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State v. Fisher

Supreme Court of Ohio
789 N.E.2d 222 (Ohio 2003)


Facts

Michael Fisher (defendant) was charged with assault. At trial, the trial judge permitted the jurors to ask questions to witnesses. The jurors were instructed to submit their questions in writing at specific, approved times. The jurors submitted 23 questions to the witnesses for approval. The trial judge provided counsel with an opportunity to object to each question during a sidebar conference. The judge then decided whether to ask each question. In total, the judge approved and asked 18 of the 23 questions, two of which the judge rephrased for clarity. After each question was asked, the judge permitted counsel to ask follow-up questions to the witness. Fisher was convicted. Fisher appealed, arguing that the trial judge had committed an abuse of discretion by allowing the jurors to ask questions to witnesses.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

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Holding and Reasoning (Moyer, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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