Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Supreme Court case announcements, 5/17/17

Five new accepted cases today: one appeal by the Public Utilities Commission, one pro se criminal appeal, one parental rights case, one arbitration case, and one counseled crim pro case. The announcement is here.

In the Matter of the Arbitration Between: City of Hamilton v. International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 20 asks whether an arbitrator with remedial authority under a "just cause" provision may rely on outside legal authority in determining appropriate discipline. The Twelfth District below affirmed the trial court's judgment vacating the arbitrator's award. I do not yet have any significant thoughts about this case, though it is interesting that it was accepted the same day that the Court released its decision in Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association v. City of Findlay. The Court in Findlay reinstated an arbitrator's award that reduced discipline imposed by the chief of police from termination to a lengthy suspension.

In re LMD Integrated Logistical Services, Inc. is an appeal by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in which the PUCO's jurisdictional brief asks for a summary reversal of the decision below. The PUCO argues that the Tenth District lacked jurisdiction to issue its substantive decision because the utility filed its notice of appeal with the Tenth Distrct, rather than with the Commission. The Court did not take the PUCO up on its request, and instead has (apparently) accepted the case in order to permit briefing on the merits (though it's possible that the Court will summ-rev in the near future). While I have no specific experience in PUCO cases, I'd think that the Commission is correct here--the Tenth District would have no jurisdiction to reach the merits of the case if the notice of appeal were not filed in the correct place.

In State v. Blair the Court agreed to review a First District decision holding that a person had a "pending criminal matter," and thus was ineligible to apply for sealing of a criminal record (formerly known as "expungement"), if the person was on community control for a different offense. Justice Fischer, who authored the First District decision, did not participate in the consideration of the case.

In re R.K. asks whether, in a proceeding by the state to terminate parental rights, a parent can waive its right to appointed counsel simply by failing to appear for a hearing, or whether instead there must be a knowing waiver. The Tenth District had held that a mother's unexplained failure to appear at a hearing constituted a waiver of the right to appointed counsel.

Finally, State v. Upkins is a pro se appeal from an inmate in the London Correctional Institution that raised five propositions of law. The Court rewrote and accepted only one of them, ordering the parties to brief the question of whether, when appellate counsel also served as trial counsel and moves to withdraw pursuant to Anders, the court of appeals must permit counsel to withdrawn and also appoint new appellate counsel to review the record and raise any nonfrivolous appealable issue. The Court also appointed the Ohio Public Defender to represent the appellant.

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