One of Joe Biden’s first acts as President yesterday was extending the residential eviction moratorium until March 31, 2021. Read the CDC statement on that here.

We are hearing there will be extensive changes to the moratorium processes and procedures that will tilt the scales decidedly in favor of non-paying tenants. We will keep our blog readers updated on those changes as they occur.

The CDC in its release attributes the moratorium to “a housing affordability crisis” that they now place even more so on the books and backs of landlords to resolve.

The Cincinnati Enquirer covers our firm’s latest petition to the United States Supreme Court for certiorari — discretionary review of a lower Court decision. Read about that here.

Ohio Supreme Court upholds Governor’s last-minute cancellation of election

When the Ohio Supreme Court upheld Governor Mike DeWine’s last-minute cancelation of the Presidential Primary election in May, they did so in a simple one-line decision favoring the Governor’s Order. But the Ohio Constitution clearly says that the State’s highest Court must explain the reasoning behind each and every one of its decisions. State Representative Tom Brinkman reasoned that the Court could not well explain the novel decision to allow a Governor to cancel a duly-called and scheduled election at the last minute, and wanted to see their reasoning in black and white.

But what is the remedy?

Brinkman, represented by Chris Finney of Finney Law Firm and its “Of Counsel” attorney Curt Hartman, sued the Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court to force them to explain their decision — and the suit was filed at the Ohio Supreme Court. Brinkman fully expected that the Court would follow its long-established procedures to have the very Justices that had been sued as defendants in the case to recuse from the case and have others appointed from the Ohio judiciary to sit by designation on the decision.

Justices decide to be the Judge — of themselves

But much to Brinkman’s surprise and that of his attorneys, the five Justices who were defendants in the case, filed a brief in their own defense before themselves and then ruled on their own case. As you might imagine, they ruled in favor of themselves, seeing the wisdom of the brief they themselves filed and dismissed Brinkman’s Complaint. Ohioans got no explanation of the decision to cancel the election.

Is that due process?

Does that represent due process guaranteed by the US Constitution?

That is the question presented in the petition for writ of certiorari at the United States Supreme Court by the Finney Law Firm last week. Less than 1% of all cases presented to the US Supreme Court for review are granted oral argument, so Brinkman’s claim at this juncture is unquestionably an uphill battle, but Brinkman argues that it is fundamentally wrong — and unconstitutional — to allow any judges to sit in judgment of cases in which they themselves have been sued.

Can we do it yet again?

Three times previously, Finney Law Firm has achieved review of lower court decisions at the United States Supreme Court, and once accepted we won 100% of those cases 9-0.  Read about those against-all-odds wins here.

We will keep you advised if the Finney Law Firm again can thread the needle in SCOTUS practice.

Let us make an appellate difference for you

Let our team “Make a Difference” for you with our sophisticated appellate practice. Contact Chris Finney (513.943-6655) or Brad Gibson (513.943.6661) to speak with our experienced appellate litigators.

We have been looking for details of the calculations of and eligibility for the second round of PPP in the most recent COVID stimulus bill. We found this excellent in article in Entrepreneur.Com here.

Some details from the article follow (note, since the PPP “loans” are forgivable, the word “loan” essentially means “grant” for most eligible businesses):

Qualifications:

  • A loss of revenue of 25% or greater, for any one quarter — comparing 2019 to 2020. If your firm had swings in revenue or had a pronounced one-quarter loss due to COVID or other causes, you may be eligible even if your annual revenue did not dip by 25%.
  • 300 employees or fewer.
  • Must have already used or plan to use their original PPP funding.

Loan terms:

  • Maximum loan limit of $2 million.
  • Loans of 2.5 months of payroll, which is the same as the original PPP. We are checking the legislation to see if the loan amount will change based upon increased payrolls from the original calculation (for example, if additional employees were added).
  • Restaurants food businesses (we are checking on the meaning of that term) qualify for 3.5 months of payroll as their loan amount.
  • Qualifying expenses are expanded from payroll and rent or mortgage payments in the original PPP to now include operating expenses, workplace protection costs to protect employees from COVID-19 and covered property damage.
  • Loan proceeds are not taxable and loan expenses are deductible (this is true for the new program and the original PPP payments).
  • Loans less than $150,000 have significantly simplified loan forgiveness (a one-page form).

For additional details on second round PPP loans, contact attorney Rebecca Heimlich (513.797.2856) of Finney Law Firm.

Presidential candidate Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian

We are proud that our “of counsel” attorney Curt Hartman has been retained to represent presidential candidate Kanye West. West recently received notice from the Ohio Secretary of State and Ohio Attorney General that he would not be on the November ballot due to claimed (and entirely incorrect) hyper-technical petition deficiencies.

Hartman has challenged the ballot access denial in an original action before the Ohio Supreme Court. The Court has already established an accelerated calendar for consideration of the challenge. Read more here.

Finney Law Firm and Hartman have successfully pursued dozens of public interest suits over the years, including elections law challenges.

For help with your public interest case, contact Chris Finney at (513) 943-6655.

As many in the Ohio real estate, title and finance industries are aware, this firm along with the firm of Markovits, Stock and Demarco are co-counsel to several Plaintiffs challenging a long-running real estate scam that has ensnared hundreds of victims in the greater Cincinnati marketplace.

The Complaint alleges causes of action under Civil RICO, Civil Conspiracy, Breach of Fiduciary Duty by both the various Build Realty companies, First Title and Pat Connors, Negligence against First Title and Pat Connors, Unjust Enrichment, and a declaration that the various schemes designed to avoid the statutory right of redemption and the right of a borrower to excess proceeds under a lending arrangement are illegal, and that the trusts themselves are illegal and contrary to public policy.

The defendants in the proposed Amended Complaint include:

  • Build Realty, Inc.
  • First Title Agency, Inc.
  • Edgar Construction, LLC
  • Cincy Construction, LLC
  • McGregor , First Title, LLC
  • Cowtown Holdings, LLC
  • Build SWO, LLC
  • Greenleaf Support Services, LLC
  • Gary Bailey as Trustee and individually
  • George Triantafilou, as trustee and individually
  • Robert Scott Whiteside
  • G2 Technologies, LLC
  • GT Financial, LLC
  • Five Mile Capital Partners, LLC
  • Smith Graham & Co., Investment Advisors, L.P.
  • Pat Connors

A copy of the proposed form of Amended Complaint is here and below.

It appears this case will soon be moving forward before Federal District Court Judge Cole.

We will endeavor to keep victims updated by means of this blog as developments occur.

If you have questions, it’s best to email Christopher P. Finney. You may also call him at 513-720-2996.

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Last week, the Small Business Administration agreed to disclose the business names and locations, number of employees and loan amounts for all Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans in excess of $150,000. The Administration released the information this morning at 10 a.m. CT. As a result, the loan for your small business may become public as part of the disclosure.

Even though your bank may treat loan information as confidential, in this case, the disclosure of information is directly from the SBA as part of the Freedom of Information Act outlined in the PPP instructions. For more information, please refer to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website.

If you need assistance with obtaining or forgiveness of a PPP loan, please contact Rebecca Simpson Heimlich (513.797.2856).

 

Friday, Finney Law Firm and The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed suit in Warren County, Ohio to fully open Ohio day cares. Under orders from Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes day cares are operating at only partial capacity and under draconian rules.  Judge Timothy Tepe has been assigned to the case.

You may read the Complaint here and below.

The release from the 1851 Center is here.

The suit follows decisions obtained by these same attorneys in Rock House Fitness (Judge Eugene Lucci, Lake County) and Kalahari Resorts (Erie County, Judge Binette) finding that Dr. Amy Acton’s orders shuttering Ohio businesses was illegal and unconstitutional.

For more information, contact Chris Finney (513.720.2996).

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Today, the State of Ohio and Dr. Amy Acton appealed the decision of Judge Eugene Lucci of Lake County Common Pleas Court in Rock House Fitness, Inc., et al v. Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, et al.

That was a ground-breaking decision ruling that Dr. Acton and Governor DeWine do not have the legal authority to close gyms in Ohio under Dr. Acton’s statutory powers.

Read the Notice of Appeal here and below.

Read Judge Lucci’s decision here.

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