Friday First District Roundup (9/9)

Please join us for a 3 part CLE starting on Thursday, October 20, 2022, 2022, 12-1:30 PM, as we partner with the YWCA.  Danielle Firsich, Manager of Non-Residential Domestic Violence Services at YWCA Greater Cincinnati, will be teaching about gender based violence.  You can attend 1 or all 3 programs.

Thursday, October 20, 2022, 12-1:30
Training Learning Objectives, General Training I

Thursday, November 3, 2022, 12-1:30 PM
Domestic Violence Injury Patterns, Lethality, and Strangulation

Thursday, November 17, 2022, 12-1:30 PM
Working with Underserved Survivors, Immigrants & Interpreters

This is a online class and we will send you a Zoom meeting link and password closer to the CLE date. This program is applied for 1.5 hours of credit in Ohio for each session & 1.5 hour of general credit for each session in Kentucky.
This CLE is available at no charge to local government officials and to HCLL subscribers.

09/09/2022
Vandercar, LLC v. The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority
C-210643, C-210665, C-220130
Quote from Judge Myers:
The deterioration of the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati had long been an obstacle to the city’s efforts to attract convention business. In 2019, Vandercar, LLC, entered into a $36 million purchase contract with the hotel’s former owners in order to facilitate the redevelopment of the hotel “as a four-star (or better) convention center hotel.” Several months later, Vandercar assigned its interest in the contract to the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (“the Port”) in exchange for two potential fees totaling $7.5 million. The Port acquired the hotel property and paid Vandercar one of its potential fees, in the amount of $2.5 million. However, although demolition on the Millennium Hotel was completed in 2022, the dust has not yet settled on the parties’ dispute over the Port’s obligation to pay Vandercar the second fee of $5 million.
Vandercar sued the Port for breach of contract and bad faith, claiming it was owed additional fees when the Port issued revenue bonds that included funds for demolition of the hotel and other activities that Vandercar claimed were for redevelopment. The trial court granted summary judgment in Vandercar’s favor on its breach-of-contract claim in the amount of $5 million, but denied its motion for prejudgment interest. The court granted the Port’s motion for partial judgment on the pleadings on Vandercar’s bad-faith claim. Both parties have appealed.

The trial court properly entered summary judgment in favor of a developer on its breach-of-contract claim against a port authority because no genuine issue of material fact remained—under the plain meaning of the terms used in the parties’ contract, the revenue bonds issued by the port authority included “Redevelopment Bonds,” which triggered the port authority’s obligation to pay the developer its “Redevelopment Fee,” as set forth in the contract.

Although a duty of good faith and fair dealing is implied in every contract, there is no independent cause of action for a breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing separate from the underlying breach-of-contract claim.

Although an award of attorney fees is generally not available in contract actions, in an exceptional case, a party may recover attorney fees if it can establish bad faith on the part of the breaching party.

The trial court erred by granting a Civ.R. 12(C) motion for judgment on the pleadings when, taking the allegations of plaintiff’s complaint as true, a question of fact remained as to whether defendant engaged in bad-faith conduct.

A port authority is an arm of the state and cannot be held liable for prejudgment interest on damages assessed in a contract action in the absence of a statutory or contractual provision requiring it.

JUDGMENT:             AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CAUSE REMANDED

09/09/2022
State of Ohio v. Hassan Arnold
C-210541
Quote by Judge Zayas:
On September 6, 2021, Arnold was charged with making a telecommunication with the purpose to threaten Meredith Gibson in violation of R.C. 2917.21(B), a misdemeanor of the first degree. The case proceeded to a bench trial, where the state presented the testimony of Meredith Gibson, Nikia Bowman, and Officer Bittinger.
Gibson testified that she had two children with Arnold, but they were no longer in a relationship. On September 6, 2021, she had a phone conversation with Arnold while she was at her sister’s house. During the first conversation, Arnold asked if he could pick up their son. She told him she had plans that day, but that he could have their son the next day. He called her right back and asked about taking their son with him to a shelter. She said Arnold wanted to use their son to help him get into a shelter. She told him no. She testified, “And then, from there, he got mad.” She said the calls started getting really adamant and Arnold told her that he was going to “beat [her] ass” every time he saw her and make her life a “living fing hell” if she did not bring their son outside. He also threatened to burn her sister’s house down. He kept calling her. She guessed that Arnold made “at least” 25 calls over a period of an hour, around ten of which she answered. Arnold was parked outside her sister’s house. Her sister was in the room with her the entire time.

Defendant’s conviction for telecommunications harassment was not against the manifest weight of the evidence where the evidence showed that, while the initial purpose of the telephone calls was to retrieve his son, his purpose shifted to threatening or harassing the victim into changing her mind once she refused to give him their son. 
JUDGMENT:  AFFIRMED

09/09/2022
State of Ohio v. Jermaine Champion
C-210534, C-210604
Quote by Judge Crouse:
On January 3, 2020, Champion was charged with aggravated murder, murder, felony murder, felonious assault, and having weapons under disability. The aggravated-murder, murder, felony-murder, and felonious-assault charges each carried firearm specifications. The matter proceeded to a jury trial, but ended in a mistrial.
On October 6, 2021, Champion waived his right to a jury trial and entered into a plea agreement. Champion pleaded guilty to an amended and reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter, in violation of R.C. 2903.04(A), with a three year firearm specification (count 3),
1 felonious assault, in violation of R.C. 2903.11A(A)(1), with a three-year firearm specification (count 4), and having weapons while under disability, in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(3) (count 5). The plea agreement included an agreed recommended aggregate sentence of 19 years and specified that the sentences for counts 3 and 4, including the attendant firearm specifications would be served consecutively, while the sentence for count 5 would be served concurrently. In exchange, the state dismissed the remaining charges and specifications.

Pursuant to R.C. 2953.08(D)(1), defendant’s sentences were not subject to appellate review where defendant waived the allied-offenses issue by stipulation, and the trial court imposed the sentences as jointly recommended by defendant and the prosecution.

Defense counsel was not ineffective for drafting, and counseling his client to enter into, a plea agreement where the sentences, for offenses which defendant claimed were allied, would be served consecutively.

JUDGMENT:  AFFIRMED