Ohio Department of Health director’s decision confirmed

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Magistrate Michael Bachman heard oral arguments yesterday for Lebanon Road Surgery Center vs. State of Ohio Department of Health, Monday. Magistrate Bachman upheld the Ohio Department of Health’s order that Martin Haskell’s abortion facility in Sharonville, Ohio be denied a license and closed for operating outside the law.

The attorney presenting arguments for LRSC was Jennifer Branch. The attorney representing the Ohio Department of Health and Director Ted Wymyslo was Assistant Attorney General Melissa Wilburn. Several pro-life representatives attended the hearing, while other pro-life observers maintained a peaceful presence on the steps of the court house. Magistrate Bachman set July 10th for the attorneys for the state to submit a draft magistrate decision (documenting what was decided). Magistrate Bachman will review this draft, make any appropriate edits, and file his decision with the Clerk of Courts.

Attorneys for the abortion facility and attorneys for the state have 14 days to file objections to Magistrate Bachman’s decision. If objections are filed by either party, the objections go to the original trial judge, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jerry Metz. Judge Metz will review any submitted objections and make a final determination of whether to accept Magistrate Bachman’s decision or not. There is no time limit for Judge Metz to make his conclusion. Lebanon Road Surgery Center will remain open until July 10th. Whether or not the Lebanon Road Surgery Center requests a second stay of execution from Judge Metz to remain open beyond July 10th remains to be seen.

Another possible course of action is that the Lebanon Road Surgery Center could bypass filing objections to Magistrate Bachman’s decision completely, and within 10 days of today’s ruling file a motion to set aside Magistrate Bachman’s order and request that his order be stayed. A motion to set aside Magistrate Bachman’s order would also go to Judge Metz to decide, and the Lebanon Road Surgery Center would continue to operate in the meantime. Regardless of any course of action taken by the attorneys involved, Lebanon Road Surgery Center cannot appeal to another court–should this be desired–until Judge Metz makes his final ruling.

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