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Court update

Nothing much from the state Supreme Court this week.  Probably the biggest decision of note was from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which struck down the capital's gun law, one of the stiffest in the nation.  As those familiar with the gun control debate know, the argument revolves around whether the 2nd Amendment provides an individual right to bear arms, or guarantees only a collective right, in the context of a militia.  The US Supreme Court has never given a definitive decision on this, but it may get its chance:  the DC Circuit came down firmly on the side of an individual right.  If the decision is appealed, it could wind up on the Supreme Court's docket just in time for the election next year.  You can read more about the case here.

On to the Ohio courts of appeals...

Criminal.  1st District vacates order of restitution, says trial court must consider defendant's ability to pay... Trial court erred in placing burden on doctor to prove that he complied with laws regulating prescription drugs in trafficking prosecution, 2nd District holds... 8th District holds that trial court has no jurisdiction to grant motion to withdraw plea after judgment has been affirmed on appeal...

Civil.  2nd District reverses summary judgment, holds bank may be liable under respondeat superior for injuries inflicted by bank manager in removing customer... 8th District holds that employee who made fliers for work at home, then was injured driving to work after dropping them off at post office, not eligible for workers comp under "coming and going" rule... 9th District holds that injury sustained in assault by co-employee compensable under workers comp...

If you've ever contemplated getting out of the law business and opening your own hotel -- and who of us hasn't? -- meet Thomas H. Starks, the pro se plaintiff in a case out of the 1st District last week.  Starks checked into an Econo Lodge at 4:40 in the morning, missed his wake-up call at 7:30, and slept right through the hotel's check-out time of 11 AM.  Upon being charged for two days, he retaliated by filing suit for return of one day's charge, $750,000 in damages, and free lodging for life at the Econo Lodge.  (As might be gathered from a place that charges $46 a night, this last request is reminiscent of the joke, "...and second prize is two weeks at the Econo Lodge!")

The court wasn't having any, of course, not only affirming the trial court's dismissal of the case but awarding sanctions against Starks for a frivolous appeal.  Not the least of the reasons for that was the court's bewilderment that Starks had filed suit in Hamilton County, when the Econo Lodge was located in Tennessee.

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