Case Studies

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Case Studies 2017-10-18T12:59:37-04:00

Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment to Brown Co. Prosecutor’s Office in Malicious Prosecution Case

FHKAD Attorneys Dan Downey and Frank Hatfield received summary judgment on behalf of the Brown County Prosecutor's Office. Five officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Department of Wildlife (ODNR) sued the Brown County Prosecutor alleging, among other accusations, that the Brown County Prosecutor subjected them to a malicious prosecution, falsified evidence, and conspired to deprive them of various rights. The original prosecution stemmed from a wildlife officer who allowed an out-of-state friend to use the Ohio officer’s home address to receive a discounted Ohio hunting license. The Ohio Inspector General’s Office conducted an investigation and found that the wildlife officer had engaged in improper conduct with the five ONDR officials when they failed to refer the matter to the department’s director or chief legal counsel. The matter was then referred to the Brown County Prosecutor to consider possible [...]

June 11th, 2015|Categories: Case Study|

Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment to Sheriff’s Office in Jail Suicide Case

Dan Downey and Paul Bernhart recently received summary judgment on behalf of the Licking County Sheriff's Office in a jail suicide case. William Overbey committed suicide while incarcerated in the Licking County Justice Center awaiting trial on domestic abuse charges. Overbey was placed on "potential suicide risk" by a jail deputy and evaluated by a mental health social worker on the day of the suicide. Potential suicide risk is one of three levels of suicide prevention and intervention described in the American Correctional Association (“ACA”) policy which has been adopted by the Licking County Justice Center. It is the lowest level of suicide risk. In accordance with ACA policy, an inmate placed on potential suicide risk has no physical restraints placed on his movement and he is monitored at least every ten minutes. In this case, officers complied with ACA [...]

April 17th, 2015|Categories: Case Study|

Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment Award in Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Attorneys Marc Fishel and Paul Bernhart had a Court of Appeals affirm a decision awarding summary judgment to the City of Sandusky in an employment discrimination case brought by a former City firefighter. The firefighter was diagnosed with a neurological disorder in 2004 and disclosed the diagnosis to his supervisors. By 2008, the Assistant Fire Chief began to observe changes in the firefighter’s gait and increased hand tremors. The City had the firefighter examined by a neurologist who reported the firefighter could continue to work without restriction. However, the neurologist noted that the neurological condition was progressive and that his abilities may fluctuate. At the firefighter’s next annual physical the examining physician raised concerns about his ability to perform certain firefighter duties and recommended further neurological testing at the Cleveland Clinic. The firefighter was examined at the Cleveland Clinic and [...]

March 20th, 2015|Categories: Case Study|

FHKAD Attorneys Win Summary Judgment in Fourth Amendment Case

Dan Downey and Paul Bernhart received summary judgment on behalf of a former Meigs County Sheriff’s Deputy in a federal lawsuit alleging Fourth Amendment violations. The case involved law enforcement officers seizing “potpourri” (synthetic marijuana) from Plaintiff’s roadside stand in August, 2011. Ohio passed a law criminalizing synthetic marijuana in 2011, however the law did not go into effect until October, 2011. Instead, officers seized the synthetic marijuana as a harmful intoxicant pursuant to R.C. Section 2925.32. Plaintiff alleged that the statute did not apply to synthetic marijuana and that synthetic marijuana was not yet illegal in Ohio in August, 2011, when the officers seized it. Therefore, Plaintiff claimed that officers lacked probable cause to seize the synthetic marijuana in violation of the Fourth Amendment. In awarding summary judgment to the Defendants, the Court relied upon the recent United States [...]

February 16th, 2015|Categories: Case Study|

FHKAD Attorneys Win Federal Jury Trial

On November 14, 2014, David Riepenhoff and Daniel Downey received a jury verdict in favor of two Licking County, Ohio Sheriff’s Detectives. The case was Jacqueline Valentino v. Jeff Packard, et al. In the case, Mrs. Valentino alleged the officers violated her Fourth Amendment rights and Indiana Law when they interviewed her as part of a murder investigation. The case was tried in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. The case arose out of a murder investigation by the Licking County Sheriff’s Office in July, 2010. Upon receiving a suspicious death call on July 5th, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp’s Detective Division immediately began an investigation. By the early morning hours of July 6th, the Detectives identified Mark Valentino as the primary suspect in the crime and found that he stole the victim’s guns [...]

December 31st, 2014|Categories: Case Study|
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