Friday First District Roundup 6-25-21

Xinyuan Tan v. James Hahn 
Case #C200277 
Quote from Judgment Entry:
Plaintiff-appellant Xinyuan Tan (“mother”) appeals the decision of the trial court modifying the shared-parenting plan between mother and defendant-appellee James Hahn (“father”). In mother’s sole assignment of error, she argues that the trial court imposed unreasonable restrictions on mother’s ability to travel internationally with her daughter.

Jonathan Michael Cobb v. Araceli Ortiz 
Case #C200276
Quote from Judge Myers' Opinion:
This appeal arises from postdecree proceedings in a divorce case. Defendant-appellant Araceli Ortiz appeals the judgment of the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court denying her motion to find plaintiff-appellee Jonathan Michael Cobb in contempt and to require Cobb to sign a passport renewal application for their now 15-year-old child, and modifying the parties’ sharedparenting decree and plan. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
The parties divorced in 2011. The parties’ shared-parenting plan was incorporated into a final shared-parenting decree and contained a provision allowing Ortiz, originally from Colima, Mexico, to travel with their son to Mexico: “Mother shall be permitted to vacation with the minor child with her relatives in Mexico once per year.”
In June 2019, Ortiz filed a “motion to have [Cobb] sign passport application [and] for contempt for failure to ‘allow’ [Ortiz] to go to Mexico with son for vacation.” 

Sun Building Limited Partnership, et al., Ohio Attorney General, Ohio Department of Education v. Value Learning & Teaching Academy, Inc., d.b.a. VLT Academy, et al., Valerie Lee, Clyde Lee, Echole Harris 
Case #C180244
Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion: In this debacle concerning the collapse of a community school (also known as a charter school), the superintendent ran the school into the ground, but managed to enrich herself and her family along the way. Not only were public funds squandered in this fiasco, but the scandal detrimentally impacted the lives of countless children, often from disadvantaged backgrounds. Ohio law imposes stiff penalties on its public officials for having a personal financial interest in the transactions of their public offices, and in the wake of the school’s insolvency, this action involves the Ohio attorney general’s efforts to hold the superintendent and her family accountable.
After a trial on a stipulated record, the trial court found the superintendent strictly liable for the amounts of the conflicted transactions, and also determined that all the family members should relinquish their wages. Relatedly, the court held that the contracts between the school and the superintendent’s husband’s company constituted a pattern of corrupt activity, imposing treble damages. Ultimately, we affirm the strict liability claim against the superintendent and the reclamation of the family’s wages. However, we disagree with the trial court’s holding that the contracts with the husband’s company constituted a pattern of corrupt activity, and we reverse the liability determination and damages under Ohio’s racketeering statute.

State of Ohio v. Herbert Merz 
Case #C200152
Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:
A day that began with anticipation—a 15th-birthday adventure to search for arrowheads—ended in terror as a young girl’s stepfather secluded her in the woods and sexually assaulted her. Fortunately, she fended off his advances and called the police, and defendant-appellant Herbert Merz ultimately pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition and abduction arising out of this attack. On appeal, Mr. Merz primarily argues that his two convictions should have merged as allied offenses because any restraint was incidental to the sexual assault. After reviewing the law and the record, we agree and remand this cause to the trial court for resentencing.
Mr. Merz offered to take his stepdaughter, on the evening of her 15th birthday, to a “special place” to look for arrowheads. He then drove her to a secluded, wooded area along the Ohio River, even venturing past a driveway marked as “no trespassing.” Soon after the two arrived and exited his van, however, Mr. Merz began kissing his stepdaughter on the neck. She demanded that he stop, but Mr. Merz responded by pushing her onto the front passenger seat where he forced himself on top of her and began to grope her.

State of Ohio v. Louis Jefferson 
Case #C200135
Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:
In the wake of an incompetency determination, the trial court ordered that defendant-appellant Louis Jefferson be involuntarily medicated in order to restore his competency. Mr. Jefferson now appeals that involuntary-medication edict, challenging the court’s findings as against the manifest weight of the evidence. After reviewing the record, however, we conclude that the court’s findings were supported by at least some competent evidence and affirm its judgment.
Mr. Jefferson was indicted for murder, felonious assault, and tampering with evidence. But this occurred against a documented history of mental health issues for Mr. Jefferson, including schizophrenia, and the trial court deemed him incompetent to stand trial. The court further determined that, with treatment, a substantial likelihood existed that Mr. Jefferson could be restored to competency within a year. He was accordingly committed to Summit Behavioral Health for that purpose, but things didn’t go as planned because he refused to take any medication, opting instead to “cleanse” his body through a regiment of diet and exercise. 

State of Ohio v. Jason Boeh 
Case #C200108 
Quote from Judgment Entry:
Jason Boeh appeals from his conviction on one count of violating a protection order issued pursuant to R.C. 3113.31. Boeh raises one assignment of error, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction, as well as the weight given to it by the jury.
Boeh does not dispute that he was the subject of a valid domestic violence civil protection order issued by the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. In part, that temporary order protected Boeh’s spouse and three minors, ordered Boeh to “immediately vacate” the family residence, and granted Boeh’s spouse “exclusive possession of the residence.” The order further made a limited provision for Boeh to enter the residence to collect his “clothing and personal effects, as arranged by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department.” 

State of Ohio v. Fernando Terry 
Case #C200105 
Quote from Judge Myers' Opinion:
Defendant-appellant Fernando Terry appeals his conviction for assault, arguing in a single assignment of error that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Finding his argument to be without merit, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
Factual and Procedural Background
Following an altercation with Teninnah Ross, Terry was charged with assault, a first-degree misdemeanor in violation of R.C. 2903.13. At a jury trial, the state presented evidence that Terry accosted Ross, his on-again/off-again girlfriend, in her driveway. Terry claimed he acted in self-defense.
In her opening statement, Terry’s counsel raised the issue of selfdefense, telling the jury that Ross slapped Terry first, and he hit her back in selfdefense. 

State of Ohio v. Dawson Denney 
Case #C200066
Quote from Judge Myers' Opinion:
Defendant-appellant Dawson Denney pled guilty to burglary, a felony of the third degree in violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(3), and was sentenced to three years in prison. Denney appeals his conviction, arguing in a single assignment of error that the trial court erred in imposing a maximum sentence.
Pursuant to R.C. 2953.08(G)(2)(a), we may modify or vacate a defendant’s sentence only if we clearly and convincingly find that the sentence is contrary to law or that the record does not support the trial court’s findings under certain enumerated statutes, including R.C. 2929.13(B), R.C. 2929.13(D), R.C. 2929.14(B)(2)(e), R.C. 2929.14(C)(4), and R.C. 2929.20(I). State v. Bronson, 1st Dist. Hamilton No. C-200151, 2021-Ohio-838, ¶ 2; State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio St.3d 516, 2016-Ohio-1002, 59 N.E.3d 1231, ¶ 22-23.
Here, Denney’s sentence fell within the available sentencing range for a felony of the third degree and was not contrary to law. And the trial court was not required to make any findings in this case prior to imposing sentence. 

Mr. Clint Cornell, P.A., Dr. Alan Vee, As Individuals and also Derivatively on behalf of Peak Performance Medical, LLC; Community First Injury Care, Inc., (d.b.a. Community First Worx); MYONCALL/MD; Active Health Holdings, Inc.; and Complete Medical Sales & Services, LLC ("Companies"), Dr. David Ellison v. W. Curtis Shain 
Case #C190722
Quote from Judge Winkler's Opinion:
This is an appeal from an order of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas finding Clint Cornell and Allen Bee in contempt. The contempt finding related to Cornell’s and Bee’s failure to comply with an order to pay over $260,000 to a receiver for safekeeping during litigation involving companies owned in part by Cornell and Bee. Upon finding Cornell and Bee in contempt, the court provided Cornell and Bee the ability to purge the contempt by paying the overdue funds within ten days of the contempt finding.
Cornell and Bee challenge both the contempt finding and the underlying order upon which it is based. We conclude they waived their right to challenge the underlying order by not filing a timely appeal. Further, we hold they failed to demonstrate error with respect to the finding of contempt. However, we determine the purge condition was unreasonable. Accordingly, we affirm the finding of contempt, reverse the part of the order setting forth the purge condition, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion

State of Ohio v. Tyrone Sellers 
Case #C190049 
Quote from Judgment Entry:
Defendant-appellant Tyrone Sellers represented himself at trial. A jury found him guilty of aggravated robbery and having a weapon while under a disability, with accompanying specifications. The trial court imposed an aggregate prison term of six years. Sellers now appeals, asserting three assignments of error. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that Sellers had entered a UDF convenience store wearing a mask, brandishing a gun and announcing to the occupants of the store, “Ya’ll know what this is.” A customer then wrestled the gun away from Sellers and shot him in the left hand. In his first assignment of error, Sellers contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his statements made to police