Medina County Courthouse

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Ninth District Opinions for Wayne County Released on June 28, 2013

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Appellate District released opinions for three Wayne County appeals on June 28, 2013. My summaries of the decisions appear below. 

Stephens v. Stephens, 2013-Ohio-2797 was an appeal from a divorce decree issued by the Wayne County Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Wayne County Common Pleas Court and remanded for further proceedings. The issue was whether Mrs. Stephens was denied a fair trial because the proceedings were held while she was incarcerated and the Common Pleas Court did not provide her with a court-appointed attorney to represent her at the hearing nor was there any provision made for her to appear at the hearing. 

The Court of Appeals started its analysis with the observation that "generally prisoners have no constitutional right to be personally present at 
any stage of * * * civil proceedings", quoting from Carrion v. Carrion (9th. Dist), 2007-Ohio-6142. The Court noted, however, that under Carrion a trial court is required to engage in an analysis of nine factors as to whether this general rule should or should not be observed. Since there was no indication that the trial court engaged in such analysis, the decision was reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 

State v. Maynard, 2013-Ohio-2796 was an appeal from a criminal case heard in the Wayne County Common Pleas Court. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Mr. Maynard appealed on three issues. The first was that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence. The second was that he was denied due process because the State didn't put him on notice it was seeking a conviction on the lesser included offense of attempt. The third was that the trial court applied the attempt statute in such a way as to allow his conviction on a lesser degree of culpability than constitutionally required. 

In rejecting all three assignments of error the appellate court noted that there are three types of lesser included offenses. They are attempts, lesser degrees of the indicted offense, and lesser included offenses that are committed when committing or attempting to convict the indicted offense. An example of lesser degree of an indicted offense would be where the State charged a person with a felony theft, but couldn't prove the value was $1,000.00. An example of the third type would be where the State charged a person with assault but could only prove disorderly conduct. 

Honabarger v. Wayne Sav. Community Bank, 2013-Ohio-2793 was an appeal from the granting of a motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability in a slip and fall case. The Court of Appeals reversed on the sole assignment of error that there were material issues of fact and therefore summary judgement was inappropriate. In reversing the trial court the appellate court noted that while there was a reference to photographs in the trial court's opinion, the only photographs that were in the record were photographs attached to the defendant's motion. Photographs shown to the plaintiff at his deposition were not included with the deposition when it was filed. 

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