Statutory Construction


Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

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

Chapter 1, Ohio Revised Code -- Definitions and Rules of Construction.
R.C. 1.01 ―Title, Chapter, and section headings and marginal General Code section numbers do not constitute any part of the law as contained in the "Revised Code."'
R.C. 1.11 -- Remedial laws are to be liberally construed.
R.C. 1.12 -- Special provision governs unless cumulative.
R.C. 1.14 -- In computing time first day is excluded and last day included.
R.C. 1.48 -- Statute presumed prospective.
R.C. 1.49 -- Legislative intent is to be considered only if statute is ambiguous.
R.C. 1.50 -- If part of a statute is held invalid, balance remains in effect.
R.C. 1.51 -- Special or local provision prevails over general.
R.C. 1.58 -- Effect of reenactment, amendment, or repeal.
R.C. 2901.04 -- "(A) Sections of the Revised Code defining offenses or penalties shall be strictly construed against the state, and liberally construed in favor of the accused. (B) Rules of criminal procedure and sections of the Revised Code providing for criminal procedure shall be construed so as to effect the fair, impartial, speedy, and sure administration of justice."


State v. Palmer, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-580 – When a statue has been excised because it violates the separation of powers doctrine, portions that do not do so remain in force. Prosecutor argued an unqualified excision of R.C. 2950.031 and 2950.032 also eliminated a petition for relief subsection in those statutes.
In re Goodman, 161 Ohio App. 3d 192, 2005-Ohio-2364 -- It was error for the juvenile court not to address an oral argument that Chapter 2950 is unconstitutional as applied to children. But that error is harmless and the court of appeals rejects those claims.
North Olmstead v. North Olmstead Land Holdings, Ltd. (2000), 137 Ohio App. 3d 1, 6 -- The constitutionality of a statute should not be addressed where the record presents some other ground upon which the court may base its decision. Also see Department of Commerce v. United States House of Representatives (1999), 119 S.Ct. 765; Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority (1936), 207 U.S. 288. Accordingly, a municipal ordinance under constitutional attack should initially be afforded the presumption of constitutionality, and the court should consider nonconstitutional issues raised by a motion to dismiss.
State v. Burnett, 93 Ohio St. 3d 419, 2001-Ohio-1581 -- The Supreme Court of Ohio is not bound by rulings on federal constitutional or statutory law made by a federal court other than the United States Supreme Court. However, such decisions will be accorded some persuasive weight.
State v. Collier (1991), 62 Ohio St. 3d 267, 269 -- "It is well established that all legislative enactments must be afforded a strong presumption of constitutionality.
State v. McDonald (1987), 31 Ohio App. 3d 47, 48 -- "(A)ny reasonable doubt regarding the constitutionality of a legislative enactment must be resolved in favor of the General Assembly's power to enact the law."
State v. Awan (1986), 22 Ohio St. 3d 120 -- Syllabus: "Failure to raise at the trial court level the issue of the constitutionality of a statute or its application, which issue is apparent at the time of trial, constitutes a waiver of such issue and a deviation from this state's orderly procedure, and therefore need not be heard for the first time on appeal."

Language and Legislative Intent

Dolan v. Postal Service (2006), 546 U.S. 481, 486 – "A word in a statute may or may not extend to the outer limit of definitional possibilities." Also see Abuelhawa v. United States (2009), 129 S.Ct. 2192 involving the word 'facilitate.'
In re Andrew, 119 Ohio St. 3d 466, 2008-Ohio-4791, ¶6 – If possible, courts should give meaning to every word in an act. Words in statutes should not be construed to be redundant, nor should any words be ignored.
State v. Kent, 163 Ohio Misc. 2d 19, 2010-Ohio-6695R.C. 2925.56, concerning the unlawful sale of pseudoephedrine, creates three offenses addressing excessive sales, sales to minors, and maintenance of a log book. The log book subsection reaches only “retailers” and “terminal distributor” though the other offenses also apply to their employees. Employee charged with a log book violation was not subject to the provision, because every word in a statute is presumed to have some effect.
State v. Kreischer, 109 Ohio St. 3d 391, 2006-Ohio-2706 -- Syllabus: "Statutory interpretation involves an examination of the words used by the legislature in a statute, and when the General Assembly has plainly and unambiguously conveyed its legislative intent, there is nothing for a court to interpret or construe, therefore, the court applies the law as written."
State v. Maxwell, 95 Ohio St. 3d 254, 2002-Ohio-2121 -- Ohio resident was convicted of pandering obscenity involving a minor premised on R.C. 2907.321(A)(6), which proscribes: "No person, with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, shall do any of the following...Bring or cause to be brought into this state any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers. (1) Though knowledge of the character of the material must be proven, overall, strict liability applies. The General Assembly distinguishes between sections and divisions in the Ohio Revised Code. Therefore, a division defining a particular manner in which an offense may be committed may carry a specific culpable mental state, but the section as a whole may carry a different culpable mental state. (2) Material was received in Ohio via AOL servers in Virginia. Majority finds application of the statute is appropriate even though it predates the Internet. Dissent would not apply statute in circumstances unforeseen at the time it was enacted, noting users may have no knowledge as to the route Internet communications travel.
State ex rel Thompson v. Spon (1998), 83 Ohio St. 3d 551, 553 -- "The paramount consideration in construing a statute is legislative intent. State ex rel. Asberry v. Payne (1998), 82 Ohio St. 3d 44, 47...In determining legislative intent, we must first review the language of the statute in question. State ex rel. Sinay v. Sodders (1997), 80 Ohio St. 3d 224, 227."
In re Collier (1993), 85 Ohio App. 3d 232, 236-237 -- "In construing a statute, a court's paramount concern is the legislative intent in enacting the statute...Under Ohio law, it is a cardinal rule that a court must first look to the language of the statute itself to determine the legislative intent...In interpreting a statute, words and phrases shall be read in context and construed according to the rules of grammar and common usage...Courts do not have the authority to ignore the plain and unambiguous language of a statute under the guise of statutory interpretation, but must give effect to the words used...In other words, courts may not delete words or insert words not used." (Citations omitted.)
State v. Waddell (1995), 71 Ohio St. 3d 630, 631 -- "To properly construe this statute, we must first look at the express wording of the statute...Courts must give effect to the words of a statute and may not modify an unambiguous statute by deleting words used or inserting words not used...Simply stated, 'an unambiguous statute means what it says.'" (citations omitted)
D.T. Woodbury & Co. v. Berry (1869), 18 Ohio St. 456 -- Paragraph one of the syllabus: "Where the words of a statute are plain, explicit, and unequivocal, a court is not warranted in departing from their obvious meaning, although from considerations arising outside of the language of the statute, it may be convinced that the legislature intended to enact something different from what it did in fact enact." Followed: State v. Bellman (1999), 86 Ohio St. 3d 208, 211.
Fairborn v. DeDomenico (1996), 114 Ohio App. 3d 590, 591 -- "In our system of government, valid legislative enactments, even seemingly flawed or incomplete ones, may not be amended by judicial ukase (edict)." If a provision is not ambiguous, construction is not needed and legislative intent is not at issue.
Meeks v. Papadopulos (1980), 62 Ohio St. 2d 187, 191 -- Analyses prepared by the Legislative Services Commission may be referred to in construing a statute, when helpful, but they are not controlling. Statutes relating to the same subject matter, though passed at different times, may be read together to ascertain and effectuate, if possible, the legislative intent.
State v. Moss (1982), 69 Ohio St. 2d 515 -- Paragraphs three and four of the syllabus: "(3) The Blockburger test is a rule of statutory construction that is inapplicable where the intent of the General Assembly is manifest. (Albernaz v. United States, 450 U.S. 333; Ianelli v. United States, 420 U.S. 770, approved and followed.) (4) The Blockburger test is not to be used alone to ascertain legislative intent, but is to be utilized in conjunction with other tests employed for purposes of statutory construction." Also see State v. Rance  (1999), 85 Ohio St. 3d 632.
State v. Barker (1983), 8 Ohio St. 3d 39, 41 fn. 3 -- Application of the doctrine of Ejusdem generis means that when general words follow an enumeration of persons or things of a specific type, the general words are held to apply only to persons or things of the same general class as those specifically mentioned.
State v. Reineke (1986), 27 Ohio App. 3d 382 -- Headnote: "An error which is manifest beyond doubt, either on the face of a statute or when read in connection with other statutes in paria materia, may be corrected by a court if the true intention of the legislature can be ascertained. The strict letter of the statute must yield to the obvious intent."

Revision and Repeal

Stevens v. Ackman (2001), 91 Ohio St. 3d 182, 190-195 – Statute was amended. The bill signed by the governor still included language struck down by Supreme Court. In the circumstances of this case (“tort reform”), this did not amount to reenactment.
United States v. O’Brien (2010), 130 S.Ct. 2169 – One count of a robbery indictment charged the use of a machine gun, carrying a 30-year mandatory minimum term. The government dismissed this count as it was unable to prove the weapon operated fully automatically, but sought to use the statutory language on which the charge was based as a sentencing enhancement. The Supreme Court concluded use of a machine gun was an element. Construing the statute, the court looked at the former version which had been interpreted to make use of a machine gun an element, and the changes made to the reenacted version. Movement of the language in question to a separate paragraph comports with modern drafting practice and does not convert use to a sentencing factor
State v. LaSalle, 96 Ohio St. 3d 178, 2002-Ohio-4009 -- Syllabus: "(1) Absent a clear pronouncement by the General Assembly that a statute is to be applied retrospectively, a statute may be applied prospectively only. (R.C. 1.48, applied.) (2) The statutory law in effect at the time of the filing of an R.C. 2953.32 application to seal a record of conviction is controlling." Application to expunge a domestic violence conviction was filed before law was changed to bar expungement, but expungement was granted after the new version of the statute went into effect.
State v. Sullivan (2001), 90 Ohio St. 3d 502 -- Paragraph two of the syllabus: "When a court strikes down a statute as unconstitutional, and the offending statute replaced an existing law that had been repealed in the same bill that enacted the offending statute, the repeal is also invalid unless it clearly appears that the General Assembly meant the repeal to have effect even if the offending statute had never been passed. (State ex rel. Pogue v. Groom [1914], 91 Ohio St. 1...paragraph three of the syllabus, approved and followed.)
State v. Kaplowitz, 100 Ohio St. 3d 205, 2003-Ohio-5602 -- Syllabus: "R.C. 1.58 does not apply to give a criminal defendant the benefit of a reduced sentence if, by applying it, the court alters the nature of the offense, including specifications to which the defendant pled guilty or of which he was found guilty. State v. Kinder (2000), 140 Ohio App. 3d 235, disapproved."
State v. Jones, Lorain App. No. 03CA008370, 2004-Ohio-3417 -- Court erroneously granted judicial release after the defendant served three years of mandatory time on a firearm specification and only seven months of the remaining five year sentence. Under the law controlling at the time sentence was imposed, he must serve the entire five years. R.C. 1.58 does not bring the benefit of amendment permitting application after serving four years of a five-year sentence.
State v. McLaughlin, 157 Ohio App. 3d 1, 2004-Ohio-1780 -- Prior to March 23, 2000 treatment in lieu of conviction required imprisonment upon revocation. Intervention in lieu of conviction does not. Trial court mistakenly applied an earlier version of R.C. 2951.041. Court rebuffs the state's claim multiple enactments relating to the statute meant the intervention version never went into effect. Second signed, first effective, amendment had the effect of modifying the old version for only a short time.
State v. Frey, 166 Ohio App. 3d 819, 2006-Ohio-2452 -- Chillicothe had two ordinances proscribing trespass in a vehicle. Illogically, the offense with the greater culpable mental state carried the lesser penalty. Majority holds they are not in conflict. Dissenting judge believes the later enacted impliedly repealed the earlier ordinance.
State v. Kinder (2000), 140 Ohio App. 3d 235 -- Applying R.C. 1.58, the defendant was entitled to the benefit of the version of controlling statutes which went into effect shortly before the sentencing hearing, which reduced the length of the license suspension the court was permitted to impose. While Kinder was disapproved in State v. Kaplowitz, 100 Ohio St. 3d 205, 2003-Ohio-5602, this was only with respect to the incarceration aspect of the sentence. Defendants remain entitled to the benefit of reduced license suspensions under the revised statutes.
State v. Wilson (1997), 77 Ohio St. 3d 334 -- Syllabus: "In determining the scope of an 'existing sections' repeal, a court need only look to the body of an enrolled Act to which the repealer applies. Matter to be affected by an 'existing sections' repeal must appear in the body of the enrolled Act and must be stricken through."
Erie County Drug Task Force v. Essian (1992), 82 Ohio App. 3d 27 -- Amended forfeiture statute which expanded the time available to conduct hearing on a petition held not to apply to pending cases, absent language to that effect in the statute. Presumption of prospective application can only be overcome where the statute states it is to apply to pending cases.
State v. Saylor (1998), 125 Ohio App. 3d 633 -- Though the deadline for filing a petition in the trial court was set for one year after the effective date of legislation, where the specified deadline fell on a Saturday, the actual deadline was the following Monday.
State v. Conyers (1999), 87 Ohio St. 3d 246 -- Prior to 1994 parolees were not defined as being in custody for purposes of the escape statute, but amendment of the statute effectively allowed prosecution for escape for unauthorized absences from halfway houses. But until 1998, R.C. 2967.15, controlling arrest and proceedings against parolees, continued to exclude prosecution for escape. Held that R.C. 2967.15 constituted a special provision controlling over the general provision of the escape statute.


State v. Consilio, 114 Ohio St. 3d 295, 2007-Ohio-4163 -- Paragraph one of the syllabus: "A statute must clearly proclaim its own retroactivity to overcome the presumption of prospective application. Retroactivity is not to be inferred. (Kelley v. State (1916), 94 Ohio St. 331...followed.) Subsequent amendment of a DNA testing statute to expressly make it retroactive does not demonstrate an original legislative intent it be so. Nor does the reference to an archaic form of supervised release (probation) demonstrate such intent.
State v. LaSalle, 96 Ohio St. 3d 178, 2002-Ohio-4009 -- Syllabus: "(1) Absent a clear pronouncement by the General Assembly that a statute is to be applied retrospectively, a statute may be applied prospectively only. (R.C. 1.48, applied.) (2) The statutory law in effect at the time of the filing of an R.C. 2953.32 application to seal a record of conviction is controlling." Application to expunge a domestic violence conviction was filed before law was changed to bar expungement, but expungement was granted after the new version of the statute went into effect.
State v. Mutter, 171 Ohio App. 3d 563, 2007-Ohio-1052 -- Retroactive application of the statute banning sex offenders living within 1000 feet of a school to those who acquired the property before the effective date of the statute violated the ban on retroactive laws set forth in Article II, Section 28 of the Ohio Constitution. Defendant moved in well before the statute went into effect and was ordered to move or face a year in prison for violation of community control. Though those retroactively made subject to reporting and registration requirements for sex offenders were stuck with the determination that such measures were "remedial", the court views property rights as substantive rights. Also see Nasal v. Dover, 169 Ohio App. 3d 262, 2006-Ohio-5584.

General Versus Specific Provisions

State v. Taylor, 113 Ohio St. 3d 297, 2007-Ohio-1950 -- Syllabus: "An attempted possession of illegal drugs is a drug abuse offense, and an individual convicted of an attempted drug abuse offense is subject to the mandatory sentencing provisions of R.C. 2925.11." Majority reaches this conclusion by deeming the attempt statute a general provision and the drug abuse statute a specific provision, and thus controlling. Dissent views attempt as a separate offense. Thus the defendant is not subject to mandatory time and may be granted judicial release. Matters complicated by the fact the defendant began by challenging the voluntariness of his plea and the prosecutor is advancing the interpretation advocated by the dissent.
State ex rel. Slagle v. Rogers, 103 Ohio St. 3d 89, 2004-Ohio-4354 -- Syllabus: "When a party to an action requests copies of a court transcript of the proceedings in that action, R.C. 149.43 is superseded by R.C. 2301.24, and the party must pay the official court reporter the fees designated by the court pursuant to the latter statute." Specific statute governs over the general statute as to transcripts. However, tapes are not included, so a copy must be furnished at the cost of duplication.
State v. Venditti (1999), 133 Ohio App. 3d 325 -- Misdemeanor offense of placing a hazardous substance in food is not a specific statute precluding prosecution for the general statute proscribing first-degree felony offense of contamination of food.
Niles v. Howard (1984), 12 Ohio St. 3d 162 -- A general law is one setting forth police, sanitary or other similar regulations and not statutes only purporting to grant or limit the powers of municipal corporations with regard to such matters. In determining whether an ordinance is in conflict with the general law of the state, the inquiry is whether the ordinance permits what the statute forbids, and vice versa. An ordinance which provides a greater penalty for a misdemeanor than a statute is not in conflict with general law. An ordinance which reclassifies an offense, such as from a felony to a misdemeanor is in conflict.
State v. Volpe (1988), 38 Ohio St. 3d 191 -- Where a statute specifically proscribes possession of a particular object or device, and punishes possession as a misdemeanor, that provision controls and the possessing criminal tools statute cannot be used to punish possession of that same article as a felony. Also see State v. Ball (1991), 72 Ohio App. 3d 43, 51-52; State v. Chandler (1989), 54 Ohio App. 3d 92; State v. Mateo (1991), 57 Ohio St. 3d 50.
State v. Frost (1979), 57 Ohio St. 2d 121 -- Paragraph one of the syllabus: "Where there is no manifest legislative intent that a general provision of the Revised Code prevail over a special provision, the special provision takes precedence. (Paragraph one of the syllabus in Cincinnati v. Thomas Soft Ice Cream, 52 Ohio St. 2d 76, approved and followed.)" At page 124: "It has been a long-standing rule that courts will not hold prior legislation to be impliedly repealed by the enactment of subsequent legislation unless the subsequent legislation clearly requires that holding."
State v. King (1991), 81 Ohio App. 3d 210 -- Defendant who photocopied nominating petitions from a previous year should have been charged under R.C. 3599.14, which proscribes such acts, and not under the forgery statute. State v. Volpe (1988), 38 Ohio St. 3d 191, applied.
State v. Chippendale (1990), 52 Ohio St. 3d 118 -- Paragraphs two and three of the syllabus: "(2) Where it is clear that a general provision of the Criminal Code applies coextensively with a special provision, R.C. 1.51 allows a prosecutor to charge on both. (3) Where it is clear that a special provision prevails over a general provision or the Criminal Code is silent or ambiguous on the matter, under R.C. 1.51, a prosecutor may charge only on the special provision."

May Versus Shall

State v. Doe, 101 Ohio St. 3d 170, 2004-Ohio-705 -- In the event of the death of a client, R.C. 2317.02(A) provides the attorney may testify if the surviving spouse of the client waives the attorney-client privilege. The use of "may" instead of "shall" in the statute is construed to vest the discretion to ultimately reveal privileged material in the court, not the attorney.
In re Davis (1999), 84 Ohio St. 3d 520, 522 -- "But even with 'shall' as the operative verb, a statutory time provision may be directory. 'As a general rule, a statute which provides a time for the performance of an official duty will be construed as directory so far as time for performance is concerned, especially where the statute fixes the time simply for convenience or orderly procedure.'...This is so 'unless the nature of the act to be performed or the phraseology of the statute or of other statutes relating to the same subject-matter is such that the designation of time must be considered a limitation upon the power of the officer.'" Citing State ex rel. Jones v. Farrar (1946), 146 Ohio St. 467 and State ex rel. Smith v. Barnell (1924), 109 Ohio St. 246.
Woodman v. Tubbs Jones (1995), 103 Ohio App. 3d 577, 581 -- While use of the word "shall" usually means the provision in which it is contained is mandatory, the word must be interpreted as permissive or advisory if it appears from the wording, sense, or policy of the statute that the legislature so intended.

Other Issues

State v. Bartrum, 121 Ohio St. 3d 148, 2009-Ohio-355, ¶18 – "We have emphasized that '"where there is ambiguity in a criminal statute, doubts are resolved in favor of the defendant."' State v. Young (1980), 62 Ohio St. 2d 370, 374…quoting United States v. Bass (1971), 404 U.S. 336, 348."
State v. Besancon, 188 Ohio App. 3d 141, 2010-Ohio-2147 – In Amish country, a trailer being used to haul cattle to an auction house did not display a license plate. Driver of pickup hauling the trailer was cited for failure to display. The defense claimed the trailer did not have to display a tag because it was “farm equipment.” ¶13: “Besancon’s livestock trailer is both a ‘trailer’ as that term is defined by R.C. 4501.01(M) and ‘farm machinery’ as defined by R.C. 4503.01(U). Under 2901.04(A), ‘Sections of the Revised Code defining offenses * * * shall be construed strictly against the state and liberally construed in favor of he accused.’ In reading R.C. 4501.01 and 4503.01 together in a light most favorable to Besancon, we conclude that his livestock trailer was ‘farm machinery’ and that the farm-machinery exception provided in R.C. 4501.01(B) applies to the definition of motor vehicle under R.C. 4503.01 and 4503.21(A).”
State v. Thompson, 161 Ohio App. 3d 334, 2005-Ohio-2508, ¶16-26 -- Where a Supreme Court decision provides a limiting interpretation of a statute, it applies retroactively in pending cases, even if within an appellate district it represents a clear break with precedent.
State v. Porterfield, 106 Ohio App. 3d 5, 2005-Ohio-3095 -- Paragraph one of the syllabus: "As used in the Ohio Revised Code, the word 'section' unambiguously refers to a decimal-numbered statute only."
State ex rel Newman v. Gretick, 155 Ohio App. 3d 696, 2004-Ohio-222 -- While the Rules of Superintendence by themselves do not create rights for litigants, failure to render judgment in a divorce case within the prescribed 90 days, the apparent lack of progress towards that goal and petitioner's medical condition warrant issuance of the writ.
State v. Bowen (2000), 139 Ohio App. 3d 41, 47-48 -- On construing the use of the word "or" where a comma would have been helpful: "The sentence is an example of the poor writing endemic in what the legislature has the gall to call the Revised Code. Almost all of the code is badly drafted, and much of it is nigh undecipherable. A random example follows (from the drunk driving statute)...I count fifteen times that the word "or" is used in just one sentence...Considering the above passage, I hesitate to ascribe to the legislature any knowledge of grammar or clear writing, much less knowledge of the last antecedent doctrine...Why must the legislature write ambiguous laws? The phrase in question here is only twenty-one words - a model of brevity, especially the more common 239-word opus quoted earlier. Surely the legislature could have written it so the meaning is plain. It is not difficult. But it is their job." Also see State v. Darling (2000), 139 Ohio App. 3d 610, 616.
Agee v. Russell, 92 Ohio St. 3d 540, 2001-Ohio-1279 -- Teague v. Lane (1989), 489 U.S. 288 retroactivity analysis does not apply to cases decided on the basis of statutory interpretation. The Ohio view is that such interpretation clarifies the meaning of the statute but does not announce a new rule of law. Unless stated otherwise, such interpretations apply retroactively. Also see State v. Timmerman-Cooper 93 Ohio St. 3d 614, 2001-Ohio-1803.
In re Moore, 158 Ohio App. 3d 679, 2004-Ohio-4544, ¶24 -- Generally a Supreme Court decision interpreting a statute is retrospective as it reflects an interpretation of the correct meaning of the provision. An exception is made if all of the following are met: (1) The decision is one of first impression that was not clearly foreshadowed. (2) Retrospective application will retard application of the statute, in view of its prior history, purpose, and effect. (3) Retrospective application will produce substantial injustice or hardship.
Youngstown v. Ortiz, 153 Ohio App. 3d 271, 2003-Ohio-2238 -- Defendant was charged with a first degree misdemeanor, found incompetent to stand trial, and sent off for a course of treatment. The version of R.C. 2945.38 in effect at the time had been found unconstitutional and the new version had not gone into effect at the time of the order. The version before the version found unconstitutional is controlling in determining the issues on appeal.
State v. Blaine, Highland App. No. 03CA9, 2004-Ohio-1241 -- In a prosecution for violation of a civil protection order, the jury was told the order was stipulated, but it was unclear whether this meant a copy could be admitted as an exhibit, or that the parties stipulated the validity of the order. Defendant claimed this amounted to improper judicial notice. Ambiguity in the record must be resolved in favor of the defendant. Since the order was not in the same proceedings, judicial notice was improper.
United States v. Lopez (1995), 514 U.S. 549 -- Federal statute making it an offense to possess a firearm in a school zone exceeded Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause.
State v. Collins (1984), 18 Ohio App. 3d 72 -- Headnote 1: "In order to determine whether an Ohio statute has been preempted by federal legislation, the court must determine whether Congress has expressly or impliedly excluded state action in the field, and if not, whether the state law conflicts with the federal law so as to impair the federal superintendence of the field."
State v. Covington (1995), 107 Ohio App. 3d 203 -- A statute of another state is to be construed in accordance with the law of that state, and not Ohio law. Conviction of reckless homicide under Kentucky law did not constitute an offense of violence giving rise to a disability. The definition of recklessness under Kentucky law is the equivalent of negligence under Ohio law, and is controlling.
State v. Sufronko (1995), 105 Ohio App. 3d 504 -- (1) At p. 506: "When interpreting statutes and their application, an appellate court conducts a de novo review, without deference to the trial court's determination." (2) Defendant signed his brother's name to tickets and was convicted of forgery. Court rejects claim R.C. 1.51 limited prosecution to falsification, that being a special provision applicable in the circumstances, as violations of the two statutes arise from different conduct.
State v. Brewer (1994), 96 Ohio App. 3d 413 -- Recklessness and not strict liability, is the culpable mental state for failure to obey the order of a traffic officer, R.C. 2921.331(A). Statute was not structured so as to provide differing degrees of culpability for different acts, which might permit inference that strict liability was intended. Highway Patrol officer arrested medic who refused to move ambulance at wreck location because it would interfere with medical assistance.
State v. Maxson (1978), 54 Ohio St. 2d 190 -- Syllabus: "An individual who has passed his or her fifteenth birthday but has not reached his or her sixteenth birthday is 'over fifteen years of age' pursuant to R.C. 2907.04."
State v. Slatter (1981), 66 Ohio St. 2d 452 -- Article IV, Sec. 5(B) of the Ohio Constitution permits the Supreme Court to adopt rules of procedure which do not abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right. If there is a conflict between a procedural statute and a rule, the statute governs if substantive rights are involved and the rule if procedural rights are at issue. Also see Boyer v. Boyer (1976), 46 Ohio St. 2d 83, 86; Krause v. State (1972), 31 Ohio St. 2d 132; Gregory v. Flowers (1972), 32 Ohio St. 2d 48; State v. Hughes (1975), 41 Ohio St. 2d 208.
Cuyahoga Falls v. Bowers (1984), 9 Ohio St. 3d 148 -- Syllabus: "The provision in R.C. 2937.07 requiring an explanation of circumstances following a plea of no contest has not been superseded by the enactment of Crim. R. 11 because the statutory provision confers a substantive right."

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