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King v. Divoky

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

June 13, 2018

DERRICK MARTIN KING Appellant
v.
PATRICIA DIVOKY, et al. Appellees

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2017-08-3304

          DERRICK MARTIN KING, pro se, Appellant.

          MICHAEL DEWINE, Attorney General, and THERESA R. HANNA, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and JOSEPH R. MCALEESE, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney,

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          JENNIFER HENSAL JUDGE.

         {¶1} Derrick King appeals a judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas that dismissed his declaratory judgment action under Civil Rule 12(B)(6). For the following reasons, this Court reverses.

         I.

         {¶2} Mr. King was receiving benefits from the Disability Financial Assistance program at the time the General Assembly ended the program. After the Summit County Department of Job and Family Services notified Mr. King that his benefits would be ending, Mr. King filed a declaratory judgment action against its director, Patricia Divoky, and the director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Cynthia Dungey, seeking a declaration that the repeal of the program violated his federal due process rights, his state and federal equal protection rights, and his right to safety under the Ohio Constitution. He also sought to enjoin the directors from terminating his benefits.

         {¶3} The directors moved to dismiss Mr. King's complaint under Rule 12(B)(6), arguing that he had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. They also opposed his request for injunctive relief. Mr. King opposed their motions, but the trial court dismissed his complaint, concluding that its "scant factual allegations" failed to support his argument that the repeal of the benefit program deprived him of due process of law, was not rationally related to a legitimate government purpose, deprived him of safety, or violated his right to equal protection of the laws. The court also concluded that Mr. King's factual allegations did not support his assertion that the directors had deprived him of his constitutional rights or establish that he was entitled to injunctive relief. The court also denied Mr. King's motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Mr. King has appealed, assigning three errors.

         II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT DISMISSED THE CASE.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR II
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ITS FINDINGS THAT KING'S COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT FAILED TO STATE A CLAIM FOR RELIEF, AS R.C. 812.40 AND OTHER CHANGES WHICH PERTAIN TO THE ELIMINATION OF DISABILITY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AS ENACTED BY 2017 AM. SUB. H.B. 49, 2017 OHIO LAWS FILE 10, ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL UNDER THE ...

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