Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting summary judgment for the State and denying Appellant's petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the State to initiate property-appropriation proceedings in this regulatory-takings case, holding that genuine issues of material fact remained regarding whether Appellant had suffered a total or partial taking.Appellant alleged that it had suffered a taking of its property when the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management suspended Appellant's operation of one of its two saltwater-injection wells. The Division suspended the well's operation due to concerns that the well had induced two earthquakes in its vicinity. The court of appeals granted summary judgment for the State, determining that Appellant had suffered neither a total nor a partial governmental taking. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment. View "State ex rel. AWMS Water Solutions, LLC v. Mertz" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied Relator's application for an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs in this mandamus action, holding that attorney fees were not available.The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus to compel the Ohio Department of Transportation and its director (ODOT) to conduct appropriation proceedings to determine the appropriate amount of compensation it should pay to New Wen, Inc., whose Wendy's restaurant was located at an intersection that ODOT closed. Thereafter, New Wen filed an application for attorney fees and other costs. ODOT opposed the application. The Supreme Court denied the application, holding that attorney fees were not available in this type of action. View "State ex rel. New Wen, Inc. v. Marchbanks" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting summary judgment to the State and denying AWMS Water Solutions, LLC's petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and others (collectively, the State) to initiate property-appropriation proceedings, holding that genuine issues of material fact remained regarding whether AWMS had suffered a total or partial taking.AWMS, a disposer of waste from oil and gas production and drilling sites, obtained permits to drill and inject saltwater in wells on its property. After an earthquake occurred, AWMS was ordered to suspend its operations at one of its wells. In its petition for a writ of mandamus, AWMS alleged that a suspension order effected a governmental taking of its property requiring the State to pay just compensation. The court of appeals granted summary judgment for the State and denied the mandamus petition. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) AWMS was justified in pursuing compensation through a takings action and that its claim was ripe at the time it instituted its action; and (2) there was a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether the State's suspension of operations at the well deprived AWMS of all economically beneficial use of its leasehold. View "State ex rel. AWMS Water Solutions, LLC v. Mertz" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals granting the city of Xenia's request for a writ of mandamus ordering the Greene County Board of Commissioners (the county) to approve the city's annexation petition, holding that the city's petition satisfied the conditions of Ohio Rev. Code 709.23(E).The proposed annexation in this case concerned approximately forty-five acres of land located between Central State University and Xenia. The county denied the petition, determining that the petition did not satisfy section 709.023(E)(1), (4), (5), or (7). Thereafter, the city filed an original action in the court of appeals requesting a writ of mandamus compelling the county to approve the petition. The court of appeals issued the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a writ of mandamus is a proper vehicle to compel the county to grant the petition; and (2) the city's petition satisfied the conditions specified in section 709.023(E). View "State ex rel. Xenia v. Greene County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that B.E.B. Properties reserved the right to receive future rental payments for leased land underneath a cell tower when it conveyed the property, holding that the deed did not contain such a reservation.B.E.B. Properties leased a portion of commercial property it owned to a cellular telephone company, and a cellular tower was erected on the site. B.E.B. subsequently sold the property to Keith Baker and Joseph Cyvas. Thereafter, two of the general partners in B.E.B. sold their interests in the partnership to Bruce and Sheila Bird, who believed this transaction included the assignment of the right to receive rental payments for the tower. When LRC Realty, Inc. acquired the property it sought a declaratory judgment that it was entitled to the annual rental payments. The trial court granted summary judgment for LRC Realty. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the Birds were entitled to rental payments based on the language contained in the deed transferring the property from B.E.B. to Baker and Cyvas. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) absent a reservation in the deed conveying the property, the right to receive rents runs with the land; and (2) the deed here did not create such a reservation. View "LRC Realty, Inc. v. B.E.B. Properties" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the writ of prohibition sought by a property owner who was the subject of a board of revision foreclosure seeking to invalidate the foreclosure adjudication, holding that the board of revision did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction when it proceeded in the foreclosure action.The Cuyahoga Board of Revision (BOR) entered a judgment of foreclosure concerning real property owned by Elliott Feltner. More than a year later, Feltner filed this original action asserting multiple prohibition and mandamus claims against the BOR and others. The Supreme Court granted an alternative writ of prohibition as to two of the claims against the BOR and its members concerning whether the statutes under which the BOR proceeded violated the separation of powers doctrine or the due process clauses of the state and federal Constitutions. The Supreme Court then made a final determination denying the writ, holding (1) at the time of its judgment, the BOR acted with presumptively valid statutory authority and therefore did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction to proceed; and (2) this Court therefore has no authority to undo the BOR's final judgment and need not consider the merit of Feltner's constitutional challenge. View "State ex rel. Feltner v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals ruling that Appellant's complaint for a writ of mandamus is barred by the doctrine of res judicata, holding that the court of appeals correctly applied res judicata to Appellant's claim.Appellant went into the office of the Plain Township zoning inspector to complain about a neighbor's trees, and the inspector told Appellant that the trees did not violate the zoning code. Appellant later filed a mandamus action seeking to compel the inspector and the Plain Township Board of Trustees to enforce the zoning provision against his neighbor. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint. Two years later, Appellant attempted to appeal the inspector's initial decision, but the board of zoning appeals dismissed the appeal as untimely. Appellant then filed a second mandamus action in the court of appeals seeking to compel the inspector to issue his initial decision in writing. The court of appeals held that res judicata barred the claim because Appellant could have asserted that claim in his first mandamus action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals correctly applied res judicata to Appellant's claim against the inspector in this case. View "State ex rel. Armatas v. Plain Township Board of Zoning Appeals" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court determining that Defendant's use of its barn on property it owned in Litchfield Township was utilized primarily for the production of wine made from grapes and for the sale of wine produced therein in order for the use of the barn to be exempt from zoning regulation pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 519.212(A), holding that the trial court did not err.Defendant owned a barn on land designated as residential. The Litchfield Township Board of Trustees sought to enjoin Defendant from using its land for weddings and other social gatherings. On remand, the trial court determined that the barn met the "vinting and selling wine" exemption under section 519.21(A). The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court properly applied the primary-use test under section 519.21(A) in determining that the primary use of the barn was for vinting and selling wine. View "Litchfield Township Board of Trustees v. Forever Blueberry Barn, LLC" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's complaint for a writ of prohibition to vacate judgments in two civil cases, holding that Appellant's claim was barred by res judicata.Appellant previously tried to vacate the civil judgments at issue in this case by filing a mandamus claim. The Supreme Court's dismissal of the mandamus complaint operated as an adjudication on the merits. The Supreme Court held that because Appellant's prior lawsuit attacking the validity of the same underlying judgments had been adjudicated on the merits, Appellant's current claim was barred by res judicata. View "State ex rel. Kerr v. Kelsey" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the court of common pleas affirming the decision of the Harrison Township Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) denying Appellants' request seeking approval to engage in sand-and-gravel mining, holding that the BZA erred in denying the request.Appellants filed an application for a conditional use permit to conduct sand-and-gravel mining. The BZA denied the application based on general conditions applicable to all conditional uses set forth in a Harrison Township zoning resolution. The court of common pleas and court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a general standard that does not relate to public health or safety may not be applied to deny an application to conduct mining as a conditional use. View "Columbus Bituminous Concrete Corp. v. Harrison Township Board of Zoning Appeals" on Justia Law