Justia Education Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Andrew Frank to compel Ohio State University (OSU) to provide documents that Frank's attorney had requested in a public-records request, holding that OSU responded promptly and fully to the attorney's request and that Frank was not entitled to a writ of mandamus. The records in question were student records containing "personally identifiable information." The parties disputed whether the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, applied to the requested records. The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus without reaching the issue, holding that OSU responded promptly and fully to the attorney's request and, therefore, Frank was not entitled to a writ of mandamus. View "State ex rel. Frank v. Ohio State University" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that 2015 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 70 (H.B. 70) does not usurp the power of city school boards in violation of Ohio Const. art. VI, 3, and the bill received sufficient consideration for purposes of Ohio Const. art. II, 15(C). The purpose of H.B. 70 was to enact new sections within Ohio Rev. Code Chapter 3302 to authorize community schools and school districts to create community learning centers at schools where academic performance was low. After the bill was signed into law, Appellants moved for a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction, arguing that H.B. 70 was unconstitutional, as was the General Assembly's legislative process in enacting it. The trial court denied the motion for preliminary injunction and declaratory judgment, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the enactment of H.B. 70 violated neither the three-consideration rule articulated in Article II, Section 15(C) nor the right of voters to decide the number of members and the organization of the district board of education, as guaranteed by Article VI, Section 3. View "Youngstown City School District Board of Education v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied a writ of prohibition sought by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) to prohibit Judge Robert Ruehlman from taking further action in a lawsuit filed against it in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, holding that Judge Ruehlman did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction. After the OHSAA adopted new rules governing postseason competitions Judge Ruehlman granted a temporary restraining order enjoining the application of the rules in cases where the high school enrolled a student who attended seventh and eighth grades at one of its traditional Catholic Feeder Schools. The OHSAA then filed this action to prevent Judge Ruehlman from taking further action in the case and to order him to vacate the temporary restraining order. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding that the subject matter of this dispute fell within the jurisdiction granted by the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and that Judge Ruehlman properly exercised the subject-matter jurisdiction of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. View "Ohio High School Athletic Ass'n v. Ruehlman" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Relator to compel Kent State University to comply with her records request under Ohio Rev. Code 149.43, holding that Relator was not entitled to additional records beyond those that she had already received pursuant to her request. After Kent State responded to Relator’s records request, Relator filed this mandamus complaint. Following the complaint, Kent State provided additional records. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding that Kent State did not fail to uphold its duties under section 149.43. The Court granted Relator an award of statutory damages in the amount of $1,000 and granted Relator’s request for reasonable attorney fees but denied her request for court costs. View "State ex rel. Kesterson v. Kent State University" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Relator seeking to compel Kent State University with certain records regarding student-athletes under the Public Records Act, Ohio Rev. Code 149.43, holding that Relator failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that Kent State failed fully to respond to her records request. Kent State provided several hundred pages of records in response to Relator’s records request. Relator later filed her mandamus complaint alleging that Kent State failed fully to respond to her request. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding (1) despite Kent State’s failure fro comply with Relator’s request within a reasonable period of time, Kent State’s eventual production of all the requested records rendered Relator’s mandamus claim moot; and (2) Relator was entitled to $1,000 in statutory damages and reasonable attorney fees but was not entitled to an award of court costs. View "State ex rel. Kesterson v. Kent State University" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that Ohio Rev. Code 3314.08 authorizes the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to base funding of an Internet-based community school - or e-school - on the duration of student participation. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), Ohio’s largest e-school, sought a permanent injunction and declaratory judgment seeking to bar ODE from requesting or considering data showing the duration of a student’s participation during its review of the e-school. The trial court denied ECOT’s claims, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 3314.08 is unambiguous and does not bar the ODE from calculating funding based on a student’s participation. View "Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow v. Ohio Department of Education" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the petition of Appellant for a writ of mandamus against the Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA). In his petition, Appellant argued that he had received multiple punishments for the same parole violation in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. The court of appeals dismissed the action, ruling that Appellant ha not received multiple punishments and that Appellant had failed to demonstrate any constitutional injury. The Supreme Court denied Appellant’s motion for leave to supplement his reply brief and affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, holding (1) double jeopardy protections were not violated by the sanctions imposed for Appellant’s parole violation; and (2) the APA did not violate Appellant’s due process rights by holding a parole hearing after his parole officer had imposed sanctions against him. View "Clark v. Adult Parole Authority" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Kurt Singer to, among other things, compel Fairland Local School District Board of Education (Fairland) to recognize him as a “regular nonteaching school employee” under Ohio Rev. Code 3319.081 with continuing-contract status. Singer worked for Fairland as a substitute custodian without signing a written employment contract with Fairland. Singer alleged that Fairland wrongly designated him as a “substitute,” and consequently, he had been paid less than a full-time custodian, lost health benefits and some pension benefits, and had been deprived of certain paid leave. Singer requested a writ of mandamus directing Fairland to recognize him as a regular nonteaching employe with a continuing contract and ordering Fairland to make him whole by awarding him back wages and benefits and crediting him with paid leave and other accrued rights. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding that Singer was not entitled to continuing status because he failed to establish that he was a “regular nonteaching employee” under section 3319.081. View "State ex rel. Singer v. Fairland Local School District Board of Education" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant’s petition for writs of mandamus and prohibition. Appellant was convicted of aggravated robbery, felonious assault, and having a weapon while under disability. Appellee, Judge Robert McClelland, granted Appellant’s motion for judicial release and placed him on community control. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the trial court had failed to make the findings required by Ohio Rev. Code 2929.20(J) before granting judicial release. Thereafter, the trial court revoked Appellant’s judicial release and ordered him to serve the remainder of his prison sentence. The trial court subsequently filed an entry stating that the court of appeals’ order had been rendered moot. Appellant sought writs of mandamus and prohibition in the court of appeals to compel Judge McClellan to comply with the prior appellate judgment reversing the grant of judicial release. The court of appeals denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to prove that Judge McClellan exercised unauthorized judicial power and that denying the writ would result in injury for which no other adequate remedy at law exists. View "State ex rel. Peterson v. McClelland" on Justia Law

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In July 2015, the Delaware Joint Vocational School District Board of Education passed a resolution to submit a renewal levy to voters at the general election. On November 20, 2015, the Delaware County Board of Elections purported to certify the election result. The county auditor then delivered the abstract of tax rates to the tax commissioner to apply the reduction factors and calculate the tax rate for the school district. When the county auditor discovered that the Board of Elections had not certified the results of the levy using Form 5-U, however, the tax commissioner excluded the levy on the list of tax rates certified for collection to the county auditors in counties with territory in the school district, and the levy was not included on the property tax bills sent to property owners for the first half of tax year 2016. The school board brought this action in mandamus to compel the tax commissioner to apply the reduction factors and calculate the tax rates for the levy. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding that because no proper certification of the multicounty election was presented to the tax commissioner demonstrating that the tax was authorized to be levied, the commissioner did not have a clear legal duty to apply reduction factors and calculate tax rates for this levy. View "State ex rel. Delaware Joint Vocational School District Board of Education v. Testa" on Justia Law