Court Releases 26 Opinions Consistent With Two Earlier Decisions
The Ohio Supreme Court today released 26 short opinions for cases whose facts were consistent with two cases decided earlier this year.
The Supreme Court reversed and remanded 21 cases to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court with instructions to reschedule community-control violation hearings and provide the offender and the county prosecuting attorney with notice of the hearing and the opportunity to be heard. Additionally, five other opinions affirm additional mandatory prison terms imposed on offenders convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (OVI) five or more times within the previous 20 years.
State v. Heinz Cases
The new hearings in Cuyahoga County are consistent with the Court’s May ruling in State v. Heinz. In that case, the Court clarified that the prosecuting attorney has the authority to prosecute all complaints, suits, and controversies in which the state is a party, including community- control violation hearings.
While the Court heard the case of Joseph Heinz, it accepted jurisdiction in 21 other cases from Cuyahoga County where the prosecuting attorney’s office objected to a judge’s standing order that excluded the prosecutor’s office from participating in community-control violation hearings. The Supreme Court decision reversed the ruling of the appellate court that the state’s interest was adequately represented by a county probation officer at a community-control violation hearing. Today’s ruling gives the right of the prosecutor to be present and participate in rescheduled hearings for the 21 cases.
Those cases are:
State v. Klembus Cases
Five offenders received additional mandatory prison terms and the Court affirmed those sentences consistent with its March decision in State v. Klembus.
The Court determined that two state statutes working in tandem to increase the degree of the felony for repeat OVI offenses, and to also require additional prison time, are part of a constitutionally valid system of graduated penalties.
The Court’s decision in Klembus reversed an Eighth District Court of Appeals decision that questioned the constitutionality of enhanced penalties for repeat OVIs because in some cases prosecutors sought additional prison time and in other cases did not.
Today’s decisions affirmed by the Klembus ruling are:
- 2015-1247 and 2015-1335, State v. Snowden
- 2015-1341 and 2015-1342, State v. Wright
- 2015-1679, State v. Sprague
- 2015-2022, State v. Norquist
- 2015-2065, State v. Valentyn
Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Office of Public Information for the general public and news media. Opinion summaries are not prepared for every opinion, but only for noteworthy cases. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official headnotes or syllabi of court opinions. The full text of this and other court opinions are available online.
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