Friday, December 07, 2012

Ohio Supreme Court year-end transition cases

As part of a year-end transition process in which the Ohio Supreme Court is releasing a large number of decisions, the Court's news service staff report on December 6, 2012 reported holdings on 18 cases including:

• The Court's upholding the aggravated murder conviction and death sentence of Phillip L. Jones of Akron for the 2007 rape and strangulation killing of Susan Yates. (Case & Case Summary State v. Jones.)

• In Ruther v. Kaiser the Court upheld as constitutional a four-year statute of repose (time limit) for filing medical malpractice lawsuits set forth in R.C. 2305.113(C). The court reversed a decision of the 12th District Court of Appeals that had allowed a malpractice action to go forward despite the passage of more than ten years between the alleged malpractice and the filing of the plaintiff's suit. In its decision, the court applied the test in Westfield Ins. Co. v. Galatis (2003), and formally overruled a 1987 Ohio Supreme Court decision, Hardy v. VerMeulen, which held that a previous statute of repose for medical malpractice actions violated an injured party's constitutional right to a remedy.

• In Doss v. State, the Court held that the reversal by the court of appeals of a Cleveland man's convictions for rape and kidnapping, for lack of evidence was not "proof of innocence" sufficient to support a summary judgment declaring him to be a "wrongfully imprisoned person" entitled to obtain compensation from the state.

• The Court, in State v. Gardner, ruled that an individual who is the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant does not forfeit all expectations of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Ohio Constitution, Section 19, Article I. Based on that holding, the court remanded the case of a Dayton-area man to the trial court with instructions to consider whether he was improperly detained and searched by police who were not aware of the existence of the warrant at the time.

• In State v. Roberts the Court held that legislation taking effect July 6, 2010, requiring police and other governmental entities to preserve and catalog DNA evidence, applies to biological evidence already in the possession of those entities at the time of the statute’s effective date.

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