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Case Update

Nothing out of the US Supreme Court this past week, except a decision sure to cheese off the Save the Whales Foundation:  in Winter v. National Resources Defense Council, the Court upheld the Navy's right to conduct sonar excercises in the Pacific, despite claims of environmentalists that such exercises might harm marine life.  Good news for Flipper:  while the Court didn't decide one of the underlying issues -- whether the Navy had to prepare an environmental impact statement -- the Navy's going to do so anyway. 

Nothing of significance out of Columbus, either, except that the Supreme Court's agreed to determine whether the add-on one-to-ten year sentence for Repeat Violender Offender specifications survived Foster.  I had several posts a couple years back claiming that they didn't, but several courts, including the 8th, have come to a contrary conclusion, and there's language in Foster and some subsequent Supreme Court cases which muddies up the waters.  So, a year or so from now, we'll finally get a resolution of that.  Maybe; that same issue, except in the context of Major Drug Offender specifications, was present in another appeal that just got dismissed by the court after being pending for ten months.

On to the courts of appeals, which don't get the opportunity to duck cases that way...

Civil.  Attorney did not have authority to enter into settlement; good discussion of when a settlement is enforceable in this 8th District case... 9th District says that father had the burden to prove that he was not underemployed for purposes of determining child support... Hybrid representation (litigant with counsel also seeks to act pro se) banned in criminal cases, 8th District says that court could prohibit hybrid representation in divorce case as well, even where litigant was an attorney... 12th District holds that "terms" of child's living arrangement under shared parenting agreement can be modified without a showing of change of circumstances, requires only that it be in best interest of child, says that court should have considered father's motion to deny issuance of child's passport...

Criminal.  8th District upholds court's decision to close courtroom to public during informant's testimony, good discussion of factors involved... Buyer's remorse:  pro se defendant argues trial judge shouldn't have let him represent himself, 2nd District says judge properly advised him of consequences, affirms... 9th District says claim of actual innocence is not a basis for postconviction relief... 12th District holds that guilty plea waives claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to raise speedy trial claim...

Alternative theories.  From the 1st District's opinion in State v. Miller:  "Miller came to Perkins's old apartment, either to collect a drug debt or to check on a puppy that Perkins was caring for."

Things you won't see on Law and Order:  From the 8th District's decision in State v. Robinson:

In the instant case, the state's first witness was Cleveland police officer Scott Miller, who testified about evidence bags of heroin and marijuana found as evidence at the scene of a crime. Subsequent to Miller's testimony, however, the prosecutor realized that this was evidence from a different case and had nothing to do with appellant. The mistake was traced to the Cleveland Police Department, who inadvertently used the same report number for these drugs as the crack cocaine that appellant is charged with possessing and trafficking.

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