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City of Bedford v. Deal

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

July 25, 2013

CITY OF BEDFORD, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
JAMES L. DEAL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Bedford Municipal Court Case No. 12-CRB-01020.

FOR APPELLANT James L. Deal, pro se.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Kenneth Schuman Prosecutor City of Bedford, Charles A. Bakula.

BEFORE: E.T. Gallagher, J., Jones, P.J., and Kilbane, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

EILEEN T. GALLAGHER, J.

{¶ 1} This cause came to be heard on the accelerated calendar pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and Loc.R. 11.1.

{¶2} Defendant-appellant James Deal ("Deal") appeals a judgment from the Bedford Municipal Court finding him guilty of violating Bedford Codified Ordinances ("BCO") 505.03, which prohibits the possession of certain animals. We find no merit to the appeal and affirm.

{¶3} On June 22, 2012, Deal was charged with violating BCO 505.03 because he possessed animals prohibited by the ordinance. Officer Laura Hovanetz ("Hovanetz") responded to Deal's home and removed one pygmy goat and four chickens. The court found Deal guilty of the violation at trial. Deal now appeals pro se.

{¶ 4} In his sole assignment of error, Deal argues the trial court erred in finding him guilty of violating BCO 505.03 because the ordinance is unconstitutional. BCO 505.03 provides, in relevant part:

(a) No person shall harbor, maintain or keep a rabbit hutch, goat pen or chicken coop with such animals therein, or any horse, cow, duck, turkey, geese or other fowl within the City limits. (Ord. 7185-99. Passed 12-20-99).
(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.[1]

{¶5} Deal argues BCO 505.03 is unconstitutional because it violates both the United States and Ohio Constitutions. Deal quotes Article I, Section 1, of the Ohio Constitution, which states:

All men are, by nature, free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety. Section 1, Article I, Ohio Constitution.

{ΒΆ 6} The Due Process Clause of the Ohio Constitution provides that "every person, for an injury done him in his land, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law." The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any state from depriving "any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law * * * ." The touchstone of due process is protection of the individual against arbitrary ...


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