Articles Posted in Ohio Supreme Court

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Upon its implementation of an automated-meter-reading (“AMR”) program, the East Ohio Gas Company, d/b/a Dominion East Ohio (“Dominion”), sought to recover costs associated with its AMR program. The Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) reduced Dominion’s proposed customer charge from $0.54 per customer per month to $0.42 per customer per month because Dominion had allegedly failed to timely implement the AMR program. The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part, holding that the Commission’s order was substantively unreasonable because its reduction of Dominion’s AMR charge was not rationally tied to Dominion’s alleged failure to meet certain deadlines. Remanded. View "In re Application of E. Ohio Gas Co." on Justia Law

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Gregory Murphy suffered two work-related injuries in 2001 and 2006 while working for Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). Murphy received temporary-total-disability for the 2001 claim, and after his second injury occurred in 2006, Murphy received temporary-total-disability compensation for the 2006 claim. In 2010, the day after compensation ended for the 2006 claim, Murphy filed a second request for temporary-total-disability compensation. The Industrial Commission granted temporary-total-disability benefits. PCA filed a complaint for writ of mandamus in the court of appeals. The court of appeals denied the writ, concluding that the Commission’s order was based on some evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it awarded temporary-total-disability compensation. View "State ex rel. Packaging Corp. of Am. v. Indus. Comm'n " on Justia Law

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In 2009, the Harrison County Board of Revision (BOR) issued two orders purporting to determine the value of two parcels owned by L.J. Smith, Inc. However, the BOR did not certify a transcript showing the filing of the complaint. Smith prosecuted an appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) challenging the valuation. The BTA remanded the case to the BOR with instructions to vacate its decision, concluding that “nothing in the record demonstrated that Smith did, in fact, file a complaint” with the BOR. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the presumption of regularity was rebutted by the BOR’s failure to certify a transcript under these circumstances, and therefore, the BTA should not have relied on that presumption; but (2) the BTA acted reasonably and lawfully in deeming the evidence of filing to be insufficient and in vacating the BOR order. View "L.J. Smith, Inc. v. Harrison County Bd. of Revision" on Justia Law

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In tax year 2007, a county fiscal officer valued an improved 6.415-acre parcel in the county at $8,740,000, consistent with the property's 2004 sale price. The property owner filed an amended complaint seeking a reduction to $3,100,000. The board of revision issued a decision retaining the fiscal officer’s valuation of the property. The owner and the school board of education both appealed. Before the board of tax appeals (BTA), the parties presented competing appraisals. The BTA accepted the owner’s appraisal and assigned a value of $3,100,000. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the school board did not show that the BTA’s acceptance of the valuation presented by the owner was unlawful or unreasonable; and (2) the record supported the BTA’s decision. View "Health Care REIT, Inc. v. Cuyahoga County Bd. of Revision" on Justia Law

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The county auditor assigned an aggregate value for four properties of $468,470 for the tax year 2008, which represented a significant increase over the aggregate valuation of the parcels’ two ancestor parcels. After a hearing before the county board of revision (BOR), the aggregate valuation of the four parcels changed to $383,180. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reversed, holding that the sale price of $135,000 from a 2006 transaction was the best evidence of value of the four parcels on the tax-lien date for tax year 2008. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the 2006 purchase of the two ancestor parcels was not recent to the 2008 tax lien date because Appellant changed the character of the property when it split the two parcels into four total parcels in 2007. View "Richman Props., LLC v. Medina County Bd. of Revision" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case were thirteen unbuilt lots in a residential subdivision. For the tax year 2008, the county auditor set the value of each lot at $105,000. Taxpayer filed a complaint challenging the valuation and proposing a reduced value of $65,000 for each of the lots. After a hearing, the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) rejected the comparable-sales appraisal submitted by Taxpayer and reverted to the county’s valuation of the parcels, concluding that Taxpayer failed to meet its burden of showing a different value. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Taxpayer presented evidence that negated the auditor’s valuation of the unbuilt lots and triggered the BTA’s duty to perform an independent valuation of the property for tax year 2008. View "Apple Group Ltd. v. Medina County Bd. of Revision" on Justia Law

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Appellant submitted requests for the personnel records of six employees of the West Licking Fire District to Appellee, the person responsible for public records for the district. Less than three business days after he had made the requests, Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus. Appellee produced the documents two hours after the suit was filed. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint, concluding that the records were produced in a reasonable amount of time and that Appellant had engaged in frivolous conduct. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) the district responded to Appellant’s request in a reasonable amount of time, and therefore, the court of appeals correctly dismissed the complaint; and (2) the court of appeals must hold a hearing before awarding attorney fees for frivolous conduct. View "State ex rel. Davis v. Metzger" on Justia Law

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East Bank Condominiums II, LLC filed valuation complaints challenging the county auditor’s assessment of twenty-one units in a condominium complex owned by East Bank. The county auditor valued each unit as a separate parcel. The Dublin City Schools Board of Education filed countercomplaints seeking to retain the auditor’s valuations. The Board of Revision (BOR) disagreed with the assessment and accepted the bulk-appraisal valuation that East Bank submitted. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reinstated the county auditor’s valuations. The Supreme Court reversed the BTA, holding that the BTA erred in reverting back to the auditor’s determination of value. The school board moved for reconsideration. The Supreme Court granted in part the school board’s motion, holding (1) the BTA was correct in rejecting East Bank’s bulk-appraisal valuation for the units; but (2) the BTA was incorrect in adopting the auditor’s valuations. Remanded to the BTA for an independent determination of value. View "Dublin City Schs. Bd. of Educ. v. Franklin County Bd. of Revision" on Justia Law

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James Navratil Development Company (JNDC) filed a valuation complaint. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) remanded the cause and ordered the Medina County Board of Revision to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction because JNDC did not properly identify itself as the owner of the property on the face of the complaint. JNDC appealed. While the parties were filing briefs in the appeal, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Groveport Madison Local Schs. Bd. of Educ. v. Franklin County Bd. of Revision, in which the Court held that it is not a jurisdictional requirement to correctly name the owner of the subject property in a valuation complaint. On the authority of Groveport Madison, the Supreme Court reversed the BTA’s decision, holding that the defect in the complaint was not jurisdictional, and the BTA erred in holding that it was. Remanded. View "James Navratil Dev. Co. v. Medina County Bd. of Revision" on Justia Law

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Between 1996 and 2003, Appellant filed several workers’ compensation claims, which were allowed for certain conditions. Appellant subsequently filed two applications for permanent-total-disability compensation. The Industrial Commission denied the applications, relying in part on the report of Dr. Lee Howard, a psychologist, who determined that Appellant could perform work without significant limitations. Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus, arguing that the Commission abused its discretion when it relied on Dr. Howard’s report because the report was stale. The court of appeals denied the writ, determining that Dr. Howard’s report was relevant evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it relied on Dr. Howard’s report in denying permanent-total-disability compensation. View "State ex rel. Bailey v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law