There are several rules setting forth the rights and duties between a landlord and the tenants in Ohio when the tenants are using the premises as their home. This article will focus on the tenants’ right to a security deposit, as well as the landlord’s right to use the security deposit. In other words, we will look at the batter between the landlord and tenant for the security deposit. The landlord must return a tenant’s security deposit within thirty days of the day the tenant vacates the property as long as:
- The rent has been paid in full;
- The premises have no damage beyond normal wear and tear; and
- The tenant gave the landlord a mailing address where the security deposit could be sent.
Any security deposit withheld must be listed in a written itemization of damage or unpaid rent, which must be sent to the tenant along with the remainder of the security deposit. Damage does not include normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear includes routine property maintenance.
Filler weight is included in drug cases. Believe it or not, it is illegal to possess and sell fake drugs in Ohio. Fake drugs are officially referred to as counterfeit controlled substances. While a controlled substance is usually part of a class of illegal or strictly regulated substances, a counterfeit controlled substance is a non-controlled substances that a reasonable person would believe to be a controlled substance because of its similarity in shape, size, color, markings, labeling, packaging, distribution, or price.
How is child custody decided in Ohio? These issues are decided by domestic relations and juvenile courts in Ohio. For disputes between parents, the domestic relations courts in Medina County, Summit County and Cuyahoga County hear such cases. In Wayne County, Ohio, the domestic relations court hears child custody cases in divorce and post-divorce decree cases. The Wayne County juvenile court hears child custody cases between unmarried parents. For purposes of this article, we will refer to all these courts as the Ohio child custody court.
The Ohio child custody court must decide between sole custody to one parent and shared parenting with both parents. The parent who is awarded sole custody becomes the child’s legal custodian and will make decisions about non-emergency medical care, education, religion, discipline and extra-curricular activities. The sole legal custodian must let the non-custodial parent know about such matters but will make the final decisions.
A driver’s license is not needed for non-motor vehicles in Ohio. A motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle
. Trailers towed at twenty-five miles per hour or less is not included in the definition of motor vehicles. A motorized bicycle is “any vehicle that either has two tandem wheels or one wheel in the front and two wheels in the rear, that is capable of being pedaled, and that is equipped with a helper motor of not more than fifty cubic centimeters piston displacement that produces no more than one brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of no greater than twenty miles per hour on a level surface. A motorized bicycle does not become a motor vehicle unless it is pulling a trailer.
How are medical bills in personal injury cases used for reimbursement purposes? Medical bills usually have two rates: (1) the full uninsured rate; and (2) the adjusted rate, or the amount of the bill after the bill is adjusted to the rate according to the agreement between the medical provider and the insurance company. Some like to refer to this second amount as the amount of the bill after the medical provider writes off some of the bill. Which figure does the jury get to hear at trial? The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on this issue in 2006, in Robinson v. Bates
. In their decision, the Ohio Supreme Court said that both the amount billed and the amount accepted as full payment could be admitted into evidence. Any difference between the original medical bill and the amount accepted is not a benefit. Because a medical bill is good evidence of the reasonable value of charges for medical services, either version of the bills can be used to demonstrate that value.
What do you do if you have a suspended driver’s license in Ohio? The solution starts with determining what event caused the driver’s license to be suspended. Once the cause is determined, one may be able to figure out the reinstatement requirements. It is also important to know what can happen if one is convicted of driving under a suspended driver’s license. Ohio BMV’s website can be found on my links page
, along with a number of other important links.
How does one’s driver’s license get suspended in Ohio? A judge can order the suspension as part of your sentence for a crime. Such crimes include drug possession, drug trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia, OVI, hit-skip, fleeing and eluding, or driving under suspension. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) imposes suspensions for failure to show proof of insurance either during a traffic stop or after random selection by the BMV to show proof of insurance. This suspension is known as a non-compliance suspension and is covered under Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Act.
Many seniors will be faced with the need for long-term care. The costs of long-term care can be devastating to the spouse living at home, depleting the savings accumulated over a lifetime in just a few years. Medicare only fully covers 20 days of skilled nursing care after a three day stay in a hospital. After the first 20 days, Medicare pays only a small part of the skilled nursing bill for another 80 days. Medicare pays for hospice services such as counseling and pain management medications, but not for hospice room and board. As you can see, Medicare benefits run out quickly, resulting in a shift to Medicaid. However, Medicaid limits how much one can keep and still qualify for benefits. Because Medicaid is a program to provide health care to the poor, one must be poor to qualify.
What is extradition? Extradition
is a procedure where a person in one state is surrendered to another state in connection with separate criminal proceedings. Usually, that person has fled the state to avoid prosecution, sentencing or incarceration. A person who flees prosecution or sentencing is called a fugitive.
One the fugitive is arrested, he or she can either request a hearing to contest the extradition or can waive the right to this hearing. If the fugitive waives the right to a hearing, he or she will be available for return to the state that issued the warrant.
When can grandparents take custody of a child? A nonparent can be awarded custody of a minor child if the court makes a finding of parental unsuitability. Parental unsuitability can be determined if the "parent abandoned the child; contractually relinquished custody of the child; that the parent has become totally incapable of supporting or caring for the child; or that an award of custody to the parent would be detrimental to the child.” Parents who are suitable persons have a paramount right to the custody of their minor children.
In other words, parents have a right to care for and raise their children. In order to infringe on that right, someone must first demonstrate that the parent is unsuitable, commonly known as unfit parents. A typical case of parental unsuitability is when the parents leave the children with the grandparents and disappear for a long period of time. In such an instance, the grandparent will likely be able to prove parental unsuitability and may be able to obtain custody of the children.
When people accused of a crime come into my office, they often ask “can something be done to keep me out of jail?” More specifically, many clients ask if I can promise to keep them out of jail. I guess I am a little too honest. I do not make that promise. Does that mean I cannot do the job? No, it means I do not lie to people. I can promise to defend you with the knowledge and ability that I have accumulated for over twenty-one years of practicing law.
If someone is charged with a fourth or fifth degree felony, Ohio law basically tells the judge to give the person probation (technically called community control) unless there are some specific reasons not to do so. Does that usually mean that the person stays out of jail? Possibly, but the judge may decide to give a short jail sentence. Many of these felonies may qualify for diversion or intervention in lieu of a conviction. However, there may be technical problems with getting into an intervention in lieu of a conviction program and the prosecutor could decide that he or she does not want to offer diversion for a particular case. What if you do not like the terms of the diversion? Perhaps, you feel like the victim is inflating the losses and making you pay much more than they ever lost. You could take it to trial, and try to get your case reduced to a misdemeanor by a jury of your peers. Because the judge cannot send you to prison on a misdemeanor, you got this thing beaten, huh? Not so fast. That judge can still send you to jail on a misdemeanor conviction, especially if he or she thinks the actions that they heard during trial demand a response. Some crimes have minimum sentences. For example, DUIs have minimum sentences starting at three days in jail. Firearm specifications have at least a one year minimum prison term, often triggering a separate and consecutive prison term for the main felony charge.
My office receives a lot of phone calls asking what I charge for a criminal defense or DUI defense. Some of these prospective clients are looking for a cheap criminal defense attorney or a cheap DUI attorney. Some are just trying to get an idea of the range of criminal attorney fees. We happily give them our fee and tell them what we do for that fee. However, it is really difficult to really show them all that we do for that fee. While we have a competitive fee, we are not the lowest fee. We do not want to be the lowest fee because of the loss of professionalism and service that would likely occur if we were to charge such a low fee.
Can a person waive the right to remain silent? The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to remain silent, often referred to as “pleading the fifth.” Ohio also guarantees this right in Article 1, Section 10 of the Ohio Constitution.
In the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
, the court said that the following warnings must be given prior to a custodial interrogation:
What is separate property in divorce? It is property that the spouse gets to keep without it being subject to an equitable division by the divorce court.
First, we should look at what is marital property under Ohio law. The Ohio law defining marital property is found in Ohio Revised Code 3105.171 (R.C. 3105.171
). Marital property is:
- All property currently owned by either or both parties or acquired by either or both of the parties during the marriage; and
- All property interest that either or both parties currently holds acquired by either or both of the spouses during the marriage;
- Active income, which is all income and appreciation on separate property, due to the labor, monetary, or in-kind contribution of either or both of the spouses that occurred during the marriage;
- Anything that is not separate property.
What does the IRS consider to be spousal support? A divorce decree labels payments as spousal support, maintenance, or alimony. Does that mean that the payments are considered to be alimony by the IRS? Not necessarily. Why does this matter? It matters because qualifying spousal alimony payments are deductible by the payer and included in the recipient’s income.
In Ohio, alimony is called spousal support. For purposes of this article, we will use the Ohio term. In order for a payment to qualify as spousal support by the IRS, all of the following requirements must be met: (more…)