Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction the complaint filed by Relator seeking a writ of mandamus to compel Respondents, the Ohio Secretary of State, the Franklin County Board of Elections, and the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, to preserve digital ballot images created by voting equipment used in the May 8, 2018 election. Relator alleged that the digital ballot images were public records that, under Ohio Rev. Code 149.351(A), may not be removed, destroyed, or disposed of, and that elections officials were under an affirmative duty, under 52 U.S.C. 20701, to preserve these records. The Supreme Court dismissed the complaint, holding that Relator was attempting to prevent an injury that has not yet occurred by that she anticipates will occur, which request was better suited for an action seeking a request for a writ of mandamus in the nature of a prohibitory injunction, over which this Court does not have original jurisdiction. View "State ex rel. Gadell-Newton v. Husted" on Justia Law

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The Secretary of State Jon Hosted did not abuse his discretion when he determined that Heidi R. Carroll had the requisite seventy-two months of legal-practice experience to qualify for a seat on the common-pleas-court bench. In these consolidated expedited election cases Relators sought writs of mandamus and/or prohibition to prevent Carroll from appearing on the May 8, 2018 ballot as a candidate for the Republican Party nomination for Medina County Common Pleas Court judge, Domestic Relations Division. Relators argued that Husted employed the incorrect legal framework in deciding that Carroll satisfied the seventy-two month requirement. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that Secretary Husted did not abuse his discretion by placing Carroll’s name on the May 2018 ballot as a judicial candidate. View "State ex rel. Emhoff v. Medina County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus requested by Relators seeking to compel Respondents, the Mahoning County Board of Elections and its members (collectively, the Board), to place a proposed amendment to the Youngstown city charter on the May 2018 ballot. The Board voted not to place the proposed amendment on the ballot, finding that the proposed amendment “contained provisions that are beyond the scope of the City of Youngstown’s power” to enact. The Supreme Court held that Relators were entitled to a writ of mandamus because the Board offered no clear support for its conclusion that Relators’ current proposal was beyond the scope of the City’s legislative power. Therefore, Relators had a clear legal right to have their proposal placed on the ballot, and the Board had a clear legal duty to provide that relief. View "State ex rel. Khumprakob v. Mahoning County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Relator’s motion for leave to amend his complaint and denied the writ of mandamus he sought to compel Respondents, the City of Columbus and the Franklin County Board of Elections, to remove a proposal to amend the Columbus city charter from the May 8, 2018 ballot. On March 9, 2018, Relator filed a formal protest against the proposed charter amendment, arguing that it was substantively unconstitutional and that the summary language was false and deceptive. Three days later, the office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted approved the final ballot language. The board of elections then informed Relator it would not hold a hearing on his protest. Relator then filed this complaint against the city and the board of elections seeking a writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court (1) denied the writ, holding that the language of the proposed Columbus charter conveyed enough information for voters to know what they were being asked to vote on; and (2) denied as moot the motion for leave to amend the complaint to name Husted as a respondent. View "State ex rel. Schuck v. Columbus" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied writs of mandamus sought by Relators to compel respondent members of the Columbus City Council to approve an ordinance placing a proposed city-charter amendment on the May 8, 2018 ballot and to compel respondent Franklin County Board of Elections to place the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Court held (1) Relators’ petition was insufficient because it did not comply with the plain and unambiguous language of the one-proposal rule in Columbus Charter 42-2(d), and therefore, the Columbus City Council had no clear legal duty to place Relators’ petition for charter amendment on the ballot; and (2) the Franklin County Board of Elections had no clear legal duty to place Relators’ petition for charter amendment on the ballot because the city council had not passed an ordinance approving the placement of the amendment on the ballot. View "State ex rel. Beard v. Hardin" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus requested by Jonathan Heavey and Adam Hudak certifying their names to the May 8, 2018 ballot as candidates for the Democratic Party’s nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, holding that Heavey and Hudak failed to show, by clear and convincing evidence, a legal right to have their names placed on the May 8 ballot. Because the county boards of elections verified the validity of only 854 signatures in Heavey and Hudak’s part-petitions, Secretary of State Jon Husted did not certify Heavey and Husted as candidates for the May 8 ballot. In their present action, Heavey and Hudak alleged that Husted and the boards disregarded applicable law by rejecting at least 146 valid signatures. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding that Heavey and Hudak did not present clear and convincing evidence that they were at least 146 erroneously-rejected signatures. View "State ex rel. Heavey v. Husted" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus requested by Jonathan Heavey and Adam Hudak certifying their names to the May 8, 2018 ballot as candidates for the Democratic Party’s nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, holding that Heavey and Hudak failed to show, by clear and convincing evidence, a legal right to have their names placed on the May 8 ballot. Because the county boards of elections verified the validity of only 854 signatures in Heavey and Hudak’s part-petitions, Secretary of State Jon Husted did not certify Heavey and Husted as candidates for the May 8 ballot. In their present action, Heavey and Hudak alleged that Husted and the boards disregarded applicable law by rejecting at least 146 valid signatures. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding that Heavey and Hudak did not present clear and convincing evidence that they were at least 146 erroneously-rejected signatures. View "State ex rel. Heavey v. Husted" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted the writ of mandamus requested by Jason Stevens to compel the Fairfield County Board of Elections to issue a certificate of nomination to certify Stevens’s name for placement on the May 8, 2018 primary-election ballot as a candidate for election to the Ohio Democratic Party State Central Committee. Stevens filed a petition to appear on the May 8 primary ballot as a Democratic candidate. The Board voted to deny Stevens access to the ballot because his voting history did not show he was a member of the Democratic Party. The Supreme Court granted the relief requested by Stevens, holding that, based on the plain language of Ohio Rev. Code 3513.05, Stevens satisfied the statutory requirements to stand for election to the Ohio Democratic Party state Central Committee, and the Board thus abused its discretion and acted in clear disregard of applicable legal provisions when it disallowed his candidacy. View "State ex rel. Stevens v. Fairfield County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted the writ of mandamus sought by Relator to compel Respondent, the Delaware County Board of Elections, to place a referendum on the May 8, 2018 ballot. Relator submitted a petition for a referendum proposing a zoning amendment. The board of elections verified that the petition had a sufficient number of valid signatures and certified the petition to appear on the May 2018 ballot. Two interested parties protested against the legitimacy of the referendum. After a hearing, the elections board approved a motion to sustain the protest and decertify the measure based upon the sufficiency of the summary contained within the petition. As a result, the referendum petition was not certified for placement on the May ballot. Relator then filed the present complaint for a writ of mandamus against the board of elections. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that, on the merits, the elections board erred in refusing to place the referendum on the ballot because the petition satisfied the requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 519.12(H). View "State ex rel. Quinn v. Delaware County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted the writ of mandamus sought by Relator to compel Respondent, the Delaware County Board of Elections, to place a referendum on the May 8, 2018 ballot. Relator submitted a petition for a referendum proposing a zoning amendment. The board of elections verified that the petition had a sufficient number of valid signatures and certified the petition to appear on the May 2018 ballot. Two interested parties protested against the legitimacy of the referendum. After a hearing, the elections board approved a motion to sustain the protest and decertify the measure based upon the sufficiency of the summary contained within the petition. As a result, the referendum petition was not certified for placement on the May ballot. Relator then filed the present complaint for a writ of mandamus against the board of elections. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that, on the merits, the elections board erred in refusing to place the referendum on the ballot because the petition satisfied the requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 519.12(H). View "State ex rel. Quinn v. Delaware County Board of Elections" on Justia Law