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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
State v. Smith C-170335EVID.R. 404(B) – OTHER-ACTS EVIDENCE – PROSECUTOR – COUNSEL – CUMULATIVE ERROR: The trial court did not err in admitting testimony about instances of defendant’s prior conduct, even though defendant was acquitted of the criminal charges associated with that conduct, because the testimony was proper under Evid.R. 404(B) to show motive, intent and lack of mistake. Defendant failed to establish prosecutorial misconduct in the state’s failure to produce a copy of a 1986 police file where there had been no showing that the file contained material that the state was required to disclose in discovery. Defendant failed to establish prosecutorial misconduct in the state’s eliciting and relying upon witness testimony that was inconsistent with the witnesses’ testimony in an earlier trial: showing that the testimony was merely inconsistent was insufficient to show that the prosecutor knowingly used false testimony. The prosecutor engaged in misconduct during closing arguments when offering the jury an explanation of the timeline of the investigation that was not testified to during the trial; but because it was an isolated comment about a matter not central to the case, defendant was not prejudiced. The failure to cross-examine witnesses fully is a matter of trial strategy and will not form the basis for ineffective assistance of defense counsel, especially in cases involving the sexual assault of a child in which the issue of sensitivity to the victim is an important consideration. Defendant was not prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to more aggressively seek a copy of a 1986 police file that involved an incident between defendant and another victim where the information was about a tertiary issue and the incident was testified to by the parties involved. There can be no finding of cumulative error in the absence of multiple instances of harmless error.MockHamilton 11/16/2018 11/16/2018 2018-Ohio-4615
State v. Stidhum C-170319IN-COURT IDENTIFICATION – COUNSEL – EVIDENCE – CONSTITUTIONAL LAW/CRIMINAL – DUE PROCESS – CONFRONTATION CLAUSE – MISTRIAL – OTHER-ACTS EVIDENCE – CUMULATIVE ERROR – SENTENCING –DISCRETIONARY FINE – INDIGENCY: A first-time in-court identification is not inherently suggestive and unreliable, and due process is not violated when an in-court identification is not preceded by a successful identification in a nonsuggestive procedure or prescreened by the trial court. Trial counsel’s decision to cross-examine a witness to undermine the witness’s credibility, rather than object to the witness’s testimony, does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. The failure to preserve recorded witness statements did not violate defendant’s right to present a defense or his right to confront witnesses where the state provided written summaries of the statements, and the witnesses’ testimony was consistent with the summaries. Defendant failed to demonstrate that he was entitled to a mistrial based on a witness’s reference to his prior arrests for drug trafficking, because the jury was presumed to follow the trial court’s multiple curative instructions. The trial court did not err by determining that other-acts evidence was admissible where the trial court’s limiting instruction minimized the likelihood of any undue prejudice. The doctrine of cumulative error is inapplicable where there are not multiple instances of harmless error. The trial court did not err in imposing a discretionary fine where the trial court considered defendant’s present and future ability to pay the fine.ZayasHamilton 11/16/2018 11/16/2018 2018-Ohio-4616
State v. Landrum C-180030SEARCH AND SEIZURE – COMMON AUTHORITY – APPARENT AUTHORITY : The trial court erred in overruling defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained during a warrantless search of his bedroom after probation officers entered the home he shared with a probationer, searched his bedroom, and found cocaine, where the state failed to prove that the probationer had joint access or control over the bedroom, such that the probationer had common authority or apparent authority over the bedroom to consent to the search.ZayasHamilton 11/14/2018 11/14/2018 2018-Ohio-4582
Altman v. Parker C-170683DEFAULT JUDGMENT – VOID – LACHES: The trial court erred by overruling defendant’s motion to set aside an allegedly void default judgment, because laches did not bar defendant from seeking relief from a void judgment, and the court was prohibited from making a credibility determination without first holding an evidentiary hearing to assess the credibility of defendant’s unrebutted assertion that he had not received service of the complaint.CunninghamHamilton 11/14/2018 11/14/2018 2018-Ohio-4583
Cincinnati v. Ohio C-170593MOOTNESS DOCTRINE – JUSTICIABLITY: Where the legislation challenged under the “single-subject” rule had been repealed or replaced after the lawsuit was filed, the issue is moot and will not be addressed on appeal. The trial court exceeded its authority when it struck as unconstitutional provisions of a bill that plaintiff had not challenged, because there was no justiciable controversy before the court concerning those provisions.MillerHamilton 11/7/2018 11/7/2018 2018-Ohio-4498
State v. Robinson C-180153VENUE: Where the state failed to establish venue, defendant’s conviction for criminal damaging was based on insufficient evidence and must be reversed.MockHamilton 11/2/2018 11/2/2018 2018-Ohio-4433
State v. Bolware C-170691; C-170692; C-170693PROSECUTOR – SENTENCING – CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES: Even if the prosecutor’s statements could have been interpreted as referring to defendant’s criminal history or as denigrating defense counsel, the comments were isolated, and the evidence against defendant was so overwhelming that he was not prejudiced. Where the trial court failed to make the statutorily-mandated findings before imposing consecutive sentences, the consecutive nature of the sentences must be vacated, and the cause must be remanded for the trial court to make the appropriate findings on the record and record those findings in the sentencing entry.MockHamilton 11/2/2018 11/2/2018 2018-Ohio-4434
State v. Stuckey C-170285ALLIED OFFENSES – R.C. 2941.25 – DRUGS – SENTENCING: Defendant’s convictions for trafficking in cocaine and possession of fentanyl were not allied offenses of similar import, even though defendant possessed both drugs at the same time. Where the trial court expressly stated that it had considered the appropriate sentencing factors, and defendant has not affirmatively shown that the court did not, the trial court did not err in imposing defendant’s sentences.MockHamilton 11/2/2018 11/2/2018 2018-Ohio-4435
Duell v. Cincinnati C-180062NEGLIGENCE—SLIP AND FALL: A lease between business owners, which contractually allocates maintenance responsibilities for the business premises and requires general compliance with municipal ordinances, such as those pertaining to the removal of snow and ice, did not create a duty to plaintiff business invitee greater than that established under the common law for actionable negligence due to the natural accumulation of snow and ice.MillerHamilton 10/31/2018 10/31/2018 2018-Ohio-4400
In re K.T. C-180335; C-180376; C-180390CHILDREN – CUSTODY – EVIDENCE: The juvenile court complied with the appellate court’s mandate on remand to consider all the statutory best-interest factors when making a permanent custody best-interest determination, where the court specified in its judgment after remand that it had considered all the statutory factors, and it was not required to discuss each factor. The juvenile court’s R.C. 2151.353(A)(4), R.C. 2151.414(E), and R.C. 2151.414(D)(1) determinations in support of an award of permanent custody to the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services as the initial disposition of K.T.3 were supported by clear and convincing evidence and were not against the manifest weight of the evidence where the child was adjudicated dependent due in part to Mother’s chronic mental illness, identified as paranoid-type schizophrenia, which had led to K.T.3’s removal at birth and had prevented Mother’s reunification with her older children, K.T.1, A.T. and K.T.2., and where the record reflects that K.T.3 could not be placed with either parent within a reasonable time and should not be placed with either parent, and that it was in K.T.’s best interest, after more than three years of temporary custody, to be placed in the permanent custody of the agency, so that he may be adopted. The juvenile court erred as a matter of law by failing to award permanent custody of K.T.1, A.T. and K.T.2 to the agency based on the mandatory provisions of R.C. 2151.414(D)(2) where the children, who had been in the agency’s temporary custody for over two years, no longer qualified for temporary custody, were not old enough to qualify for a planned permanent living arrangement, and were not the subject of a request for legal custody filed by a relative or interested party, could not be returned to either parent within a reasonable time or should not be returned to either parent: Father had abandoned the children, and evidence of Mother’s instability caused by her chronic mental illness, which had led to the court’s determination that K.T.3 could not be placed with Mother within a reasonable time and should not be placed with Mother, also prevented the other children’s placement with Mother.CunninghamHamilton 10/24/2018 10/24/2018 2018-Ohio-4312