Friday First District Roundup 9-27-19

Phillip James Schaefer v. Tatiana Mazii
Case #C180484

Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:

In a case brimming with international intrigue and polygamy, we tackle today a procedural issue—whether the trial court correctly granted relief from judgment to enable one of the ex-wives at issue to reopen divorce proceedings in Hamilton County when she did not appear properly served and when the ex-husband neglected to inform the court of his multiple wives at the time he secured a default judgment. On the facts at hand, the trial court properly exercised its discretion in granting the motion, and we accordingly affirm the judgment below.

Lori A. McKenna v. Peter J. McKenna
Case # C180475

Quote from Judge Winkler's Opinion:

Defendant-appellant Peter J. McKenna (“Husband”) appeals from a final decree of divorce, challenging the domestic-relations court’s valuation of his business property. The domestic-relations court valued Husband’s property in reliance on an expert appraisal submitted by plaintiff-appellee Lori A. McKenna (“Wife”). Because we determine that the domestic-relations court’s decision to adopt Wife’s appraisal over Husband’s was not against the manifest weight of the evidence, and the court did not otherwise abuse its discretion in dividing the parties’ marital property, we affirm.

Ditech Financial, LLC v. Kalemba Balimunkwe
Case #C180445

Quote from Judge Mock's Decision:

Because a genuine issue of material fact remains to be determined in this foreclosure action, we reverse the decision of the trial court to grant summary judgment.

State of Ohio v. Robert Denike
Case # C180299

Quote from Judge Zayas' Opinion:

In 2003, defendant-appellant Robert Denike was indicted for attempted murder, rape, and felonious assault. All counts carried repeat-violentoffender and sexually-violent-predator specifications. In exchange for the dismissal of the attempted-murder count and the specifications to all counts, on June 25, 2003, Denike pleaded guilty to rape and felonious assault. The trial court imposed an agreed aggregate term of 15 years’ imprisonment.

After Denike was released from prison on parole, he was returned to the trial court on May 16, 2018, for a sexual-offender-classification hearing under former R.C. Chapter 2950, Ohio’s version of Megan’s Law. Denike was already registering as a habitual sexual offender pursuant to a March 6, 2000 order entered in another case.

State of Ohio v. Lamar Simmons
Case #C180200

Quote from Judgment Entry:

We consider this appeal on the accelerated calendar, and this judgment entry is not an opinion of the court. See Rep.Op.R. 3.1; App.R. 11.1(E); 1st Dist. Loc.R. 11.1.1.

Defendant-petitioner-appellant Lamar Simmons presents on appeal a single assignment of error challenging the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court’s judgments denying his petition under R.C. 2953.21 et seq. for postconviction relief and overruling his Crim.R. 33 motion for a new trial. We overrule the assignment of error and affirm the court’s judgment as modified.

Simmons was convicted in 2013 of murder and having weapons while under a disability. In 2014, in his direct appeal, this court reversed the convictions in part and remanded for consecutive-sentencing findings. State v. Simmons, 2014-Ohio-3695, 19 N.E.3d 517 (1st Dist.). A series of remands and resentencings culminated in the imposition, in 2018, of consecutive terms of confinement of life without parole for 15 years on the murder charge and 36 months on the weapons charge. He did not timely appeal the 2018 judgment of conviction.

Gina L. Watson v. Ohio Ambulance Solutions, LLC
Case #C180517

Quote from Judgment Entry:

We consider this appeal on the accelerated calendar, and this judgment entry is not an opinion of the court. See Rep.Op.R. 3.1; App.R. 11.1(E); 1st Dist. Loc.R. 11.1.1.

Gina L. Watson appeals the judgment of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas dismissing her claims against her former employer, Ohio Ambulance Solutions, LLC, (“OAS”). In four assignments of error, Watson argues that the trial court erred by: (1) granting summary judgment in favor of OAS “in violation of Civ.R. 8, and after referral to mediation and until trial on the merits”; (2) granting summary judgment in favor of OAS without giving her “fair opportunity to expand her prima facie case”; (3) dismissing the complaint “as one for summary judgment and with prejudice—without fair notice and opportunity for a more definite statement”; and (4) “by denying her Rule 60(B) motion thus violating the plaintiff’s right for the case to be adjudicated upon the merits and by ‘substantial evidence’ metrics.”

Village of Silverton, Hamilton County, Ohio v. LLK Properties, Inc.
Case #C180188

Quote from Judgment Entry:

We consider these appeals on the accelerated calendar, and this judgment entry is not an opinion of the court. See Rep.Op.R. 3.1; App.R. 11.1(E); 1st Dist. Loc.R. 11.1.1.

Village of Silverton (“Silverton”) appeals from the judgment entry on a jury verdict awarding LLK Properties, Inc., (“LLK”) $661,000 for the city’s appropriation of its property. LLK appeals from the judgment of the trial court concluding that Silverton’s appropriation was for the purpose of a road improvement project. We overrule the assignments of error, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Ohio v. Derius Powell
Case # C170710

Quote from Judgment Entry:

We consider this appeal on the accelerated calendar, and this judgment entry is not an opinion of the court. See Rep.Op.R. 3.1; App.R. 11.1(E); 1st Dist. Loc.R. 11.1.1.

Defendant-appellant Derius Powell was charged with aggravated robbery for three separate robberies of different stores. Police believed that he committed the robberies with his cousin Billy Freeman and a man known as G. The first robbery occurred at the Reading Food Mart. At trial, the clerk testified that two individuals entered the store—one taller and one shorter. The taller man had a black gun with a green laser sight, and pointed the gun at him. The other person went to the register and removed cash. The second robbery occurred at a Cash America. At trial, the clerk testified that an individual indicated he wanted to be buzzed in. When the shorter man was allowed in, a taller man entered with him. The tall man again had a black gun with a green laser sight. The tall man pointed the gun at the clerk and emptied the register. The third robbery occurred at a United Dairy Farmers. At trial, the clerk testified that one tall and one shorter man entered the store. In this case, the shorter man had the black gun with the green laser site. The taller man approached her and demanded money. The shorter man pointed the gun in her face when she was not moving fast enough, and asked her if she wanted to die.

State of Ohio v. Kevin Johnson
Case #C170354

Quote from Judge Zayas' Opinion:

Kevin Johnson appeals his convictions, after a jury trial, for trafficking in and possession of cocaine, both felonies of the first degree, with major-drugoffender specifications. Johnson contends that the police unlawfully searched his car, the testimony of the state’s fingerprint expert should have been excluded, the testimony of several police officers was inadmissible opinion testimony, the evidence was insufficient to sustain the convictions, the convictions were contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence, the prosecutor committed misconduct by failing to provide an expert report, the police unlawfully searched his brother’s home, he was denied the right to the effective assistance of counsel, and the cumulative effect of the errors violated his rights. Finding his assignments of error without merit, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

The following facts are taken from the evidence presented at the motion to suppress and the trial.

Robert Wilson v. Abubakar Atiq Durrani, M.D., Center for Advanced Spine Technologies, Inc., West Chester Hospital, LLC, UC Health
Case #C180196

Quote from Judge Zayas' Opinion:

Appellants Robert Wilson, Mike Sand and his wife, Amber Sand (collectively, the “appellants”), appeal from judgments entered by the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas granting judgment on the pleadings to appellees Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani, the Center for Advanced Spine Technologies, Inc., West Chester Hospital, LLC, and UC Health. Although the appellants instituted separate appeals from separate judgments and we previously denied motions to consolidate their appeals, the appellants advance identical assignments of error pertaining to very similar facts. We, therefore, consolidate their appeals for purposes of this opinion.

Mike Sand, Amber Sand v. Abubakar Atiq Durrani, M.D., Center for Advanced Spine Technologies, Inc., West Chester Hospital, LLC, UC Health
Case #C180194

Quote from Judge Zayas' Opinion:

Appellants Robert Wilson, Mike Sand and his wife, Amber Sand (collectively, the “appellants”), appeal from judgments entered by the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas granting judgment on the pleadings to appellees Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani, the Center for Advanced Spine Technologies, Inc., West Chester Hospital, LLC, and UC Health. Although the appellants instituted separate appeals from separate judgments and we previously denied motions to consolidate their appeals, the appellants advance identical assignments of error pertaining to very similar facts. We, therefore, consolidate their appeals for purposes of this opinion.