Ohio Law

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

Friday, May 13, 2005

New Bill Introductions

HB 251 PHYSICIAN TAX CREDIT (Sayre) To create a nonrefundable tax credit for physicians for services rendered to patients and expenses incurred in rendering those services, for which the physicians were not paid. Am. & En. 5747.08, 5747.98 & 5747.73 Full Text

HB 252 RECORDS FEES (Distel) To allow Ohio public agencies to obtain certified copies of vital records without being assessed a fee. Full Text

HB 253 LICENSE SUSPENSION PENALTIES (Webster) To make the penalties for driving under a license suspension similar to those under the state OVI law; to increase the penalties for driving under suspension and operating a motor vehicle without a valid license when the offender is involved in an accident that causes death or serious physical harm to another and to provide a "no actual knowledge" affirmative defense to a charge under these prohibitions based on an administrative suspension. Am. & En. 2929.01, 2929.13, 2929.14, 2929.15, 2929.16, 2929.17, 2929.19, 2941.1413, 4503.233, 4503.234, 4507.164, 4510.04, 4510.11, 4510.12, 4510.13, 4510.16, 4510.41, 4511.19, 5120.033, 3335.361& 4510.111 Full Text

HB 254 INSTRUCTIONAL HOURS (Collier) To require that school districts and chartered nonpublic schools be open for 1,060 hours of instruction a year for grades one through six and 1,200 hours for grades seven through twelve. Am, En. & Rep. 2151.011, 3313.48, 3313.533, 3313.62, 3317.01, 3317.029, 3313.481&3313.482. Full Text

HR 56 JUSTICE GRANTS (Distel) Urges the Congress of the United States to support full funding of the Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. Full Text


Online Attorney Registration Begins in Ohio

The folks who passed the February 2005 bar exam and were sworn in on May 9th were afforded the opportunity of being the first attorneys to take advantage of the Supreme Court of Ohio's new online attorney registration system.

For those not included within the new admittees group, instructions for online registration will be included in the Certificate of Registration packet that is mailed to attorneys in July 2005 for the 2005/2007 attorney registration biennium.

Consult this FAQ for more information.


Chief Justice Moyer: Abolish Mayor's Courts

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer called for the elimination of mayor's courts and part-time judges in Ohio in his annual address to the members of the Ohio State Bar Association yesterday. Chief Justice Moyer urged the General Assembly to change Ohio law to eliminate mayor's courts and part-time judgeships in Ohio and reallocate their cases to municipal and county courts.

Chief Justice Moyer said that mayor's courts are an inherent conflict of interest because the revenue from fines goes into the budget controlled by the same entity adjudicating the fine.

“ Louisiana and Ohio share a dubious distinction,” Chief Justice Moyer said. “They are the only two states that continue to permit one person to serve as executive and as judge in the same city.”

There are 333 mayor's courts in 67 Ohio counties. About 25 percent of these are in the three largest counties of Franklin, Cuyahoga and Hamilton. Nearly 60 percent of the 325,079 mayor's court cases are handled in these counties.

The full text of the Chief Justice's remarks can be found here.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements and Administrative Actions - 5/12/2005

Here is the link.


Montgomery Declares Another School District Fiscal Emergency

Ohio Auditor of State Betty Montgomery declared yesterday that the Struthers City School District (Mahoning County) is in fiscal emergency.

“Today’s fiscal emergency declaration triggers the appointment of a state commission to oversee district finances and assist in the development of a workable recovery plan,” Montgomery said.
“We look forward to working with the commission and district leaders to restore financial stability to Struthers City Schools.”

The emergency declaration is based on the forecasted deficit of $1.9 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005. The district also met the conditions for fiscal emergency because they were unable to pass a levy to eliminate the deficit.

In other school news...I saw yesterday that the Buckeye Local School District, where consecutive levies have failed, turned down by a 3-2 vote a plan by a parent boosters association to save the district's athletic programs. The group was willing to put up $50,000 to pay for a part-time athletic director, coaches, and facilities rental. Students would still have had to pay approximately $400 per sport to participate. One of the board members voting against the measure stated that they really needed to pass a levy and the offer would not help accomplish that. I guess sacrificing a year or two of extracurricular participation along with destroying the senior season of athletes and wrecking the latter's chances of receiving college scholarships is worth it if the levy passes. How ticked off are the voters going to be now that the board turned down free money? Time will tell.


Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements and Administrative Actions - 5/11/2005

Although I posted the links to the opinions yesterday, this document contains a few merit decisions without opinions and other procedural rulings.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Supreme Court of Ohio Decisions - 5/11/2005

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

2003-0346. State v. Turner, 2005-Ohio-1938.
Franklin C.P. No. 01CR-06-3615. 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-1938.pdf
Summary: Death Penalty Affirmed In Reynoldsburg Double Murder

2004-0403. Young v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2005-Ohio-1941.
Cuyahoga App. No. 82395, 2004-Ohio-54. Sua sponte, cause dismissed as having been improvidently accepted.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer and O'Donnell, JJ., concur.
Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor and Lanzinger, JJ., dissent.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1941.pdf

2004-1436. Slone v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2005-Ohio-1940.
Richland App. No. 2004CA0021, 2004-Ohio-3990. Sua sponte, cause dismissed as having been improvidently accepted.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer and O'Donnell, JJ., concur.
Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor and Lanzinger, JJ., dissent.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-1940.pdf

2004-1944. Dunning v. State, 2005-Ohio-1939.
Cuyahoga App. No. 84982. 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-1939.pdf


New Bill Introductions - 5/10/2005

SB 144 REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS (Schuler) To modify the Ohio Real Estate Appraiser Law with respect to the temporary registration of appraisers licensed or certified in another state. Am. 4763.05 Full Text

SB 145 LORAIN COUNTY PROBATE COURT (Armbruster) To give the judges of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas jurisdiction over probate matters and to designate the successors to the Lorain County probate judge as judges of the Domestic Relations Division of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. Am. 2101.01, 2301.02 & 2301.03 Full Text

SB 146 SEX OFFENDERS (Austria) To prohibit a registered sex offender from living within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop, to allow a school to move a school bus stop if a sex offender is living within 1,000 feet of the stop, and to specifiy that residence within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus stop is a felony of the fifth degree. Am. 2950.031, 2950.99 & 5321.051 and En. 3327.17 Full Text

HB 247 RENEWABLE ELECTRIC ENERGY (Skindell) To establish an annual renewable energy requirement for electric utilities and electric services companies that provide retail electric generation service in Ohio and to authorize the Public Utilities Commission to establish a system of renewable energy credits. En. 4905.88 Full Text

HB 248 SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE (Carano) To establish a domestic violence awareness license plate and to provide that money from the contributions for the license plates be used to pay for programs that provide services to victims of domestic violence. Am. 4501.21 & En. 4503.492 Full Text

HB 249 CRIMINAL RECORDS DISPOSITION (Key) To require the sealing of the official records of a person who is found not guilty of an offense, who is the defendant named in a dismissed complaint, indictment, or information, or against whom a no bill is entered by a grand jury and to eliminate the use of sealed records by prosecutors to determine the eligibility of offenders for specified pre-trail diversion programs. Am. 2953.51, 2953.52, 2953.53, 2953.54 & 2953.61 Full Text

HB 250 SCHOOL TAXING AUTHORITY (Trakas) To authorize two or more school boards to create a taxing district for the joint funding of behavioral health, autism, and related services to students. Am. 5705.01 & 5705.25 and En. 3313.82 & 5705.211 Full Text

HB 251 ENERGY EFFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS (Uecker) To require the efficient use of energy in all state facilities based on standards developed by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, to require the Department of Administrative Services to give preference in procuring products and services to those that meet the energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, and to require each state institution of higher education that receives capital appropriations for a specific project to use energy efficient designs in the project. Am. 123.011, 125.09 & 125.11 and En. 3345.52 Full Text

HR 55 HOUSE RULES (Skindell) To amend House of Representatives Rules 81 and 82 to change the status of a motion to lay on the table. Full Text


Petro: Cities Can't Prohibit Concealed Weapons in Parks

An editorial in today's Columbus Dispatch brings attention to Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro's support of Ohioans for Concealed Carry in filing a brief last week in Sandusky County Common Please Court. In it, Petro states that the city of Clyde and other Ohio cities don’t have the right to restrict people who are licensed to carry concealed guns from taking those weapons into public parks. The Dispatch states that this view "defies common sense and is anti-democratic."

Petro contends that the state — and only the state — can restrict where people holding licenses to carry concealed guns can go. A bill that state Sen. Ray Miller, D-Columbus, introduced last year would specify that cities can restrict gun-carrying in public parks. Miller said he plans to reintroduce the bill in this session. (SB 243 from the 125th General Assembly would have prohibited the carrying of concealed weapons in any park, swimming pool, sports field, or other outdoor premises or property owned, leased, or otherwise under the control of the political subdivision.)


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Smoke Clears in Georgia - Ohio's Future?

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed a bill Monday which effectively bans smoking in almost all public places in the tobacco-growing state. The Georgia Smokefree Air Act of 2005 [PDF text] would still allow smoking in bars that exclude children under 18, certain workspace areas with independent air systems, and designated smoking hotel/motel rooms. Violators of the new smoking ban face fines anywhere from $100 to $500 dollars.

Source: Jurist


Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Decisions - 5/6/2005


2003-P-460 Board of Education of the Westerville City Schools v. Franklin County Board of Revision, Franklin County Auditor and ARFO Eastwind LLC. Real Property Tax. Remanded with instructions. Board members concur.

2003-A-1153 MLP Associates LP v. Wood County Board of Revision and Wood County Auditor. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.


Monday, May 09, 2005

New 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Web Site

The U.S. 6th Circuit has revamped its web site and it looks pretty good. Here is a link for opinions released today.


Public Records Case to be Argued Tomorrow

The Supreme Court of Ohio will hear arguments tomorrow concerning the attempt by the Columbus Dispatch to obtain the home addresses of all Ohio state government employees.
One of the questions being bandied about the media is whether the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) can decline to disclose home addresses of state troopers and other law enforcement personnel under a 2003 statute that exempts "residential and familial information of public safety officers" from the definition of public records. The newspaper contends the law contains a "journalist exception" that specifically authorizes release of such information to news organizations.

Here is a summary of the issues and background information on the matter. All oral arguments are streamed live over the Internet. Check this page tomorrow between 9am and Noon. The streams are archived for later viewing from the same page.


SCO Chief Justice Moyer Announces Science in the Courts Initiative

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer announced last Thursday the appointment of 20 Ohio judges to a new national program to train judges on how to successfully incorporate emerging science and technology into trials and proceedings. Here is the link for the complete news release.


Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements and Administrative Actions - 5/9/2005

Here is the link.