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

  • May 22, 2017
    Case Update
    Is SCOTUS looking for a forfeiture case? Plus, appellate decisions on expungement and restitution, plain error, and what a judge has to tell a defendant about sex registration
  • May 19, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th - Part II
    Decisions on lineups and prior calculation and design, and two out of eight (eight!) pro se defendants come up winners,
  • May 17, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th - Part I
    Taking a first look at some of the 8th District's decisions over the past two weeks
  • May 16, 2017
    Case Update
    Stock tips, Federal sentencing reform goes dormant, schoolbag searches, and the retroactivity of State v. Hand
  • May 8, 2017
    Case Update
    Death in Arkansas, a worrisome disciplinary decision, and appellate cases on speedy trial, arson registration, use of prior testimony, and the futility of post-conviction relief
  • May 2, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Nothing but sex
  • May 1, 2017
    Case Update
    SCOTUS closes out oral argument for the Term, the Ohio Supreme Court has seven of them this week, and we report on a decision where you'll probably want to play Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" in the background while you read about it
  • April 26, 2017
    Like Mark Twain, rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Except I am pretty sure he's actually dead, while I am not, and for that matter, nobody's spreading rumors that I am. Great lead, huh? The nice thing about...
  • April 20, 2017
    The Supreme Court takes a look at the trial tax
    And you thought this was the week you only had to worry about income taxes
  • April 18, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Remembering Warren Zevon, and the Fourth Amendment lives