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Commentary and analysis of Ohio criminal law and whatever else comes to mind, served with a dash of snark.  Continue Reading »


Case Update

No relevant (to me) cases from the Ohio Supreme Court this past week.  The US Supreme Court threw out three death penalty cases from Texas, which has become sort of an annual ritual.  On the court of appeals front:

Civil.  10th District affirms grant of summary judgment in employer intentional tort case, holds that employer's hiring of employee with criminal record did not give it "substantially certain" knowledge that employee would assault plaintiff... 5th District holds that time-extension provisions of Rule 6(B) do not save voluntarily-dismissed workers comp appeal refiled after one year... 3rd District reverses issue of civil protection order, says evidence insufficient, purpose of CPO not to alleviate "uncomfortable situations"...

Criminal.  1st District affirms search of passenger's purse left in car, and opening of Advil bottle found in purse, pursuant to arrest of driver... 6th District holds that in prosecution for complicity to possess more than ten grams of crack, it's unnecessary to prove that defendant knew what the weight of the drug was... 10th District reverses conviction because trial judge refused to admit statements from a third party confessing to crime defendant was charged with... 8th District affirms conviction where trial court allowed state to reopen case to prove value in theft prosecution after defendant had made Rule 29 motion...

As you may have figured out by now, I always conclude the case update with a "news of the weird" type item, some offbeat decision.  I've come to the conclusion that maybe there's something in the water down in Cincinnati, because just about every week I could use one from the 1st District.  This week, in an appeal from a case involving whether someone could be discharged from his position as a loan officer because he hadn't disclosed that he'd committed a misdemeanor almost twenty years earlier:

In March 2002, Roth submitted a loan-officer license application to the DFI. Question five asked the applicant, "Have you or has any company for which you have been an officer, or more than 5% owner or director, ever been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense, including, but not limited to, theft, receiving stolen property, embezzlement, forgery, fraud, passing bad checks, money laundering, or drug trafficking, or any criminal offense involving money or securities?"

This convoluted sentence scores a zero on the Flesh Reading Ease test. And on the Flesch-Kinkaid grade level, it scores a 28.6, meaning that one needs 28.6 years of schooling to readily understand it.

The court concluded by admonishing the state to "revise its application to be readable by ordinary citizens."

Hey, it could happen.


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