716 N.E.2d 704 (Ohio 1999), 99-1198, State ex rel. Grendell v. Davidson

Docket Nº:99-1198.
Citation:716 N.E.2d 704, 86 Ohio St.3d 629, 1999-Ohio-130
Opinion Judge:Per Curiam.
Party Name:The STATE of Ohio ex rel. GRENDELL et al. v. DAVIDSON, Speaker of the House, et al.
Attorney:Grendell & Associates Co., L.P.A., and Timothy J. Grendell; Phillips & Co., L.P.A., and Gerald W. Phillips, for relators. Grendell & Associates Co., L.P.A., and Timothy J. Grendell; Phillips & Co., L.P.A., and Gerald W. Phillips, for relators. Betty D. Montgomery, Attorney General, Judith L. Fren...
Judge Panel:MOYER, C.J., FRANCIS E. SWEENEY, Sr. and COOK, JJ., concur. RESNICK, PFEIFER and LUNDBERG STRATTON, JJ., concur in part and dissent in part. PFEIFER, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part.
Case Date:July 28, 1999
Court:Supreme Court of Ohio
 
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Page 704

716 N.E.2d 704 (Ohio 1999)

86 Ohio St.3d 629, 1999-Ohio-130

The STATE of Ohio ex rel. GRENDELL et al.

v.

DAVIDSON, Speaker of the House, et al.

No. 99-1198.

Supreme Court of Ohio

July 28, 1999.

Submitted Sept. 28, 1999.

Page 705

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 706

Pursuant to Section 7, Article II of the Ohio Constitution, the General Assembly adopted joint rules, including Joint Rule 19, which provides that a "committee of conference appointed to consider matters of difference between the two houses upon any bill or joint or concurrent resolution may consider and include in its report any amendments pertinent to the bill or joint or concurrent resolution, provided such amendments relate exclusively to the original matters of difference between the two houses." (Emphasis added.)

The Ohio House of Representatives ("House") passed a version of Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283 that included a provision appropriating thirty thousand dollars of general funds for the Geauga County Airport Authority ("airport"). The Ohio Senate ("Senate") passed a different version of Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283 that also included a provision appropriating thirty thousand dollars of general funds for the airport. The conference committee for Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283 considered and deleted the airport funds provision even though the differing versions of the bill contained that provision. Allegedly, respondent E.J. Thomas, the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283, stated that he deleted the airport funds provision because relator State Representative Diane V. Grendell, whose district includes Geauga County, voted against the bill. According to Representative Grendell, Thomas advised her that if she wanted the thirty thousand dollars for the airport, she had to tell Thomas that she was voting yes on the conference committee report for Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283.

On June 28, 1999, both the House and Senate voted to approve the conference committee report version of the bill, which did not include the airport funds provision, and on June 30, respondents Jo Ann Davidson, Speaker of the House, and Richard Finan, President of the Senate, signed the bill as approved by the [86 Ohio St.3d 630] House and Senate and certified it to the Governor. The Governor signed the bill, which became effective on July 1.

On the same date that the House and Senate approved the conference committee version of the bill, relators, Representative Grendell and Timothy J. Grendell, an attorney, filed this action for a writ of mandamus to compel Thomas to include the airport funds provision in the conference committee report for Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283, to direct the House and Senate to vote on the conference committee report for Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283 with the airport funds provision, and to order respondents Speaker Davidson and President Finan to certify Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283 to the Governor with the airport funds provision. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss and a motion for sanctions.

After respondents filed their motion to dismiss relators' complaint, relators filed a motion for leave to amend their complaint and an amended complaint. In their amended complaint, relators named Gerald W. Phillips, an attorney and Geauga County elector and resident, and Taxpayers Coalition, an Ohio nonprofit corporation, as additional relators. Relators also named Governor Robert Taft, State Auditor James Petro, State Treasurer Joseph Deters, Ohio Legislative Service Commission Director Robert Shapiro, the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Ohio House Clerk Laura P. Clemens, and Ohio Senate Clerk Matthew T. Schuler, as additional respondents. In their amended complaint, relators Timothy J. Grendell and Phillips specified themselves as counsel for relators. Relators raised new claims in their amended complaint challenging the constitutionality of fourteen items or provisions added to Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283 by the conference committee that were purportedly

Page 707

not previously considered or acted upon by either the House or Senate and the constitutionality of Am.Sub.H.B. No. 283 insofar as it allegedly contains thirty-one separate nonappropriation subjects, including subjects as varied as the confidentiality of legislative documents and certified public accountant examination requirements. Respondents filed an answer to the amended complaint and a motion for judgment on the pleadings.

This cause is now before the court on relators' motion for leave to amend, and on respondents' motions to dismiss, for judgment on the pleadings, and for sanctions.

Grendell & Associates Co., L.P.A., and Timothy J. Grendell; Phillips & Co., L.P.A., and Gerald W. Phillips, for relators.

Betty D. Montgomery, Attorney General, Judith L. French, Robert C. Maier and Elizabeth S. Luper, Assistant Attorneys General, for respondents.

[86 Ohio St.3d 631]PER CURIAM.

Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint

Relators claim that pursuant to Civ.R. 15(A), because no responsive pleading had been filed at the time that they filed their amended complaint, they have an unrestricted right to amend their complaint as a matter of course. S.Ct.Prac.R. X(2) provides that all original actions other than habeas corpus filed in this court "shall proceed under the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, unless clearly inapplicable." State ex rel. SuperAmerica Group v. Licking Cty. Bd. of Elections (1997), 80 Ohio St.3d 182, 185, 685 N.E.2d 507, 510. Civ.R. 15(A) provides that "[a] party may amend his pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served * * *." (Emphasis added.) Under the Rules of Civil Procedure, a motion to dismiss is not a responsive pleading, and a party can amend his or her complaint as a matter of course even after a motion to dismiss has been filed. State ex rel. Hanson v. Guernsey Cty. Bd. of Commrs. (1992), 65 Ohio St.3d 545...

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