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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
State v. McCray C-160272CONSTITUTIONAL LAW/CRIMINAL - DUE PROCESS - COUNSEL - JURIES - JURY INSTRUCTIONS - MURDER - FELONIOUS ASSAULT - WEAPONS - PROSECUTOR - WITNESSES: The defendant's right to due process was not violated by the use of his prior juvenile adjudication to prove the disability element of his convictions for having a weapon under a disability, under R.C. 2923.13(A)(2). [But see DISSENT: A juvenile adjudication alone is not sufficiently reliable to sustain proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the disability element of the adult crime of having a weapon while under a disability.] Where the case had been reported in the media, the trial court did not err by allowing the prosecutor to outline the facts and evidence during voir dire, because the prosecutor was reasonably attempting to learn what, if anything, prospective jurors knew about the case. The trial court did not err by allowing the prosecutor to reasonably explore during voir dire the possibility that prospective jurors might be disinclined to believe the testimony of witnesses who were accomplices in the offenses. The trial court did not err by allowing the prosecutor to ask prospective jurors if they would blame a homicide victim for putting himself near the scene of a fight where he was fatally shot, because the prosecutor was inquiring into potential bias to determine if prospective jurors could fairly weigh the evidence. Where the defendant admitted during his trial testimony that he had repeatedly lied to the police, the prosecutor's remarks in closing argument about the defendant's credibility were reasonably drawn from the evidence and constituted fair comment on the discrepancy between his statements to police and his trial testimony. The prosecutor's remarks in closing argument that the detectives had done "an excellent job of interviewing" the defendant, and that it was not "until the police do their job and do a great job in this case, and get those photos" of the defendant holding a gun so that he could not deny that the gun was his, did not constitute improper vouching where the remarks addressed the thoroughness of the investigation and not the credibility of the detectives, and were based upon the evidence produced at trial. The prosecutor's isolated remark in closing argument that the "only justice" for the homicide victim was to find the defendant guilty was not inherently improper and fell within the creative latitude afforded both parties in closing argument. Where the defendant was charged with murder and felonious assault, defense counsel's failure to request jury instructions on the lesser offenses of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault did not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel, because the request for instructions would have been at odds with the defendant's testimony that he had not been the shooter, and the decision by counsel to seek acquittal rather than inviting conviction on lesser offenses was a matter of trial strategy.MyersHamilton 5/26/2017 5/26/2017 2017-Ohio-2996
State v. Hilliard C-160263FELONIOUS ASSAULT - JURY INSTRUCTIONS - COUNSEL: Defendant's convictions for felonious assault were not against the manifest weight of the evidence where the testimony was contradictory regarding whether defendant had acted in self-defense and whether the victim had a right to be in the home. The jury instructions were not erroneous where they correctly stated the law on the elements of self-defense, the Castle Doctrine presumption and defendant's burden of proof. Counsel was not ineffective for failing to object to jury instructions that correctly stated the law and where the record shows that counsel extensively reviewed the proposed jury instructions, made objections with well-reasoned arguments and suggested alterations.MillerHamilton 5/24/2017 5/24/2017 2017-Ohio-2952
Baird v. L.A.D. Holdings, L.L.C. C-160265, C-160409APPELLATE REVIEW/CIVIL: Where appellant failed to seek a stay of the trial court's judgment ordering the disbursement of escrowed funds and where the escrow agent distributed the funds to appellee and closed the account, the judgment has been voluntarily satisfied and the appeals from that judgment must be dismissed as moot.MockHamilton 5/24/2017 5/24/2017 2017-Ohio-2953
Washburn v. Gvozdanovic C-160590FRAUD - STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to defendant seller of real property on plaintiff buyer's claim for fraud where that claim was filed outside of the applicable four-year statute of limitations. [But see DISSENT: The trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of defendant seller where the court failed to construe the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff buyer. Where the factual question of concealment is close, as in this case, the law requires that a jury decide what event triggered the statute of limitations.]MyersHamilton 5/24/2017 5/24/2017 2017-Ohio-2954
State v. Evans C-160419POSTRELEASE CONTROL - SENTENCING: The trial court did not err in imposing postrelease control on defendant for the offenses of having a weapon while under a disability and carrying a concealed weapon where defendant had not served the prison terms for those offenses. Where the sentencing entry failed to explicitly set forth the sequence in which defendant's consecutive sentences were to be served, Ohio Adm.Code 5120-2-03.1(M) is instructive in determining that defendant was required to first serve the three-year mandatory prison term for the firearm specification, followed by the 15-year mandatory prison term for murder, then the aggregate of the nonmandatory terms for the weapon-under-disability and concealed-weapon offenses, and finally, the aggregate of the nonmandatory portion of the life term. [See SEPARATE CONCURRENCE: Where the order of the consecutive sentences imposed by the trial court in the sentencing entry aligns with the order set forth in Ohio Adm.Code 5120-2-03.1(M), it is unnecessary to decide which controls for the purpose of determining whether postrelease control was timely imposed upon defendant.]MyersHamilton 5/12/2017 5/12/2017 2017-Ohio-2767
Henzerling v. Environmental Ents., Inc. C-160232EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE - INTENTIONAL TORT - R.C. 2745.01 - SUMMARY JUDGMENT: The trial court did not err in granting defendant employer's motion for summary judgment in an intentional-tort case brought by its employee's estate: R.C. 2745.01(C)'s rebuttable presumption did not apply because the employer's failure to require the employee to use a submersion tank before cutting away metal casings on air filters was not tantamount to the deliberate removal of an equipment safety guard where the submersion tank was not an equipment safety guard, and there was otherwise no issue of fact as to whether the employer had deliberately intended to harm its employee.Per CuriamHamilton 5/5/2017 5/5/2017 2017-Ohio-2666
State v. Wright C-150715JURIES - HEARSAY - OTHER ACTS - IMPEACHMENT - WITNESS - PROSECUTOR - COUNSEL - SENTENCING: The trial court did not err in overruling the defendant's objection to the state's use of a peremptory challenge to exclude an African-American juror where the trial court's acceptance of the state's race-neutral reason based on the cumulative effect of several factors was not clearly erroneous. The trial court did not err in finding that a witness was unavailable even though the state failed to submit sworn testimony about its efforts to locate the witness, because the defendant forfeited the issue where he did not object on the basis that sworn testimony was required and did not dispute what the prosecutor had said about the state's attempts to locate the witness. The trial court did not err in finding that a witness was unavailable where the record showed that even though the witness had been present during the trial, he had left the courthouse, could not be located, and was "on the run," actively trying to avoid testifying. The trial court did not err in allowing the state to read an unavailable witness's testimony from a previous trial to the jury, because the testimony fell under the hearsay exception in Evid.R. 804(B)(1) where it came from an adversarial proceeding and the defendant had had an opportunity and motive at that proceeding to develop the testimony by direct, cross and redirect examination. The trial court did not err in allowing an unavailable witness's statement to police to be read to the jury under the hearsay exception for recorded recollection in Evid.R. 803(5) where the witness had repeatedly testified in a prior trial that he did not remember the events in question, but he had acknowledged making the statement to the police when his knowledge was fresh and had denied lying to the police. The trial court erred in allowing hearsay statements by the murder victim into evidence under the exception in Evid.R. 803(1) for present sense impressions, because the record did not establish a context for the victim's statements or the event or condition that prompted his statements. The trial court did not err in allowing a police detective to testify to hearsay statements made by two witnesses to the effect that the defendant had admitted to murdering the victim, because those statements were consistent with the witnesses' testimony in a previous trial and were used to rebut the defendant's claim that the witnesses lied to receive favorable treatment. The trial court did not err in admitting evidence of the defendant's other bad acts where that testimony was necessary to show the relationship between the defendant, the victim and the various witnesses, and to show the defendant's motive for killing the victim. The trial court erred in allowing the state to impeach its own witnesses because a neutral answer such as "I don't remember" does not constitute affirmative damage. The record did not demonstrate that any alleged misconduct by the prosecutor was so egregious as to affect the defendant's substantial rights. The defendant failed to demonstrate that his counsel's representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness or that but for counsel's errors, the results of the proceeding would have been otherwise; therefore, he failed to meet his burden to show ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court's failure to inform the defendant at sentencing about the requirement that he submit to DNA testing and the consequences of failing to do so under R.C. 2901.07(B) was harmless and did not prejudice the defendant.MockHamilton 4/28/2017 4/28/2017 2017-Ohio-1568
Cincinnati v. PE Alms Hills Realty, L.L.C. C-160459DEBTOR-CREDITOR - RECEIVER: The trial court did not abuse its discretion by appointing a receiver in a third-party commercial foreclosure action. The lender was entitled to a receiver under R.C. 2735.01(A)(3), because the lender presented evidence that the borrower had entered into a contractual assignment of leases and rents.ZayasHamilton 4/28/2017 4/28/2017 2017-Ohio-1569
Cincinnati v. Fourth Natl. Realty, L.L.C. C-160297CONSTITUTIONAL LAW/CIVIL - MUNICIPAL - ZONING - STANDING: The trial court did not err in granting injunctive relief to the city requiring the appellant to remove a sign on its building that is in violation of the off-site sign prohibition provisions in the city's zoning code, where the appellant failed to present a prima facie case of selective enforcement and failed to show that it could keep the oversized off-site sign in place even if the appellant's free-speech-based challenges to the off-site sign provisions were successful. The trial court erred by dismissing for lack of standing the part of the appellant's counterclaim seeking a declaration that the city's off-site sign prohibition provisions are unconstitutional as applied to the appellant's desired legally-sized-off-site sign, and on their face to the extent they restrict noncommercial speech.CunninghamHamilton 4/26/2017 4/26/2017 2017-Ohio-1523
In re M.I. C-160466JUVENILE - SEX OFFENSES - EQUAL PROTECTION: The mandatory classification of 16- and 17-year-old sex offenders under R.C. 2152.83(A) and 2152.84(A)(2)(c) does not violate the Equal Protection Clauses of the United States and Ohio Constitutions, because the juvenile-sex-offender-classification system is rationally related to the legitimate governmental interest of protecting the public from sex offenders.MyersHamilton 4/26/2017 4/26/2017 2017-Ohio-1524