Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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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

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The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Appellant’s complaint for writs of mandamus and prohibition against Warren County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Tepe, holding that Appellant failed to demonstrate that the common pleas court lacked jurisdiction over his habeas case. Appellant was convicted of murder and felonious assault, with firearm specifications. Appellant, currently a prisoner in the Warren Correctional Institution, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Judge Michael Gilb dismissed the complaint based on res judicata and for failure to state a claim cognizable in habeas. Thereafter, Appellant commenced the present action against Judge Gilb alleging that the judge patently and unambiguously lacked jurisdiction to hear Appellant’s habeas petition. Judge Tepe, as successor to Judge Gilb, filed a motion to dismiss. The court of appeals granted the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief in mandamus or prohibition to undo Gilb’s judgment. View "State ex rel. White v. Tepe" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the complaint for a writ of mandamus filed by Appellant, an inmate, holding that compliance with Ohio Rev. Code 2969.26(A) is mandatory and that an inmate’s failure to comply with the statute warrants dismissal of the inmate’s action. Appellant, an inmate at the North Central Correctional Institution (NCCI), filed his complaint for a writ of mandamus against three employees of the NCCI. NCCI moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim. The court of appeals granted the motion because, among other things, Appellant failed to attach a proper affidavit as required by section 2969.26(A). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals correctly dismissed Appellant’s complaint due to noncompliance with section 2969.26(A). View "State ex rel. Howard v. Turner" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ denial of Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus in this workers’ compensation case, holding that the Industrial Commission did not abuse its discretion by concluding that res judicata barred Appellant’s motion to recalculate his average weekly wage (AWW). In challenging the calculation of his AWW, Appellant requested that the Commission forgo the standard statutory formal and to instead calculate his AWW using a method that would do him “substantial justice,” as statutorily permitted in cases of “special circumstances.” The Commission denied the motion, first on the merits and second on grounds of res judicata. The court of appeals denied Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus, concluding that Appellant had not established special circumstances. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the writ solely on the basis of res judicata, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it concluded that the issue of special circumstances was previously decided and therefore res judicata. View "State ex rel. Tantarelli v. Decapua Enterprises, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant’s complaint seeking a writ of procedendo ordering the Industrial Commission to proceed with its adjudication of her application for permanent-total-disability benefits after a staff hearing officer (SHO) suspended her application, holding that Appellant failed to show she was entitled to the writ. The SHO here determined that the application could not be adjudicated until Appellant submitted to a second medical examination by a commission specialist. Appellant, however, argued that she could not be required to submit to a second examination because she had already been examined once by a commission specialist. Appellant then sought her writ of procedendo, and the court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals properly denied the writ because Appellant did not show a clear legal duty or a clear legal right. View "State ex rel. Mignella v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of prohibition sought by Josh Abernathy to compel the Lucas County Board of Elections to remove the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR), a proposed amendment to the Toledo City Charter, from the February 26, 2019 special-election ballot, holding that the board of elections had no power to keep the proposed charter amendment off the ballot. In voting to deny Abernathy’s protest and place the LEBOR on the ballot, two board members made clear that they believed that the LEBOR was, on its face, unconstitutional, unenforceable, and beyond the authority of the City of Toledo, but acknowledged that they were required to vote to place the measure on the ballot based on the Supreme Court’s decision in State ex rel. Maxcy v. Saferin, __ N.E.3d __ (Ohio 2018). Abernathy then filed this action for a writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding that the board of elections performed its ministerial duty by placing the LEBOR on the ballot because a board of elections has no discretion to block a proposed charter amendment from the ballot based on an assessment of its suitability. View "State ex rel. Abernathy v. Lucas County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the decision of the tax commissioner concluding that Appellant’s purchase of an aircraft and then leasing it to its sole corporate member was taxable, holding that Appellant failed to carry its burden to show that it met the requirements of the sale-for-resale exception. See Ohio Rev. Code 5739.01(E) and 5741.02(C)(2). Appellant purchased the aircraft without paying sales or use tax on it and then leased it to its sole corporate member. The tax commissioner assessed used tax against Appellant for this purchase, thus rejecting Appellant’s argument that the purchase was nontaxable under the definition of “retail sale,” commonly known as the sale-for-resale exception. Specifically, the tax commissioner found that Appellant was not “engaging in business” within the meaning of the exception. The BTA affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA (1) did not misapply the sale-for-resale exception; (2) did not run afoul of due process in disregarding certain portions of Appellant’s brief; and (3) did not err in making certain discovery rulings. View "Pi In The Sky, LLC v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that reduced the taxable value of a piece of property for tax year 2015, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider a portion of this appeal and that the remainder of the challenge had merit. The BTA reduced the taxable value of the property from $66,000 to $48,000 and then imposed an additional ten percent reduction to arrive at a value of $43,210. The Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (BOR) and the Cuyahoga County fiscal officer (collectively, the county) appealed. The Supreme Court held (1) because the county did not challenge the initial reduction to $48,000 in its notice of appeal, the Court lacked jurisdiction to consider the county’s challenge to that reduction advanced in the county’s briefing; and (2) the record provided no basis for the BTA to apply an additional ten percent reduction to the property value. View "Yanega v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the orders of the Power Siting Board granting a motion filed by Black Fork Wind Energy, LLC requesting a two-year extension of Black Fork’s certificate to construct a proposed wind farm, holding the Board’s extension of the certificate constituted an “amendment” under Ohio Rev. Code 4906.06(E) and 4906.07(B) and, therefore, the Board erred by granting Black Fork’s motion rather than following the statutory procedures for amending a certificate. On appeal, Appellants argued that extending Black Fork’s certificate was an “amendment” because it modified a material condition of the original certificate. The Supreme Court agreed, holding (1) the two-year extension of the certificate amount to an “amendment,” and therefore, the Board acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the statutory process for amending a certificate; and (2) because there was the possibility of a different outcome but for the Board’s error, Appellants established that they were prejudiced by the Board’s orders. View "In re Application of Black Fork Wind Energy, LLC" on Justia Law