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  • IN THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO

    STATE OF OHIO EX REL.EDWARDS LAND CO., LTD., et al. . CASE NO: 11-1266

    vs.

    Relators,ORIGINAL ACTIONIN PROHIBITION ANDMANDAMUS

    DELAWARE COUNTY BOARDOF ELECTIONS,

    Respondent.

    MERIT BRIEF OF RESPONDENTDELAWARE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

    Donald J. McTigue (0022849)Mark A. McGinnis (0076275)J. Corey Columbo (0072398)McTIGUE & MCGiNNis LLC545 East Town StreetColumbus, Ohio 43215Telephone: (614) 263-7000Facsimile: (614) 263-7078e-mail: dmctiguecr^electionlawQroup.com

    mmc 'nnisna electionlawgroup.comccolombonn,electionlawgroup.com

    Larry H. James (0021773)Andy Douglas (0000006)Laura M. Comek (0070959)CRABBE, BROWN, & JAMES LLP500 South Front Street, Suite 1200Columbus, Ohio 43215Telephone: (614) 229-4557Facsimile: (614) 229-4559e-mail : li amesgcbj lawyers. com

    adou las cbjlawyers.comlcomek ,cbjlawyers.com

    COUNSEL FOR RELATORS

    AUG 1^2011CLE.RK OF QOURT

    %i\LHli4/L6 ^

  • COUNSEL FOR RELATORSCarol Hamilton O'Brien (0026965)Prosecuting AttorneyDelaware County, OhioChristopher D. Betts (0068030)Assistant Prosecuting AttorneyDelaware County, OhioCOUNSEL OF RECORDPROSECUTING ATTORNEY'S OFFICEDELAWARE COUNTY, OHIO140 North Sandusky Street, 3`d FloorDelaware, Ohio 43015Telephone: (740) 833-2690Facsimile: (740) 833-2689e-mail: cobrienkco.delaware.oh.us

    cbettsa co.delaware.oh.us

    COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT

    ii

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................. iii

    TABLE OF AUTHORITIES .............................................................................................iv

    1. INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................1

    II. STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CASE ................................................................2

    III. ARGUMENT .......................................................................................................... 3

    A. Standard of Review ..........................................................................................3

    B. Election Laws are Mandatory and Require Strict Compliance ........................ 5

    C. The Board Did Not Abuse Its Discretion and AppropriatelyApplied Ohio Rev. Code 519.12(H), Which RequiresReferendum Petitioners to Filed a Referendum Petition WithinThirty (30) Days of Township Trustees' Adoption of a ZoningAmendment . . .................................................................................................... 6

    D. The Board Did Not Abuse Its Discretion and AppropriatelyApplied Ohio Rev. Code 519.12(H), Which RequiresReferendum Petition Be Accompanied by an Appropriate Mapof the Area Affected by the Zoning Proposal . ............................................... 11

    IV. CONCLUSION ....................................................................................................14

    CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE .........................................................................................15

    APPENDIX ......................................................................................................................16

    iii

  • TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

    Case Law

    Bd. of Twp Trustees v. Spring Creek Gravel Company (1975),45 App.2d 288,344 N.E.2d 156 ...........................................................................................................7, 8, 9

    Columbus v. DeLong (1962), 173 Ohio St. 81, 180 N.E.2d 158 .......................................8

    Crates v. Garlock Bros. Const. (1991), Third Dist., 1991 WL 229216 ..........................8, 9

    Driscoll v. Austintown Assoc. (1975), 42 Ohio St.2d 263, 328 N.E.2d 395 ......................8

    Goldstein v. Christiansen (1994), 70 Ohio St.3d 232, 638 N.E.2d 541 .........................3, 4

    State ex rel. Columbia Reserve Ltd. v. Lorain Cty. Bd. Of Elections, 111 Ohio St.3d.167, 2006-Ohio-5019, 855 N.E.2d 815 ................................................................11, 12, 13

    State ex rel. Cooker Restaurant Corp. v. Montgomery Cty. Bd. of Elections,80 Ohio St.3d 302, 1997-Ohio-315, 686 N.E.2d 238 .........................................................4

    State ex rel Crabtree v. Franklin Cty. Bd. of Health (1997), 77 Ohio St.3d 247,673 N.E.2d 1281 ....................................................................................:............................4

    State ex rel. Ditmars v. McSweeney (2002), 94 Ohio St.3d 472, 476, 764 N.E.2d 971 .... 5

    State ex rel. Eshleman v. Fornshell, 125 Ohio St.3d 1, 2010-Ohio-1175,925 N.E.2d 609 ...............................................................................................................3, 4

    State ex rel. Gemienhardt v. Delaware Cty. Bd. of Elections, 109 Ohio St3d 212,2006-Ohio-1666, 846 N.E.2d 1223 ..................................................................................12

    State ex. rel. Knowlton v. Noble Cty. Bd. of Elections, 126 Ohio St.3d 483,2010-Ohio-4450, 935 N.E.2d 395 ..................................................................................3, 4

    State ex rel McCord v. Delaware Cty. Bd. of Elections, 106 Ohio St.3d 346,2005-Ohio-4758, 835 N.E.2d 336 ................................................................................5, 11

    State ex rel. Polo v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Elections (1995), 74 Ohio St.3d 143,1995-Ohio-269, 656 N.E.2d 1277 ..................................................................................3, 4

    State ex rel. Russo v. McDonnell, 110 Ohio St.3d 144, 2006-Ohio-3459,852 N.E.2d 145 .................................................................................................................12

    State ex rel. Stoll v. Logan Cty. Bd. of Elections, 117 Ohio St.3d 76, 2008-Ohio-333,881 N.E.2d 1214 .................................................................................................................5

    iv

  • Whitman v. Hamilton Cty. Bd. of Elections, 97 Ohio St.3d 216, 2002-Ohio-5923,778 N.E.2d 32 ............................................:........................................................................4

    Statutes

    Ohio rev. Code 121.22 .....................................................................................................8

    Ohio Rev. Code 507.04 ....... ............................................................................................8

    Ohio Rev. Code 519.12 ..........................................................................................passim

    Ohio Rev. Code 3501.39 .................................................................................................4

    Rules

    S.Ct. Prac. R. 10.9 .............................................................................................................. 5

    v

  • I. INTRODUCTION

    The Liberty Township Board of Township Trustees ("Trustees") approved

    Liberty Township Zoning Proposal LTZ 09-01 ("LTZ 09-01") to re-zone 216.3 acres of

    three (3) parcels in Liberty Township, Delaware County, Ohio from Farm Residence

    District (FR-1) to Planned Residence District (PR) ("Township"). Following this

    approval, residents circulated and filed a Referendum Petition ("Petition"). The

    Respondent, Delaware County Board of Elections ("Board"), certified the referendum to

    the November 8, 2011 ballot. The Relators, who are the owners and/or developers of the

    parcels and who sought to re-zone the parcels, filed a protest against the certification

    ("Protest"). Following a hearing on the Protest, the Board affirmed the certification of

    the referendum to the ballot.

    The Relators bring this original elections matter to expel the referendum of LTZ

    09-01 from the ballot. To this end, the Relators challenge the Board's decision to deny

    the Protest and certify the referendum to the ballot.

    The Relators' challenge the Board's decision on two (2) grounds. First, the

    Petition was not timely filed in accordance with R.C. 519.12(H). Second, the map

    which accompanied the Petition was not appropriate pursuant to R.C. 519.12(H).

    Concluding otherwise, according to the Relators, is an abuse of discretion and is contrary

    to law.

    The Board, however, did not abuse its discretion. In denying the Protest and

    certifying the referendum to the ballot, the Board considered the issues and the evidence.

    Having considered both, the Board determined that the Petition met the form

    1

  • requirements of R.C. 519.12(H). Accordingly, the Board appropriately denied the

    Protest and certified the referendum to the ballot.

    For all the reasons that follow, the Relators are not entitled to the requested writ

    of prohibition.

    II. STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CASE

    Except for the following, the Respondent agrees with the statement of facts and case in

    the Merit Brief of Relators:

    A. The Respondent does not agree that "Because of the proximity of the November 8,

    2011 election, Relators lack an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law."

    (Merit Brief of Relators, pg. 2).

    B. The Respondent does not agree that "The statutory thirty (30) days began to run at

    that time [April 4, 2011]. For Respondent or the Petitioners to say anything else is

    disingenuous. By any reading of Webster's Dictionary or Black's Law Dictionary,

    the plain meaning of thirty days from adoption means thirty days. The language of

    the statute [R.C. 519.12(H)] is plain and the vote equally so." (Merit Brief of

    Relators, pg. 3).

    C. The Respondent does not agree that "June 3, 2011 was sixty (60) days aft