Justice Bill O’Neill to Leave Court January 26, 2018.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill announced today, December 8, 2017, that he will leave the Court on January 26, 2018, to pursue his run for governor. O’Neill has been criticized from many quarters for staying on the Court after announcing his candidacy for a partisan political office.

O’Neill had also previously said that if ex-Consumer Financial Protection Bureau boss Richard Cordray joined the governor’s race he, O’Neill, would drop out.  Cordray has now announced he is running, but apparently, O’Neill has changed his mind and is not dropping out, at least for now.

O’Neill could not run for another term on the Court because of his age. Justices and judges in Ohio cannot run again after the age of 70.  Had he stayed on the Court, O’Neill’s term would have ended January 1, 2019.  Instead, Governor Kasich will appoint someone to O’Neill’s seat for the almost one year left on his term.  O’Neill is the only Democrat on Ohio’s high court, and will undoubtedly be replaced by a Republican.  Rumors center around one of the two appellate judges endorsed by the Republicans to run in the next Ohio Supreme Court election in November of 2018– Mary DeGenaro, of the Seventh District Court of Appeals, and Craig Baldwin, of the Fifth District Court of Appeals. Incumbent Justice Terrence O’Donnell is also aged-out, and will have to retire at the end of his term, December 31, 2018.

O’Neill, who has recused himself from new cases, has announced he wants to finish as many of the now reportedly 52 matters he has participated in.

These are the cases the blog has featured that Justice O’Neill sat on that have not yet been decided, oldest to newest.

State of Ohio v. Jamie Banks-Harvey, argued April 6, 2017.  The issue in the case is whether police officers are permitted to search the contents of an arrestee’s purse after she is handcuffed and placed in a cruiser, but before she is taken to jail or incarcerated.

State of Ohio v. Andrea Beasley, argued May 16, 2017.  The issue in the case is whether an unrefuted proffer by trial counsel regarding off-the-record conversations is sufficient to preserve an issue for appeal.

Don Koprivec et al. v. Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County, argued May 16, 2017.  This case involves an appeal and a cross-appeal.  The issue in the appeal is whether the actions of licensees on property interrupts the “exclusive possession” of an adverse possessor. The issue in the cross-appeal is whether the deed created a fee simple determinable or absolute.

Capital Care Network of Toledo v. State of Ohio Department of Health, argued September 12, 2017.  The issue in the case is the permissibility of requiring an abortion clinic to have a written transfer agreement with a hospital to keep its license to operate.

LGR Realty, Inc. v. Frank and London Ins. Agency, argued September 12, 2017. The issue in the case is whether the delayed-damages rule applies to insurance agent negligence claims, or if the statute of limitations began to run when the tortious act occurred.

In re: R.K. (A.S., Appellant),  argued September 13, 2017.  The issue in the case is the propriety of the trial court’s decision to let counsel for the mother withdraw after the mother failed to appear for the permanent custody hearing.

Preterm-Cleveland, Inc. v. Governor John R. Kasich et al, argued September 26, 2017.  The issue in this case is whether Preterm-Cleveland Inc. has standing to challenge the constitutionality of the whole or some specific provisions of the 2013 Ohio Budget Bill Am.Sub.H.B.No 59 as violating Ohio’s one-subject rule.

Mark Schwartz, Individually and as the Executor of the Estate of Kathleen Schwartz, et al. v. Honeywell International, Inc. et al. argued October 17, 2017.  The issue in this case is whether sufficient evidence was presented to show “substantial factor” causation under R.C. 2307.96.


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