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State v. Davis

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

September 16, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Appellant
v.
PETER D. DAVIS Appellee

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 10CR081845

DENNIS P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and NATASHA RUIZ GUERRIERI, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellant.

JACK W. BRADLEY and MALLORY J. HOLMES, Attorneys at Law, for Appellee.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

HENSAL, Judge.

(¶1} The State of Ohio appeals a judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas that dismissed the criminal charges pending against Peter Davis. For the following reasons, this Court affirms.

I.

(¶2} On December 2, 2010, the Lorain County Grand Jury indicted Mr. Davis on two counts of theft and one count of passing bad checks, all felonies of the fourth degree. After initially pleading not guilty to the charges, Mr. Davis filed a "motion for diversion" on May 25, 2011. The trial court subsequently ordered the Adult Parole Authority to conduct a preliminary investigation and report. The State filed a memorandum in opposition to the motion on May 31, 2011, and Mr. Davis replied thereto.

(¶3} On August 19, 2011, the trial court held a hearing on Mr. Davis's motion. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court granted his request. In order to be admitted to the diversion program, Mr. Davis entered guilty pleas to the charges in the indictment. The trial court informed him that, under the program, he would be subject to supervision for one year. It also informed him that he would be required to pay restitution and refrain from committing any crimes or engaging in drug or alcohol use for one year. That same day, the trial court issued an order indicating that Mr. Davis had entered a plea of guilty to the charges in the indictment and that the trial court accepted his application to the "Lorain County Court of Common Pleas Diversion Program." Just over a year later, on September 6, 2012, the trial court issued a journal entry dismissing the complaint on the basis that Mr. Davis had successfully completed the program. The State filed a timely notice of appeal. It has raised two assignments of error for this Court's review.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I
THE TRIAL COURT IMPROPERLY DISMISSED DAVIS'[S] INDICTMENT UPON COMPLETION OF THE LORAIN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DIVERSION PROGRAM AS ONLY A PROSECUTING ATTORNEY HAS THE AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH A PRE-TRIAL DIVERSION PROGRAM.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR II
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN STRUCTURING THE LORAIN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DIVERSION PROGRAM [SO AS] TO REMOVE ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL PARTIES TO THE CASE AND TO VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONCEPT OF SEPARATION OF POWERS.

(¶4} In its first assignment of error, the State argues that the trial court improperly dismissed the indictment based on Mr. Davis's completion of the court's diversion program. According to the State, the Lorain County common pleas court did not have authority to create a diversion program. In its second assignment of error, the State contends that the trial court's diversion program violates ...


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