Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court remanded this defamation case to the trial court for further proceedings, holding that the cap in Ohio Rev. Code 2315.18 that applies to tort actions seeking noneconomic loss as a result of an alleged injury or loss to a person or property also applies to defamation. Plaintiff filed this civil complaint against Defendant, alleging several claims. At trial, the only claim submitted to the jury was for defamation. The jury found in favor of Plaintiff and awarded her $800,000 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages. Defendant appealed, arguing that the amount awarded in damages was in excess of the applicable caps on damages set forth in section 2315.18(B)(2). The appellate court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the cap on damages for noneconomic loss set forth in section 2315.18(B)(2) unambiguously caps the noneconomic damages that can be recovered as a result of defamation. View "Wayt v. DHSC, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) rejecting the method of valuation espoused by an appraiser for the property owner, HCP EMOH, LLC, to derive an opinion of value for an assisted-living facility and instead adopting the valuation reached by an appraiser for the Washington County Board of Revision (BOR) and Washington County Auditor (collectively, the county), holding that the BTA erred in adopting the county’s appraisal. The property at issue consisted of two parcels constituting almost seven acres of land and was improved with a one-story assisted-living facility. At issue was how an appraiser should separate the family’s business value from the value of the realty. HCP’s appraiser relied on apartment comparable to reach a value for the property. The county, however, relied on data from the assisted-living-facility market. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision, holding (1) case law permits but does not require consideration of apartment comparable; but (2) the county’s appraiser was not scrupulous in selecting data that led him to value the business rather than the realty. View "HCP EMOH, LLC v. Washington County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) dismissing Appellants’ appeal from a decision of the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (BOR) because it found that Appellants failed to timely file a notice of appeal with the BOR in accordance with Ohio Rev. Code 5717.01, holding that the BTA properly dismissed the appeal. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) to perfect an appeal of a county board of revision’s decision to the BTA, a notice of appeal must be timely filed with both the BTA and the BOR; (2) Appellants did not timely file a notice of appeal with the BOR as required by section 5717.01; and (3) the BTA was not required to convene an evidentiary hearing, and therefore, Appellants’ claim of a constitutional due-process violation was unfounded. View "Ross v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Mars Urban Solutions, LLC and Michael Majeski seeking to compel the Cuyahoga County fiscal officer and Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (BOR) to comply with a judgment of the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that reduced the 2010 value of a property that Majeski owned and later conveyed to Mars Urban, holding that a writ was not warranted in this case. The Court reached its conclusion after noting that 2012 was the first year of a new sexennium, and any dispute that Mars Urban and Majeski had pertaining to the property value for any year beyond 2011 should have been filed as a new and separate claim for each year. The Court also held that the fiscal officer and the BOR submitted sufficient evidence to establish that both entities complied with the BTA’s judgment for tax years 2010 and 2011. Therefore, the Court denied the writ. View "State ex rel. Mars Urban Solutions, LLC v. Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the tax commissioner’s denial of Willoughby Hills Development and Distribution, Inc.’s (WHDD) request for a commercial-activity-tax (CAT) refund, holding that WHDD fell short of the requirements necessary for the gross-receipts exclusion to apply. Subject to exclusions, the CAT is levied on each entity with taxable gross receipts above a certain threshold for the privilege of doing business in Ohio. At issue was whether WHDD could meet the requirements of the gross-receipts exclusion that applies when a person or entity acts as an agent for another. The tax commissioner concluded that no agency relationship existed and denied the refund claim. The BTA affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that WHDD did not meet the CAT statute’s definition of “agent.” View "Willoughby Hills Development & Distribution, Inc. v. Testa" on Justia Law

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In this property tax appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) concluding that the Marion County Board of Revision (BOR) and the River Valley Local School District Board of Education (school board) were barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel from seeking to enforce a recorded covenant that purported to prohibit Kohl’s Illinois, Inc., the property owner in this case, from contesting the Marion County auditor’s valuations of the property, holding that the BTA properly applied collateral estoppel. After the Supreme Court remanded this case in Kohl’s I, the BTA remanded the matter to the BOR to determine value. No appeal was taken from this decision. On remand at the BOR, Kohl’s introduced an appraisal report and testimony in support of a reduced value. When the BOR retained the auditor’s valuation, Kohl’s appealed. The BTA held that it had already decided not to enforce the covenant at issue in its earlier decision and that the BOR and school board were barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel from seeking enforcement of the covenant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA did make a determination as to the covenant issue. View "Kohl's Illinois, Inc. v. Marion County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In this real-property-valuation case, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the decision of the Clark County Board of Revision (BOR) retaining Clark County auditor’s determination of the current agricultural use valuation (CAUV) for the subject property for tax year 2013, holding that there was no merit to Appellant’s arguments on appeal. Appellant, the property owner, challenged the CAUV. The BOR rejected Appellant’s claims. The BTA affirmed. On appeal, Appellant argued, among other things, that the BTA misapplied the burden of proof and improperly applied a presumption of validity to the BOR’s decision. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the BTA, holding that Appellant’s arguments were without merit. View "Johnson v. Clark County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In this appeal involving the real-property valuation of a “racino” in Cuyahoga County, the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) rejecting the appraisal of the Warrensville Heights City School District Board of Education and adopting that of Harrah’s Ohio Acquisition Company, LLC, the property owner, holding that the BTA committed legal error in assessing the school board’s appraisal evidence. This was the third appeal before the Supreme Court involving the valuation of the property at issue. Unlike the two earlier cases, both the school board and Harrah’s submitted appraisal evidence. The BTA ultimately valued the property at $22 million. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision, holding that the BTA committed legal error in assessing the appraisals presented. View "Harrah's Ohio Acquisition Co., LLC v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) valuing a Red Lobster restaurant in the village of Orange for tax year 2014 according to the sale price, disregarding the appraisal evidence, holding that because the property owner’s appraisal was relevant evidence, the BTA should have considered and weighed it. The property owner (Appellant) brought the property in December 2014 from an LLC that bought the property in August 2014. The county auditor assessed the property at just over $2 million. The Board of Revision (BOR), however, valued the property at $2,925,900 based on the August 2014 sale. Appellant appealed, arguing that the appraisal it presented to the BOR, rather than either of the 2014 sale prices, reflected the true value of the property. The BTA refused to consider the appraisal and retained the BOR’s valuation. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision and remanded the cause for the BTA to weigh and address Appellant’s appraisal evidence based on the changes to Ohio Rev. Code 5713.03 made by 2014 Am.Sub.H.B.No.487. View "Spirit Master Funding IX, LLC v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In this property-tax appeal concerning the 2014 tax valuation of a shopping center consisting of five separate real estate parcels, the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA), holding that the BTA erred by excluding evidence offered to show the value of one parcel and by failing fully to consider the appraisal evidence. The auditor in this case assigned an aggregate value to the parcels of $22,233,850 as of the tax-lien date. Thereafter, the center was sold along with other properties. Both the Board of Revision and the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) valued the individual parcels by reference to the aggregate price of $47,479,830. Property owner Beavercreek Towne Stations, LLC and one of its tenants, Kohl’s Illinois, Inc., appealed, arguing, inter alia, that the BTA erred by excluding Kohl’s as a party and excluding the appraisal evidence concerning the value of the Kohl’s parcel. The Supreme court agreed, holding (1) the BTA erred by excluding evidence offered to show the value of the Kohl’s parcel; and (2) the BTA’s failure to fully consider the appraisal evidence necessitated vacating the BTA’s decision and remanding the cause pursuant to Terraza 8, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision, 83 N.E.3d 916 (Ohio 2017), and Bronx Park S. III Lancaster, LLC v. Fairfield County Board of Revision, __ N.E.3d __ (Ohio 2018). View "Beavercreek Towne Station, LLC v. Greene County Board of Revision" on Justia Law