools," Mr. Singleton said in a news release. "Our clients are effectively banished from the community and from their families without any assessment of whether they actually pose a risk to children." Mr. Singleton is executive director of the advocacy center.

This is me now: You have to figure that the sex offenders wouldn't be in this position in the first place if they didn't pose some type of "risk" to children. I realize that it could be tough to find someplace to live not within 1,000 feet of a school. However, the crime has already been committed and this is part of the punishment.

For those with access to PACER, the case information is Doe v. Petro, 05-125 (Southern District of Ohio). The latest action took place yesterday with AG Petro filing a motion to dismiss him from the case based on lack of jurisdiction. Anyone wanting copies of the above-mentioned complaint or the recent motion to dismiss, please e-mail me and I'll shoot a copy over to you.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

New Bill Introductions - 4/7/2005

SB 120 VEHICLE EMISSION TESTING (Grendell) Regarding motor vehicle emissions inspections. Am. 3704.035, 3704.05, 3704.141, 3704.143, 3704.16, 3706.01, 4503.03, 4503.10, 4503, 102, 4503.103, 4503.51, 5552.01 & 5739.02; En. 3704.20, 3704.21, 3704.22, 3704.23 & 4503.043; and Rep. 3704.14, 3704.142 & 3704.17 Full Text

HB 185 LAWYER TRUST ACCOUNT REPORTING (Latta) To require a depository institution maintaining an interest-bearing trust account (IOLTA) for a lawyer, law firm, or legal professional association to notify the Ohio Supreme Court when a properly payable item is presented for payment from an IOLTA having insufficient funds. Am. 4705.10 Full Text

HB 186 GOVERNMENT COMPETITION REVIEW (Buehrer) To require the Office of Budget and Management to review all services performed by the state, and all goods provided by the state, that are of a commercial nature to determine which of them may be opened to competition by private enterprise, to review the delivery structure of all state administrative services to determine the efficiency of their provision, and to develop a rating system for evaluating the effectiveness of all state programs; to earmark funds appropriated to the Office to support these duties; and to create the Asset and Enterprise Review Committee to inventory and appraise all state assets and enterprises. Full Text

HB 187 CIVIL SERVICE REVIEW (Buehrer) To implement recommendations of the Civil Service Review Commission. Am. 9.84, 119.12, 124.03, 124.04, 124.07, 124.11, 124.134, 124.14, 124.21, 124.22, 124.23, 124.26, 124.27, 124.271, 124.30, 124.31, 124.32, 124.321, 124.322, 124.323, 124.324, 124.326, 124.327, 124.34, 124.341, 124.38, 124.383, 124.384, 124.385, 124.386, 124.388, 124.40, 124.43, 124.44, 124.45, 124.46, 124.48, 302.202, 325.19, 329.02, 1513.03, 1513.34, 4111.03, 4112.01, 5107.52, 5119.09, & 5155.03, En. 124.12 & 124.141, and Rep. 124.311 Full Text

HB 188 ELECTRONIC COMMERCE SERVICES (Buehrer) To adopt the Electronic Government Services Act to prohibit a government agency from providing duplicative or competing electronic commerce services with the private sector unless the government agency complies with specified procedures. Am. 1306.20 and En. 1306.25 to 1306.29 Full Text

HB 189 DANGEROUS DOGS (Walcher) To establish a process by which owners, keepers, or harborers of dogs that have been designated as dangerous or vicious may appeal that designation, to revise the definitions of "dangerous dog," "vicious dog," and "without provocation," to increase the fee imposed for the transfer of ownership of a dog, and to make other changes to the laws governing dogs. Am. 955.11, 955.22, 955.28, 955.99, 1901.18, 1907.031, & 4741.03 and En. 955.222 Full Text


SCO Case Announcements and Administrative Actions - 4/7/2005

There are two releases today, here and here.


Domestic Relations Records and a Slew of Lawsuits as Tort Reform Nears

Two posts on the E-LawLibrary Weblog report on the Hamilton County Clerk of Court's decision to restrict online access to over 600,000 domestic relations cases and the filing of hundreds of tort lawsuits right before the April 7 effective date of Ohio's latest stab at tort reform.


New Bill Introductions

HB 174 BOARD OF REGENTS AUTHORITY (McGregor) To expand the authority of the Ohio Board of Regents to regulate the programs and resources of state institutions of higher education. Am. 3333.04, 3333.06, 3333.07, 3333.10, 3333.13, & 3333.99 Full Text

HB 175 STATE EMPLOYEE SALARY LIMITS (McGregor) To limit the salary and employee benefits of certain executives of state agencies and state-assisted entities. Am. 124.15 & 126.31 and En. 141.20 Full Text

HB 176 STATE EMPLOYEE TRAVEL (McGregor) To prohibit state agencies and entities that receive state funds from providing their executive staff with private air travel or limousine service, to regulate the manner of air and surface travel for their executive staff, and to generally require that state agencies and those entities divest themselves of private aircraft and limousines and private air travel and limousine services. En. 126.35 Full Text

HB 177 SCHOOL HEALTH CARE PLANS (Harwood) To permit school districts and educational service centers to offer health care benefits to employees through participation in state employee health care plans. Am. 9.90 & 3313.202 and En. 125.042 Full Text

HB 178 CARETAKER AUTHORIZATIONS (Reidelbach) To expand the class of persons who may execute a caretaker authorization affidavit or be designated as attorney in fact under a power of attorney for the purpose of exercising authority over the care, custody, and control of a child. Am. 3109.52, 3109.53, 3109.54, 3109.59, 3109.60, 3109.65, 3109.66, 3109.67, 3109.69, 3109.70, 3109.71, 3109.74, 3109.76, 3109.77, 3313.64, 3313.649, & 3313.672 and En. 3109.64 Full Text

HB 179 HUMAN CLONING PROHIBITION (Reidelbach) To prohibit human cloning. Am. 3701.99 & En. 3701.93 Full Text

HB 180 MENTAL HEALTH INSURANCE (Peterson) To prohibit, subject to certain exceptions, discrimination in group health care policies, contracts, and agreements in the coverage provided for the diagnosis, care, and treatment of biologically based mental illnesses. Am. 1739.05, 1751.01, 1751.02, 3923.28, 3923.30, & 3923.51 and En. 3923.281 & 3923.282 Full Text

HB 181 CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS (Domenick) To direct the Board of Building Standards to adopt rules requiring a carbon monoxide detector be installed in each residential dwelling unit in a multifamily building. En. 3781.106 Full Text

HB 182 TOUGH MAN CONTEST EXAMS (Domenick) To require a physician or other specified medical professional to examine contestants in tough man or tough guy contests after each bout fought in a contest. Am. 3773.45 Full Text

HB 183 HOSPITAL CARE REPORTS (Domenick) To require each hospital to make available to the public an annual report on the number of cases of each of the infectious diseases, illnesses, and health conditions that must be reported to the Ohio Department of Health. Am. 3727.99 & En. 3727.30 Full Text

HB 184 SCHOOL MOTTO DISPLAY (Faber) To require school districts and community schools that receive donated copies of the mottoes of the United States of America or the State of Ohio to display the mottoes in school buildings. Am. 3314.03 and En. 3313.801 Full Text


Supreme Court of Ohio Releases Annual Report

Here is the link (PDF).


2 SCO Decisions Released 4/6/2005

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

2004-1524. State ex rel. Adams v. Krichbaum, 2005-Ohio-1203.
Mahoning App. No. 04-MA-108, 2004-Ohio-4286. Judgment affirmed.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1203.pdf

2004-1763. Cleveland Bar Assn. v. Lehotsky, 2005-Ohio-1204.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 03-055. Marc A. Lehotsky, Attorney Registration No. 0068814, is suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for one year.
Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton and O'Donnell JJ., concur.
Moyer, C.J., O'Connor and Lanzinger, JJ., dissent.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1204.pdf
Summary: Lakewood Attorney’s License Suspended


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Current Awareness RSS from the State Library of Ohio

From the State Library of Ohio:

To keep current on recently published information, state employees can register to be notified by e-mail about new, relevant journal articles, according to subject, author or journal title. Alerts can also be set to search a particular topic in many periodicals or for notification when new issues of individual journal titles are published.

The rub, obviously, is that you must be a state employee to take advantage of the service. Users can request set-up assistance from a librarian or do it themselves.

Among the offerings are the ABA Journal, National Tax Journal, CQ Weekly, and some library-specific journals.


New Bill Introduction

SB 119 POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS (Hagan, R.) To prohibit county elective officers and candidates for county elective office from accepting contributions from certain county employees; to prohibit municipal elective officers and candidates for municipal elective office from soliciting or accepting contributions from certain employees of the municipal corporation and to prohibit township elective officers and candidates for township elective office from soliciting or accepting contributions from certain township employees. Am. 3517.092 & 3517.992 Full Text


Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library Now Offering Free Westlaw to All

The Law Library recently started a subscription to the online legal research vendor's "Westlaw Patron Access" program. Visitors to the Library (no remote access) can now search all state and federal case law, statutes, administrative codes, Ohio materials, and a plethora of subject-specific treatise materials as well as various legal encyclopedias and form books.

The Westlaw access adds to the already publicly available subscriptions to LexisNexis, LegalTrac, HeinOnline, and the CCH Tax Research Network.


Justice Pfiefer's Latest Column: Landlords and Evictions

Here is the link.


Google Maps Now Offering Satellite Imagery

Wow, this is some serious stuff. Google Maps was a great resource before, but now? Wow. Check out this overhead view of the Ohio Judicial Center. The amazing thing is that when you type an address in and click, the photo shows up almost instantaneously (depending on the speed of your connection, of course). If you are on the Google Maps site and can't seem to get the satellite image, remember to click on the "satellite" link on the top right of the page.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

AG Issues 2004 Capital Crimes Report

Attorney General Jim Petro has issued the 2004 Capital Crimes Annual Report, reviewing the status of all Ohio death penalty cases that are in the appellate phase of the justice system.

The 284-page epic includes new information about post-conviction DNA testing available in capital cases, and an overview of legal actions that have arisen out of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Atkins v. Virginia (2002) and the Ohio Supreme Court's subsequent ruling in State v. Lott (2002) that addressed mental retardation claims of inmates.


New Bill Introductions

HB 163 SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTS (Widener) To authorize a court sentencing a drug abuse offender or imposing disposition on a delinquent child for such an offense to require the offender or child to reimburse involved law enforcement agencies for the costs of tests that determined that a substance involved in the offense contained a controlled substance. En. 2152.202 & 2925.511 Full Text

HB 164 GRANDPARENT CUSTODY (Boccieri) To require the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to develop and implement a program to provide housing for low-income grandparents who are guardians of a grandchild, have legal custody of a grandchild, or adopt a grandchild after a parent's rights are terminated. Am. 175.22 Full Text

HB 165 COMMUNITY PROJECTS (Boccieri) To require that each district of the state receive its proportional share of community improvement projects. Am. 126.03 Full Text

HB 166 TRAILER WEIGHTS (Boccieri) To apply the motor vehicle certificate of title law to trailers and semitrailers that weigh 4,000 pounds or less. Am. & En. 4505.01 & 4505.063 Full Text

HB 167 DYSLEXIA TESTING (Boccieri) To require public and chartered nonpublic schools to test students for dyslexia and related disorders and to provide intervention services to students identified as having dyslexia or a related disorder. Am. & En. 3314.03 & 3313.6013 Full Text

HB 168 PUBLIC OFFICIAL VOTING (Boccieri) To permit members of public bodies who are called to active duty, under specified circumstances, to vote from their active duty locations within twenty-four hours after a vote of the public body, to alter who may apply to extend payment of certain taxes on behalf of armed forces personnel and who shall receive notice of such extensions, and to declare an emergency. Am. & En. 121.22, 323.122 & 101.17 Full Text

HB 169 CIVIL SERVICE EXAMS (Carmichael) To grant firefighters additional credit on civil service examinations based on their training and to revise the law governing volunteer firefighter license plates and the law governing emergency medical services. Am. & En. 124.23, 124.26, 124.27, 4503.47, 4765.11, 4765.16, 4765.24, 4765.28, 4765.30, 4765.31, 4765.43, 4765.50, 4766.03 4765.14, 4765.141, 4765.281, 4765.311, & 4765.431 Full Text

HB 170 TAX EXEMPTIONS (Hughes) To exempt from taxation real property held or occupied by fraternal organizations that qualify for tax exemption under the Internal Revenue Code. Am. 5709.17 Full Text

HB 171 CLOTHING TAX EXEMPTION (Chandler) To provide two four-day periods each year during which sales of clothing and footwear are exempt from the sales and use tax. Am. 5739.02 & 5739.05 Full Text

HB 172 NURSING TAX EXEMPTION (Boccieri) To exempt from the personal income tax the salaries of registered and practical nurses in the first five years of employment and to create a refundable tax credit for nurses who teach nursing at post-secondary educational institutions. Am. & En. 5747.01, 5747.08, 5747.98 & 5747.72 Full Text

HB 173 PHYSICAL FITNESS COUNCIL (White) To establish the School Physical Fitness and Wellness Advisory Council. Full Text


SCO Announces Budget Reduction

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer of the Supreme Court of Ohio announced yesterday that he is voluntarily reducing the Court's budget request for fiscal years 2006 and 2007 by more than $8.3 million.

Moyer said the savings come from continued cuts of redundant and seldom-used materials in the Supreme Court Library, savings in administrative costs in the Ohio Courts of Appeals and lower than projected costs for operating and maintaining the Ohio Judicial Center. The Court moved into the Ohio Judicial Center in February 2004.


Supreme Court of Ohio Adopts New Attorney Registration Procedures

This summer, for the first time ever, Ohio attorneys will have the option of filing their certificates of registration and paying their registration fees online. Here is the link for the court's announcement of the new procedure.


SCO Case Announcements and Administrative Actions for 4/5/2005

Here is the link.


Monday, April 04, 2005

The Long National Nightmare Is Finally Over...

At least for football fans of THE Ohio State University. The United States Supreme Court declined, without comment, to hear the further appeal of former Buckeye running back Maurice Clarett. Clarett was challenging the NFL rule that held him out of the NFL draft until he was three years out of high school. The justices let stand a lower court ruling that said federal labor law allows NFL teams to set rules for when players can enter the league.

Here is a link to an AP story.


New Bill Introductions

SB 116 MENTAL HEALTH PARITY (Spada) To prohibit, subject to certain exceptions, discrimination in group health care policies, contracts and agreements in the coverage provided for the diagnosis, care and treatment of biologically based mental illnesses. Am. & En. 1739.05, 1751.01, 1751.02, 3923.28, 3923.30, 3923.51, 3923.281 & 3923.282. Full Text

SB 117 CRIMINAL FINDINGS (Dann) To provide that a final judgment, entered after a trial or upon a plea of guilty in certain criminal actions generally precludes the offender from denying any fact essential to sustain that judgment when entered in evidence in a civil proceeding that is based on the criminal act. Am. 2307.60 Full Text

SB 118 BENEFIT ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENTS (Mumper) To require insurers and other third-party payers to accept and honor assignment-of-benefit agreements entered into between plan beneficiaries and treating health care providers. Am. 3901.386 Full Text

HB 158 HORSE TRACK WAGERING (Seitz) To authorize wagering at a track on horse races that are simulcast via an instant racing system and to levy a tax on amounts wagered in this manner. Am. 3769.03, 3769.08, 3769.083, 3769.085, & 3769.088 and En. 3769.0811, 3769.0812, & 3769.0813 Full Text

HB 159 AFRICAN AMERICAN DEATH STUDY (Mason) To create the task force to study cancer death rates among African Americans in Ohio. Full Text

HB 160 FELONY HIRE TAX CREDIT (Mason) To create a tax credit for wages paid by employers to employees who have been convicted of felonies. Am. 5733.98 & 5747.98 and En. 5733.421 & 5747.391 Full Text

HB 161 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW (Healy) To modify the definition of "family or household member" for purposes of the criminal and civil domestic violence laws. Am. 2919.25, 3113.31, & 3113.33 Full Text

HB 162 COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES (Peterson) To revise the law governing community-based correctional facilities. Am. 2152.20, 2301.51, 2301.52, 2301.55, 2301.56, 2301.57, 2929.01, 2929.34, 5120.031, 5120.111, 5120.112, & 5149.34, En. 2301.58, and Rep. 2301.53, 2301.54, and 2301.58 Full Text


New Site Offers Comparative Hospital Info

The new web-based information service was launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Hospital Quality Alliance, a public-private collaboration. The website reports quality of care information for hospitals about care to all adult patients, regardless of payer, on three common conditions: heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia. Some hospitals may provide information on additional conditions.

Users of the site can search by geographical area or hospital name.


Appellate Decision to Force Parole Re-hearings

The Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals decided last week that Ohio's adult parole authority did not provide inmates with a meaningful eligibility hearing. This will force the authority to re-hear cases involving between 3,000 to 6,000 inmates.


Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Releases Decisions

From the Weekly Announcement dated 4/1/2005:


2003-T-1355 Mason City School District Board of Education v. Warren County Board of Revision, Warren County Auditor, and Duke Realty Ohio. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2004-P-18 Liberty Commons Limited v. Summit County Board of Revision, Summit County Auditor and the Akron City School District Board of Education. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2004-J-712 John Ditterline v. Brown County Board of Revision, and Brown County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Remanded to the BOR. Board members concur.


Latest Opinions Released by the SCO

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

2004-0478. State ex rel. S. Rosenthal & Co., Inc. v. Indus. Comm., 2005-Ohio-1148.
Franklin App. No. 03AP-113, 2004-Ohio-549. Judgment affirmed.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Pfeifer, J., dissents and would reverse the judgment of the court of appeals.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1148.pdf

2004-0924. State ex rel. Maynard v. Invensys Application Controls, 2005-Ohio-1147.
Franklin App. No. 03AP-371, 2004-Ohio-2638. Judgment affirmed.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1147.pdf

2004-1122. State ex rel. Cincinnati Bell Tel. Co. v. Pub. Util. Comm., 2005-Ohio-1150.
In Mandamus. Writ granted.
Moyer, C.J., Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Resnick, J., not participating.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1150.pdf

2004-1332. State ex rel. Harris v. Horvath, 2005-Ohio-1149.
Lorain App. No. 03CA008403. Judgment affirmed.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1149.pdf

2004-1395. Disciplinary Counsel v. Beeler, 2005-Ohio-1143.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 03-068. Robert Logan Beeler, Attorney Registration No. 0002255, is suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for two years, with 18 months stayed on conditions.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1143.pdf
Summary: Supreme Court Suspends Carey Attorney

2004-1413. State ex rel. McCallister v. Indus. Comm., 2005-Ohio-1145.
Franklin App. No. 03AP-719, 2004-Ohio-3728. Judgment reversed and order of the Industrial Commission reinstated.
Moyer, C.J., Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Resnick and Pfeifer, JJ., dissent.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1145.pdf