Medina County Courthouse

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Medina County Appellate Decisions for January, 2014

U.S. Bank v. Cooper, 2014-Ohio-61 reversed and remanded the case to the Medina County Common Pleas Court with instructions that the case was to be dismissed. The Coopers had filed a motion to set aside a default judgment that was granted to U.S. Bank by the Medina County Common Pleas Court. 

The trial court denied the Rule 60 (B) motion because the Coopers did not meet the requirements of GTE Automatic Elec., Inc. v. ARC Industries, Inc., 47 Ohio St.2d 146 (1976). In reversing the decision of the trial court the Court of Appeals reasoned that the Coopers were not required to file a motion under Rule 60 (B) because if the bank never had standing to bring the lawsuit then the judgment was void and not just voidable. Since it was void the case was remanded with instructions to dismiss. 

State v. Johnson, 2014-Ohio-62 affirmed Johnson's conviction for two counts of felonious assault and one count of breaking and entering. Johnson argued on appeal that the trial court erred in not giving the "castle doctrine" instruction and in answering questions posed by the jury. 

With respect to the "castle doctrine" Johnson argued that the instruction should have been given because Johnson was in his car and pursuant to R.C. 2901.09(B).  The trial court concluded that the defense wasn't available because under Johnson's version of events he was not in the car when he assaulted the victims. The appellate court found that it could not find that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to give the instruction and so denied the appeal on that basis. 

With regard to the second assignment of error the appellate court found that Johnson's counsel had agreed to the instruction as given by the trial court. Therefore the assignment was reviewed under a plain error analysis. Under that standard the assignment of error overruled. 

Johnson also alleged that his attorney was ineffective in representing him a trial. The Court of Appeals also rejected that argument. 

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