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Major Change to Franklin County, Ohio Eviction Process: Landlord Testimony Required

Client Alert

Although there is currently a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020, the eviction process in Franklin County – which processes the highest number of evictions in the State of Ohio at approximately 18,000 a year – recently changed significantly. On September 3, 2020, the Tenth District Court of Appeals issued a decision holding that landlords and property managers must provide live testimony, as opposed to an affidavit, in order to evict a tenant. T&R Properties, Inc. v. Wimberly, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 19AP-567, 2020-Ohio-4279. This decision comes after the August 2019 eviction of Traci Wiberly, who was evicted from her Canal Winchester Apartment following a hearing in which neither she nor her landlord were present. Judgment was granted in favor of the landlord based solely on an affidavit, with no live testimony presented by either party in court. 

This decision overruled the 32-year old precedent set forth in Oakbrook Realty Corp. v. Blout, which was long interpreted by the Franklin County Municipal Court to “grant judgment on a forcible entry and detainer claim relying solely on the statements contained in an affidavit without any testimony being offered in open court. Wimberly at ¶46 citing Oakbrook Realty Corp v. Blout, 48 Ohio App. 3d 69 (Ohio Ct. App. 1988). The Wimberly decision rewrites a longstanding policy in Franklin County Municipal Court eviction proceedings. Now, live testimony must be given by the landlord and/or property manager in open court in an eviction proceeding, unless an enumerated exception applies. See Wimberly at ¶37.

If you have questions or need more information regarding the potential impact of the Wimberly decision, please contact your primary BMD attorney.


The Ohio State University Launches Its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

In response to Ohio’s nursing shortage, The Ohio State University College of Nursing is accepting applications for its new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (aBSN). Created for students with a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing fields, the aBSN allows such students to obtain their nursing degree within 18 months. All aBSN students will participate in high-quality coursework and gain valuable clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the State Board, National Council of Licensure Exam for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN).

Another Transparency Obligation: The FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements

Many physician practices and healthcare businesses are facing a new set of federal transparency requirements that require action now. The U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements (the “Rule”), which was promulgated pursuant to the 2021 bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, is intended to help curb illegal finance and other impermissible activity in the United States.

“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

Columbus, Ohio Ordinance Prohibits Employers from Inquiries into an Applicant’s Salary History

Effective March 1, 2024, Columbus employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. Specifically, the ordinance provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to: