Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
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The Supreme Court denied Relator's request for a writ of mandamus seeking to compel Respondent to permit him to inspect certain public records, holding that Relator failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that he was entitled to a writ of mandamus.Relator, an inmate at the Toledo Correctional Institution, send a public-records request to Respondent, the warden's administrative assistant, asking to inspect two use-of-force reports and a review of a particular use-of-force incident. Respondent refused to permit Relator to inspect the requested records due to concerns over safety and security. Relator then brought this action. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding (1) where Relator did not refute the evidence that he presented a security risk, Relator did not establish his entitlement to a writ of mandamus; and (2) Relator was not entitled to statutory damages or court costs. View "State ex rel. McDougald v. Sehlmeyer" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) and the court of appeals affirming the decision of the tax commissioner that gross receipts earned by Defender Security Company between January 2011 and December 2013 were Ohio-taxable receipts under the commercial activity tax (CAT) law, holding that Appellant was entitled to relief on its statutory claim.The receipts at issue consisted of payments made to Defender by ADT Security Services, Inc. Defender filed a refund claim seeking the return of $73,334 for commercial activity tax paid on gross receipts for approximately three years. The tax commission denied the refund claim. The BTA agreed with the tax commissioner's conclusion that the proper situs of ADT funding should be Ohio and affirmed. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, under Ohio Rev. Code 5751.033(I), the situs of ADT funding receipts is ADT's physical location outside Ohio. The Court remanded the case to the tax commissioner with instructions that he issue refunds in the amount set forth in the refund claim, plus interest. View "Defender Security Co. v. McClain" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court adopted the recommendation of the master commissioner and granted Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging the amount of his pretrial bond, holding that the master commissioner properly stated the facts and applied the law.Petitioner was in jail awaiting trial on multiple charges when he filed his habeas petition. The Supreme Court referred the matter to a master commissioner to conduct a hearing to determine whether Petitioner was being held unlawfully due to an excessive bond. The master commissioner concluded that the $1,000,000 bond on which Petitioner was being held was excessive and recommended modifying the bail to $200,000. The Supreme Court adopted the recommendation and granted the petition for writ of habeas corpus but with certain additional nonfinancial conditions. View "Mohamed v. Eckelberry" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying a writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission to vacate an award of medical-service reimbursement to Diana Garringer for a right reverse total-shoulder arthroplasty, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion.Garringer injured her right shoulder while working for Omni Manor. The next year, the Commission granted Garringer's request for medical-service reimbursement for a reverse total-shoulder arthroplasty. Omni Manor requested a writ of mandamus ordering the Commission to vacate its order granting the reimbursement request. The court of appeals denied the request. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Commission correctly applied the standard set forth in State ex rel. Miller v. Industrial Commission, 643 N.E.2d 113 (Ohio 1994); and (2) the Commission did not abuse its discretion in considering certain evidence. View "State ex rel. Omni Manor, Inc. v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus to compel the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and its director (collectively, DRC) to revise their calculation of Charles Fraley's prison sentence, holding that Fraley was entitled to a writ of mandamus compelling DRC to correct its records.In this case, the sentencing court imposed an aggregate sentence of ten years. However, DRC computed Fraley's sentence to be an aggregate term of thirteen years. In his petition for a writ of mandamus Fraley argued that DRC was under a clear legal duty to follow the sentencing judge's entries. The Supreme Court agreed, holding (1) Fraley did not have an alternative remedy that would preclude the possibility of a writ of mandamus; and (2) DRC had a clear legal duty to carry out the sentence that the trial court imposed. View "State ex rel. Fraley v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal denying Appellant's petition for a writ of mandamus and granted a limited writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission to vacate its order denying Appellant's request for temporary total disability (TTD) compensation, holding that the order did not comply with State ex rel. Noll v. Industrial Commission, 567 N.E.2d 245 (Ohio 1991).The Commission denied Appellant's TTD compensation request because it found that Appellant had violated his employer's drug-free-workplace policy, thereby voluntarily abandoning his employment. Appellant sought a writ of mandamus ordering the Commission to conduct a new hearing, asserting that the Commission's order failed to set forth the evidence that the Commission relied on to conclude that his failed drug test was the reason for his termination. The Supreme Court granted a limited writ, holding that the order was deficient because it did not specifically state what evidence the hearing officer relied upon to conclude that Appellant was terminated for violating his employer's drug-free workplace policy, thereby voluntarily abandoning his employment. View "State ex rel. Merritt v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying a writ of mandamus ordering the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing to convene an informal mediation meeting on a complaint, holding that Appellant had no clear legal right to a mediation meeting.A third party filed a complaint with the Division against Appellant, alleging that Appellant had falsified information on a mortgage application. The Division notified Appellant that he was the subject of the complaint. Appellant sent a letter containing a mediation request, but the Division failed to schedule a mediation meeting. Appellant then filed a complaint in the court of appeals seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the Division to schedule the meeting. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant had no clear legal right to a mediation meeting, and the Division had no clear duty to hold one because Appellant's letter was incontestably untimely. View "State ex rel. Figueroa v. Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying a writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission to grant Appellant's request for permanent-total-disability (PTD) compensation, holding that the court of appeals correctly denied the writ.The Commission found that Appellant had voluntarily abandoned the workforce and denied his request for PTD compensation. Appellant asked the court of appeals for a writ of mandamus ordering the Commission to vacate its decision and grant his application for PTD compensation. The Commission denied the writ, concluding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission's decision that Appellant voluntarily abandoned the workforce was supported by some evidence in the record. View "State ex rel. Bonnlander v. Hamon" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's request for a writ of mandamus arguing that he was entitled to unredacted copies of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility's most recent shift-assignment duty rosters, holding that the documents fell under the security-records exemption to the Public Records Act.Petitioner, an inmate, requested copies of documents that detailed the assignment of prison guards to various posts within the prison. Larry Greene, the prison's public-records custodian, turned over the records but redacted the majority of the information. Petitioner requested a writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding (1) because the documents were security records, they were exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act, and Greene had no legal duty to turn them over; and (2) none of the exemptions to the Public Records Act applied. View "McDougald v. Greene" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writs of mandamus sought by Relators, Marie Nauth and the group Concerned Citizens of Medina City (CCMC), seeking an order directing members of the Medina County Board of Elections (collectively, the Board) to certify as valid forty-seven signatures that Relators say the Board invalidated as not genuine, holding that Relators did not meet their burden to show an abuse of discretion by the Board.Relators filed a referendum petition that fell forty-four signatures short of qualifying for the November 3, 2020 general election ballot. Relators then commenced this action seeking a writ of mandamus that would direct the Board to reexamine the signatures on the referendum petition and certify as valid the signatures of qualified electors that they signed the referendum petition. The Supreme Court denied the writs, holding that Relators failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the forty-seven signatures at issue were invalidated in the first place and for what reasons. View "State ex rel. Nauth v. Dirham" on Justia Law