The City of Cleveland established a new zoning district for institutional and research related uses, effective June 15, 2005. The official text of this ordinance was posted today on the City's webpage. See City Record, June 22, 2005, at page 1362, creating Codified Ordinance Nos. 340.01 to 340.07. The new institutional-research zoning district was created to accomodate the planned Medical Research Campus at Case Western Reserve University. See "Medical Research Campus at Case Could Establish Region as Pioneer" by Barb Galbincea, The Plain Dealer, February 23, 2005.
On June 15, 2005, the City of Cleveland passed an ordinance requiring cameras in adult video and adult entertainment arcades to monitor the acts of the patrons. The official text of this ordinance was posted today on the City's webpage. See City Record, June 22, 2005, page 1361, Ordinance No. 650-05. See also "Peep-Show Booths Must Install Cameras Cleveland Council Orders Shops to Monitor Sexual Activity" by Michael Sangiacomo, The Plain Dealer, June 10, 2005, which stated,
"Ron O’Leary, a Cleveland chief assistant director of code enforcement, said Thursday that council members were shocked last year to learn that some men masturbate while watching X-rated movies in the private booths."
A new federal bill, S. 1313, seeks to narrow the definition of "public use" from the Supreme Court's interpretation in Kelo v. City of New London. The bill defines "public use" as NOT including economic development. See SCOTUS Blog: Commentary: A Bold Response to Kelo by Lyle Denniston, June 27, 2005.
The Ohio legislature has approved a bill which will require "an Internet database that contains specified offense, sentence, and release information for each inmate in the custody of the Department". The bill has not yet been signed by the governor. See HB 15. Source: Ohio Law Blog.
The East Side Organizing Project (ESOP) has agreed with three lenders to stop foreclosure actions while predatory lending claims are reviewed. For information on this program, go to: ESOP: Predatory Lending Action Committee. For an interesting article on ESOP, see: "Shark Hunting Expedition: East Side Organizing Project Mercilessly Pursues Predatory Lender" by Sheryl Harris, The Plain Dealer, Business Section, June 23, 2005.
June is typically the time standing committees of the federal Judicial Conference consider rule amendments that have already been submitted for public comment. Rule amendments to be considered by the standing committees can be viewed at: U.S. Courts Webpage: Pending Rules Amendments Awaiting Final Action. The same link will display rules up for Congressional consideration, the last step in the rulemaking process.
Public comments are being taken on rule amendments that arose as a result of the "Style Project". These amendments are divided into "style" and "style-substance" changes. Comments can be made upon these rules until December 15, 2005. See U.S. Courts Webpage: Proposed Rules Amendments Published for Comment. For an explanation of the process for amending federal court and evidence rules, see The Rulemaking Process by Leonidas Ralph Mecham, also on the U.S. Courts website.
The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case of City of Cleveland v. Robert Beck, Supreme Court Case No. 04-1416. The case involves compensatory time off, ie. time off in lieu of overtime pay. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that refusal to grant compensatory time requests violates the Fair Labor Standards Act. The City argued that granting the leave would result in paying overtime to substitute police officers, imposing a financial burden. Also, granting leave would result in a disruption of city services. The Court of Appeals found that the City did not prove disruption of services or an unreasonable financial burden. See Robert Beck v. City of Cleveland, Sixth Circuit App. No. 02-3669, Nov. 12, 2004. Source: High Court Declines to Hear Police Overtime Lawsuit, Associated Press, June 21, 2005.
The Eighth District Court of Appeals affirmed Dr. Azzam Ahmed's convictions for numerous sexual offenses. The appellate court reversed and remanded for resentencing, because the trial court failed to make the necessary findings to impose maximum sentences and consecutive sentences. The remainder of the assignments of error were overruled, including: 1. The trial court had jurisdiction and venue over counts occurring outside of the county, because they were part of a continuing course of conduct; 2. Defendant was not prejudiced by trying counts involving 37 victims at once, because these counts would have been admissable in separate trials as proof of intent, motive or plan; 3. Questions to jurors during voir dire concerning defendant's ethnicity and religion did not create bias; 4. Prosecutor's references during trial to defendant's "civil attorney" did not violate appellant's sixth amendment rights; 5. Prosecutor's arguments concerning lack of defense evidence on certain points was not a comment on defendant's failure to testify; 6.Trial court did not abuse its discretion by prohibiting defense counsel from visually displaying excerpts of witnesses' testimony. See State v. Ahmed, 2005-Ohio-2999, June 16, 2005; Gynecologist Will Not Get New Trial by James F. McCarty, The Plain Dealer, June 17, 2005.