AG Mike DeWine Continues Refusal to Accept Court Decision

September 27, 2012 – AG Mike DeWine appeals Judge Lucci decision (again)

Ohio AG Mike DeWine has once again dipped into Ohio taxpayer funds to Appeal Judge Lucci’s recent decision. The Ohio Supreme Court held that: This court has a history of protecting property rights…we held that if the state or a municipality improperly destroys or impairs that property right, a littoral owner is entitled to compensation.
The case was remanded to Judge Lucci’s Court for final determination.

Judge Lucci ruled: “Any current submerged land lease between ODNR and any of the plaintiffs is declared void and invalid as to any land below OHWM and above the natural shoreline…  ODNR lacks authority to compel the plaintiffs, or any one of them, to lease back property already owned by them as specified in their deeds, including without limitation, lands lost due to avulsion and thus subject to reclamation by the owner… ODNR shall return all submerged land lease fees between OHWM and the natural shoreline paid between 1998 and the present. ODNR bears responsibility for calculating the total fees collected between 1998 and the present…”
AG Mike DeWine lists “probable issues” with Judge Lucci’s decision. In his appeal he asks whether the “trial court abuses its discretion” in its decisions.

  • He does not agree that OLG in the prevailing party
  • He does not agree that property owners should be refunded lease fees (illegally collected)
  • He does not agree that attorney fees should be awarded
  • He does not agree with the boundary of the public trust as being the “waters edge when free from disturbing causes”
  • He does not agree that the class as created in the original class action still exists

In summary, he does not agree with anything to which 4 Courts have agreed. We begin to be concerned that this has become a personal issue with the AG rather than an issue of law.  He states no basis for his disagreement, he just disagrees.

In a press release today, OLG President Tony Yankel stated:  “There are thousands of home owners who were wrongfully forced to pay rent on their own property, had their deeds adjusted, or both. The court ruled that the state acted in error, so why should there be any delay in giving us our money back and correcting our deeds?

The Lorain Morning Journal picked up the press release and it can be read by clicking here.

The AG filing can be accessed by clicking here.