Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals granting the city of Xenia's request for a writ of mandamus ordering the Greene County Board of Commissioners (the county) to approve the city's annexation petition, holding that the city's petition satisfied the conditions of Ohio Rev. Code 709.23(E). The proposed annexation in this case concerned approximately forty-five acres of land located between Central State University and Xenia. The county denied the petition, determining that the petition did not satisfy section 709.023(E)(1), (4), (5), or (7). Thereafter, the city filed an original action in the court of appeals requesting a writ of mandamus compelling the county to approve the petition. The court of appeals issued the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a writ of mandamus is a proper vehicle to compel the county to grant the petition; and (2) the city's petition satisfied the conditions specified in section 709.023(E). View "State ex rel. Xenia v. Greene County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of prohibition to prevent the City of Toledo from conducting an administrative hearing to adjudicate Susan Magsig's liability for violating a municipal traffic ordinance, holding that Toledo had no jurisdiction to conduct its own quasi-judicial proceedings. Toledo's automated system generated a notice of liability for a speeding offense that Magsig allegedly committed. Magsig brought an action for a writ of prohibition to prevent Toledo from conducting the administrative hearing on the grounds that Ohio Rev. Code 1901.20(A)(1), as amended by 2019 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 62, vested exclusive jurisdiction in the municipal courts to adjudicate alleged noncriminal traffic-law violations. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that section 1901.20(A)(1) expressly vests exclusive jurisdiction over noncriminal traffic-law adjudications in the municipal courts. View "State ex rel. Magsig v. City of Toledo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus ordering the school board to certify a petition proposing the transfer of territory from one school district to another and certify the transfer proposal to the board of elections for placement on the ballot at the August 4 special election, holding that a writ of mandamus was warranted. Petitioner, a qualified elector in the territory proposed to be transferred, filed a mandamus complaint alleging that the school board failed to comply with its statutory obligations to promptly certify the petition and the proposal to the board of elections and that the school board's unwarranted delay caused the transfer proposal to miss the deadline for certification to the August 4 ballot. Petitioner also sought a writ ordering the board of elections to place the proposal on the August 4 ballot. The Supreme Court granted the writ as to the school board and denied it as to the elections board, holding (1) the school board had the opportunity to certify the proposal for placement on the August 4 special election ballot but declined to do so for reasons outside its authority; and (2) Petitioner's mandamus claim against the elections board was not ripe. View "State ex rel. Cook v. Bowling Green City Schools Board of Education" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of prohibition sought by a property owner who was the subject of a board of revision foreclosure seeking to invalidate the foreclosure adjudication, holding that the board of revision did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction when it proceeded in the foreclosure action. The Cuyahoga Board of Revision (BOR) entered a judgment of foreclosure concerning real property owned by Elliott Feltner. More than a year later, Feltner filed this original action asserting multiple prohibition and mandamus claims against the BOR and others. The Supreme Court granted an alternative writ of prohibition as to two of the claims against the BOR and its members concerning whether the statutes under which the BOR proceeded violated the separation of powers doctrine or the due process clauses of the state and federal Constitutions. The Supreme Court then made a final determination denying the writ, holding (1) at the time of its judgment, the BOR acted with presumptively valid statutory authority and therefore did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction to proceed; and (2) this Court therefore has no authority to undo the BOR's final judgment and need not consider the merit of Feltner's constitutional challenge. View "State ex rel. Feltner v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals ruling that Appellant's complaint for a writ of mandamus is barred by the doctrine of res judicata, holding that the court of appeals correctly applied res judicata to Appellant's claim. Appellant went into the office of the Plain Township zoning inspector to complain about a neighbor's trees, and the inspector told Appellant that the trees did not violate the zoning code. Appellant later filed a mandamus action seeking to compel the inspector and the Plain Township Board of Trustees to enforce the zoning provision against his neighbor. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint. Two years later, Appellant attempted to appeal the inspector's initial decision, but the board of zoning appeals dismissed the appeal as untimely. Appellant then filed a second mandamus action in the court of appeals seeking to compel the inspector to issue his initial decision in writing. The court of appeals held that res judicata barred the claim because Appellant could have asserted that claim in his first mandamus action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals correctly applied res judicata to Appellant's claim against the inspector in this case. View "State ex rel. Armatas v. Plain Township Board of Zoning Appeals" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's complaint for a writ of mandamus against the Trumbull Correctional Institution and Julie Loomis, the assistant to the warden (collectively, TCI), holding that the appellate court erred in dismissing Appellant's public-records mandamus complaint. While incarcerated at the Trumbull Correction Institution, Appellant submitted a handwritten public-records request to TCI seeking legal-mailroom logs and the dates and times that the institutional inspector made rounds in the housing units for certain periods. Loomis provided copies of the portions of the requested legal-mailroom logs in which Appellant's name appeared but none of the remaining records. Appellant filed a complaint seeking to compel TCI to provide him with the rest of his requested records. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint, determining that the complaint was moot because Appellant had already received all the requested records to which he was entitled. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that where TCI provided no evidence demonstrating that it complied with the second part of Appellant's records request, the court of appeals erred when it concluded that Appellant's claim was moot. View "State ex rel. Parker Bey v. Loomis" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting Christina Neitzelt's request for a writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission to vacate its order disallowing an L4-L5 disc herniation as an allowed condition in Appellant's workers' compensation claim, holding that under the some evidence standard, the Commission did not abuse its discretion. After Neitzelt had back surgery the Commission granted her employer's request to disallow the L4-L5 disc herniation from Neitzelt's claim based on evidence arising from the surgery. The court of appeals concluded that the Commission's exercise of its continuing jurisdiction was untimely and therefore improper. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that some evidence before the Commission supported its conclusion that Neitzelt's employer established both new or changed circumstances and a mistake in fact. View "State ex rel. Neitzelt v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus sought by Katie O'Neill ordering the Athens County Board of Elections to declare that she was an eligible candidate for the Democratic nomination to the office of state representative for the 94th Ohio House District and to include in its official canvass of the primary election the votes cast for O'Neill, holding that the board abused its discretion by rejecting O'Neill's petition. On December 18, 2019, O'Neill filed her petition seeking to run for the Democratic nomination for the office of state representative for the 94th Ohio House District. The Board unanimously certified O'Neill's name to the primary ballot. Keith Monk filed a protest against O'Neill's candidacy. After a hearing, the Board voted in favor of the protest, concluding that O'Neill was not an eligible candidate for the nomination because she had not resided in the district for one year next preceding the November 3, 2020 general election and that the petition was invalid because O'Neill was not a registered voter in Athens County when she began circulating her part-petitions. The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus, holding that the Board abused its discretion and disregarded applicable law by upholding the protest to O'Neill's candidacy. View "State ex rel. O'Neill v. Athens County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the court of common pleas affirming the decision of the Harrison Township Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) denying Appellants' request seeking approval to engage in sand-and-gravel mining, holding that the BZA erred in denying the request. Appellants filed an application for a conditional use permit to conduct sand-and-gravel mining. The BZA denied the application based on general conditions applicable to all conditional uses set forth in a Harrison Township zoning resolution. The court of common pleas and court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a general standard that does not relate to public health or safety may not be applied to deny an application to conduct mining as a conditional use. View "Columbus Bituminous Concrete Corp. v. Harrison Township Board of Zoning Appeals" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying the request of Gary Bisdorf's former employer, Navistar, Inc., for a writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission of Ohio to vacate its award of permanent total disability (PTD) compensation to Bisdorf, holding that Navistar was not entitled to an extraordinary remedy in mandamus. In its complaint for a writ of mandamus Navistar asserted that the Commission had abused its discretion in several ways. The magistrate recommended that the court of appeals deny the writ. The court adopted the magistrate's recommendation. Navistar appealed and moved for oral argument. After briefing in the Supreme Court was complete, Bisdorf died. Navistar filed a motion to continue the case. The Supreme Court granted Navistar's motion to continue the case, affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, and denied Navistar's motion for oral argument, holding that Navistar did not make a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the Commission abused its discretion by entering an order not supported by evidence in the record. View "State ex rel. Navistar, Inc. v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law