Welcome to The Briefcase

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


Case Update

The pickings from the Ohio Supreme Court are so paltry -- the big announcement this week:  "The Court issued nine merit decisions without opinions, 14 motion and procedural rulings, agreed to hear six cases, and declined to hear 86 cases" -- that I've been compelled to scout the oral argument calendar for something to write about here.  Best I can see is some coming up in the beginning of next month:  State v. Chambliss, which raises the issue of whether denial of a criminal defendant's counsel of choice is a final appealable order, and State v. Williams, which addresses the retroactivity and ex post facto concerns of the Adam Walsh Act, an issue left over from Bodyke.  Chambliss is a bizarre case, as I indicated when I discussed the 8th District's decision on it two years ago.  I'll have more on it, needless to say, when it actually happens.

Nothing's actually happening in the US Supreme Court, either.  I even went to the lengths of checking out SCOTUSblog list of "petitions that we're watching," i.e., cases that they think the Supreme Court might agree to hear.  There's one involving the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and another where the key issue is section 4 of the Endangered Species Act.  You better believe I'll be focused like a laser on those.  If they ever go anywhere, that is.

On to the courts of appeals, where they're not just talking about doing stuff, they're doing it.

Civil.  Judge need not hold evidentiary hearing on motion to vacate where motion is untimely, 8th District rules... 1st District says appellate court cannot consider transcript of magistrate's hearing if it wasn't provided to trial court with the objections to magistrate's decision... Where assignment of mortgage made after foreclosure was filed, assignee bank lacked standing to pursue action, says 8th District...

Criminal.  Judge need not advise defendant at plea of possibility of consecutive sentences unless law requires them to be run consecutively, e.g., failure to comply, says 8th District... 10th District upholds joinder of charges, says evidence of one robbery would have been admissible in the other under 404(B), since crimes followed similar pattern and were geographically proximal... Where restitution order did not specify how money was to be divided among the three victims, it wasn't a final appealable order, says 4th District... Felony murder and child endangering are allied, offenses, merge, when same act, shaking baby, caused baby's death, says 12th District... 12th also holds that felonious assault, child endangering, and domestic violence were all allied offenses...

Things we never learned in law school.  One of the headnotes provided by the court in the 1st District's decision last week in Cwik v. Cwik:

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by enforcing the terms of an informed-consent/embryo-cryopreservation contract, where the husband failed to demonstrate either that the contract was unconscionable or that it violated the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

We're not in Kansas any more, Dorothy.  In State v. Sumpter, the court finds that the prosecution committed a discovery violation by withholding oral statements made by the defendant, but decides it's harmless error.  The statements, given after defendant and an accomplice were stopped for speeding and a search of their car turned up nine pounds of marijuana, was in protest of the officer's statement to him that this was a felony amount.  He claimed repeatedly that ten pounds would be a felony, apparently referring to California law.

Don't know if travel guides cover that sort of thing, but they should.

Let's play, "Guess the Outcome!"  The opening paragraph of the 10th District's decision in Graham v. Mansfield Corr. Inst. describes the plaintiff's pro se filing thusly

On November 18, 2009, Nathan A. Graham filed a lawsuit against Mansfield Correctional Institution ("MCI") where he was incarcerated. He alleges that certain photographs of his had been taken and not returned to him. As part of his filing, he acknowledged filing 14 other lawsuits previously.

The court had granted judgment for Graham in the amount of forty-five cents.  The judgment was affirmed.


Recent Entries

  • March 28, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Pro se motions, pro se defendants, and advice for deadbeat dads
  • March 27, 2017
    Case Update
    Gorsuch's embarrassing day, upcoming oral arguments in SCOTUS
  • March 20, 2017
    Taking time off
    I'm taking the week off. Have a major brief due on Thursday, plus a trial in Federal court starting next Monday. Plus, I'm pretty sure that Obama wiretapped me, too, so I'm working on getting to the bottom of that....
  • March 17, 2017
    What's Up with the 8th?
    The 8th District cases come out every Thursday. By about ten o'clock in the morning, the court will have posted the "weekly decision list" on its web site. It will give a summary of the case, usually in a sentence...
  • March 14, 2017
    Rippo and Pena-Rodriguez
    SCOTUS issues decisions on judicial recusal and biased jurors
  • March 13, 2017
    Case Update
    A SCOTUS decision on career offenders, and appellate cases on what a judge can consider in sentencing, and untimely motions to suppress
  • March 9, 2017
    A switch in time
    The court reverses itself in Gonzalez
  • March 8, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    More sentencing stories, and the right way to handle an Anders brief
  • March 7, 2017
    Case Update
    Knock and announce and the Ohio Constitution, and Anders briefs.
  • March 6, 2017
    Never mind
    The Ohio Supreme Court reverses Gonzalez.