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City of Toledo v. Parra

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District

July 19, 2013

City of Toledo Appellee
v.
Mary Parra Appellant

Trial Court No. CRB-12-07360

David L. Toska, City of Toledo Chief Prosecuting Attorney, and Arturo Quintero, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

Adam H. Houser for appellant.

DECISION AND JUDGMENT

SINGER, P.J.

{¶ 1} Appellant appeals her conviction for interference with custody entered following a finding of guilty on a no contest plea in the Toledo Municipal Court. Because we conclude that a municipal interference with custody ordinance may be applicable in visitation disputes, we affirm.

{¶ 2} Appellant, Mary Parra, is the mother, and, by order of the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, the sole residential parent and legal custodian of minor children. By the same order, the children's father, Carlos Bonilla, was awarded parenting time.

{¶ 3} On May 1, 2012, Bonilla filed a complaint with the trial court alleging that appellant interfered with his custody of these children. Appellant pled not guilty and the court appointed an attorney to represent her.

{¶ 4} Appellant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that since disputes concerning custody and visitation have a remedy in R.C. 2705.031, a criminal sanction should not be applied. As a matter of policy, appellant argued, this family law matter would be best handled by the domestic relations court which has already exercised jurisdiction. The trial court denied the motion, concluding that the motion required examination of the evidence beyond the face of the complaint.

{¶ 5} Following the court's ruling, appellant amended her plea to no contest and was found guilty of interference with custody in violation of Toledo Municipal Code 515.04. The court imposed a $50 fine and costs. This appeal followed. Appellant sets forth three assignments of error:

1. The conviction of the appellant was the result of an improper interpretation of the statute by the trial court.
2. There was insufficient evidence to convict the appellant of interference with custody.
3. The Toledo Municipal Court was the improper forum for the case and was [sic] an abuse of discretion for the court to hear the case.

I. Interpretation of Law

{¶ 6} In her first assignment of error, appellant maintains that the trial court misinterpreted the ordinance defining the offense of ...


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