Friday First District Roundup

Each Friday, we highlight decisions of the First District Court of Appeals in the past week. For question about these cases, contact Vanessa Seeger.

State of Ohio v. Stephen Morris 
Case #C180520

QUOTE FROM JUDGE MYERS' OPINION:

Defendant-appellant Stephen Morris appeals from the trial court’s judgment convicting him, upon a guilty plea, of rape. In three assignments of error, he argues that the trial court erred in denying his request for independent laboratory testing of DNA evidence, that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance, and that his plea was not entered knowingly or voluntarily because the trial court failed
to properly advise him about postrelease control.
Finding Morris’s assignments of error to be without merit, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

State of Ohio v. Fred Jordan
Case #C180353

This appeal was heard on the accelerated calendar, and this judgment entry is not an opinion of the court.

Defendant-appellant’s appointed counsel has advised this court that, after a thorough review of the record, he can find nothing that would arguably support appellant’s appeal, and that the appeal is wholly frivolous. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967); see also Freels v. Hills, 843 F.2d 958 (6th Cir.1988). Counsel, as required by Anders, has communicated this conclusion
to appellant, and has offered appellant an opportunity to respond and to raise any issues. Counsel has also moved this court for permission to withdraw as counsel. See Anders at 744; see also 1st Dist. Loc.R. 16.2(C)(1) and 16.2(D)(2).

Counsel now requests that this court independently examine the record to
determine whether the appeal is wholly frivolous. See Anders at 744. We have done so, and we agree with counsel’s conclusion that the proceedings below were free of error  prejudicial to appellant and that no grounds exist to support a meritorious appeal. Mr. Jordan pled guilty, and we reviewed the plea colloquy and sentencing transcript and confirmed the absence of any error. Therefore, we overrule counsel’s motion to withdraw from his representation of appellant, and affirm the judgment of the trial
court.

State of Ohio v. Alex Penland 
Case #C180330

This appeal was considered on the accelerated calendar, and this judgment entry is not an opinion of the court.

Defendant-appellant Alex Penland presents on appeal a single assignment of error challenging the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court’s judgment overruling his “Civil Rule 60(b) Motion for Relief from Judgment and Request for Evidentiary Hearing.” We overrule the assignment of error and affirm the court’s judgment.

State of Ohio v. Joshua Fikes 
Case #C180079

QUOTE FROM PER CURIAM OPINION:

Defendant-appellant Joshua Fikes appeals the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court’s judgments overruling his “Motion for Appointment of Counsel and Status Conference on Motion to Modify the Verdict” and “Motion[s] to Vacate Unlawfully Imposed Term of Postrelease Control.” We lack jurisdiction to review the judgment overruling his “Motion for Appointment of Counsel and Status
Conference on Motion to Modify the Verdict.” We affirm in part the court’s judgments overruling his “Motion[s] to Vacate Unlawfully Imposed Term of Postrelease Control,” but remand for correction of postrelease control.

State of Ohio v. Keontae Kernall 
Case #C180613

QUOTE FROM JUDGE CROUSE'S OPINION:

Defendant-appellant Keontae Kernall appeals from the trial court’s October 16, 2018 judgment entry finding that Kernall violated his communitycontrol sanctions and imposing a sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Frederic C. Weckel v. Cole+Russell Architects 
Case# C180438

QUOTE FROM JUDGE BERGERON'S OPINION:

Litigation often stirs emotions, hardens principles, and drains the rationality from perfectly rational people. Cost-benefit analyses can be tossed out the window, and positions might be pursued regardless of the odds. At the end of the day, after the court or jury declares a winner and a loser, however, for many the bitterest pill of all to swallow is their lawyer’s bill. But absent certain recognized exceptions, the “American rule” dictates that parties must pay their own way in litigation. Seeing no reason to depart from that principle in this case, we affirm the judgment below denying an award of attorney’s fees.

Chris Gavitt v. David Remerowski 
Case# C180349

QUOTE FROM JUDGE MYERS' OPINION:

Plaintiff-appellant Chris Gavitt appeals the trial court’s judgment denying him damages after determining that water runoff from defendant-appellee David Remerowski’s driveway onto Gavitt’s driveway was a private nuisance and ordering Remerowski to abate that nuisance.

In a single assignment of error, Gavitt argues that the trial court erred in finding that Remerowski was not liable for damage to Gavitt’s driveway caused by the private nuisance. Finding no error in the trial court’s determination that Gavitt failed to prove that the specific damage claimed by Gavitt to his driveway was caused by the water runoff, we affirm its judgment.