Probably the biggest news out of the US Supreme Court this past week was its refusal to hear an appeal by Cleveland's former Boy Mayor, Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich was asking the court to order the Texas Democratic party to put him on the primary ballot, despite his refusal to sign a declaration that he would support the party's eventual nominee who, barring a catastrophe of Biblical proportions, will not be him. The Court's ruling unfortunately deprives the eight people in Texas who were thinking of voting for him the opportunity of doing so.
Last September, when we were vacationing in Maui, I stopped off in a bar to watch a ballgame while my wife was shopping. On one TV was the announcement (threat?) that Dennis Kucinich would shortly be giving a press conference. (For some inexplicable reason, Hawaii seems to be a favorite campaign stop for Dennis' quadrennial Quixotian quests for the presidency.) "Would you believe that goofball is my Congressman?" I said to the bartender. She looked at me in surprise, and chirped, "I love the guy!" I chalked it up to the thought that if I lived in Maui year round, I'd probably love everybody, too.
Down in Columbus, the Robed Seven churned out a number of decisions, though not any of epochal significance: when a plaintiff moves for summary judgment, he doesn't have the burden of negating the defendant's affirmative defenses; a statute imposing a mandatory prison sentence for an offense (rape, in this case) does not require imposition of consecutive sentences for mulitiple violations of that offense; and equitable estoppel could not be used to rescue a 40-year-old claim against a diocese based upon sexual abuse by a priest, where while the diocese may have tried to prevent the plaintiff's resulting pregnancy from becoming public, but there was no evidence it tried to prevent a lawsuit.
In the courts of appeals:
Civil. 1st District holds that court records don't have to be sealed just because the parties want them to be; statutory requirements for sealing records must be met... Where mother agrees to journal entry acknowledging paternity and setting child support, her later motion seeking back child support is barred by res judicata, because it could have been addressed in the original entry, says 10th District... 8th District reverses summary judgment in slip and fall, says attendant circumstances raise jury question as to whether hazard (floor mat) was open and obvious... 4th District reverses lower court's dismissal on basis of motion alleging res judicata, because defendant failed to raise defense in his responsive pleading...
Criminal. If you and one of your law firm partners are representing co-defendants, you need to read this 10th District decision on potential conflicts of interest; both attorneys wound up off the case... 8th District reverses denial of post-sentence motion to vacate plea, says defendant's assertion that attorney incorrectly told her she'd get 3 for 1 credit against her prison sentence for time she'd spent in jail, and that she'd be eligible for judicial release after one year on eight-year sentence, required a hearing... 8th also holds that robbery under 2911.02(A)(2) (attempting to cause serious physical harm) is not lesser included offense of aggravated robbery under 2911.01(A)(1) (using firearm)... 4th District points out that state law does not permit order of restitution to third party (in this case, insurance company and Victims of Crime fund)... 4th District holds that extension of statute of limitations for sexual battery from 6 to 20 years wasn't ex post facto violation when applied to defendant against whom 6-year statute hadn't run at time extension was enacted...
That's one tough broad. From the facts in the 8th District's decision last week in State v. Evans, picking up after the defendant tried to grab the victim's purse:
The victim found herself facing a man, whom she later identified as Evans. Evans demanded that she give him her purse. When she resisted, he stated, "I've got a gun." The victim indicated that she saw no weapon, but Evans moved his free hand toward his belt area. Rather than frightening the victim, the gesture served to embolden her. She told him, "Well, you know what? You're going to have to use it," and began to kick and fight.
Evans ran away.