Ohio Constitution


Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

Reproduced with permission from:
Timothy E. Pierce and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

Cleveland v. State, 128 Ohio St. 3d 135, 2010-Ohio-6318 – Syllabus: “R.C. 9.68 is a general law that displaces municipal firearm ordinances and does not unconstitutionally infringe on municipal home rule authority.”
State v. Bodyke, 126 Ohio St. 3d 266, 2010-Ohio-2424 – Syllabus: “(1) The power to review and affirm, modify, or reverse other court’s judgments is strictly limited to appellate courts. (Section 3(B)(2), Article IV, Ohio Constitution, applied.) (2) R.C. 2950.031 and 2950.032, which require the attorney general to reclassify sex offenders who have already been classified by court order under former law, impermissibly instruct the executive branch to review past decisions of the judicial branch and thereby violate the separation-of-powers doctrine. (3) R.C. 2950.031 and 2950.032, which require the attorney general to reclassify sex offenders whose classifications have already been adjudicated by a court and made the subject of a final order, violate the separation-of-powers doctrine by requiring the opening of final judgments.”
State v. Williams, 129 Ohio St. 3d 344, 2011-Ohio-3374 – Syllabus: “2007 Am.Sub.S.B. No. 10, as applied to defendants who committed sex offenses prior to its enactment, violates Section 28, Article II of the Ohio Constitution, which prohibits the General Assembly from passing retroactive laws.” Changes compel the conclusion revised Chapter 2950 has become punitive, not remedial. Court does not address ex post facto claim under the federal constitution.
State v. Adkins, 129 Ohio St. 3d 287, 2011-Ohio-3141 – In 1996 R.C. 2901.08 includes prior delinquency adjudications as “convictions” for purposes of enhancing punishment for subsequent offenses. Defendant claimed a retroactive law violation when this provision was applied to a 1987 juvenile OMVI conviction used to charge him with felony OMVI, based on a 20-year lookback. No violation found. Provision was not retrospective, nor did it add to punishment for the past offense. All of the punishment is for the present offense of conviction. None is for recidivism.
Myers v. Brown, 192 Ohio App. 3d 670, 2011-Ohio-892R.C. 2315.21(B), mandating bifurcation of trial on tort claims for compensatory and punitive damages, is procedural and not substantive, conflicts with the Supreme Court’s rules, which are controlling, and thus violated the Separation of Powers Doctrine.
Mendenhall v. Akron, 117 Ohio St. 3d 33, 2008-Ohio-270 -- Syllabus: "An Ohio municipality does not exceed its home rule authority when it creates an automated system for enforcement of traffic laws that imposes civil liability upon violators, provided that the municipality does not alter statewide traffic regulations." (School zone speed enforcement.)
State v. Homesales, Inc., 190 Ohio App. 3d 385, 2010-Ohio-5572 – Trial court refused to allow property owner to be tried in absentia. Municipal ordinance provides this can be done, but it is in conflict with the general law of the state, specifically Crim. R. 43(A) and Article I, Section 10.
Maple Heights v. Ephraim, 178 Ohio App. 3d 439, 2008-Ohio-4576 -- Municipal ordinance made parents punishable for the delinquent acts of their children. (1) Ordinance was an exercise of police power, not self-government, and served a valid purpose. (2) R.C. 2901.21(A) is a general law. That provision requires a voluntary act, or omission to perform an act or duty, and proof of a culpable mental state. (3) While vicarious criminal liability applies to corporation through the doctrine of respondeat superior, and to a degree under conspiracy laws, generally personal responsibility is required as expressed in R.C. 2901.21(A). (4) Thus the ordinance and statute are in conflict. Court does not decide constitutional challenges.
State v. Spangler, Lake App. No. 2008-L-062, 2009-Ohio-3178 – Retroactive application of S.B. 10 amended version of Chapter 2950 to alter judicially determined classification under former law violates separation of powers. S. Euclid v. Jemison (1986), 28 Ohio St. 3d 157, followed.
State v. Bloomer, 122 Ohio St. 3d 200, 2009-Ohio-2462 – In the State v. Mosmeyer portion of the opinion held that the one-subject rule was not violated by combining a juvenile justice issue with R.C. 2929.191 providing for the addition of postrelease control to sentences previously passed.
Danforth v. Minnesota (2008), 128 S.Ct. 1029 – The Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, rule on retroactivity applies only in federal habeas. State courts may allow broader remedies. At issue was a Crawford claim raised in state postconviction after Crawford had been decided.
State v. Sterling, 113 Ohio St. 3d 255, 2007-Ohio-1790 -- ¶22: "Although the Ohio Constitution does not contain explicit language establishing the doctrine of separation of powers, it is inherent in the constitutional framework of government defining the scope of authority conferred upon the three separate branches of government." ¶34: "The legislature...may not impede the judiciary in its province to determine guilt in a criminal matter..." Provision under review permitted prosecutors to have the final say when they blocked applications for DNA testing by inmates who had pleaded guilty or no contest.
Canton v. State, 95 Ohio St. 3d 149, 2002-Ohio-2005 -- Syllabus: To constitute a general law for purposes of home-rule analysis, a statute must (1) be part of a statewide and comprehensive legislative enactment, (2) apply to all parts of the state alike and operate uniformly throughout the state, (3) set forth police, sanitary, or similar regulations, rather than purport only to grant or limit legislative power of a municipal corporation to set forth police, sanitary, or similar regulations, and (4) prescribe a rule of conduct upon citizens generally."
Cincinnati v. Baskin, 112 Ohio St. 3d 279, 2006-Ohio-6422 -- When evaluating a conflict claim, a criminal code section and controlling definitions provisions must be read together.
Columbus v. Spignola (2001), 144 Ohio App. 3d 76 -- The Home Rule Amendment to the Ohio Constitution [Article XVIII, Sec. 3] does not bar enforcement of a municipal ordinance on state property, here the grounds of the Statehouse.
Akron v. Callaway, 162 Ohio App. 3d 781, 2005-Ohio-4095 -- Akron's resisting arrest ordinance is found unconstitutional for being in conflict with the general law of the state, specifically R.C. 2921.33. The ordinance proscribes resisting both lawful and unlawful arrests. The statute proscribes only resisting lawful arrests. Thus the ordinance proscribes conduct permitted under the statute in violation of the home rule provision of the Ohio Constitution.
State v. Eppinger, 162 Ohio App. 3d 795, 2005-Ohio-4155 -- No home rule violation found in charging the defendant with possession of drugs based on residue found within a crack pipe. The state is not limited to the more specific offense of possessing drug paraphernalia.
Disciplinary Counsel v. Gardner, 99 Ohio St. 3d 416, 2003-Ohio-4048 -- Six month actual suspension to attorney who attacked the probity of the Court of Appeals in a motion for reconsideration/motion to certify following a disappointing decision. The First Amendment does not insulate an attorney from professional discipline for expressing an opinion, during court proceedings, that a judge is corrupt when the attorney knows that the opinion has no factual basis or is reckless in that regard. The Free Speech Clause of the Ohio Constitution provides broader protection of false statements expressed as an opinion but not here. Nor are the attorney's actions to be weighed in a manner corresponding to defamation cases. Also see State v. DeMastry, 155 Ohio App. 3d 110, 2003-Ohio-5588, ¶76-80.
State v. Brown, 99 Ohio St. 3d 323, 2003-Ohio-3931 -- Syllabus: "Section 14, Article I of the Ohio Constitution provides greater protection than the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution against warrantless arrests for minor misdemeanors. (State v. Jones [2000], 88 Ohio St. 3d 430, 727 N.E. 2d 886, followed in part and modified in part.)"
State v. Farris, 109 Ohio St. 3d 519, 2006-Ohio-3255, ¶46-49 -- The Ohio Constitution is a document of independence force. Though evidence obtained as the result of belated Miranda warnings would not have been suppressible under the federal constitution, it is under Article I, Sec. 10. Compare United States v. Patane (2004), 542 U.S. 630.
Ohio v. Robinette (1996), 519 U.S. 33 -- Applying Michigan v. Long (1983), 463 U.S. 1032, and Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co. (1977), 433 U.S. 562, 566, when the syllabus setting forth the holding of the Ohio Supreme Court makes only passing reference to the "Federal and Ohio Constitutions" it is permissible for the U.S. Supreme Court to turn to the body of the opinion to determine whether the holding rests on independent state grounds. For same case on remand and interrelationship between the state and federal constitutions on Fourth Amendment issues see State v. Robinette (1997), 80 Ohio St. 3d 234.
DeRolph v. State (1997), 78 Ohio St. 3d 193, 198 -- "The presumption that laws are constitutional is rebuttable...The judiciary was created as part of a system of checks and balances. We will not dodge our responsibility by asserting that this case (school funding) involves a nonjusticiable political question."
State v. Hochhausler (1996), 76 Ohio St. 3d 455 -- At 463: "The principle of separation of powers is embedded in the constitutional framework of our state government. The Ohio Constitution applies the principle in defining the nature and scope of powers delegated to the three branches of the government." At 464: "The legislative branch has no right to limit the inherent powers of the judicial branch of the government...Inherent within a court's jurisdiction, and essential to the orderly administration of justice, is the power to grant or deny stays."
State ex rel. Maurer v. Sheward (1994), 71 Ohio St. 3d 513, 520-521 -- "The first step in determining the meaning of a constitutional provision is to look at the language of the provision itself. Where the meaning of a provision is clear on its face, we will not look beyond the provision in an attempt to divine what the drafters intended it to mean." Also see Slingluff v. Weaver (1902), 66 Ohio St. 621.
State v. Jones (1994), 71 Ohio St 3d 293 -- Article IV, Sec. 3(B)(1)(f) of the Ohio Constitution (original jurisdiction in "...any cause on review as may be necessary to its complete determination) does not confer upon the court of appeals authority to grant a motion to a new trial.
State v. Storch (1993), 66 Ohio St. 3d 280 -- In a case involving a child sex abuse victim and the application of Ohio Evid. R. 807, court holds that the right to confrontation is broader under the Ohio Constitution than the U.S. Supreme Court has held it to be under the federal Constitution. Compare Idaho v. Wright (1990), 497 U.S. 805; White v. Illinois (1992), 502 U.S. 346. Also see State v. Ulis (1993), 91 Ohio App. 3d 656, 667 -- When competency is at issue, determination must be made based on personal observation of the child, and may not be based on prior finding by a different judge, or assessment by others.
State v. Brown (1992), 63 Ohio St. 3d 349 -- The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under Article I, Sec. 14 of the Ohio Constitution is greater than the protection afforded by the Fourth Amendment ad interpreted and applied in New York v. Belton (1981), 453 U.S. 454.
State ex rel. Wright v. Ohio Adult Parole Authority (1996), 75 Ohio St. 3d 82, 88 -- Article I, Section 14 protects the same interests and in a manner consistent with the Fourth Amendment. If a claim is based only on the Fourth Amendment, federal precedent will be considered. Also see State v. Andrews (1991), 57 Ohio St. 3d 86, 87.
Arnold v. Cleveland (1993), 67 Ohio St. 3d 35 -- Paragraph one of the syllabus: "The Ohio Constitution is a document of independent force. In the areas of individual rights and civil liberties, the United States Constitution, where applicable to the states, provides a floor below which state court decisions may not fall. As long as state courts provide at least as much protection as the United States Supreme Court has provided in its interpretation of the federal Bill of Rights, state courts are unrestricted in according greater civil liberties and protections to individuals and groups." (Former Cleveland ordinance banning assault weapons upheld.) Also see pp. 41-42; Porter & Tarr, The New Judicial Federalism and the Ohio Supreme Court: Anatomy of a Failure (1984), 45 Ohio St. L. J. 143.
State v. Wyant (1994), 68 Ohio St. 3d 162 -- See dissent for the proposition that free speech may receive greater protection under the Ohio Constitution than under the First Amendment. Compare Eastwood Mall, Inc. v. Slanco (1994), 68 Ohio St. 3d 221.
Cleveland Heights v. Wood (1995), 107 Ohio App. 3d 616 -- Municipal ordinance elevating minor misdemeanor speeding under the Revised Code to a fourth degree misdemeanor held to be within the municipality's home rule authority and not in conflict with general laws under Article XVIII, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution.
Tiffin v. McEwen (1998), 130 Ohio App. 3d 527 -- Ordinance banning loud music in cars held an appropriate exercise under the Home Rule Amendment of the Ohio Constitution.
State v. Rosa (1998), 128 Ohio App. 3d 556 -- Youngstown deceptive trade practice ordinance creating a criminal offense was in conflict with the general law of the state making such conduct a civil violation.
Linndale v. State (1999), 85 Ohio St. 3d 52 -- Statute barring municipalities with less that 880 yards of interstate from enforcing their weight and speeding ordinances on the highway found not to be a general law as it purports only to limit the constitutional authority of municipalities to so regulate.
State v. Thierbach (1993), 92 Ohio App. 3d 365 -- The Ohio Constitution does not provide broader protection that the federal Constitution with regard to illegal extraterritorial arrests. At p. 369 stated that interpretation of a state's constitution to see if it furnishes greater protection is referred to as the "interstitial approach." Construction of a state constitution as providing no greater protection than the federal Constitution is referred to as the "lock step approach."
In re Grand Jury Directive to Creager (1993), 89 Ohio App. 3d 672 -- The privilege against self-incrimination under the Ohio Constitution is identical to that found in the Fifth Amendment.

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Published by Timothy E. Pierce
Copyright © Franklin County Public Defender and Timothy E. Pierce, 2015
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