Ohio Law

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

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ohio State Seeks to Ban Faculty/Student Sexual Relations

According to a story in The Lantern, the Ohio State University's student newspaper, consensual sexual relationships would essentially be banned if a revised policy is adopted by the university. A task force noticed a sharp rise in the reported cases of faculty members and students engaging in consensual sexual relationships.

The revised policy, drafted by members of the task force, prohibits consensual relationships between students and any faculty member who has any kind of responsibility for the student, or foresees being in a position of responsibility for that student in the future. The revised policy also includes an explicit disclosure mechanism which will require the faculty member to report consensual relationships with any student to the chair of their department.

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Latest Ohio General Assembly Bill Introductions

SB 260 SEX OFFENDERS (Austria) To require that a person convicted of rape when the victim is less than 13 or when the person purposely compels the victim to submit by force or threat of force be sentenced to an indefinite prison term of 25 years to life, to require that a person convicted of gross sexual imposition when the victim is less than 13 be sentenced to an indefinite prison term of 15 or 25 years to life, to require that a person so sentenced serve that term under the Sexually Violent Predator Law as if a sexually violent predator and automatically is classified a sexual predator for the SORN Law, and to permit the court to subject a person so sentenced to supervision with an active global positioning system device if released from a state correctional institution. Am. 109.42, 2743.191, 2907.02, 2907.05, 2921.34, 2929.01, 2929.13, 2929.14, 2929.19, 2930.16, 2941.148, 2950.01, 2950.09, 2950.11, 2967.12, 2967.121, 2971.03, 2971.04, 2971.05, 2971.06, 2971.07, 5120.49, 5120.61, 5120.66 & 5149.10

SB 261 COAL MINING (Carey) To express the intent of the General Assembly to amend the Coal Surface Mining Law to address issues of modernization and safety.

HB 488 COAL MINING (Blasdel) To express the intent of the General Assembly to amend the Coal Surface Mining Law to address issues of modernization and safety.

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Election Law Legislation Moves Out of Committee

Ohio lawmakers approved a conference committee report 4-2, along party lines, that moves HB 3 to General Assembly chamber votes next week. The legislation contains, among other things, stringent voter identification requirements.

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1/27/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements

There are seven pages of announcements today, so instead of reproducing the entire document here, I'll just give you the link.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

1/26/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements

MOTION AND PROCEDURAL RULINGS

2003-1572. State ex rel. Howard v. Indus. Comm.
Franklin App. No. 97AP-860. This cause came on for further consideration of
appellant's motion for leave to file a motion to vacate and to reinstate the instant
case brought by appellant. Upon consideration thereof,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is denied.

2005-0749. State v. Brown.
Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-447563. This cause is pending before the court as a death
penalty appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County. Upon
consideration of appellant's motion to unseal records,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is granted and that the sealed
record containing the prosecutor's file is hereby unsealed.

2005-1683. First Baptist Church of Milford v. Wilkins.
Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2004-M-143. This cause is pending before the court as
an appeal from the Board of Tax Appeals.
IT IS ORDERED by the court, sua sponte, that the parties are to show cause
why this appeal should not be dismissed on the authority of Sharon Village Ltd. v.
Licking Cty. Bd. of Revision (1997) 78 Ohio St.3d 479, Worthington City School
Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Franklin Cty. Bd. of Revision (1999) 85 Ohio St.3d 156, and
Performing Arts School of Metro. Toledo, Inc. v. Wilkins, 104 Ohio St.3d 284,
2004-Ohio-6389.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall file briefs in response to
this order within thirty days of the date of this entry. No responsive briefs and no
extensions of time shall be permitted.

2005-2209. Discount Cellular, Inc. v. Pub. Util. Comm.
Public Utilities Commission, No. 04-236-RC-CSS. This cause is pending before
this court as an appeal from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Upon
consideration of appellant's motion to consolidate this case with 2005-2368,
Richards Ltd., Inc. v. Pub. Util. Comm., 2005-2369, Intermessage Wireless Assoc.,
Ltd. v. Pub. Util. Comm., and 2005-2370, Jeff Rand Corp. v. Pub. Util. Comm.,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion to consolidate is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall combine the briefing of
case Nos. 2005-2209, 2005-2368, 2005-2369, and 2005-2370 and file one brief for
each permitted under S.Ct.Prac.R. VI; the parties shall file an original of the brief
in each case and 18 copies of the brief; appellant shall file its brief on or before
February 27, 2006; and the parties shall otherwise comply with the requirements of
S.Ct.Prac.R. VI.

2005-2368. Richards Ltd., Inc. v. Pub. Util. Comm.
Public Utilities Commission, No. 05-190-RC-CSS. This cause is pending before
this court as an appeal from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Upon
consideration of appellant's motion to consolidate this case with 2005-2209,
Discount Cellular, Inc. v. Pub. Util. Comm., 2005-2369, Intermessage Wireless
Assoc., Ltd. v. Pub. Util. Comm., and 2005-2370, Jeff Rand Corp. v. Pub. Util.
Comm.,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion to consolidate is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall combine the briefing of
case Nos. 2005-2209, 2005-2368, 2005-2369, and 2005-2370 and file one brief for
each permitted under S.Ct.Prac.R. VI; the parties shall file an original of the brief
in each case and 18 copies of the brief; appellant shall file its brief on or before
February 27, 2006; and the parties shall otherwise comply with the requirements of
S.Ct.Prac.R. VI.

2005-2369. Intermessage Wireless Assoc., Ltd. v. Pub. Util. Comm.
Public Utilities Commission, No. 05-811-RC-CSS. This cause is pending before
this court as an appeal from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Upon
consideration of appellant's motion to consolidate this case with 2005-2209,
Discount Cellular, Inc. v. Pub. Util. Comm., 2005-2368, Richards Ltd., Inc. v. Pub.
Util. Comm., and 2005-2370, Jeff Rand Corp. v. Pub. Util. Comm.,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion to consolidate is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall combine the briefing of
case Nos. 2005-2209, 2005-2368, 2005-2369, and 2005-2370 and file one brief for
each permitted under S.Ct.Prac.R. VI; the parties shall file an original of the brief
in each case and 18 copies of the brief; appellant shall file its brief on or before
February 27, 2006; and the parties shall otherwise comply with the requirements of
S.Ct.Prac.R. VI.

2005-2370. Jeff Rand Corp. v. Pub. Util. Comm.
Public Utilities Commission, No. 05-812-RC-CSS. This cause is pending before
this court as an appeal from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Upon
consideration of appellant's motion to consolidate this case with 2005-2209,
Discount Cellular, Inc. v. Pub. Util. Comm., 2005-2368, Richards Ltd., Inc. v. Pub.
Util. Comm., and 2005-2369, Intermessage Wireless Assoc., Ltd. v. Pub. Util.
Comm.,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion to consolidate is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall combine the briefing of
case Nos. 2005-2209, 2005-2368, 2005-2369, and 2005-2370 and file one brief for
each permitted under S.Ct.Prac.R. VI; the parties shall file an original of the brief
in each case and 18 copies of the brief; appellant shall file its brief on or before
February 27, 2006; and the parties shall otherwise comply with the requirements of
S.Ct.Prac.R. VI.


MEDIATION REFERRALS

The following case has been referred to mediation pursuant to S.Ct.Prac.R.
XIV(6):
2006-0005. State ex rel. Wainer v. Indus. Comm.
Franklin App. No. 05AP-86, 2005-Ohio-6212.
The following case has been returned to the regular docket pursuant to
S.Ct.Prac.R. XIV(6)(E):
2005-1961. State ex rel. DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Lopez.
Franklin App. No. 04AP-882, 2005-Ohio-4640.


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Ohio Makes Top Ten in Reading, Math Test Gains

Stateline.org offers an article that looks at the differences in state proficiency percentages from 1992-2005 in math and reading tests offered by the National Assessment of Education Progress. Ohio fares well in making the top ten in 4th grade math and reading and 8th grade math. All of the statistics can be looked at within an Excel spreadsheet (must have the software on your computer. Customized NAEP data also can be downloaded using the National Center for Education Statistics' recently launched NAEP Data Explorer. State-by-state profiles are available in "Quality Counts 2006", which grades states on the strength of their education standards, spending, teacher quality and school climate.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Latest Bill Introductions from the Ohio General Assembly

SB 259 WINE SALES (Niehaus) To revise the statutes governing the termination of manufacturers' franchise agreements with wine distributors, to eliminate the Liquor Control Commission's authority to set minimum mark-ups on wholesale wine sales and to fix minimum prices on wholesale wine sales, to prohibit volume and quantity discounting for the purpose of assisting the wholesale or retail sale of beer or intoxicating liquor, to allow wine distributors and wine retailers a maximum of thirty days of credit when purchasing wine and to create a Wholesale Wine Distribution Study Committee Am. 1333.84, 1333.85, 4301.13 & 4301.24

HB 479 MILITARY PARENTAL RIGHTS (Calvert) To allow a parent who is called to active military duty to file a motion with the court to temporarily modify a prior decree allocating parental rights and responsibilities. En. 3109.111.

HB 480 CHILDREN'S HEALTH COMMITTEE (Chandler) To establish the Children's Environmental Health and Safety Advisory Committee.

HB 481 INMATE DNA TESTING (Chandler) To eliminate the former two-year window for applications for post-conviction DNA testing and instead allow an eligible inmate to request post-conviction DNA testing at any time if specified criteria are met. Am. 2953.72, 2953.73 & 2953.82.

HB 482 GYM DEFIBRILLATORS (Kilbane) To require a physical fitness facility to place within the facility an automated external defibrillator, to require the facility to have at least one employee trained in use of a defibrillator present at the facility during operating hours, and to grant civil immunity to any person who performs automated external defibrillation in good faith. En. 3701.86.

HB 483 STATE FRUIT (Schlichter) To adopt the tomato as the state fruit. En. 5.081.

HB 484 FUNERAL PROTESTS (Boccieri) To prohibit protest activities within 300 feet of the site of a funeral service during and within one hour before and after the service and to prohibit protest activities within 300 feet of a funeral procession. Am. 3767.30.

HB 485 HOMELESS MEMORIAL DAY (Skindell) To designate the twenty-first of December as "Homeless Persons' Memorial Day." En. 5.2232.

HCR 36 Congressional Apportionment (DeWine) To memorialize the United States Congress to encourage the members of the 109th Congress to support House Joint Resolution 53, which proposes to amend the Constitution of the United States by apportioning the members of the Congress based on the number of persons in each state who are citizens of the United States.

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1/25/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Decisions

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006

2003-0565. State v. Newton , 2006-Ohio-81.
Richland C.P. No. 02-CR-48H. 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/0/2006/2006-Ohio-81.pdf
Summary: Court Affirms Death Sentence for Mansfield Prison Killing

2005-1168. Columbus Bar Assn. v. Ashton, 2006-Ohio-78.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 04-059. Robert Edwin Ashton, Attorney Registration No. 0032276, is suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for two years, 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/0/2006/2006-Ohio-78.pdf
Summary: Attorneys at law — Misconduct — Two-year suspension with entire suspension stayed on conditions — Engaging in conduct that adversely reflects on fitness to practice — Failure to advise clients of lack of professional-liability insurance — Withdrawing from employment without taking reasonable steps to avoid prejudicing a client — Neglecting an entrusted legal matter — Failing to seek a client’s lawful objectives.

2005-1183. Disciplinary Counsel v. Runyan, 2006-Ohio-80.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 04-070. Jeffrey Lynn Runyan, Attorney Registration No. 0004873, is publicly reprimanded.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-80.pdf
Summary: Judges — Misconduct — Violation of Judicial Canons promoting public confidence in judiciary and requiring impartial performance of judge’s public duties and judge’s avoidance of appearance of impropriety — DR 1-102(A)(5) — Misconduct warrants public reprimand.

2005-1192. Columbus Bar Assn. v. Ginther, 2006-Ohio-79.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 04-060. Jeffrey D. Ginther, Attorney Registration No. 0022665, is indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor, O'Donnell and Lanzinger, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2006/2006-Ohio-79.pdf
Summary: Attorneys at law – Misconduct – Indefinite suspension – Neglecting entrusted legal matter — Failure to carry out a contract for professional employment — Causing damage to a client — Withdrawing from representation without approval of tribunal and without taking action to avoid prejudicing client — Failure to cooperate in investigation of misconduct.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

1/23/2006 and 1/24/2006 Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements and Administrative Actions

MOTION AND PROCEDURAL RULINGS

2006-0129. Petitioners for Removal of Sites v. Crow.
Lawrence App. No. 05CA43. This cause is pending before the court
as an appeal from the Court of Appeals for Lawrence County.
Upon consideration of appellant's motion for stay of court of appeals'
judgment,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is denied.
Moyer, C.J., dissents.

2005-2130. State ex rel. Russo v. McMonagle.
In Prohibition. This cause originated in this court on the filing of a
complaint for a writ of prohibition. Upon consideration of relator’s
motion for leave to file a memorandum in response to the brief of
amici curiae,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is granted.
Relator shall file
her response by 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 24, 2006.
Alice Robie Resnick, Acting C.J.
Patrick T. McGrath, J., of the Tenth Appellate District, sitting for Moyer,
C.J.

2003-0137. State v. Jackson.
Trumbull C.P. No. 01CR794. This cause came on for further consideration
of appellant's motion for stay of execution scheduled for April 4, 2006.
Upon consideration thereof,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion for stay is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this stay shall remain in effect until
exhaustion of all state postconviction proceedings, including any appeals.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that counsel for appellant and for the
appellee shall notify this court when all proceedings for postconviction
relief before the courts of this state have been exhausted.

MISCELLANEOUS DISMISSALS

2005-1856. Dayton School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Montgomery Cty. Bd. of
Revision.
Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2004-V-76. This cause is pending before the
court as an appeal from the Board of Tax Appeals. Upon consideration
of appellant's application for dismissal,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the application for dismissal is granted.
Accordingly, this cause is dismissed.

MEDIATION REFERRALS

The following case has been referred to mediation pursuant to S.Ct.Prac.R.
XIV(6):

2006-0070. State ex rel. Washington v. Indus. Comm.
Franklin App. No. 05AP-18, 2005-Ohio-6470.

ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS

1. Judge Thomas J. Grady was appointed chair, and Anne M. Valentine
was appointed vice-chair, of the Commission on the Rules of Practice
and Procedure in Ohio Courts.
2. Patrick L. Sink was appointed to the Board of Commissioners on
Grievances and Discipline.
3. Theresa B. Proenza was appointed to the Commission on Legal
Education Opportunity.
4. Judge John E. Corrigan and Shelley R. Harsha were reappointed
to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education.
5. Judge Howard E. Harcha III was reappointed to the Commission on
Certification of Attorneys as Specialists.
6. Proposed amendments to the Ohio Rules of Evidence, Ohio Rules of
Civil Procedure, Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Ohio Rules of
Juvenile Procedure, as filed with the General Assembly on January 12, 2006,
will be published for public comment.

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Ohio Election Starts Resembling a Game of Musical Chairs

According to the Gongwer News Service, a spokesperson for State Auditor Betty Montgomery confimed that she will leave the governor's race and instead run for Attorney General, a position she has held in the past. Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron) is scheduled to announce this morning that she will run for State Auditor. Ms. Sykes, who said previously she wouldn’t seek re-election to the House, said she could provide increased accountability in a state with a government that faces several scandals.

There was further speculation in the blogosphere this morning that Jim Petro might be the next shoe to drop in the governor's race, but others believe the race may tighten up between Petro and Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell as they fight for Montogomery's supporters.

Should be an interesting primary season this year for Ohioans.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Supreme Court Closed Captioning Will Enable Searchable Transcripts of Oral Arguments

A news release last week from the Supreme Court of Ohio stated that the Court has become only the second state court in the country to closed-caption all oral argument broadcasts. The advancement also means that for the first time an unofficial transcript of all oral arguments will be available. Later this year the Court will make these transcripts available in a searchable online database.

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Appeals Court: Prosecutors Must Search for DNA Samples

Ohio's First District Court of Appeals ruled Friday that prosecutors are
required under law to comply with requests from eligible prison inmates to
search for DNA samples that might prove them innocent of crimes for which
they were convicted. A unanimous court ruled that prosecutors are
required under law to comply with requests from eligible prison inmates
to search for DNA samples that might prove them innocent of crimes for
which they were convicted.

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1/23/2006 - Supreme Court of Ohio Case Announcements

MOTION AND PROCEDURAL RULINGS

2005-0394. Crew Soccer Stadium LLC v. Wilkins.
Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2001-P-368. This cause is pending before
the court as an appeal from the Board of Tax Appeals. Upon consideration
of the parties' joint motion to refer this case to mediation,
IT IS ORDERED by the court that the motion is granted. The court will not
make any decision on the merits of this case until mediation has concluded.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that oral argument in this case, scheduled for
January 25, 2006, is hereby cancelled.

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