Articles Posted in Ohio Supreme Court

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On May 6, 2013, one day before the primary, Coughlin filed a nominating petition as a candidate the office of clerk of courts for the Stow Municipal Court in the November general election. Coughlin is a qualified elector and satisfies the statutory requirements to run for the Stow Municipal Court clerkship. On July 11, 2013, an elector, Nelsch, filed a protest, challenging Coughlin’s ability to run as either a nonpartisan or independent candidate by setting out Coughlin’s long history of association with the Republican Party. Coughlin responded in writing and at the board’s July 15, 2013 protest hearing. Coughlin argued that he was running as a nonpartisan candidate, not an independent candidate, and that the requirement of disaffiliation applies only to independent candidates. The board voted unanimously to sustain the protest and deny Coughlin’s petition. The Ohio Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus, holding that there is no statutory provision extending the disaffiliation requirement to candidates for nonpartisan office. View "Coughlin v. Summit Cty. Bd. of Elections" on Justia Law

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On January 31, 2013, Yeager submitted a declaration of candidacy to the Richland County Board of Elections, to seek the Republican Party nomination to represent the 5th Ward in the Mansfield City Council. His petitions contained sufficient valid signatures. Yeager was the only person to file a declaration of candidacy. R.C. 3513.02 provides that if in an odd-numbered year, the number of declared candidates seeking a particular party’s nomination does not exceed the number of candidates that party is entitled to nominate, then no primary will be held, and election officials shall certify the declared candidate(s) for inclusion on the general-election ballot. The board of elections certified Yeager’s candidacy for the general-election ballot without a primary, at its March 14, 2013 meeting. On April 2, 2013, the board determined that Yeager was not a qualified elector in the 5th Ward and did not reside at 462 Lily Street, the address listed on his voter-registration form. On July 9, the board officially voted to remove Yeager’s name from the November ballot. The Ohio Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus, holding that the board, which had not received a written protest or held a hearing, acted untimely and in disregard of clearly-established law. View "Yeager v. Richland Cty. Bd. of Elections" on Justia Law

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Following an evidentiary hearing, the Brunswick City Council removed Appellant, a city council member, from office for violating section 3.05(b) of the Brunswick Charter. Afterwards, Appellee was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Appellant's removal. Appellant filed an administrative appeal from the city council's decision, and the court of common pleas affirmed. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal based on mootness. Before the common pleas court decided his administrative appeal, Appellant filed a writ of quo warranto requesting that Appellee be ousted and that he be restored to the office of council member. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to establish that the court of appeals erred in denying the requested extraordinary relief in quo warranto. View "State ex rel. Capretta v. Zamiska" on Justia Law

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This was an election contest regarding the office of state representative. Joshua O'Farrell and Al Landis were the candidates. After the general election, the county board of elections declared that Landis had defeated O'Farrell by fourteen votes. After an automatic recount was conducted, the county board of elections declared that Landis had defeated O'Farrell by eight votes. O'Farrell subsequently filed this case contesting the election. O'Farrell moved for an order to hand-count or permit inspection of thirteen ballots, which the chief justice denied. O'Farrell then moved the Supreme Court for an order compelling production of the ballots, to extend the deadline by which to submit evidence, and for leave to file a motion to supplement the motion to compel. The Court denied the motions after noting that O'Farrell would have the opportunity to present his arguments for a recount or visual inspection to the House of Representatives when the election petition was before that body, holding that because O'Farrell had not identified a genuine election irregularity in his petition, a visual inspection or production of the ballots to support that count was not justified at this time. View "O'Farrell v. Landis" on Justia Law

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Township, located in County, decided to place a tax levy for fire protection and emergency medical services in excess of the ten-mill limitation on the February 5, 2013 special-election ballot. The board of Township trustees adopted a resolution declaring it necessary to levy the additional levy and determined to proceed to have the tax question submitted to Township electors. The County board of elections voted unanimously to deny certification of the levy on the February 5, 2013 special-election ballot, determining that Township failed to submit the documents for the levy by the 4:00 p.m. deadline on November 7, 2012. On December 12, 2012, the Township board of trustees filed this expedited election action for writ of mandamus to compel the County board of elections to place the levy on the special-election ballot. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that the board of elections abused its discretion by refusing to place the levy on the ballot, where the fact that the resolution was time-stamped two minutes late harmed no one's rights, and that the people of Township should have the opportunity to determine whether the cuts to safety services that would occur without a levy are acceptable. View "State ex rel. Orange Twp. Bd. of Trs. v. Del. County Bd. of Elections" on Justia Law

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This was an original action challenging the decennial apportionment of districts in the General Assembly. At issue was whether the 2011 apportionment plan adopted by the apportionment board (Respondents) complied with Ohio Const. art. XI, 7 and 11. The Supreme Court denied Relators' request for declaratory and injunctive relief, holding that Relators failed to adduce sufficient, credible proof to rebut the presumed constitutionality accorded the 2011 apportionment plan by establishing that the plan was unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore, Relators were not entitled to a declaration that the 2011 apportionment plan was unconstitutional or a prohibitory injunction to prevent elections from being conducted in accordance with that plan. View "Wilson v. Kasich" on Justia Law

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This was an appeal from a judgment granting a writ of mandamus to compel Appellees, the county board of commissioners and the county board of elections, to hold a special election before January 1, 2013 to elect a judge for the newly created county municipal court for a one-year term in 2013. The court of appeals granted the writ to compel the special election. The Supreme Court (1) reversed the judgment of the court of appeals with regard to granting the special election and instead held that Appellants established their entitlement to a writ of mandamus to compel Appellees to conduct the November 6, 2012 election for the two part-time judgeships for the county court; (2) granted a writ of mandamus to compel the board of elections to accept the filed petitions and conduct the November 6, 2012 election for the judges of the county court; and (3) affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals insofar as the court held that the pertinent legislation was unconstitutional insofar as it appointed judges of the county court to the newly created county municipal court for 2013. View "State ex rel. Whitehead v. Sandusky County Bd. of Comm'rs" on Justia Law

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Appellant was appointed as the village of New Miami fiscal officer. Later the mayor discovered that Appellant failed to properly perform his duties as village fiscal officer, and the village council passed a resolution terminating Appellant's employment as fiscal officer without cause. The mayor subsequently appointed Appellee as the new village fiscal officer. Approximately three years later Appellant filed a complaint in the court of appeals for a writ of quo warranto ousting Appellee from the office of fiscal officer and reinstating him to the office. The court of appeals denied the writ and awarded Appellee reasonable attorney fees and expenses. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the judgment denying the writ of quo warranto and most of the challenged rulings on various motions in the case, holding that the court of appeals properly held that Appellant could not establish either that the office of village fiscal order was being unlawfully held by Appellee or that Appellant was entitled to the office; and (2) reversed the judgment awarding reasonable attorney fees and expenses, holding that the court of appeals erred in imposing sanctions under Ohio R. Civ. P. 11 without holding an evidentiary hearing. Remanded. View "State ex rel. Ebbing v. Ricketts" on Justia Law

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This was an expedited election action in which Relator, the city of Brecksville, sought writs of mandamus and prohibition to prevents Respondents, the secretary of state and Cuyahoga County board of elections, from certifying an initiative petition and submitting the initiative to electors at the November 6, 2012 general election. The petition was filed in respect to Citizens United v. Fed Election Comm. and was titled, "Initiative in support of movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to establish that corporations are not people and money is not speech" and proposed certain ordinances to city electors for their proposal. The Supreme Court (1) dismissed the purported mandamus claim for lack of jurisdiction, as the city's request actually sought a declaratory judgment and a prohibitory injunction; and (2) denied the writ of prohibition, holding that the ordinances proposed by the initiative constituted proper legislative action. View "State ex rel. Brecksville v. Husted" on Justia Law

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This was an expedited election case in which Relators, taxpayers and committee members representing the petitioners supporting the issue, requested a writ of mandamus to compel Respondent, the county board of elections, to submit a levy-decrease question to the electorate at the November 6, 2012 general election. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding that the board of elections neither abused its discretion nor clearly disregarded Ohio Rev. Code 5705.261 and 5705.192 by removing Relators' levy-decrease initiative from the November 6 ballot where the voter-approved levy did not increase the rate of the preexisting voter-approved levies. View "State ex rel. Taxpayers for Westerville Sch. v. Bd. of Elections" on Justia Law