Friday First District Roundup 4-24-20

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

Interested in getting these weekly updates sent right to your inbox? Sign up here!

Jocole Brown v. Brandon Bowie
Maya Austell v. Brandon Bowie
Case #C190358

Quote from Judgment Entry:

This case involves three separate appeals dealing with two distinct issues. The appeals numbered C-190232 and C-190233 are from the juvenile court cases numbered F11-803x and F11-804x respectively. Those appeals address the issue of whether the trial court properly found defendant-appellant Brandon Bowie in contempt of court for keeping custody of his children longer than he was permitted by the trial court’s visitation orders. F11-803x involves two children that Bowie has with defendant-appellee Jocole Brown. F11-804x involves one child that Bowie has with defendant-appellee Maya Autell. Bowie raises four assignments of error in those appeals. The appeal numbered C-190358 is from a subsequent decision in the case numbered F11-803x in which Bowie claims that Brown was improperly determined to be the sole custodian of the couple’s two children.

Patrick J. Doran, John R. Doran, Jr., Amy J. Doran, Julie A. Doran-Darst, Eric J. Doran v. Daniel J. Doran, Anastasia M. Combs, Donald P. Mowry, Plattenburg & Associates, Inc.
Case #C190298

Quote from Judge Mock's Opinion:

Defendants-appellants Daniel J. Doran, Anastasia M. Combs and Donald P. Mowry (collectively, “the former trustees”) appeal the judgment of the Hamilton County Probate Court removing them as trustees of the Robert J. Doran Trust dated March 9, 1989, as amended on March 28, 1989, (“Robert’s Trust”) and the Ida E. Doran Trust dated June 17, 1993, as amended on March 9, 1995, February 27, 1997, and February 8, 2000, (“Ida’s Trust”) and appointing an interim trustee. Defendant-appellant Plattenburg & Associates, Inc., (“Plattenburg”) an accounting firm and Mowry’s employer during the time Mowry served as a trustee of Robert’s Trust, also appealed the probate court’s judgment removing the former trustees and appointing an interim trustee of Robert’s Trust and Ida’s Trust (collectively, “the family trust”). After our review of the record, we are convinced that the probate court did not abuse its discretion in removing the former trustees from serving as fiduciaries of the family trust and that the former trustees were afforded due process prior to their removal. Accordingly, we affirm the probate court’s judgment

State of Ohio v. Immanuel David Lee
Case #C190257

Quote from Judgment Entry:

Defendant-appellant Immanuel David Lee entered a plea of guilty to one count of intimidation of a witness in violation of R.C. 2921.04(B)(1) and one count of violating a protection order in violation of R.C. 2919.27(A)(2). The counts arose from Lee’s contact with a witness in a criminal case in an attempt to prevent that witness’s testimony. Both counts were felonies of the third degree, which carried a possible sentence of nine to 36 months in the penitentiary.

At sentencing, the trial court merged the protection-order-violation count with the intimidation count and sentenced Lee to 36 months in prison on that charge. As to sentencing, the trial court said:

I am always inclined to give somebody a second chance if the indication is that they will not be a recidivist or cause violence or commit other crimes while they’re on community control. However, in this case because of the underlying cases that related to the protective order, that was serious injury, a broken nose and other psychological and physical injuries to Ms. Bradford, and the fact that the very detailed clinical evaluation that was given on Mr. Lee in which they indicated that he has an unspecified bipolar disorder and is on psychotropic medication, and the indication that he’s been discharged from any residential treatment that would be available to him and no assurance because the prognosis is guarded that he would remain on psychotropic medication, I find that a prison sentence is indicated on Count [One], and the sentence will be that you are confined in the Department of Corrections for a period of 36 months * * *.

In one assignment of error, Lee claims that the trial court improperly imposed a 36-month prison sentence.

State of Ohio v. Thomas Walker
Case #C190193

Quote from Judge Mock's Opinion:

Following a jury trial, defendant-appellant Thomas Walker was convicted of murder under R.C. 2903.02(A), gross abuse of a corpse under R.C. 2927.01(B), tampering with evidence under R.C. 2921.12(A)(1), and having weapons while under a disability under R.C. 2923.13(A)(3). The trial court ordered the sentences on all four counts to be served consecutively, for a total sentence of 25 years to life in prison. We find no merit in Walker’s six assignments of error, and we affirm his convictions.

State of Ohio v. Miesha Hill
Case #C190188

Quote from Judgment Entry:

On January 15, 2019, defendant-appellant Miesha Hill went to her brother’s apartment to discuss with her mother an issue involving an automobile. The conversation quickly escalated into an argument, which became increasingly hostile. Hill’s brother repeatedly told Hill to leave, but she refused. As Hill began to make her way further into the residence, her brother stood in front of her and began moving her back toward the front door without touching her. Hill was backed up to the door, but still refused to leave. At this point, Hill grabbed her brother around the neck and began trying to choke him. Because her brother was much larger, Hill’s attack had little effect other than leaving scratch marks around his neck. At some point during the confrontation, Hill was holding the car key in her hand like a weapon, and at least one witness said that she punched her brother with that hand. During the encounter, Hill was knocked down and hit her head on a table. Hill eventually left the apartment, but was later charged with domestic violence, a misdemeanor of the first degree, in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A).

State of Ohio v. Tyrone Franklin
Case #C190047

Quote from Judgment Entry:

On August 22, 2018, Cincinnati Police Officer Kip Dunagan observed defendant-appellant Tyrone Franklin run a red light at the corner of Hopple Street and Colerain Avenue. Dunagan initiated a traffic stop for that offense. During the course of that investigation, Dunagan learned that Franklin’s driver’s license had been suspended. Dunagan also observed that the license plate on the vehicle Franklin was operating had expired in 2016. Franklin was cited for all three traffic offenses. After several continuances due to Franklin’s failure to appear, a trial was conducted on January 2, 2019. Dunagan testified to his observations relating to the traffic stop and his subsequent investigation. He also presented a certified record from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles relating to the status of Franklin’s driver’s license. During the course of the trial, Franklin objected “to these whole proceedings” and claimed that he was appearing before the judge “under duress.” Franklin presented a closing argument to the trial court, stating, “I want to make a closing argument as to that I only apply myself to the Constitution of the United States. Under the 14th Amendment, I have a constitutional right, not a privilege, to be on the roads that we pay for personal travel [sic].” Franklin was convicted for all three offenses.

Rhonda Y. Simpson v. Danny J. Ison, Pamela E. Ison, Boymel Arches, LLC
Case #C180686

Quote from Judge Zayas' Opinion:

Plaintiff-appellant Rhonda Simpson appeals the judgment of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, which granted summary judgment to defendant-appellee, Boymel Arches, LLC. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court’s judgment. Facts and Procedural History

On January 16, 2014, Simpson slipped and fell in a snow-covered parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant. On January 15, 2016, she filed a complaint for negligence against “Danny J. Ison and Pamela E. Ison dba McDonald’s Restaurant.” Simpson alleged that “the Defendants failed to maintain the parking lot in a safe and hazard free manner,” and as a result, Simpson fell and suffered injuries. About a year later, Simpson voluntarily dismissed her complaint pursuant to Civ.R 41(A). She refiled an identical complaint on June 20, 2018.

Maternal Grandmother, as Administrator of the Estate of G.B., a deceased minor, Maternal Grandmother, Individually v. Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, Hamilton County Ohio, Denise Driehaus, Chris Monzel, Todd Portune, Shamara Stephens, a.k.a. Shamara Hooks-Ware, Kassie Setty, Lumadi Lavusa, Father of G.B., Mother of G.B.
Case #C180662

Quote from Judge Mock's Opinion:

The trial court did not err when it granted the motions of Hamilton County, the Hamilton County Commissioners, the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (“HCJFS”) and its employees for judgment on the pleadings for the claims of wrongful death and related claims brought on behalf of the estate of a child who died in the custody of her parents. Child’s Murder by Parents Leads to Litigation

G.B. was born in January 2013. She was immediately taken into the custody of the defendant-appellee HCJFS because of previous issues with defendant mother and defendant father. Mother participated in services and the Hamilton County Juvenile Court granted temporary custody of G.B. to mother in September 2013, while HCJFS retained protective custody of G.B. HCJFS’s protective custody was terminated two months later as mother continued to comply with court orders.