Medina County Courthouse

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ninth Appellate District Opinions from Summit County for 4/17-4/24/2013

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Appellate District released seven decisions from Summit County during the week of April 17 through April 24, 2013. The decisions were as follows:

State v. Carano, 2013-Ohio-1633, issued on April 24, 2013, affirmed the conviction of the Mr. Carano for a felony offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Carano alleged several assignments of error. He alleged error in the trial court's refusal of his motion for a mistrial; in denying his motion for suppression of evidence; in convicting him of the misdemeanor offenses of failure to stay within his lane of travel; in finding that there was sufficient evidence to try this case as a fourth degree felony; and in finding that there was sufficient evidence to convict him of driving while under the influence. The Court of Appeals rejected each assignment of error and affirmed the conviction. 

Katherine's Collection, Inc. v. Kleski, 2013-Ohio-1530, issued on April 17, 2013, dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the order was a not a final, appealable order. The Court of Appeals held that the order was not a final order and then it examined whether the appeal was a proper interlocutory appeal under R.C. 2505.02(B). The appellants had argued that the trial court's order could be reviewed under R.C. 2505.02(B)(4). After reviewing that subsection, the Court of Appeals concluded that the order was not reviewable and dismissed the appeal. 

State v. Wilson, 2013-Ohio-1529, issued on April 17, 2013 concerned whether the defendant had waived the assignment of error by not bringing the issue up after he was originally convicted. The issue concerned whether or not the trial court should have heard his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. By a 2-1 vote, the appellate court held that under Ninth District precedent the issue of withdrawal of a guilty plea should have been brought up following his original conviction. The dissent argued that since trial courts have discretion to hear post-conviction motions to withdraw guilty pleas, the trial court should have heard Mr. Wilson's motion. The dissent also argued that since the Ohio Supreme Court had issued two decisions after the trial court denied the motion that could have bearing on Mr. Wilson's motion, the appellate court should reverse and remand with instructions to consider the motion in light of the two Ohio Supreme Court decisions. 

Weisfeld v. PASCO, Inc., 2013-Ohio-1528 dealt with the issue of what should an appellate court do if a trial court incorrectly weight the evidence in deciding a motion for summary judgment? The majority found that the appellate court may consider examine the record to decide whether or not there was a material issue of fact independent of the trial court's findings of fact. If the appellate court determines that there was not a material issue of fact and that the non-moving party was entitled to judgment as a operation of law, it may go ahead and affirm the judgment. The dissent argued that once the appellate court determined that the trial court had inappropriately weighed the evidence, it should have reversed and remanded the case back to the trial court. 

State v. Mercer, 2013-Ohio-1527 issued April 17, 2013, concerned an appeal by a defendant who was convicted of rape and gross sexual imposition. The victim was a child who was 10 years old at the time of the incident and 11 years old at the time of the trial. Mr. Mercer raised four assignments of error on appeal They were that the trial court erred by failing to grant a mistrial based on the State's closing argument; that it erred by failing to comply with the requirements of R.C. 2945.481; that it erred by determining that the victim was competent to testify at trial; and that it erred by incorrectly imposing sentences on both offenses charged when they were allied offenses of similar import. 

The Court of Appeals held that all four assignments of error were not well taken. The assignment of error involving R.C. 2945.481 concerned whether that section, which allows a trial court to have a child victim testify in a separate room while the defendant watches via closed circuit television, was violated when the trial court used that procedure for a competency hearing. The section requires that certain procedures be followed when it is utilized. The defendant alleged that these procedures weren't followed. The Court of Appeals ruled that this section didn't apply because the child never actually testified at the competency hearing. The trial judge used the procedure to conduct a voir dire of the child witness. The Court of Appeals ruled that "by its plain language it was not implicated during the trial court’s voir dire of the victim during her competency hearing at which the child did not testify." Therefore the assignment or error was not well taken. 

State v. Hoyle, 2013-Ohio-1526 issued on April 17, 2013, concerned whether a trial court had to hear a motion from a defendant who was serving a sentence for murder. The motion concerned whether or not the sentencing entry complied with Crim. R. 32 and the Ohio Supreme Court decision of State v. Baker (2008), 119 Ohio St. 3d 197. The Court of Appeals found that the trial court did not err and affirmed the trial court's order denying the motion. 

State v. Arrunategui, 2013-Ohio-1525 issued on April 17, 2013, was a decision that reversed a trial court's order allowing a defendant to withdraw his guilty plea. The issue was whether the plea of guilty was knowingly entered when the defendant's counsel did not inform him that a conviction could result in deportation, but the trial court did so inform him, and whether the trial court should have held a hearing on the motion to withdraw. The State argued that the trial court advising the defendant of possible deportation overcame any issue with his counsel not advising him. The Court of Appeals stated that it wasn't making such a categorical decision, but rather, decided that the trial court should have held a hearing as opposed to just allowing the plea to be withdrawn by journal entry. 

No comments: