Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the Ohio Power Siting Board approving the application of 6011 Greenwich Windpark, LLC to add three new wind-turbine models to the list of turbines suitable for Greenwich Windpark's proposed wind farm in Huron County, holding that the Board's approval of Greenwich Windpark's application did not require an amendment of its certificate. On appeal, Appellant argued that, in approving the proposed changes, the Board acted unlawfully and unreasonably by refusing to subject Greenwich Windpark's application to the enhanced minimum turbine-setback requirements applicable to any certificate "amendment" under the current versions of Ohio Rev. Code 4906.20 and 4906.201. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Board adopted a reasonable and practical approach for determining when an amendment is necessary for purposes of the statutes and that, under the circumstances, the Board's decision was not unlawful or unreasonable. View "In re Application of 6011 Greenwich Windpark, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that modified and approved an electric-security plan (ESP) for the FirstEnergy Companies, holding that the Commission erred in modifying the ESP to add a distribution modernization rider (DMR) that was not part of the original application. The Commission concluded that the DMR, which allowed the FirstEnergy Companies to collect between $168 to $204 million in extra revenue per year, was valid under Ohio Rev. Code 4928.143(B)(2)(h) because the revenue it generated would purportedly serve as an incentive for the companies to modernize their distribution systems. The Supreme Court reversed the Commission's order as it related to the DMR and remanded with instructions to remove the DMR for the companies' ESP, holding that the DMR did not qualify as a proper incentive under section 4928.143(B)(2)(h) and that the conditions placed on the recovery of DMR revenue were not sufficient to protect ratepayers. View "In re Application of Ohio Edison Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Appellee's motion to dismiss Appellant's appeal from the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that denied Appellant's claim for property-tax exemption for several parcels of land it owned, holding that Appellant timely perfected its appeal. As support for its motion to dismiss, Appellee argued that because Appellant did not initiate service by certified mail within the thirty-day period prescribed by Ohio Rev. Code 5717.04 for filing its notice of appeal, the Supreme Court must dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court rejected Appellee's argument, holding that section 5717.04 does not state a timeline for the certified-mail service of the notice of appeal on the appellees, and it is not disputed that the notice of appeal was properly served on Appellee by certified mail. View "The City of Upper Arlington v. McClain" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant's request for a writ of mandamus against the State Highway Patrol Retirement System (HPRS), holding that Appellant was not entitled to an order compelling HPRS to vacate its finding that his disability was "not in the line of duty" and to grant disability retirement "in the line of duty." Appellant, a state trooper, applied to HPRS for permanent and total disability retirement benefits based on the diagnosis of an L5-S1 disk collapse and right-side disc bulge, as well as disintegration of L5-S1 vertebrae and arthritis. HPRS approved Appellant's disability but concluded that Appellant's condition did not occur in the line of duty. Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus, but the court of appeals denied the request. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to show that HPRS abused its discretion when it found that Appellant's injury did not occur in the line of duty. View "State ex rel. Seabolt v. State Highway Patrol Retirement System" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting a writ of mandamus compelling the Ohio Public Employees Retirement Board (the OPERS board) to grant Appellee membership status and service credit in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and denied the writ, holding that there was "some evidence" to support the OPERS board's conclusion that Appellee was an independent contractor rather than a contract employee. The OPERS board found that Appellee was an independent contract under Ohio Adm.Code 145-1-42. The court of appeals granted Appellee a writ of mandamus, concluding that the OPERS board abused its discretion in finding that Appellee was an independent contractor. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the language of Appellee's contract, the fact that he was required to submit invoices in order to be paid for his work, and his ineligibility for benefits that were available to contract employees satisfied the "some evidence" standard supporting the conclusion that Appellee was an independent contractor. View "State ex rel. Sales v. Ohio Public Employees Retirement Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's complaint for a writ of mandamus against then director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), other officials at DRC, and the Ross Correctional Institution, holding that Appellant failed to make an allegation of present harm, which was required for mandamus to issue. Appellant, an inmate at the Ross Correctional institution, filed a grievance concerning his designation as a "white supremacist" in DRC records. DRC rejected the grievance. Appellant then filed his complaint for a writ of mandamus requesting an order compelling the removal of the label "white supremacist" from his DRC records. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals properly dismissed Appellant's complaint. View "State ex rel. Evans v. Chambers-Smith" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Tenth District Court of Appeals granting Sharon Vonderheide's petition for a writ of mandamus and ordering the Industrial Commission to vacate its decision denying Vonderheide's request for temporary total disability (TTD) compensation, holding that "some evidence" supported the Commission's decision. The Commission denied Vonderheide's request for TTD compensation after she had surgery on her right knee, finding that Vonderheide failed to establish that she was in the workforce and had wages to replace as of the date of her surgery. The court of appeals granted Vonderheide's mandamus petition, holding that the Commission's decision was an abuse of discretion because it was not based on "some evidence." The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the court of appeals erred by disregarding the directive that an order that is supported by "some evidence" will be upheld; and (2) Vonderheide did not show a need for oral argument. View "State ex rel. Vonderheide v. Multi-Color Corp." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus and/or procedendo to compel the Bureau of Sentence Computation of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) to recalculate his maximum sentence, holding that the court of appeals properly denied Appellant’s request. At issue in this case were Appellant’s sentences he received in 1989, 1992, and 2008. In affirming the denial of Appellants' petition for a writ of mandamus and/or procedendo, the Supreme Court held (1) Appellant argument that the DRC altered the trial court’s 1992 judgment entry was without merit; (2) because DRC did not alter the trial court’s 1992 judgment entry, the court of appeals did not violate Appellant’s due process rights; and (3) a writ of procedendo was not appropriate because DRC is not a court. View "State ex rel. Hunley v. Department of Rehabilitation & Correction" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus against Appellees, the director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the acting chair of the Ohio Parole Board (collectively, DRC), seeking to compel DRC to correct purported factual errors in his parole file and grant him a new hearing, holding that the court of appeals did not err in denying the petition. In 1998, a jury found Appellant guilty of murder and sentenced him to fifteen years to life. After a parole hearing in 2015, the parole board concluded that Appellant was not suitable for release. Appellant then sought reconsideration from DRC alleging that there were several factual errors in his parole record. In 2017, Appellant filed his petition for writ of mandamus. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant was not entitled to a writ of mandamus requiring the parole board to correct the alleged errors. View "State ex rel. Brust v. Chambers-Smith" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writs of prohibition and mandamus sought by Relators to order the Warren County Board of Elections to remove from the May 7 ballot a referendum on a 2018 resolution adopted by the Wayne Township Board of Trustees relating to property on which Relators sought to construct a housing development, holding that the board of elections did not abuse its discretion or clearly disregard applicable law. The resolution adopted by the township trustees amended the zoning district for the subject properties from residence single family zone to village transition PUD. Relators submitted a protest on the referendum. The board rejected the protest. Relators then filed this action seeking a writ of prohibition and a writ of mandamus ordering the board to sustain Relators’ protest of the referendum. The Supreme Court denied the writs, holding that Relators were not entitled to either writ. View "State ex rel. Federle v. Warren County Board of Elections" on Justia Law