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Case Update

Nothing from the gang in DC or Columbus this past week.  In fact, the future pickings are pretty slim, too:  the US Supreme Court isn't going to have any more oral arguments this year, and the Ohio Supreme Court's slate for Tuesday and Wednesday features three disciplinary cases, three tax cases, and two PUCO cases.  The high-low in the criminal arena is a death penalty case out of Cuyahoga County, and a case on the constitutionality of Columbus' dog-barking ordinance.  Anyway, on to the courts of appeals...

Criminal.  Conviction for DUS affirmed, even though municipal court had granted "retroactive" stay, 1st District says there's no such thing... Good discussion of concept of voluntary abandonment of crime in this 6th District case, where shoplifter put stolen goods in bag, then dropped bag on his way out of store when he saw manager... 3rd District upholds conviction, two-year prison sentence for failure to register as sexual offender; defendant was staying at his fiancee's house... Weird one:  2nd District vacates sentence, holds that trial judge's comments that he was imposing harsher sentence because defendant refused to testify against his brother violated defendant's rights against self-incrimination... 5th District holds that guilty plea not only waives speedy trial issue, but waives ineffective assistance of counsel claim based upon counsel's failure to assert speedy trial claim... 11th District holds that judge can impose harsher sentence upon Foster remand because sentence was void, court apparently never read State v. Payne, discussed here, where Supreme Court decided sentences were rendered voidable, not void, by Foster...

Civil.  If employer filed appeal of workers comp claim, employee can no longer voluntarily dismiss complaint without employer's consent, per amendment passed last year; 6th District says amendment not retroactive, applies only to cases filed after it was passed... 8th District affirms dismissal of suit involving discharge of pastor, saying courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over "purely ecclesiastical or spiritual disputes of a church or religious organization"... 3rd District declares unconstitutional state law prohibiting municipalities from imposing residency restrictions on employees... 9th District affirms finding of contempt for mother's refusal to permit visitation...

Drinking problem?  What drinking problem?  The defendant in State v. Armstrong was on trial for felonious assault on a police officer, based upon his driving a bulldozer -- yes a bulldozer -- while intoxicated, and dropping the bucket onto a police car.  He pled, but five weeks later "appeared before the court for sentencing, pro se and intoxicated."  His sentencing hearing was postponed, but the court later allowed him to vacate his plea; turns out he was drunk when he did that, too.

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