Res Judicata


Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

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

State ex rel Davis v. Public Employees Retirement System, Franklin App. No. 04AP-1293, 2007-Ohio-6594, ¶17 -- "The doctrine of issue preclusion is one of two related concepts, along with claim preclusion, within the legal doctrine of res judicata…Claim preclusion holds that a valid, final judgment on the merits bars all subsequent actions based upon any claim arising out of the transaction or occurrence that was the subject matter of the previous action… Issue preclusion, also known as collateral estoppel, provides that a 'fact or a point that was actually and directly at issue in a previous action, and was passed upon and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, may not be drawn into question in a subsequent action between the same parties or their privies, whether the cause of action in the two actions be identical or different' Fort Frye Teachers Assn. v. State Emp. Relations Bd., 81 Ohio St. 3d 392, 395, 1998-Ohio-435. While claim preclusion precludes relitigation of the same cause of action, issue preclusion precludes relitigation of an issue that has been actually and necessarily litigated and determined in a prior action…"
State v. Bundy, Montgomery App. Nos. 23063, 23064, 2009-Ohio-5395 – Defendant completed his sentence on a sexually oriented offense prior to the 1997 effective date of the H.B. 180 version of Chapter 2950. Though according to State v. Champion, 106 Ohio St. 3d 120, 2005-Ohio-4098, he had no obligation to register, he did so anyway, and was on community control for a prior failure to register violation. Subsequent to the effective date of the S.B. 10 version of Chapter 2950 he was again charged with a new registration violation. ¶59-90: Following extensive discussion of collateral estoppel and res judicata premised on issue preclusion or claim preclusion, the court concludes that the defendant’s failure to previously pursue a Champion claim precludes now asserting his community control for the first violation was invalid. Thus he may be punished for violation of its terms.
State v. Hines, 193 Ohio App. 3d 660, 2011-Ohio-3125 – Inmate serving lengthy drug sentences hoped to take advantage of State v. Pelfrey, 112 Ohio St. 3d 422, 2007-Ohio-256 holding verdict forms must clearly establish the degree of the offense. Claim was not raised in initial appeal, nor was it tacked on to a post-Foster de novo resentencing and appeal. Claim is barred by res judicata in an appeal from a further resentencing to add postrelease control. A Pelfrey claim by itself does not render a judgment void.
State v. Hutton, 100 Ohio St. 3d 176, 2003-Ohio-5607 -- Syllabus: "The doctrine of res judicata does not apply to bar a claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel not previously raised in an appeal where the defendant was represented on that appeal by the same attorney who allegedly had provided the ineffective assistance, even where the defendant was also represented on that appeal by another attorney who had not represented the defendant at the time of the alleged ineffective assistance."
State v. Ramirez, 153 Ohio App. 3d 477, 2003-Ohio-4107 -- A restitution order must be appealed at the time it is put on. Defendant waited until he was sanctioned for community control violations. Claimed error in failure to determine ability to pay was barred by res judicata.
State v. Dick (2000), 137 Ohio App. 3d 260 -- Inmate faced sexual predator classification hearing, but Court of Appeals found the statute unconstitutional. Proceedings in the trial court were dismissed and state took no appeal. Even though the Supreme Court later upheld the statute, further proceedings were barred by res judicata. At p. 265: "The fact that the trial court's decision was based on what was ultimately determined to be an incorrect statement of the law is of no consequence, as the Supreme Court has held that 'there is no exception in the doctrine of res judicata for merely erroneous judgments.' LaBarbera v. Batsch (1967), 10 Ohio St.2d 106, 110."
State v. Carter, 93 Ohio St. 3d 581, 2001-Ohio-1614 -- Consideration of new claims in a second App. R. 26(B) application for reopening barred by res judicata. Previous counsel's failure to appeal denial of first application to the Supreme Court was not ineffective assistance of counsel.
State v. Longmire, Portage App. No. 2001-P-0014, 2002-Ohio-7153 -- Court denied motion to modify sentences from consecutive to concurrent based on good behavior in prison and events subsequent to sentencing. Res judicata did not bar reconsideration, however, once sentence was executed court was without authority to modify the terms.
State v. Pasqualone (2000), 140 Ohio App. 3d 650 -- Denial of a motion to vacate court costs on the basis of indigency is not a final appealable order. Even if it were, res judicata would ban consideration of any claim which could have been raised in an appeal from the initial judgment.
State v. Aponte (2001), 145 Ohio App. 3d 607 -- "Defendant's agreement" provided for the defendant to plead guilty to first degree felonies, then if he fulfilled his obligations the pleas could be withdrawn and pleas entered to less serious offenses. Since the court, not the prosecutor, had the authority to permit withdrawal of guilty pleas, the plea bargain was illusory and unenforceable. Pleas were voidable. Trial and appellate counsel were ineffective. Application of res judicata would be unjust.
State v. Childs (2001), 141 Ohio App. 3d 767 -- On reversal and remand from the Supreme Court defendant was not entitled to a further evidentiary hearing on the suppression motion at issue. Also see State v. Lilly (2000), 139 Ohio App. 3d 560 -- The trial court was without authority to impose a lesser sentence following reversal and remand on an issue not related to sentencing. State v. Lentz, Lucas App. No. L-01-1461, 2003-Ohio-1038 -- Prior ruling on motion to quash a subpoena for defense counsel's fee agreement and billing records held res judicata
Bach v. Crawford, Montgomery App. No. 19531, 2003-Ohio-1255 -- Warren County denied application for domestic violence protection order. Res judicata bars consideration of those same events in a subsequent application in Montgomery County. (But shouldn't the court be able to weigh such prior events in determining whether the entire course of conduct warrants issuance of a protection order?)
State v. McNeil (2000), 137 Ohio App. 3d 34 -- A trial court may summarily dismiss claims in a postconviction petition that are baseless, such as claims barred by res judicata. However, it may not dismiss claims based on matters beyond the record without a review of the actual record. When the record is in the possession of an appellate court, the trial court must wait until the record is returned before determining whether such claims may disposed of without a hearing.
State v. Hay, 169 Ohio App. 3d 59, 2006-Ohio-5126 -- Defendant was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and acting in a way tending to cause a child to become delinquent. All were premised on furnishing alcohol to a minor. Applying res judicata, dismissal of the furnishing charge required dismissal of the other charges based on the same allegation.
State v. Cordle (January 8, 1985), Franklin Co. App. No. 84AP-484, unreported (1985 Opinions 29) -- When a minor misdemeanor is tried to the bench at the same time more serious charges are tried to the jury, the doctrine of res judicata bars the judge from convicting the defendant when acquittal by the jury means a common element has been resolved in the defendant's favor. Also see State v. Armstrong (July 16, 1991), Franklin Co. App. No. 90AP-690 (1991 Opinions 3262); State v. Capaniro (March 21, 1995), Franklin Co. App. No. 94APC09-1377, unreported (1995 Opinions 1129); Beacon Theaters v. Westover (1959), 359 U.S. 500.
State v. Roberts, Wood App. Nos. WD-03-001. WD-02-66, 2003-Ohio-5689 -- ¶ 11 "...(W)hen a motion for new trial is granted, we conclude that it is within the trial court's discretion whether or not to reopen factual determinations which have already been fully litigated."
State v. Brown, 167 Ohio App. 3d 239, 2006-Ohio-3266 -- Drawing a parallel to Civil Rule 60(B) two of three judges think res judicata is relevant in reviewing postsentence motions to withdraw guilty pleas. See concurring opinion for the better view.
State v. Getsy (1998), 84 Ohio St. 3d 180, 184-185 -- During a death penalty trial, the presiding judge attended a party with the prosecutor, then was charged with OMVI after being involved in an auto accident on the way home. The Chief Justice denied an affidavit of disqualification. This ruling is res judicata as to an assignment of error challenging the judge's failure to recuse himself or declare a mistrial.
State v. Lentz (1994), 70 Ohio St. 3d 527 -- Syllabus: "When a criminal defendant is represented by two different attorneys from the same public defender's office at trial and on direct appeal, res judicata bars a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel raised for the first time in a petition for postconviction relief when such claim could have been made on direct appeal without resort to evidence beyond the record, unless the defendant proves that an actual conflict of interest enjoined appellate counsel from raising ineffective assistance of trial counsel on direct appeal."
State v. Szefcyk (1996), 77 Ohio St. 3d 93 -- Syllabus: "Under the doctrine of res judicata, a final judgment of conviction bars a convicted defendant who was represented by counsel from raising and litigating in any proceeding, except an appeal from that judgment, any defense or any claimed lack of due process that was raised or could have been raised by the defendant at the trial, which resulted in that judgment of conviction, or on an appeal from that judgment. (State v. Perry [1967], 10 Ohio St. 2d 175...paragraph nine of the syllabus, approved and followed; State v. Westfall [1995], 71 Ohio St. 3d 565...disapproved.)" On direct appeal, defendant lost on the claim that a minor misdemeanor could not be the basis for an involuntary manslaughter conviction. Subsequently, in another case, the Supreme Court of Ohio held otherwise. A post conviction action successfully secured defendant's release. [State v. Szefcyk (1995), 104 Ohio App. 3d 118.] Ohio Supreme Court reversed.
Freeman v. Tate (1992), 65 Ohio St. 3d 440 -- The doctrine of res judicata applies to successive habeas corpus petitions. Also see Hudlin v. Alexander (1992), 63 Ohio St. 3d 153.
State v. Apanovitch (1995), 107 Ohio App. 3d 82, 89 -- "Res judicata is an affirmative defense which must be raised in a responsive pleading or it is waived."
State v. Bolds (1994), 96 Ohio App. 3d 483, 485 -- "Where a defendant fails to raise questions about the constitutionality of a statute or ordinance, and such questions are subsequently decided in a case brought by another individual, the defendant is barred by the doctrine of res judicata from raising such questions in a postconviction proceeding."
Standefer v. United States (1980), 447 U.S. 10, 21-25 -- The doctrine of nonmutual collateral estoppel will not be applied in criminal cases prosecuted in the federal courts.

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