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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Gannett GP Media, Inc. v. Ohio Dept. of Pub. Safety 2017-00051-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; ambiguous; overly broad; revise; constitutional; privacy; security; abatement; recede; objection; additional; evidence; strike. Procedural Posture: Requester objected to special master's determination that its request for all correspondence among respondent's employees regarding a deployment was ambiguous and overly broad. Respondent objected to special master's determination that trooper names were not exempted by security records and Fourteenth Amendment privacy exceptions once they returned from deployment. Overview: Requester newspaper sought: 1) all communications of the State Highway Patrol regarding the deployment of Ohio troopers to assist another state via an agreement under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, R.C. 5502.40, 2) the names of the troopers deployed, and, 3) the assistance agreement. The parties accepted the special master's determination that the bulk of the information in the agreement form was public. The court found that requester's request for "any and all communication" to or from any employee of the Highway Patrol "regarding the deployment of these officers" was insufficiently specific to identify particular records, and that respondent had sufficiently met its obligation to provide requester with the opportunity and information to revise this request. Noting respondent's admission that there was no evidence of violent threats or online harassment since returning from employment, the court found that the names of the troopers were no longer exempt under the Fourteenth Amendment right of privacy or statutory security records exception that applied during their deployment. Outcome: The court granted requester's motion to strike additional evidence submitted by respondent. The court overruled the objections of both requester and respondent, and adopted the special master's report and recommendation as its own.McGrath  5/30/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4248
Foulk v. Upper Arlington 2017-00132-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; attorney; client; privilege; waive; open meeting; moot; timeliness; minutes. Overview: Requester sought portions of the city's audio recording of the open session of a public meeting of the city council, which the city denied as attorney-client privileged. The special master determined that discussions between a public body and legal counsel that take place in an open session of a public meeting conducted under R.C. 121.22 are not made "in confidence," even if no member of the public is physically present. Attorney-client privilege therefore never attached, or was waived. The special master found that the court of claims lacked jurisdiction over the requester's claim regarding incomplete minutes, which must be brought pursuant to R.C. 121.22(I). The city provided all responsive records after the complaint was filed, rendering the claim for production of records moot. The special master determined that the failure to provide the records until 88 days after the request was a violation of the R.C. 149.43(B)(1) requirement to make public records available "promptly," which entitled the requester to recover the filing fee and any other costs incurred.Clark  5/25/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4249
You v. N.E. Ohio Med. Univ. 2015-00747Breach of contract; discrimination; retaliation; due process. Plaintiff asserted claims based on defendant's removal of plaintiff from her administrative positions as department chair and associate dean. Defendant moved for summary judgment. Evidence indicated that issues arose regarding plaintiff's insubordination leading to a formal written warning to plaintiff wherein defendant specifically warned plaintiff not to communicate directly with defendant's president. Plaintiff indicated her intent not to comply with the warning letter and she was terminated from her administrative positions though retained as a tenured professor. As the dean who removed plaintiff acted in accordance with defendant's bylaws, plaintiff's breach of contract claim failed. The Court found that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's constitutional due process claims. Plaintiff failed to allege facts to support disparate treatment or disparate impact discrimination and failed to provide evidence that other nonprotected persons were treated more favorably. Defendant had legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for its actions based on plaintiff's insubordination. Plaintiff failed to present evidence of engaging in protected activity or of adverse employment action and her retaliation claim, therefore, failed. The court granted summary judgment to defendant on all claims.McGrath  5/17/2017 6/23/2017 2017-Ohio-4461
Alt v. Cuyahoga Cty. Probation Dept. 2017-00175-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; standing; surrogate; request; deliver; improper; rules of superintendence; court records. Overview: The special master found that requester had standing to assert a claim under R.C. 2743.75 regarding records sought by a colleague/surrogate. However, the request was for "a complete breakdown/audit" of certain funds handled by respondent, which the special master determined to be an improper request to create new records. The special master determined that the requester also failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the request had been made to the respondent, as the request was sent to a different public office with a request to "direct this request" to respondent. The special master determined that the court of claims lacked jurisdiction under R.C. 2743.75 over those portions of the request that sought court records from cases commenced after July 1, 2009, as requests for such records are governed by Ohio Rules of Superintendence of the Courts, Rules 44-47. The special master recommended that the requester's claim be dismissed for failure to state a claim. Civ.R. 12(B)(6).Clark  5/16/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4250
Louscher v. Univ. of Akron 2015-00212Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; defamation; intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court concluded that defendant's employee's statements were made subject to a qualified privilege, and plaintiff did not produce evidence to show that they were made with actual malice. Further, comments made by this employee did not rise to the level of extreme and outrageous conduct required for a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted.McGrath  5/15/2017 6/16/2017 2017-Ohio-4316
Washington v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2015-00902Defamation. Plaintiff, an inmate, sought recovery for statements allegedly made by employees of defendant to third parties. The matter proceeded to trial. After receiving poor performance reviews, plaintiff was fired from his job as a porter in the institution's infirmary. The magistrate found no evidence that plaintiff's former supervisor called plaintiff a thief and no evidence that other employees made defamatory statements about plaintiff. The magistrate found that plaintiff failed to prove his claims by a preponderance of the evidence and recommended judgment for defendant.Van Schoyck  5/12/2017 6/23/2017 2017-Ohio-4462
Acre v. Ohio Parole Bd. 2016-00844Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; inmate; false imprisonment. Court determined that defendant, in revoking and subsequently denying plaintiff's parole, made a decision involving a high degree of discretion over which the court lacked jurisdiction. Further, the court found that there did not appear to be any indication that plaintiff's sentencing entry was facially invalid or contained any irregularities. Defendant was legally justified to confine plaintiff at all relevant times, and defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted.McGrath  5/10/2017 6/16/2017 2017-Ohio-4318
Andes v. Ohio Atty. Gen.'s Office 2017-00144-PQCore Terms: public records; court of claims; mootness; timeliness; investigative; seized; unused. Overview: The special master determined that the Attorney General's Office provided all requested investigation records after the R.C. 2743.75 complaint was filed, rendering the claim for production of records moot. The special master concluded that the unused contents of storage devices seized in a criminal investigation are not "records" of the agency as defined in R.C. 149.011(G). The special master determined that the failure to provide the records until 103 days after the request was a violation of the R.C. 149.43(B)(1) requirement to make records available "promptly," which entitled the requester to recover the filing fee and any other costs incurred.Clark  5/10/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4251
Gioiella v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2015-00611Intentional Tort; Loss of Consortium. Plaintiffs sought recovery for injuries stemming from an attack a corrections officer. The matter proceeded to trial on liability only. There was no direct threat to the safety of staff until Plaintiff reported a threat from the inmate the day before the attack. Plaintiff declined the option to work in a different area and there was no evidence that supervisory staff were aware of plaintiff's report which did not contain all details regarding the threat plaintiff perceived. Staff immediately responded to halt the attack. The evidence did not establish that defendant acted with the deliberate intent to harm plaintiff. The evidence indicated that even plaintiff did not believe the attack was certain to occur. The magistrate found that plaintiff failed to prove her claims by a preponderance of the evidence and recommended judgment in favor of defendant.Van Schoyck  5/9/2017 6/23/2017 2017-Ohio-4460
Trimble v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2016-00170Inmate; bifurcated; negligence. Court determined that plaintiff failed to prove that defendant had any notice, actual or constructive, of any defect in the water mixing valve or that the water temperature was too hot, resulting in burns to plaintiff. Judgment recommended in favor of defendant. Chang  5/1/2017 6/16/2017 2017-Ohio-4317
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