06/08/2017


Case Caption

Case No.Topics and IssuesAuthorDecided
Cruz v. English Nanny & Governess School Inc. 103714 Intentional infliction of emotional distress, severe and debilitating, wrongful discharge, public policy, child abuse, remittitur, attorney fees, lodestar calculation, contingency fee agreement, deviation, sanctions, frivolous conduct, R.C. 2323.51, media. Trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion for directed verdict or JNOV where sufficient evidence was presented that defendant's conduct caused plaintiff severe and debilitating emotional distress; whether plaintiff's evidence actually proved her case was for the jury to determine. Plaintiff's claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy survived defendant's motion for directed verdict and JNOV because the plaintiff did not have an adequate remedy for wrongful termination when the defendants terminated her for not dissuading the report of child abuse. Trial court abused its discretion by ordering remittitur without considering any of the criteria that must be met before a court may grant remittitur, including that the plaintiff agreed to the reduction in damages. The trial court abused its discretion in limiting the review of attorney fees to only those incurred by the lead attorney and then deviating from the lodestar amount based solely on the contingency fee agreement. Contacting a media outlet to cover a trial does not constitute frivolous conduct in violation of R.C. 2323.51 where the information provided is protected speech and does not violate the ethical rules.Keough 6/8/2017
Enty v. Enty 104167Divorce decree; division of property order; jurisdiction. The trial court erred to the prejudice of the appellant when it ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to modify the divorce decree and division of property order. The trial court erred to the prejudice of the appellant when it ruled that the appellant waited too long to file a motion to modify the divorce decree.Laster Mays 6/8/2017
State v. Frierson 104671Motion to withdraw guilty plea; Crim.R. 11. Defendant who verbally informed the court at sentencing that he wished to withdraw his guilty plea, but then changed his mind and decided to go forward on plea, was not entitled to a new plea hearing because the court did not journalize any order granting the motion to withdraw the guilty plea.Stewart 6/8/2017
State v. Houston 104752Crim.R. 13/joinder/indictment; Crim.R. 8/joinder of offenses; Evid.R. 402/prejudicial relevant evidence; Evid.R. 404(B)/evidence of gang membership/bad acts; Evid.R. 803(2)/hearsay/sufficiency; ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court did not err in joining appellant's three cases together. Evidence from all three cases shows that the offenses shared a common purpose, motive, or scheme. Trial testimony and video evidence were admissible under Evid.R. 404(B) to show motive. The victim's statements qualified as an excited utterance and were not testimonial, and therefore was not in violation of the Confrontation Clause. Sufficient evidence was presented to support the convictions for felonious assault and attempted felonious assault. The victim was able to identify the shooter, describe the car, and the type of gun used. Appellant's counsel objected throughout trial to perceived hearsay violations and appellant's convictions, that merged for sentencing, were for offenses under separate codes. The charges were not duplicative and appellant's counsel was not ineffective for failing to seek a dismissal of multiple counts of attempted felonious assault.Jones 6/8/2017
State v. Hunter 104789Rape; kidnapping; juvenile; preindictment; witnesses; unavailable; weight of the evidence; court; dismiss; males; motion to dismiss; interview; actual prejudice; exculpatory; defense; possibility; speculation; specificity. The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment for rape due to preindictment delay, because the trial court applied the wrong legal standard to the evidence before it.Gallagher 6/8/2017
Johnson v. State 104838Wrongfully imprisoned person; erroneous stipulation. The trial court erred in finding appellee to be a wrongfully imprisoned person based on a stipulation not offered by the state.Gallagher 6/8/2017
Petrovich v. Sroczynski 104857Small claims; transcript; App.R. 16(A)(7). Record failed to support appellant's assertion that the court refused to allow his witnesses to testify. Even if exclusion of testimony was shown, there would be no abuse of discretion for excluding irrelevant character evidence.Stewart 6/8/2017
Smith v. Natl. W. Life 104898Defamation; tortious interference; statute of limitations. Court did not err by dismissing complaint for defamation because the face of the complaint showed that the claim was filed outside the statute of limitations. A companion claim for tortious interference was likewise outside the statute of limitations. Because the tortious interference claim was based on the same act that allegedly constituted defamation, the one-year statute of limitations for defamation controlled. Nonetheless, tortious interference claim would fail on its merits because of actor's privilege.Stewart 6/8/2017
Estate of Kuzda v. PRF Ents., Inc. 104961Default judgment; discovery sanction; Civ.R. 37; motion to compel; damages hearing; Civ.R. 55; abuse of discretion. The trial court abused its discretion in ordering a $500,000 default judgment where sanctioned party: presented evidence that he provided discovery; did not know of "sanctions hearing" that took place while he was at medical appointment; opposing party only requested $167,000; and there was no notice that sanctioned party faced possibility of default judgment.Blackmon 6/8/2017
State v. Anderson 104977Maximum sentence; consecutive sentences. The trial court did not err in imposing less than the maximum sentence on the individual offenses while also ordering the sentences to be served consecutively.McCormack 6/8/2017
Vang v. Cleveland 104994Board of Zoning Appeals; Abuse of Discretion; R.C. 2506.04. Where the trial court's opinion and order affirming a Board of Zoning Appeals' decision contained no analysis or recitation of the evidence in the record, the appellate court could not determine whether the trial court abused its discretion in affirming without a de novo review of the record, which is not the appellate court's function in review of an administrative appeal; judgment reversed and case remanded for the trial court to conduct the analysis required by R.C. 2506.04 and issue an entry capable of review by the appellate court.Keough 6/8/2017
Cleveland v. Mun. Foremen & Laborers' Union Local 1099 105035Insubordination; just cause termination; collective bargaining agreement; notice; arbitrator; exceed powers. Trial court properly affirmed arbitrator's award reinstating employee who had been terminated for insubordination where the city did not prove that the employee had been advised that her failure to comply with management's directive to leave the premises would result in discipline. The arbitrator did not abuse his powers in looking to decades of arbitral decisions requiring notice of disciplinary consequences before an employee may be terminated for just cause for insubordination, and the warning requirement did not impermissibly add a procedural due process requirement to the collective bargaining agreement.Keough 6/8/2017
State v. Lawson 105038Consecutive sentences; statutory findings; court costs. The trial court failed to make the statutory findings required by R.C. 2929.14(C) before imposing consecutive sentences. Appellant's sentence is reversed, and the case is remanded to the trial court to consider whether consecutive sentences should be imposed under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) and, if so, to make the findings required by the statute. Furthermore, the trial court did not impose court costs in open court but imposed court costs in its journal entry. Upon remand, appellant should be given the opportunity to move the court for a waiver of court costs.McCormack 6/8/2017
State v. Drake 105176Guilty plea, Anders brief, withdrawal. The potential assignments of error in the Anders brief relating to the guilty plea and sentencing have no merit because the appellant's guilty plea was made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. Because the record supported the trial court's findings in sentencing the appellant, the potential assignment of error would have been frivolous.Laster Mays 6/8/2017
State v. Jackson 105228Conceded error; sexual battery; sentencing; postrelease control; plain error. State conceded that trial court committed plain error in sentencing defendant to five years mandatory postrelease control on sexual battery count committed prior to July 1, 1996. Portion of sentence imposing postrelease control vacated.Gallagher 6/8/2017
State v. Williamson 105320Application for DNA testing. Trial court erred in denying appellant's application for DNA testing as "untimely" because there are no timeliness requirements under R.C. 2953.72 through 2953.74 as to when an inmate must file an application for DNA testing.Gallagher 6/8/2017
State v. Kuhn 105391Postrelease control, vacate. Postrelease control was improperly imposed because the sentencing journal entry failed to (1) state whether postrelease control is discretionary or mandatory, (2) state the duration of postrelease control, and (3) provide a statement that violating postrelease control could result in consequences set forth in R.C. 2967.28.Keough 6/8/2017
State v. Hall 105831Petition for writ of habeas corpus, R.C. 2725.04(D) requirement to attach commitment papers, R.C. 2725.04 requirement for verification. The petition for a writ of habeas corpus is procedurally defective, which requires dismissal. The petitioner failed to attach any commitment papers to his petition, a violation of R.C. 2725.04(D). Additionally, the petitioner failed to comply with R.C. 2725.04, which requires that the petition be verified.Gallagher 6/5/2017