It’s Friday! First District Roundup (8/26)

The Hamilton County Law Library will be Closed on September 5, 2022 in observance of Labor Day! Enjoy the 3 day weekend!

In re: S Children
C-210672, C-210680, C-220005, C-220006
Per Curiam.
This case originated with the death of A.S., and the subsequent complaint filed by the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (“HCJFS”) alleging that A.S. and his surviving siblings are abused, neglected, and dependent, and requesting an order of permanent custody to HCJFS. The juvenile court refused to adjudicate A.S. abused, but adjudicated the remaining children dependent, and issued a dispositional order granting legal custody of the surviving minor S. children to relatives. Because we determine that the juvenile court was required to dismiss HCJFS’s second amended complaint without prejudice under former R.C. 2151.35(B)(1), we reverse the judgment of the juvenile court and instruct the juvenile court to dismiss HCJFS’s complaint without prejudice.

The juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to hold a dispositional hearing on a complaint for permanent custody filed by the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services because the juvenile court conducted the hearing after the 90-day deadline in former R.C. 2151.35(B)(1) had expired, and the statute required the court to dismiss the complaint without prejudice.   

Bryan Massong v. Ashlee Tyner
Quote from Judge Bergeron:
Mr. Massong and Ms. Tyner are the biological parents of E.M., born in June 2014. Their relationship was acrimonious to say the least, marred by allegations of domestic violence and abuse by both parties. The turbulent relationship ended in the summer of 2015, when E.M. was approximately one year old. Shortly after, Ms. Tyner began dating James Dwolf, her now husband and E.M.’s stepfather.
The parties attempted to handle custody and visitation between themselves initially but that proved untenable. Mr. Massong filed a petition for custody or shared parenting in November 2016. An agreed parenting plan was entered in August 2017, granting Ms. Tyner legal custody and awarding Mr. Massong visitation every Tuesday and every other weekend. Unfortunately, having a formal shared-parenting plan and visitation schedule in place failed to alleviate the hostility between the parties.        

        In a parental-custody case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by limiting father’s parenting time where there was no change of circumstances, a best-interest analysis was not required, and the decision was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

State of Ohio v. Donald E. Morgan
Quote from Judge Bock:
When appellant-defendant Donald Morgan was on parole in 2021, parole officers Michael Wilson and Kristin Abbott visited Morgan at a home in Loveland, Ohio. As a condition of his parole, Morgan was prohibited from having contact with his wife. During the visit, Wilson allegedly spotted Morgan’s wife in the house. Wilson confronted Morgan and attempted to arrest him for the parole violation as Morgan held his two-and-a-half-year-old son.
At the bench trial on the child-endangerment charge, the state presented testimony from Loveland Police Officer Mike Boettger and parole officers Abbott and Wilson. According to Abbott, Wilson was approximately three feet from Morgan when Wilson instructed Morgan to “put his kid down and put his hands behind his back.” Abbot testified that Morgan threw his son at Wilson, describing it as a “launch” and “a pretty hefty throw.” Likewise, Wilson testified that Morgan “projected his son towards me, threw him towards me.”

             The defendant’s appeal challenging his misdemeanor conviction for child endangerment is not moot where collateral consequences exist and the record indicates that the defendant was a party to an existing child custody dispute, which necessarily involves the trial court considering a child endangerment conviction.
The state’s evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction for child endangerment under R.C. 2919.22(A) when the state’s witness testified that the father threw his child at an unsuspecting police officer and fled from the scene after the child hit a countertop, fell onto a tiled floor, and cried out.

B.G. Staffing, LLC, d.b.a. American Partners v. Lancesoft Inc., d.b.a. Zanett Commercial Solutions Inc.
Quote from Judge Bock:
Defendant-appellant LanceSoft Inc., d.b.a. Zanett Commercial Solutions, Inc., (“LanceSoft”) appeals the trial court’s judgment denying LanceSoft’s Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from a default judgment granted in favor of plaintiffappellee B.G. Staffing LLC, d.b.a. American Partners (“B.G. Staffing”). In response, B.G. Staffing maintains that the matter became moot upon the satisfaction of the default judgment through garnishment, and the release of the garnished funds. We agree and dismiss this appeal as moot.
I. Facts and Procedure
In 2017, B.G. Staffing provided services to Zanett Commercial Solutions (“Zanett”). Dennis Harkins, the former president and chief financial officer of Zanett’s parent company, approved all invoices related to those services. When Zanett failed to pay, B.G. Staffing sued KPMG LLP, d.b.a Zanett Commercial Solutions, Inc., (“KMPG”) for $145,460 in damages in Franklin County, Ohio. Upon learning that Zanett was not a subsidiary of KMPG, B.G. Staffing amended its complaint to dismiss KPMG and named LanceSoft—Harkins’s current company—as the defendant. The amended complaint sought damages through an action on account and theories of unjust enrichment and quantum meruit.

            Defendant’s appeal of the trial court’s order denying defendant’s Civ.R. 60(B) motion for relief from judgment was rendered moot when defendant had notice of the proceedings but failed seek a stay of the default judgment, failed to seek a stay before plaintiff entered a satisfaction of judgment, and failed to seek a stay before the funds were disbursed to plaintiff.

Derrick D. Blassingame v. Aftab Pureval, Christopher Wagner
Judgement 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. Relator appellant Derrick D. Blassingame appeals pro se the trial court’s order declaring him a vexatious litigator and dismissing his complaint for a writ of mandamus against the respondents-appellees. For the following reasons, we overrule all five of Mr. Blassingame’s assignments of error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.
In September 2020, Derrick D. Blassingame filed a complaint (“Pureval I”) for a writ of mandamus against the respondents-appellees in their capacity as public officials seeking to compel them to provide public records that would supposedly establish a pattern of discriminatory debt collection practices. Mr. Blassingame failed to properly caption that complaint, and the trial court dismissed the case accordingly. Mr. Blassingame immediately appealed that judgment. That appeal was pending when Mr. Blassingame filed an identical complaint (“Pureval II”) that was properly captioned.

State of Ohio v. Termel Guyton
Quote from Judge Winkler:
In May 2019, Guyton was indicted on one count of trafficking in cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine, both with major-drug-offender specifications and charged as first-degree felonies. The charges related to conduct occurring after March 22, 2019, the effective date of the Reagan Tokes Law. The offenses are qualifying offenses under the indefinite sentencing provisions set forth
in that law.
In November 2019, the state and Guyton entered into a plea bargain. Guyton pled guilty to the trafficking count in exchange for dismissal of the possession count and both specifications. The trial court accepted Guyton’s guilty plea. At the sentencing hearing that immediately followed, Guyton complained about the indefinite sentence and advocated for a three-year definite term.

             Defendant cannot demonstrate that the indefinite sentencing scheme embodied in the Reagan Tokes Law is unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt:  the law does not violate the separation-of-powers doctrine, because the judiciary imposes the sentence that is enforced by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (“ODRC”), an executive branch agency, using a presumptive release date; the law does not violate substantive-due-process rights or the right to equal protection under the law, because the indefinite sentencing scheme creating a presumptive release date that affects only those convicted of non-life-sentence felony offenses of the first and second degree is rationally related to the state’s goal in reducing recidivism for serious offenders by incentivizing good conduct in prison as observed by those overseeing the prisons; and finally, where the statute directing ODRC action that affects the deprivation of an offender’s liberty interest does not preclude notice to an offender and specifically contemplates a hearing, it must be read as one with the constitutional requirements of procedural due process, and therefore, a set of circumstances exists under which the challenged statute satisfies procedural due process. [But see DISSENT:  The Reagan Tokes Law facially violates procedural due process because the General Assembly failed to include basic procedural-due-process protections in the legislation.]