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December in even-numbered years is a busy time for the Ohio Supreme Court as it rushes to decide argued cases before the biennial change in the membership of the court, and December 2022 was no exception. In December, the court decided 20 cases that directly or indirectly involved  the Ohio Constitution.  These and other state constitutional cases decided during 2022 are listed on the Ohio Constitution: Law and History website under the Court Decisions menu. In addition, the menu contains the Pipeline (January 1, 2023), which lists cases with state constitutional issues that the court will be reviewing.


The December decisions included the following cases, which are described more fully on the website:

  • Recalibrating the use of Chevron deference and stating that judicial deference to administrative agencies is permissive rather than mandatory and may occur only when a statutory term is ambiguous (TWISM Enterprises, v. State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors);
  • Holding that motorist with automobile leases who had paid fines and not disputed the applicability of the city’s automated-traffic-enforcement ordinance were barred by res judicata from raising subsequent unjust-enrichment claims against the city (Lycan v. City of Cleveland);
  • Holding the state cap on non-economic damages unconstitutional as applied under the state “due course of law” provision in Art. I, sec. 16, to a young girl who been raped repeatedly even though the court had earlier upheld the facial validity of the cap (Brandt v. Pompa);
  • Holding that sentencing a juvenile to life in prison with the possibility of parole constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 9 of the Ohio Constitution, where the defendant was convicted as a juvenile and the trial court failed to consider his youth as a mitigating factor in sentencing (State v. Morris);
  • Holding that a statute requiring continuation of Tier I sex offender classification for a juvenile at a completion-of-disposition hearing and not allowing the juvenile court to exercise discretion to make its own determination as to whether the continuation of Tier I offender status into adulthood was necessary or warranted was fundamentally unfair in violation of due process as applied to the juvenile; noting that “[d]ue process rights are applicable to juveniles through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution” (In re D.R.);
  • Holding that the trial court was required to provide the defendant, who had been charged with abduction, with a bill of particulars to advise the defendant of “the right to know the nature of the accusation being made by the state;“ under  I, sec.10, and pointing out that with the advent of short-form indictments, bills of particulars became necessary in some cases to give the accused specifics as to what conduct the state was alleging constituted the offense, so that the accused could mount a defense.” And rejecting the argument that there is an exception to the requirement of a bill of particulars when there is full discovery, “since discovery and the bill of particulars serve different purposes.” (State v. Haynes);
  • Deciding three cases construing Marsy’s Law, Art. I, sec. 10a, which deals with the rights of victims of crimes (State v. Brasher; State v. Fisk; State v. Yerkey).

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