11th Released Three Opinions

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The State makes up for last time.  The 11th released three opinions this week.  All three were criminal decisions.  None of them went well for the defendants.

State v. Thompson, 2014-Ohio-2566
tennis-ball-on-lineThompson lost his motion to suppress his OVI stop.  He first claims that an anonymous tip about erratic driving wasn’t enough to give the cops cause to pull him over.  This can be true – anonymous tips need some other indication that the tip is reliable.  But the tip wasn’t actually anonymous, the 911 caller gave his name and contact information.  On top of that, the cop testified that he personally observed the erratic driving, so that argument loses.

Next he argues that crossing the fog line didn’t give the cop probable cause to stop him.  But he did it several times, and was also following too closely, so no luck there, either.  In case anyone was wondering though – typically, driving is like tennis: the line is in-bounds.  You’re not out of bounds until you cross it.

Finally, he says that the cop didn’t do the field tests right.  The cop went through his testimony about each test and the Court concludes that he substantially complied with the NHTSA manual.  Rice, Grendell, Wright.

State v. Elder, 2014-Ohio-2567
Elder got 30 months for Failure to Comply with Order or Signal of Police Officer – also commonly known as “fleeing and eluding.”  He got a concurrent 30 days for Obstruction of Official Business along with some fines for headlight and taillight violations.  He appeals pro se.  As is often the strategy in pro se appeals, he throws a whole bunch of stuff against the wall to see if anything will stick.  As is often the result of that strategy, nothing does.  Grendell, Wright, O’Toole.

State v. Bowers, 2014-Ohio-2568
Bowers tries to appeal pro se.  He missed the deadline, so he’s asking the Court for permission to file late.  The rules say you have to file the actual notice of appeal along with your request for permission.  He didn’t, so the Court dismisses the appeal but drops a big hint that he’s allowed to try again and do it right this time.  Cannon, O’Toole.  Grendell concurs in judgment only.