Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Ohio Supreme Court Case Highlights

As we start a new year, I think it is worthwhile to review the Supreme Court of Ohio’s opinions of the last year. According to our statistics, more than 300 opinions were written. Some related to technical issues of procedure or interpretation of statutes, others covered discipline of attorneys or judges, and many dealt with the constitutional rights of those injured or accused of crime. 

Among cases of particular interest to the public were:
  • An opinion modifying gross-sexual-imposition We ruled that part of Ohio’s gross-sexual imposition law was unconstitutional and struck down the provision that mandated prison terms when evidence other than the alleged victim’s testimony corroborated the offense. State v Bevly, 2015-Ohio-475.

  • An opinion on garbage search We held that evidence from a single trash pull was enough to find probable cause for a search warrant if it corroborates information and tips on drug activity. State v Jones, 2015-Ohio-483.

  • An opinion on a 911 recording In granting the Cincinnati Enquirer’s public-record request, we held that the recording of a 911 dispatcher’s return call to an emergency caller is a public record subject to release. State ex rel. Cincinnati v. Sage, 2015-Ohio-974.

  • An opinion on a traffic stop We held that a traffic stop for a minor misdemeanor made by a township police officer without statutory jurisdiction or authority violates Ohio’s constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. State v. Brown, 2015-Ohio-2438. 

  • An opinion on charter schools In a case stemming from ongoing litigation brought by 10 Cleveland charter schools against the companies that operated and managed them, we held that an entity managing the daily operations of a charter school has a fiduciary relationship with the school it operates. Hope Academy v. White Hat Mgmt. L.L.C., 2015-Ohio-3716.

  • An opinion on the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act In one of a series of cases on the subject of fracking, we held that a lease that grants oil and gas rights to another party and was recorded with the county recorder is a title transaction, but that expiration of the lease by its terms is not. Chesapeake Exploration v. Buell, L.L.C., 2015-Ohio-4551.

  • An opinion upholding sex-registration We held that a 21-year-old man who had a consensual sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl and who was categorized as a Tier II sex offender and had to verify his home address, place of employment, and school location in person every 180 days for 25 years was not subject to cruel and unusual punishment. State v. Blankenship, 2015-Ohio-4624.

These, and all of our decisions, are a matter of public record on the Supreme Court's website where you may read them in full. Our website also allows you to see and hear actual arguments of the cases online and to read previews and summaries when they are published.

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