Medina County Courthouse

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ninth District Appellate Opinions for August 19, 2013

State v. Taylor, 2013-Ohio-3569 was an appeal from the Lorain County Common Pleas Court from that court's denial of a motion to vacate a sentence. Mr. Taylor argued that since the judgement entry that set forth his conviction didn't cite the section number of the Revised Code for the offense of "murder" he wasn't properly sentenced. The State argued that Taylor could have raised this issue on a direct appeal. 

The Court of Appeals agreed with the State. It held that Taylor's appeal was barred by the doctrine of res judicata. Therefore it affirmed the trial court's ruling. 

Semmelhaack v. Semmelhaack, 2013-Ohio-3568 was an appeal of a divorce case from Wayne County Common Pleas Court. The issue was whether the trial court had jurisdiction over the division of Mr. Semmelhaack's pension plan. The separation agreement split the husband's pension plan on a 50/50 split. The problem was that at some point the pension plan was split into two components. One of the components was the plan named in the agreement and the other plan had another name. Mr. Semmelhaack argued that the trial court only had jurisdiction over the named plan and not over the second plan, and could not split both plans. 

The Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Semmelhaack's reasoning. It reversed the trial court and remanded for further proceedings. 

Kokoski v. Kokoski, 2013-Ohio-3567 was an appeal from a divorce decree issued by the Lorain County Common Pleas Court. Mr. Kokoski appealed raising three assignments of error. All the assignments asserted that the trial court had held against the manifest weight of the evidence in dividing the property; in awarding spousal and child support; and in ordering parenting time. 

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court on the assignments dealing with child support; spousal support; and parenting time. It reversed and remanded, however, for the following reason: "The trial court did not adequately explain its reason for assigning all of the parties’ federal tax liability and penalties to Husband or how it calculated Husband’s partnership’s debt."

State v. Hackworth, 2013-Ohio-3566  was an appeal by the State from a decision of the Wayne County Municipal Court suppressing evidence obtained as the result of a traffic stop. The Court of Appeals reversed. It held that the trial court apparently concluded that there was not probable cause for the traffic stop since no minor traffic violation had occurred. The appellate court noted, however, that the appropriate test is whether there was a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the defendant was violating or had violated the law based on a totality of the circumstances. Therefore it remanded for the trial court to examine the evidence from the suppression hearing using the appropriate standard. 

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