Friday First District Roundup 5-8-20

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

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State of Ohio v. Gregory Scott
Case #C190500

Quote from Judgment Entry:

Defendant-appellant Gregory Scott appeals the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court’s judgment overruling his “Motion to Vacate Sentence Due to Void, Invalid Plea Agreement.” We affirm the court’s judgment as modified to dismiss the motion.

Scott was convicted in 2000 upon guilty pleas to aggravated robbery and aggravated murder. The trial court imposed for aggravated robbery a ten-year prison term and for aggravated murder an agreed term of life with parole eligibility after 20 years, with a consecutive three-year term for the accompanying firearm specification, and ordered that those sentences be served concurrently. Scott took no direct appeal from his convictions. Nor did he appeal the common pleas court’s judgment overruling his 2013 motion under Crim.R. 32.1 to withdraw his pleas.

In re: E.R.M.
Case #C190391

Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:

In this parental custody case, the magistrate awarded legal custody to nonparents, but the juvenile court reversed course and granted custody to Father. In so doing, however, the juvenile court applied the incorrect legal standard and, while it purported to reject the magistrate’s factual findings, it paradoxically seemed to stand by them. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the juvenile court’s judgment.

This case began in November 2016 with the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (“HCJFS”) receiving interim custody of E.R.M. per an agreement with the child’s mother and placing her in the care of Sara Geil, one of Mother’s cousins. A couple of months later, in January 2017, the magistrate adjudicated E.R.M. dependent, committing her to the temporary custody of HCJFS. At the adjudication hearing, Mother stipulated to the complaint alleging her substance abuse and Father’s absence from the child’s life. Father did not attend the adjudication hearing, but instead appeared on the custody scene over a year later in April 2018.

State of Ohio v. Kyle Eads
Case #C190215

Quote from Judge Winkler's Opinion:

This appeal of a driving-under-the-influence conviction involves the trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress medical records containing tests for intoxicants that hospital staff administered for medical purposes when treating the defendant-appellant Kyle Eads after he was seriously injured in a car accident. A law enforcement officer obtained those medical records from the hospital without a warrant, relying on state statutes that direct a “health care provider” to supply patient alcohol- and drug-test results to law enforcement when the requesting officer indicates that the individual is the subject of an “official criminal investigation * * * or proceeding.” R.C. 2317.02(B)(2)(a) and 2317.022.

We hold that the officer’s warrantless acquisition of Eads’s medical records was in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Eads retained a reasonable expectation of privacy in the alcohol- and drug-test results created during his emergency treatment, even though R.C. 2317.02(B)(2)(a) and 2317.022 ostensibly required the hospital to comply with the officer’s request for the information and the information is exempt from Ohio’s physician-patient privilege. We further determine the officer’s reliance on the statutes to obtain the records was in good faith, as more fully discussed below. Consequently, we hold that the exclusionary rule does not require the suppression of those unlawfully obtained test results. For this reason, we conclude that the trial court did not err by denying the motion to suppress. Accordingly, we affirm Eads’s conviction.