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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

Nothing of note out of Washington, DC, and only some case announcements out of Columbus.  There'd been a decision out of the Ohio Supreme Court a week earlier that I'd promised to do a post on, but never got around to it, so here it is:  normally, the rule is that a dismissal without prejudice isn't a final appealable order (because you can always refile), but in State v. Craig the Court holds that doesn't apply to the dismissal of an indictment.  That sends the case, involving a child rape allegation, back to the trial court, which had dismissed it, without prejudice, because the prosecutor was 45 minutes late in appearing for trial.  

At least the courts of appeals were busy...

Civil.  2nd District holds that because plaintiffs' affidavit didn't specify what efforts they made to locate the defendants, service by publication was defective... 1st District rejects a writ of prohibition to force a judge to rule on a motion to dismiss before allowing discovery, holding that trial court has right to manage its own docket... 10th District holds that public defenders and court-appointed counsel are not "government employees" in suits for malpractice arising out of their representation... Discharged attorney not entitled to recover fees in quantum meruit on contingency fee agreement until contingency occurs, says 12th District...

Criminal.  1st District reverses a case for ineffective assistance of counsel; court reporter indicated that defense attorney had slept through large portions of trial... 10th District upholds admission of hearsay statements of child, despite trial court's determination that child wasn't competent to testify, on basis that statements were for purposes of medical treatment; also rejects Crawford challenge... 8th District holds that waiver of costs requires finding that defendant is indigent; also holds that waiver of jury trial on weapons under disability count while jury hears remainder of case requires that written waiver be journalized prior to trial, same as complete waiver of jury trial... 3rd District holds that interrogation wasn't custodial, Miranda warnings unnecessary... Waiver of speedy trial doesn't carry over if case is dismissed then refiled, rules 12th District; 12th also upholds exclusion of expert testimony on battered women's syndrome to negate mens rea in endangering children prosecution...

Any guesses on how the evidence was "destroyed"?  The 10th District reverses the dismissal of a liquor violation, holding that the officer's and minor's testimony that the minor purchased "Budweiser Select" from the store was sufficient to prove the purchase of alcohol, and that actual admission of the items purchased wasn't necessary.  The opinion notes that the officer "did not bring the beer to the hearing before the commission because it was inadvertently destroyed some time after arriving at the Mentor Police Department."


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