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The State Ex Rel. v. State Employment Relations Board

November 1, 2011

THE STATE EX REL.
KINGSLEY,
APPELLANT,
v.
STATE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS BOARD,
APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Court of Appeals for Franklin County, No. 09AP-1085, 2011-Ohio-428.

Per curiam.

[Until this opinion appears in the Ohio Official Reports advance sheets, it may be cited as State ex rel. Kingsley v. State Emp. Relations Bd., Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-5519.]

NOTICE

This slip opinion is subject to formal revision before it is published in an advance sheet of the Ohio Official Reports. Readers are requested to promptly notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of Ohio, 65 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, of any typographical or other formal errors in the opinion, in order that corrections may be made before the opinion is published.

SLIP OPINION NO. 2011-OHIO-5519

[Until this opinion appears in the Ohio Official Reports advance sheets, it may be cited as State ex rel. Kingsley v. State Emp. Relations Bd., Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-5519.]

Public employees--Change to unclassified status and removal from employment--Availability of appeal to State Personnel Board of Review precludes relief by mandamus--Constitutional claims in administrative appeals.

Submitted September 6, 2011

{¶1} This is an appeal from a judgment dismissing the complaint of appellant, Kay A. Kingsley, a former administrative law judge ("ALJ") of appellee, State Employment Relations Board ("SERB"), for a writ of mandamus to declare Am.Sub.H.B. No. 1 of the 128th General Assembly ("H.B. 1") unconstitutional and to compel SERB to recognize Kingsley as a classified employee and reinstate her to her former position. Because Kingsley had an adequate remedy at law by way of her civil-service appeal to raise her claims, we affirm the judgment of the court of appeals.

Facts

{¶2} According to Kingsley's complaint for a writ of mandamus, SERB appointed her as an ALJ, which was a classified position, in January 1999. Effective July 17, 2009, the General Assembly enacted H.B. 1, the biennial budget bill. The bill revised R.C. 4117.02(H) by changing the position of SERB ALJ from the classified service to the unclassified service. In October 2009, SERB terminated Kingsley's employment.

{¶3} On November 20, 2009, Kingsley filed a complaint in the Court of Appeals for Franklin County. She requested that the court of appeals grant a writ of mandamus to declare H.B. 1 unconstitutional as applied to her and to order SERB to recognize her as a classified employee and to reinstate her to her former ALJ position.*fn1 Kingsley claimed that H.B. 1 is unconstitutional because it violates the one-subject rule, that the bill's amendment to R.C. 4117.02(H) should not be applied retroactively to her, and that the amendment is inapplicable to her because SERB-appointed ALJs like her remained in the classified service. SERB filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. In her memorandum in opposition, Kingsley noted that her complaint raised claims that amended R.C. 4117.02(H) is unconstitutional both facially and as applied and that the amended provision violates R.C. 1.48 if it is applied retroactively to her.

{ΒΆ4} In February 2011, the court of appeals granted SERB's motion and dismissed Kingsley's mandamus complaint. The court of appeals determined that Kingsley had an adequate remedy in the ...


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