Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
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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

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting a limited writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission of Ohio to vacate its decision denying the request of Paul Digiacinto for permanent total disability (PTD) compensation and to hold a new hearing on Digiacinto's PTD application, holding that the Tenth District erred in holding that the Commission's failure to mention an ALJ's earlier decision granting Digiacinto's request for social security disability benefits in its order was an abuse of discretion. In 2001, Digiacinto suffered a workplace injury. In 2003, an ALJ granted Digiacinto's request for social security disability benefits. In 2015, Digiacinto filed a third application for PTD compensation. The Commission denied the application, concluding that Digiacinto had voluntarily abandoned the workforce, rendering him ineligible for compensation. Digiacinto then brought this mandamus action seeking an order for the Commission to vacate its order denying his PTD application. The court of appeals granted a limited writ, holding that the Commission's failure to mention the ALJ's decision in its order was an abuse of discretion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Commission was not required to discuss the ALJ's decision; and (2) the ALJ's decision was not key to the success or failure of the PTD application. View "State ex rel. Digiacinto v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied a writ of mandamus sought by Tiffany White and Tiffany White 4 for the People compelling the Franklin County Board of Elections to place White's name on the March 17, 2020 primary ballot as a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for the office of state representative for the 25th Ohio House District, holding that White did not establish that she had a clear legal right to have her name appear on the ballot. The Board informed White that her name would not appear on the ballot because her petition was one signature short of the required fifty signatures. Before the Supreme Court, White asserted that the Board abused its discretion by failing to validate three signatures on her nominating petition. White also filed a motion to strike the brief of amicus curiae Miranda Lange. The Supreme Court denied the writ and motion to strike, holding (1) White failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the three disputed petition signatures were genuine or that the Board abused its discretion in rejecting them; and (2) White was not entitled to a motion to strike. View "State ex rel. White v. Franklin 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 a tax assessment against Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC (Rockies), holding that Rockies' gross receipts for tax year 2015 from the transportation of natural gas within the state of Ohio were not excluded from taxation under Ohio Rev. Code 5727.33(B)(1) as "receipts derived wholly from interstate business" and that such taxation does not violate the Commerce Clause. Rockies is an interstate pipeline that transports natural gas for others. For tax year 2015, the Ohio Tax Commissioner assessed Rockies on transactions in which natural gas entered and exited Rockies' pipeline within Ohio. Rockies petitioned the tax commissioner for reassessment, arguing that its receipts derived wholly from interstate business and were thus eligible for exclusion under section 5727.33(B)(1). The tax commissioner upheld the assessment. The BTA affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Rockies did not meet its burden of showing that its receipts fall under the exclusion in section 5727.33(B)(1) as "receipts derived wholly from interstate business"; and (2) imposing the tax under these circumstances does not violate the Commerce Clause because Rockies has substantial nexus with Ohio based on its physical presence within the State. View "Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC v. McClain" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the determination of the board of tax appeals (BTA) of the 2015 tax year value of an apartment complex located in Franklin County, holding that the BTA's decision was reasonable and lawful. At issue was whether the BTA erred in deciding that the sale price paid for the transfer of ownership of a corporate entity, Palmer House Borrower, LLC (Palmer) should be presumed to constitute the value of the real estate owned by that entity. Palmer further asserted that the BTA improperly admitted and relied upon the submitted evidence of the transfer and sale. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BTA reasonably considered the sale and conveyance documentation; (2) the BTA reasonably determined that the transaction was, in substance, a sale of the real estate; (3) the appraisal offered by Palmer was not the only evidence of value; and (4) Palmer did not show that the BTA's decision violated Ohio Const. art. XII, 2. View "Columbus City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the board of tax appeals (BTA), holding that Cleveland's taxation of Appellant's employment compensation in 2014 and 2015 was required under municipal law and did not violate Appellant's due process rights, despite the fact that Appellant did not work or live in the city of Cleveland during the tax years at issue. Appellant was employed by the Sherwin-Williams Company from 1980 until she retired in 2009 and moved to Florida. Sherwin-Williams compensated Appellant, in part, with stock options during her employment. Appellant exercised some of those options in 2014 and 2015, and Cleveland collected income tax on their value. Appellant sought refunds from the city based on the fact that she resided in Florida during the tax years at issue. Cleveland Board of Income Tax Review denied the refunds, and the BTA affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant's arguments challenging the taxation failed. View "Willacy v. Cleveland Board of Income Tax Review" on Justia Law