Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the petition of Appellant for a writ of mandamus against the Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA). In his petition, Appellant argued that he had received multiple punishments for the same parole violation in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. The court of appeals dismissed the action, ruling that Appellant ha not received multiple punishments and that Appellant had failed to demonstrate any constitutional injury. The Supreme Court denied Appellant’s motion for leave to supplement his reply brief and affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, holding (1) double jeopardy protections were not violated by the sanctions imposed for Appellant’s parole violation; and (2) the APA did not violate Appellant’s due process rights by holding a parole hearing after his parole officer had imposed sanctions against him. View "Clark v. Adult Parole Authority" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the petition of Appellant for a writ of habeas corpus. Appellant was charged with drug trafficking and drug possession while on parole for an earlier offense. The Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA) found that Appellant violated the terms of his parole by having illegal drugs under his control and ordered him to serve the remainder of his original maximum sentence. The State subsequently dismissed the drug charges for insufficient evidence. In his habeas petition, Petitioner argued that the APA violated his due process rights by finding a parole violation based on insufficient evidence. The court of appeals dismissed the petition on several grounds. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals did not err in determining that Appellant’s petition (1) did not comply with the mandatory filing requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 2969.25(C) and 2725.04(D); (2) was not properly captioned in accord with Ohio R. Civ. P. 10(A); and (3) failed to state a claim for relief in habeas corpus. View "Greene v. Turner" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals that affirmed Defendant’s felonious assault conviction for knowingly engaging in sexual conduct with his girlfriend without disclosing to her that he had tested positive as a carrier of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), in violation of Ohio Rev. Code 2903.11(B)(1). On appeal, Defendant argued that section 2903.11(B)(1) (1) is a content-based regulation that compels speech in violation of the First Amendment, and (2) violates the Equal Protection Clause of the state and federal Constitutions because there is no rational basis for a distinction between HIV positive individuals and individuals with other infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C or between the methods of transmitting HIV. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the statute regulates conduct, not speech, and therefore does not violate the First Amendment; and (2) the statute does not violate constitutional equal protection guarantees because it is rationally related to the state’s legitimate interest in preventing the transmission of HIV to sexual partners who may not be aware of the risk. View "State v. Batista" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that the exclusionary rule is not the appropriate remedy when police executing a valid search warrant violate the requirements of the knock-and-announce statute, Ohio Rev. Code 2935.12. The court of appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court granting Defendants’ motion to suppress all evidence obtained during the search of an apartment. The trial court found that police had violated section 2935.12 without any exigent circumstances justifying the violation. The Supreme Court agreed with the appellate court and remanded the cause to the trial court for further proceedings, holding that the exclusion of evidence is not the proper remedy for a violation of the knock-and-announce statute. View "State v. Bembry" on Justia Law

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Under Ohio law, an employer may appeal a determination by the Industrial Commission that an employee has the right to participate in the workers’ compensation fund, and although the employer files the appeal in the common pleas court, the employee is the plaintiff. At issue was whether a provision enacted in 2006 allowing an employee to dismiss an employer-initiated appeal only with the consent of the employer is constitutional. The court of appeals in this case affirmed the trial court’s judgment declaring the so-called “consent provision” of Ohio Rev. Code 4123.512(D) unconstitutional. The trial court concluded that the consent provision was unconstitutional on the grounds of due process and equal protection and violates the doctrine of separation of powers. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the consent provision of section 4123.512(D) does not improperly conflict with the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, nor does it violate the equal-protection or due-process guarantees of the federal and state Constitutions. View "Ferguson v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of aggravated murder with three death specifications and his sentence of death. The court held (1) the trial court did not err by denying Defendant’s motion for change of venue; (2) Defendant’s trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance in conducting voir dire; (3) the trial court did not err by denying Defendant’s motion to suppress the murder weapon as evidence; (4) the trial court did not err in refusing to suppress Defendant’s post-arrest statements; (5) the evidence was legally sufficient to convict Defendant of tampering with evidence; (6) guilt-phase evidence was properly used against Defendant in the penalty phase; (7) the state did not make improper statements during closing arguments in the penalty phase; (8) there was no error in the trial court’s sentencing opinion; and (9) the death sentence was proportionate to those affirmed in similar cases. View "State v. Martin" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether three statutes regulating local authorities’ use of red-light and speedy cameras offend the home-rule powers granted to a municipality in Ohio Const. art. XVIII, 3 or whether they qualify as general laws. The court held (1) Ohio Rev. Code 4511.093(B)(1), which requires that a law-enforcement officer be present at the location of a traffic camera, is unconstitutional because it infringes on the municipality’s legislative authority without serving an overriding state interest; (2) Ohio Rev. Code 4511.0912, which prohibits the municipality from issuing a fine to a driver caught speeding by a traffic camera unless that driver reaches certain speeds, unconstitutionally limits the municipality’s legislative powers without serving an overriding state interest; and (3) Ohio Rev. Code 4511.095, which directs the municipality to perform a safety study and a public-information campaign prior to using a camera, unconstitutionally limits the municipality’s home-rule authority without serving an overriding state interest. The court thus reinstated the permanent injunction imposed by the trial court with respect to those three provisions. View "Dayton v. State" on Justia Law

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The placement of a suspect in the front seat of a police vehicle during a traffic stop is not alone determinative of whether the suspect has been subjected to a custodial interrogation. In this case, a state highway patrol trooper initiated a traffic stop of Defendant. The trooper asked Defendant to step out of his car and sit in the front seat of the patrol car, where the trooper asked Defendant how much alcohol he had consumed that evening. The trooper then asked Defendant to perform field sobriety tests. Defendant was subsequently cited with two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the statements he made to the trooper while he sat in the front seat of the patrol car were obtained without the procedural safeguards established in Miranda v. Arizona. The court granted the motion to suppress. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that the relevant inquiry as to whether a suspect has been subjected to a custodial interrogation is whether, under the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would have understood himself or herself to be in custody. View "Cleveland v. Oles" on Justia Law

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Appellant, who was sentenced to a twelve-year term after he was arrested while on parole, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction improperly calculated his total sentence and violated his due process and equal protection rights by taking him into custody following his arrest without the “required on-site hearing.” The court of appeals dismissed the petition on the basis of res judicata. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the court of appeals erred by dismissing Appellant’s habeas corpus petition on the basis of res judicata because res judicata is not among the affirmative defenses that may be raised in a Ohio R. Civ. P. 12(B) motion to dismiss; but (2) Appellant’s petition was properly dismissed because it failed to state a claim. View "Johnson v. Moore" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals erred on double jeopardy grounds in reversing the trial court’s decision to grant Appellants’ motions to dismiss an indictment that charged them with ethnic intimidation. Appellants filed their motions to dismiss the indictments brought against them in the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas because they had already been convicted in municipal court for aggravated menacing, which is the predicate offense for the charges of ethnic intimidation that were brought against them in the dismissed indictment. The Supreme Court agreed with the decision of the trial court, holding that, for double-jeopardy purposes, Appellants’ aggravated-menacing convictions were the same offenses as those charged in the dismissed indictment. View "State v. Mutter" on Justia Law