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Weekly roundup

Well, I haven't done one of these in three weeks, and according to my good bud Lexis, there have been 403 cases handed down by the Ohio courts since I did the last one.  So, having read every word of every one of them -- wink wink -- let's get to it.

RC 2305.17 says that an action is commenced if a plaintiff files the complaint "together with a praecipe demanding that summons issue" within the limitations period.  He files the complaint a few days before the statute runs, but tells the clerk not to serve it -- he's not sure which of the two named doctors is the proper defendant.   Has he properly "commenced" the action?  Yes, says the Supreme Court, holding that Civil Rule 3(A) doesn't require the filing of a precipe, and the civil rule takes precedence over the statute.  The Supreme Court does chide the clerk for not filing the complaint, which will probably put the kibosh to the somewhat common practice of lawyers telling clerks that they don't want the complaint served, because they want to negotiate with the insurance company some more, or whatever.  As the Court notes, Rule 4(A) requires the clerk to serve the complaint "forthwith," which doesn't mean "when the plaintiff's lawyer wants me to."

Now, to the courts of appeals...

3rd District says that trial court didn't abuse discretion in denying defendant's motion to terminate child support just because he was in prison (the defendant, not the trial court)... 12th District affirms award of custody to grandparents after children found dependent, says that "best interest of child" is standard and it's not necessary for trial court to find mother unsuitable; contrast this with the case I discussed the other day, just argued in the Supreme Court, where the 1st District held that the parent's paramount right to custody negates the statutory requirement that a court find a change of circumstances before modifying an award of custody to a non-parent... 11th District reverses denial of prejudgment interest... Also holds that while "haunted hayride" on Halloween is a governmental function -- no, I'm not making that up -- sovereign immunity doesn't apply...

3rd District affirms involuntary manslaughter conviction for defendant who provided drugs on which victim overdosed... 9th District holds that arrest outside officer's jurisdiction isn't a constitutional violation, doesn't require suppression... Bad decision out of the 6th District upholding the shackling of a defendant at trial; read the concurring opinion (the evidence of guilt was overwhelming) for excellent discussion of when this is permitted; the 10th District's decision here covers the same subject... Although defendant doesn't have right to appointed counsel in minor misdemeanor case, he has right to counsel, and 5th District reverses conviction where defendant was not advised of such... 10th District finds that trial court's permitting detective to testify that defendant refused to meet with him was inadmissible evidence of post-Miranda silence; even state concedes error...

I've been back a week now, and haven't said anything about my vacation, because, as you might have noticed, I don't really regard this site as a place to expound on my personal experiences, for the basic reason that they're not terribly interesting to me, so I can't see how they would be to anybody else.  I'll deviate from that for couple of points, though.  We spent three days in Las Vegas, and then drove up to Bryce Canyon for four days.  If you truly want to experience the yin and yang of life, do something like that; I have a hard time imagining two more disparate places.  Three days in Vegas is about my limit anyway, and should be yours, too, unless you've got a serious gambling jones or a fascination for gazing at middle-aged women who've had breast implants.

As for Bryce Canyon, it's a lovely little place -- here's a picture -- and it doesn't have the visitors a lot of parks do.  If I'm going to go to a place like that, I like a little solitude.  I've found that I've become much more appreciative of nature as I've gotten older, pretty much coinciding with my realization of how badly we're screwing up the planet.  There was a plaque at Bryce which contained a quote from Lyndon Johnson, of all people, saying about how we had an obligation to let our children see the land as it was created, not as we left it.  Fat chance.

There are actually people who advocate drilling for oil in the national parks.  They should be beaten with sticks.

Have a good weekend.

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