I don’t know why, but we all seem to love lists. And the blog is no exception. This is also the end for Justice Terrence O’Donnell, who had to retire because of the Ohio Constitution’s age limits, and Justice Mary DeGenaro, who lost the election to incoming Justice (as of 1-2-19) Melody Stewart. Justice Michael Donnelly replaces O’Donnell, starting today, New Year’s Day.
Here’s the blog’s top ten from 2018:
- Titles of Former and Retired Judges, Revisited. The popularity of this one continues to surprise me. It came in at number one last year as well, and by a wide margin this year.
- Bank of Am., N.A. v. Kuchta, 2014-Ohio-4275. Up from number 4 last year. In Kuchta, the Court held that a Civ. R. 60(B) motion cannot be used as a substitute for an appeal on the issue of standing in a foreclosure action, and cannot be used to collaterally attack the judgment. Additionally, the Court held that a court that has subject-matter jurisdiction over an action does not lose that jurisdiction because a party to the action does not have standing in that particular case. Read the analysis of the merit decision here.
- Anderson v. Massillon, 2012-Ohio-5711. A perennial favorite ever since it was decided. It gets cited a lot. The Court held in the case that negligence, recklessness, willful and wanton misconduct represent different degrees of culpability, and defined all these terms. Read the analysis of the merit decision here. This was written by Justice O’Donnell, so it is now part of his legacy.
- D.W. v. T.L., 2012-Ohio-5743. This is another perennial favorite, and up from 6th place last year. The issue in the case is how a child’s last name is determined when the parents aren’t married and disagree about it. The Court held that under its existing precedent, the test in a name change case is the best interest of the child, which in this case was to keep the mother’s name. Read the analysis of the merit decision here.
- State v. Anderson, 2016-Ohio-5791. In this case, the Court was faced with the question of how many times a criminal defendant could be retried. In Anderson’s case, the Court permitted a fifth retrial, even though Anderson had been incarcerated without a conviction for fourteen years at that point. Read an analysis of the very fractured merit decision here. As part of a plea agreement, Anderson has been released since this decision came out. This decision was number two last year.
- Embassy Healthcare v. Bell, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-4912. This just came out December 12 and is already a big hit. The issue is whether a creditor must present its claim for unpaid necessaries to the decedent’s estate before it can bring a claim against the surviving spouse under Ohio’s necessaries statute, and a 4-3 Court held that it must. Read the analysis of the merit decision here.
- Liming v. Damos, 2012-Ohio-4783. This one has made the list many times. The Court held that a purge hearing to impose a suspended sentence for failure to pay child support is a civil proceeding, and due process does not require the appointment of counsel for an indigent parent at the civil contempt purge hearing. Read the analysis of the merit decision here.
- State v. Vega,Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-4002. In this case the Court examined how far the unmistakable smell of pot can take a police search following a traffic stop. Ultimately, the Court upheld the search of the defendant’s car, the duration of that search, and the subsequent discovery of wrapped marijuana candy in sealed envelopes in the car. This decision was also authored by Justice O’Donnell. Read an analysis of the merit decision here.
- State v. Carnes, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-3256. In this case the court held that it is constitutionally permissible to use a prior juvenile adjudication to prove an element of the offense of having a weapon while under disability as an adult. Read an analysis of the merit decision here.
- In re L.G. Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-3750. This one was a real shame—the issue, a very interesting one, was whether a minor’s rights against self-incrimination were violated when he was questioned in the presence of police officers by a school resource supervisor, who was under an obligation to report his findings to police. But the Court punted, and dismissed the case as improvidently accepted. I have little doubt that this issue will be back, though.
Happy New Year!