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King v. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

July 24, 2019

DERRICK MARTIN KING, et al. Appellant
v.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES Appellee

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2017-09-3744

          DERRICK MARTIN KING, pro se, Appellant.

          DAVE YOST, Attorney General, and THERESA R. DIRISAMER, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          CARR, JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant Derrick Martin King appeals from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} In early July 2017, Mr. King received notice from Summit County Department of Job and Family Services that his Disability Financial Assistance Program ("DFA") benefits were being terminated pursuant to the enactment of Am.Sub.H.B. No. 49, which repealed portions of the Ohio Revised Code that authorized the benefits. Specifically, section 812.40 of Am.Sub.H.B. No. 49 provides:

(A) The repeal of sections 5115.01, 5115.02, 5115.03, 5115.04, 5115.05, 5115.06, 5115.07, 5115.20, 5115.22, and 5115.23 and the amendment of sections 126.35, 131.23, 323.01, 323.32, 329.03, 329.051, 2151.43, 2151.49, 3111.04, 3113.06, 3113.07, 3119.05, 5101.16, 5101.17, 5101.18, 5101.181, 5101.184, 5101.26, 5101.27, 5101.28, 5101.33, 5101.35, 5101.36, 5117.10, 5123.01, 5168.02, 5168.09, 5168.14, 5168.26, 5502.13, 5709.64, and 5747.122 of the Revised Code take effect on December 31, 2017.
(B) Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 5115. of the Revised Code, on and after the effective date of this section and until December 31, 2017, all of the following apply to the Disability Financial Assistance Program:
(1) Beginning July 1, 2017, the Department of Job and Family Services shall not accept any new application for disability financial assistance.
(2) Before July 31, 2017, the Department shall notify the following individuals that benefits shall terminate on July 31, 2017:
(a) Recipients who have applications for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits pending before the federal Social Security Administration and who have received a denial of reconsideration from the Administration on or before July 1, 2017;
(b) Recipients who do not have applications for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits pending before the Social Security Administration and who have received from the Administration on or before July 1, 2017, an initial denial of benefits or denial of reconsideration.
(3) Beginning on July 1, 2017, and ending on October 1, 2017, the Department shall provide disability financial assistance benefits only to recipients who have not received a denial of reconsideration from the Social Security Administration.
(4) After October 1, 2017, the Department shall provide disability financial assistance benefits only to recipients who have applications for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits pending before the Social Security Administration and have not received a denial of reconsideration from the Administration.
(C) Until July 1, 2019, the Department, or the county department of job and family services at the request of the Department, may take any action described in former section 5115.23 of the Revised Code to recover erroneous payments, including instituting a civil action.
(D) Beginning December 31, 2017, the Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Health Transformation, in cooperation with the Directors of the Departments of Job and Family Services and Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Medicaid Director, and the Executive Director of the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency, shall ensure the establishment of a program to do both of the following:
(1) Refer adult Medicaid recipients who have been assessed to have health conditions to employment readiness or vocational rehabilitation services;
(2) Assist adult Medicaid recipients who have been assessed to have disabling health conditions to expedite applications for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

         {¶3} Mr. King filed a request for a state hearing to appeal the determination. Mr. King submitted a written argument arguing that the repeal of Chapter 5115 of the Ohio Revised Code violated his constitutional rights to safety, due process, and equal protection under the law. The state hearing decision stated that, "[b]ased upon the testimony provided, the Appellant falls within the category of any DFA recipient who has a pending application for SSI or SSDI with the Social Security Administration, and who has ever received a denial of SSI or SSDI at the reconsideration appeal level on or before July 1, 2017. Therefore * * * termination of DFA eligibility for the Appellant is supported." Mr. King appealed that decision. The administrative appeal decision affirmed the decision of the state hearing decision. That decision was the final decision of Appellee Ohio Department of Job and Family Services ("ODJFS").

         {¶4} Mr. King appealed the decision to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. At the time of that appeal, Mr. King had a related action for declaratory judgment pending in another case. Mr. King filed a motion in the administrative appeal for the production of a transcript of the state hearing pursuant to R.C. 5101.35(E)(4), which ODJFS opposed because it alleged Mr. King did not meet the requirements set forth in the statute. Mr. King additionally filed a motion to supplement the record of the administrative appeal under Loc.R. 19.04 of the Court of Common Pleas of Summit County, General Division ("Summit Cty. Loc.R. 19.04"), which ODJFS opposed because ODJFS alleged the evidence failed to qualify as newly discovered evidence under R.C. 119.12(K). The lower court denied both motions.

         {¶5} While his administrative appeal was pending, Mr. King filed an action in prohibition with the Supreme Court seeking to prevent the lower court from conducting further proceedings while Mr. King's action for declaratory judgment was pending in another case.

         {¶6} In Mr. King's merit brief in the administrative appeal in the lower court, he argued that R.C. 119.12(K) and 5101.35(E)(4) and Summit Cty. Loc.R. 19.04 were unconstitutional as applied because they denied him meaningful access to the courts. Additionally, he raised several facial challenges to Am.Sub.H.B. No. 49, arguing that it violated his rights to safety, due process, and equal protection. Mr. King attached numerous documents to his brief which were referenced ...


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