Ohio Law

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

Friday, September 16, 2005

9/16/2005 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements and Administrative Actions

Here is the link.

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Supreme Court of Ohio Oral Arguments for 9/20/2005

Tuesday, Sept. 20

State v. Tenace, Case no. 2003-1429
6th District Court of Appeals (Lucas County)

State v. Chandler and State v. Bledsoe, Case nos. 2004-1325 and 2004-1746
5th District Court of Appeals (Stark County)

In Re. C.R., Case no. 2004-2031
8th District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County)

Disciplinary Counsel v. Kafele, Case no. 2004-2108
Franklin County




Death Penalty

Troy Tenace of Toledo appeals his conviction and death sentence for the aggravated murder of 76-year-old Edward Kozlowski in 1994 during a robbery of the victim's home.

Drug Trafficking
Does ‘Offer To Sell’ Support Conviction When ‘Drug’ Actually Sold Is Fake?

When a defendant offers to sell a police informant more than 100 grams of crack cocaine, but the substance he actually provides to the buyer turns out to be legal and harmless, is the defendant's “offer to sell” a large quantity of illegal drugs sufficient to support a) his conviction for drug trafficking or b) enhancement of his sentence as a “major drug offender?”

Must Non-Custodial Parent Be Found Unsuitable Before Neglected Child Placed With a Non-Parent?
When a juvenile court has found a child to be neglected by her custodial parent and has awarded temporary custody to non-parents, if a non-custodial parent whose conduct was not implicated in the neglect finding subsequently seeks custody, may the court deny custody to the parent in favor of a non-parent custodian absent an explicit judicial determination that the non-custodial parent is unsuitable?

Unauthorized Practice Of Law
The Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law has recommended that the Supreme Court order Ajamu M. Kafele of Gahanna , who is not an attorney, to cease engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. The board has also recommended that a civil penalty of $10,000 be assessed against Kafele for continuing to prepare and file court documents on behalf of a third party business entity and another individual after being warned that his actions in providing such services to third party “clients” must stop because they constituted the unlicensed practice of law.

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Supreme Court of Ohio Oral Arguments for 9/20/2005

Tuesday, Sept. 20 Supreme Court of Ohio

Death Penalty
Troy Tenace of Toledo appeals his conviction and death sentence for the aggravated murder of 76-year-old Edward Kozlowski in 1994 during a robbery of the victim's home. (more ...)

Drug Trafficking – Does ‘Offer To Sell’ Support Conviction When ‘Drug’ Actually Sold Is Fake?
When a defendant offers to sell a police informant more than 100 grams of crack cocaine, but the substance he actually provides to the buyer turns out to be legal and harmless, is the defendant's “offer to sell” a large quantity of illegal drugs sufficient to support a) his conviction for drug trafficking or b) enhancement of his sentence as a “major drug offender?” (more ...)

Must Non-Custodial Parent Be Found Unsuitable Before Neglected Child Placed With a Non-Parent?
When a juvenile court has found a child to be neglected by her custodial parent and has awarded temporary custody to non-parents, if a non-custodial parent whose conduct was not implicated in the neglect finding subsequently seeks custody, may the court deny custody to the parent in favor of a non-parent custodian absent an explicit judicial determination that the non-custodial parent is unsuitable? (more ...)

Unauthorized Practice Of Law
The Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law has recommended that the Supreme Court order Ajamu M. Kafele of Gahanna , who is not an attorney, to cease engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. The board has also recommended that a civil penalty of $10,000 be assessed against Kafele for continuing to prepare and file court documents on behalf of a third party business entity and another individual after being warned that his actions in providing such services to third party “clients” must stop because they constituted the unlicensed practice of law.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Supreme Court of Ohio Dockets Now Available Online

I received the following today from the Clerk's Office:

"I am pleased to report that members of the public may now access Supreme Court dockets (and other case information) live on the Internet. This morning, a link for “Supreme Court Case Management System—Case Docket Search” was added to both the court’s home page (http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/) and the Clerk’s Office page (http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/Clerk_of_Court/). Chief Justice Moyer announced the release today at his State of the Judiciary Address.

Marcia Mengel
Clerk of Court"

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Supreme Court of Ohio Issues Order Concerning Attorneys Affected by Katrina

The following orders were issued today by the Supreme Court of Ohio concerning displaced attorneys from the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina and possible late registrations by Ohio lawyers who live and/or work in that area:

In re: Emergency Order Regarding
the Practice of Law from Ohio by
Lawyers Displaced Due to Hurricane
Katrina
ORDER
In view of the displacement of lawyers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and
Alabama by Hurricane Katrina, making it impossible to practice law in the affected
areas, this court temporarily suspends the applicable provisions of the Rules for the
Government of the Bar of Ohio as set forth below.
IT IS ORDERED that lawyers who have been admitted to practice in the
highest courts of law in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, who are in good
standing in their respective states, and who have been displaced due to Hurricane
Katrina, shall be permitted to practice law from Ohio upon providing the Supreme
Court of Ohio, Attorney Registration and Continuing Legal Education Section,
with an application in which the lawyer certifies that he or she is in good standing
with the authority regulating the practice of law in their state and, further, that they
will practice in association with an Ohio lawyer who is in good standing. No fee
shall be required of the lawyer subject to this order. The temporary authority to
practice law from Ohio will be valid until midnight, March 15, 2006.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of this court is directed to
docket this order and the Attorney Registration and Continuing Legal Education
Section is directed to send copies of this order to the Supreme Courts and state bar
associations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.


In re: Late Registration of Lawyers
Residing or Practicing in Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Alabama
ORDER
In view of the displacement of lawyers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and
Alabama by Hurricane Katrina, this court finds that Gov.Bar R. VI(6) shall be
temporarily waived as set forth below.
IT IS ORDERED that the September 1, 2005, deadline for filing Certificates
of Registration for the 2005/2007 attorney registration biennium for attorneys who
are admitted to the practice of law in Ohio and who either work or live in
Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama be extended to January 3, 2006. It is further
ordered that if such attorneys file their registrations on or before January 3, 2006,
they will not be assessed the $50 late fee and will not be suspended from the
practice of law in Ohio. See Gov.Bar R. VI(6)(A) and (B).

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9/15/2005 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements and Administrative Actions

Here is the link.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ohio General Assembly's Latest Bill Introductions

SB 180 EMINENT DOMAIN (Coughlin) To prohibit the use of eminent domain authority when the primary purpose for the taking of real property is economic development. Am., En., & Rep. 307.081, 307.082, 4582.06, 4582.31, 163.011 & 719.011 Full Text

SB 181 PRICE GOUGING (Padgett) To prohibit under the Consumer Sales Practices Act the selling or leasing of specified goods or services during a federal or state emergency at a price substantially higher than that which occurred in the 30 days preceding the emergency. Am. 1345.03 Full Text

SB 182 VETERAN FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE (Fingerhut) To authorize a county veterans service commission to waive the residency requirement under certain circumstances and to declare an emergency. Am. 5901.08 Full Text

HB 337 HOLMES COUNTY COURT (Gibbs) To create the Holmes County Municipal Court in Millersburg on Jan. 1, 2007; to replace the Holmes County Court; to establish one full-time judgeship in that court and to provide for the election of one full-time judge in 2006 for one seven-year term and of one full-time judge in 2013 and thereafter for a six-year term. Am. 1901.01, 1901.02, 1901.03, 1901.07, 1901.08, 1901.34 & 1907.11 Full Text

HB 338 ANIMAL DESTRUCTION (DeGeeter) To prohibit the use of a firearm to destroy an animal at a publicly-owned or operated animal shelter. Am. 955.16, 959.06 & 959.99 Full Text

HB 339 CREDIT REPORTS (DeGeeter) To allow a consumer to place a security freeze on the consumer's credit report. En. 1349.60 & 1349.65 Full Text

HB 340 HPRS HEALTH ACCOUNTS (Schneider) To authorize the State Highway Patrol Retirement System to establish a health care savings account program. En. 5505.281 Full Text

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Ohio Abortion Law Ruled Constitutional

It was reported in a story from Medical News Today that a federal judge in Cincinnati on Friday allowed abortion providers two weeks to comply with an abortion-related Ohio law (HB 421) -- which was passed in 1998 but never enforced. The law requires unmarried minors to obtain parental consent before seeking abortions as well as a 24-hour waiting period for any woman before undergoing the procedure. The law will take effect on Sept. 22 unless more litigation ensues in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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9/14/2005 - Supreme Court of Ohio Decisions

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005

2004-0284. Comer v. Risko, 2005-Ohio-4559.
Knox App. No. 03CA14, 2003-Ohio-7272. Judgment reversed and cause remanded.
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-4559.pdf
Summary: Hospital Immune From Vicarious Liability When Timely Claim Not Filed Against Contractor Physician

2004-0892. Fostoria v. Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Assn., 2005-Ohio-4558.
Seneca App. No. 13-03-26 , 2004-Ohio-1945. Judgment reversed.
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-4558.pdf
Binding arbitration — Standard of review — A party cannot raise on appeal an issue that was not presented at the arbitration proceeding.

2004-1425. Columbus City School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Wilkins, 2005-Ohio-4556.
Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2002-V-1301. Decision vacated.
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-4556.pdf
Trusts — Application for exemption from real-property taxation.

2004-1509. Wenner v. Midland Title Security, Inc., 2005-Ohio-4555.
Richland App. No. 03CA107, 2004-Ohio-3989. Sua sponte, cause dismissed as having been improvidently accepted.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Pfeifer, J., dissents.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2005/2005-Ohio-4555.pdf

2004-1941. State ex rel. Internatl. Paper v. Trucinski, 2005-Ohio-4557.
Franklin App. No. 03AP-963, 2004-Ohio-5520. 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-4557.pdf
Summary: Court Upholds Decision Granting Permanent Total Disability for Loss of One Leg and Foot

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Merit Docket Decisions - 9/7/2005

MERIT DOCKET

2004-R-440 Ronnie C. and Laurie A. Rector v. William W. Wilkins, Tax Commissioner of Ohio. Personal Income Tax. Tax Commissioner affirmed. Board members concur.

2004-M-794 Board of Education of the Avon Local School District v. Lorain County Board of Revision, the Lorain County Auditor and Martti and Carole Putkonen. Real Property Tax. Value found. Ms. Margulies, Mr. Eberhart concur; Mr. Dunlap dissents.

2004-K-850 South Euclid-Lyndhurst City School District Board of Education v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, Cuyahoga County Auditor, and Warner Real Estate, LLC. Real Property Tax. Value found. Board members concur.

2005-A-305 Ryan Investments v. William W. Wilkins, Tax Commissioner of Ohio. Personal Property Tax Penalty Abatement. Tax Commissioner affirmed. Board members concur.

2005-K-712 Shelley Poole v. William W. Wilkins, Tax Commissioner of Ohio. Sales Tax. Dismissed—lack of jurisdiction. Board members concur.

2005-A-802 Cleveland Municipal School District Board of Education v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, Cuyahoga County Auditor, and Renaissance Center Ltd. Part. Real Property Tax. Dismissed. Board members concur.

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Latest Bill Introductions

SB 177 PROPERTY TAX ROLLBACK (Grendell) To extend the ten percent real property tax rollback to certain land used for the commercial production of timber. Am. 319.302 Full Text

SB 178 MANUFACTURING TAX CREDITS (Grendell) To clarify that eligibility for the grants and credits for purchases of new manufacturing property includes only the taxpayer that is the owner of the property for federal income tax purposes. Am. 122.172 & 5733.33 Full Text

SB 179 WINE SALES (Fingerhut) To allow a wine manufacturer to deliver wine to a consumer in Ohio from a location within or outside Ohio under a delivery sale if certain requirements are fulfilled. Am. & En. 4301.99 & 4301.601 Full Text

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Ohio's Client Security Fund Awards Damages

The following was released:

VICTIMS OF ATTORNEY THEFT AWARDED OVER $88,000

BY CLIENTS’ SECURITY FUND

Lawyers' Fund Has Awarded Over $10 Million to Consumers Since Inception

COLUMBUS, OHIO (September 9, 2005) -- The Board of Commissioners of the Clients' Security Fund of Ohio (CSF) met on Friday, September 9, 2005 and awarded $88,203.99 to 30 victims of attorney theft. Ten former or suspended Ohio attorneys were found to have misappropriated client funds.

The CSF Board of Commissioners reimbursed $1,300 to two former clients of former Brown County attorney Edward L. Harp after finding that he accepted fees but failed to provide the services requested. Mr. Harp was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on March 11, 2004. On September 2, 2004, Mr. Harp surrendered his license to practice law in Ohio, with discipline pending.

A former client of Cuyahoga County attorney Willie L. Griffin was reimbursed $5,722.00 by the Clients' Security Fund of Ohio as a result of Mr. Griffin’s failure to account for expenditures of client funds. Mr. Griffin was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on November 15, 2000. A former client of attorney Michael Troy Watson, also of Cuyahoga County, was reimbursed$1,100.00 for services that Mr. Watson failed to provide. Mr. Watson was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on December 26, 2002.

Two former clients of suspended Franklin County attorney Perry R. Silverman were reimbursed $14,333.33 as a result of Mr. Silverman’s failure to release or otherwise account for client funds. Mr. Silverman was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio by the Supreme Court of Ohio on May 10, 2004.

Former clients of two other Franklin County attorneys were awarded reimbursement by the CSF Board of Commissioners. Two former clients of suspended attorney Mary Ann Torian were reimbursed a total of $13,000.00 as a result of Ms. Torian’s failure to provide the services requested. Ms. Torian was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on July 13, 2005. A former client of suspended attorney Randall C. Treneff was reimbursed $750.00 in fees paid for services that Mr. Treneff failed to provide. Mr. Treneff was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on December 15, 2004.

Three clients of former Lucas County attorney Kathleen Striggow were awarded a total of $11,775.34 in reimbursement for fees paid for services that were not provided. Ms. Striggow resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on July 1, 2004. In September, 2004 Ms. Striggow pled guilty to theft.

Sixteen clients of former Mahoning County attorney Mark S. Colucci were reimbursed a total of $28,950.00 as a result of Mr. Colucci’s failure to provide the services requested and his failure to account for client funds. Mr. Colucci resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on December 2, 2004.

A former client of Preble County attorney Herd L. Bennett was reimbursed $10,478.32 lost as a result of Mr. Bennett’s failure to repay funds loaned to him by his client. Mr. Bennett committed suicide on April 9, 2002.

A former client of Richland County attorney Barry F. Brickley was reimbursed $795.00 as a result of Mr. Brickley’s failure to provide the services requested. Mr. Brickley’s license to practice law was indefinitely suspended by the Supreme Court of Ohio on December 4, 2002.

The CSF was created in 1985 by the Ohio Supreme Court to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation. The CSF is not taxpayer funded, but funded entirely by registration fees paid by every Ohio attorney. Ohio has over 37,000 attorneys engaged in the active practice of law. Less than one tenth of one percent (1%) of those attorneys is involved in CSF claims.

Law clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation should contact the CSF by calling 614-387-9390 or 1-800-231-1680 toll free in Ohio.

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