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Horsley v. Ohio Department of Job & Family Services

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Scioto

August 29, 2019

JOSEPH HORSLEY, Appellant-Appellant,
v.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF JOB & FAMILY SERVICES, Appellee-Appellee.

          Joseph Horsley, Franklin Furnace, Ohio, Pro Se Appellant.

          Dave Yost, Ohio Attorney General, and Justin T. Radic, Senior Assistant Ohio Attorney General, Health and Human Services Section, Ohio Attorney General's Office, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          Per Curiam.

         {¶1} This is an appeal from a Scioto County Court of Common Pleas judgment entry affirming an Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) decision that determined Appellant's request for a state hearing to contest the denial of certain benefits was properly dismissed. Because we find the trial court properly affirmed the decision by ODJFS, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         FACTS

         {¶2} Appellant filed for a request for a state hearing with ODJFS alleging that his food stamp benefits and Medicaid coverage were "wrongfully withheld." In a box on Appellant's request for a hearing that asked if the applicant needed "an interpreter, a signer, or other assistance, at [the] state hearing," Appellant wrote: "My right to a hearing in writing." In a letter accompanying his appeal, Appellant reiterated: "Please take notice, the Appellant is exercising his right to have a fair hearing in writing, not orally."

         {¶3} ODJFS sent a notice that Appellant's hearing was scheduled for September 25, 2017 at Scioto CDJFS[1], 710 Court St. Portsmouth, Ohio 45662-1347. The notice stated: "If you do not come to this hearing, you will receive a dismissal notice * * *."

         {¶4} On September 23, 2017, Appellant drafted a letter to ODJFS requesting a postponement of his hearing because he was unable to have the necessary subpoenas ready by the hearing date.

         {¶5} ODJFS sent a new notice to Appellant that a hearing was scheduled for October 16, 2017 at the Scioto CDJFS, 710 Court St. Portsmouth, Ohio 45662-1347. The notice again stated: "If you do not come to this hearing, you will receive a dismissal notice * * *."

         {¶6} On October 16, 2017, Appellant faxed a letter to ODJFS indicating that he was "exercising his right to have a fair hearing in writing, not orally." The letter also indicated that he was seeking information from ODJFS by subpoena.

         {¶7} On October 17, 2017, ODJFS sent a notice to Appellant that his appeal had been dismissed as abandoned because neither he nor his representative came to the October 16, 2017 hearing. The notice included instruction on how to appeal.

         {¶8} Appellant appealed the dismissal to ODJFS. ODJFS affirmed the dismissal finding that Appellant's request for a hearing was dismissed as abandoned because he failed to attend the scheduled hearing. ODJFS also found there is "no procedure to provide an appeal in writing and forgo the state hearing process."

         {¶9} Appellant appealed the decision by ODJFS to the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas continuing to insist that he had a right to participate in a state hearing "in writing." The court affirmed the ODJFS decision that dismissed Appellant's request for a state hearing. It is from this judgment that Appellant appeals to this court, asserting two assignments of error.

         ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR

I. IT IS ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR [SIC] THE LOWER COURT "COPIED AND PASTED" FROM THE AGENCY DECISION (AND AGENCY APPEAL BRIEF FILED WITH THE COURT), INSTEAD OF REVIEWING THE RECORD, AT ANY TIME, TO DETERMINE IF THE DECISION IS CORRECT, BASED ON THE EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD. THE LOWER COURT WILLFULLY FAILED TO REVIEW THE RECORD AS REQUIRED BY LAW, TO EVALUATE IF THE DECISION OF THE AGENCY IS SUPPORTED BY FACTS AND RELIABLE, PROBATIVE AND SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.
II. IT IS ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR [SIC] THE LOWER COURT RESORTED TO "COPYING AND PASTING" FROM THE AGENCY DECISION (AND AGENCY APPEAL BRIEF FILED WITH THE COURT), INSTEAD OF REVIEWING THE RECORD, AT ANY TIME, TO DETERMINE IF THE DECISION IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW, AND OTHERWISE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ILLEGAL, ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS, AND UNREASONABLE. IN DOING SO, THE LOWER COURT WILLFULLY MISAPPLIED LAW BY RULING THAT THE OAC SUPERSEDES THE R.C. AND THAT A CONFLICT BETWEEN THE R.C. AND THE OAC SHOULD BE MADE IN FAVOR OF THE AGENCY 'DESIRES.' FURTHER, THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN IGNORING THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ILLEGAL, ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS, AND UNREASONABLE ACTIONS, ...

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