Medina County Courthouse

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ninth District Opinions Released July 10, 2013

On July 10, 2013 the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Appellate District released five opinions. All of the decisions were for appeals out of Summit County. My summaries of the opinions appears below: 

Auto Owners Ins. Co. v. Truck Line Dispatch, Inc., 2013-Ohio-2988 was an appeal from a decision of the Akron Municipal Court appealing a judgement granted to Auto Owners Insurance Company. The issue on appeal was whether the insurance company had shown during a Civ. R. 60 (B) motion hearing that it had obtained good service on Truck Line Dispatch. The company argued that since its president had not been served with a copy of the complaint the service wasn't valid. The Court of Appeals noted, however, that a corporation may be served by delivering a copy of the complaint to its usual place of business and having a person at that location sign for the complaint. In this case that was done and therefore the Court found that the Rule 60 (B) motion should not have been granted. 

D.R. v. J.R., 2013-Ohio-2987 was an appeal from the granting of a protection order by the Summit County Domestic Relations Court. The issues on appeal was whether the trial court had deprived J.R. of due process by not timely ruling on objections to a magistrate's decision and then finding that the magistrate's decision was moot because the protection order had expired. 

The order was issued on October 28, 2011. J.R. through his attorney filed objections to the decision on November 7, 2011 and also filed a praecipe for a transcript of the proceedings with the court reporter. The transcript was not filed until June 26, 2012. J.R. through his attorney then filed supplemental objections on July 6, 2012. On December 6, 2012 the trial court dismissed the objections as moot since the order expired under its own terms on October 25, 2012. 

The Court of Appeals found that since there are collateral consequences to the issuance of a protection order the fact that the order had expired was not determinative. It held that the trial court had a duty to hold a hearing on the objections to determine whether the order was properly granted. The case was then remanded back to the trial court for a hearing on the objections. 

State v Jones, 2013-Ohio-2986 was an appeal from the Summit County Common Pleas Court's order that Mr. Jones was entitled to a new trial. The appeal was filed by the State. The basis for the order was the results of new DNA testing that was done on articles of evidence introduced at trial. The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that the newly discovered evidence raised the issue of whether the State could meet its burden of proof at trial. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court. 

State v. Jeffery, 2013-Ohio-2985 was an appeal from a decision of the Summit County Common Pleas Court denying Mr. Jeffery's motion to withdraw his plea. At the hearing on the motion Mr. Jeffery testified that he was distraught because of the funeral of his sister and having to make arrangements for the funeral of his daughter who had also died. The Court of Appeals found that the trial court had misunderstood Mr. Jeffery's testimony on these issues and remanded the case for further consideration of Mr. Jeffery's motion. 

State v. Clark, 2013-Ohio-2984 was an appeal from a decision of the Summit County Common Pleas Court finding Mr. Clark guilty of community control sanction violations, ordering him to pay attorney fees, and not calculating how many days of jail credit he had. The Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Clark that the trial court erred by not including in its sentencing entry the number of jail credit days he was entitled to receive against his prison sentence. It also found that the trial court erred in ordering him to pay the reasonable attorney fees incurred by his court-appointed counsel without holding a hearing to see if he had the ability to pay the attorney fees. 

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