Friday First District Roundup 10-22-21

State of Ohio v. Desmond Austin  
Case # C210141
Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:
After spending the night with one woman, defendant-appellant Desmond Austin returned the next day to the home he shared with a different woman. Perhaps not surprisingly, tempers flared and a fight ensued. The altercation ended with the victim seeking medical treatment and Mr. Austin convicted of domestic violence and aggravated menacing. On appeal, Mr. Austin presents three assignments of error, claiming prejudicial error and challenging the weight and sufficiency of the evidence. We overrule all three and affirm the trial court’s judgment.
Having met out west and traveled together for a number of years, Mr. Austin and Ryshema Bailey settled down in Hamilton County. One evening, Mr. Austin left around 10:00 p.m. and never returned. Ms. Bailey, suspicious that Mr. Austin departed for a rendezvous with his former girlfriend and the mother of his children, attempted to reach him by phone and text, but to no avail. Instead, he sauntered home to Ms. Bailey around 7:15 a.m. the next morning only to find the house in disarray with damage inflicted on some of his personal property. A verbal dispute erupted between the couple, with conflicting accounts as to whether or what extent physical violence occurred. 

The University Hospital v. William Wells 
Case #C210132 
Quote from Judge Crouse's Opinion:
Defendant-appellee William Wells went to plaintiff-appellant The University Hospital (“University”) for emergency medical treatment on October 8, 2018. He was uninsured at the time and signed a financial agreement accepting responsibility for the charges he would incur. However, an express price term for the medical services was not included in the agreement. University ultimately billed Wells for the treatment rendered on that date and a follow-up visit on October 19, 2018. When Wells did not pay, University filed suit. Wells did not answer the complaint or otherwise appear. University filed for a default judgment and sought the full cost of the treatment, totaling $25,767.30.
The trial court held an evidentiary hearing where University presented evidence regarding the reasonableness of its charges. It submitted the medical bill and presented the testimony of Wally Lester, an assistant director of patient services for University. Lester testified that University, in order to ensure that its charges are reasonable, utilizes a third-party vendor who evaluates hospital charges around the country and compares them to University’s charges. Lester testified that University’s charges fall near the 75th percentile of other level one trauma centers and academic medical centers in the country.
The trial court granted a default judgment in favor of University, but reduced the amount by 40 percent, lowering the award to $15,460.38. University has appealed. Wells did not file an appellate brief or otherwise appear on appeal. For the following reasons, we reverse the trial court’s decision regarding the amount of damages awarded. The judgment is affirmed in all other respects. The cause is remanded to the trial court with instructions to enter a default judgment in favor of University for the full amount of the medical bills, which totals $25,767.30. 

Twism Enterprises, LLC, d.b.a. Valucadd Solutions v. State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors  
Case #C210125 
Quote from Judge Bock's Opinion:
Defendant-appellant/cross-appellee State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors (“the Board”) appeals the trial court’s judgment, which determined that the Board improperly denied plaintiffappellee/cross-appellant Twism Enterprises, LLP’s (“Twism”) application for a “Certificate of Authorization” (“COA”) to provide engineering services in Ohio.
Twism cross appeals, asserting that the trial court improperly denied its motion for attorney’s fees. For the reasons stated herein, we reverse the trial court’s judgment in favor of Twism and enter judgment in favor of the Board. I. Facts and Procedure A. The Application for and Denial of a Certificate of Authorization
The parties agree that the facts are undisputed. In December 2018, Shawn Alexander, the principal of Twism, applied to the Board for a COA. On the application, Alexander designated James L. Cooper, P.E., a licensed professional engineer who holds a COA, to provide engineering services as the responsible professional engineer for, and in charge of, Twism’s engineering services.
Cooper provided a list of projects for which he was providing engineering services on Twism’s behalf. Cooper stated that Twism had asked him to be the engineering manager for “future work,” he is retired, does not desire employment benefits, and would “remain a ‘1099 Employee’ with TWISM.” In response to the Board’s concern that Twism was performing engineering services without a COA, Alexander explained that Cooper was performing engineering services on Twism’s behalf throughout the pendency of Twism’s COA application process. Cooper would then invoice Twism, which would invoice the customer so that the client would receive only one invoice.

State of Ohio v. Tytus Bailey 
Case #C200386 
Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:
A jury convicted defendant-appellant Tytus Bailey of abduction, robbery, kidnapping, and two counts of rape stemming from a sexual assault at a downtown parking garage. The trial court sentenced him to 33 years for the rape and kidnapping counts and 8 years for the robbery count, to be served consecutively. On appeal, Mr. Bailey challenges the effectiveness of his trial counsel along with the imposition of maximum, consecutive sentences as unsupported by the record. We disagree and affirm the trial court’s judgment as it pertains to his first three assignments of error. Mr. Bailey also maintains that the rape and kidnapping convictions should have merged as allied offenses for sentencing purposes. In light of the case law and the record, we agree and sustain his fourth assignment of error.
I.
On the night in question, Mr. Bailey approached the victim sitting with two homeless men on a concrete bench near the corner of Second and Walnut streets. Mr. Bailey assaulted the two men, knocking them out in the process, and threatened to deal a similar fate to the victim unless she performed oral sex on him. He led her away from the homeless encampment where she was living to the Olympic Auto Park garage at the corner of Third and Vine streets (about a block away). Once there, Mr. Bailey forced her to perform oral sex on him. Following that assault, Mr. Bailey raped her, struck her in the face repeatedly, and threatened to kill her if she left the garage or infected him with a sexually transmitted disease. Security cameras captured the two of them entering the garage together just before midnight and leaving separately around 20 minutes later

State of Ohio v. Vincent Jones 
Case #C200404
Quote from Judge Bock's Opinion:
Petitioner-appellant Vincent Jones appeals the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court’s judgment denying his petition under R.C. 2953.21 et seq. for postconviction relief. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.
In 2018, Jones was convicted upon his guilty plea to endangering children. His plea arrangement did not include an agreed sentence. The trial court imposed a seven-year prison term.
Jones took no direct appeal, but challenged his conviction in a timelyfiled postconviction petition. The trial court denied the petition and this appeal followed.
On appeal, Jones presents three assignments of error. The assignments of error essentially restate the claims advanced in his postconviction petition and thus may fairly be read together to challenge the denial of the petition. We find no merit to this challenge. 

State of Ohio v. Matthew Stiver 
Case #C210229
Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:
A spat between defendant-appellant Matthew Stiver and his then-girlfriend, Amber Ramsey, escalated to the precipice of violence, and resulted in Mr. Stiver’s convictions for domestic violence and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Mr. Stiver now appeals, challenging the weight and sufficiency of the evidence supporting these convictions. We, however, see nothing in the record that would raise serious doubt as to the weight or sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions and, accordingly, affirm the trial court’s judgment. I.
This case stems from an altercation at a local fast food restaurant between two significant others who worked there together—Mr. Stiver and Ms. Ramsey. On the date in question, for unknown reasons, Mr. Stiver and Ms. Ramsey feuded throughout the duration of their shifts, with the acrimony slowly simmering. Mr. Stiver persistently demanded that Ms. Ramsey relinquish her cell phone, but she kept it from him by passing it between other employees and hiding it in various nooks and crannies around the restaurant. Without access to the phone, Mr. Stiver’s suspicions deepened, and his mood darkened as he grew more and more agitated.
Eventually, Mr. Stiver’s frustrations boiled over, and he lunged at Ms. Ramsey. Fortunately, another employee intercepted him, restraining Mr. Stiver before he could assault her. Ms. Ramsey testified that, during this fracas, Mr. Stiver uttered something along the lines of “if I was not being held back, you would be sorry.” He attempted to overpower the employee and advance towards Ms. Ramsey, but when those efforts failed, he stormed out of the building.