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State v. Dawson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

September 20, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
WILLIAM D. DAWSON Defendant-Appellant

Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No. 2012-CR-2038

MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by MICHELE D. PHIPPS, Atty. Reg. #0069826, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

TINA M. MCFALL, Atty. Reg. No. 0082586, Assistant Public Defender Attorney for Defendant-Appellant

OPINION

WELBAUM, J.

(¶ 1} Defendant-Appellant, William Dawson, appeals from his conviction and sentence, following a no-contest plea to a charge of Failure to Notify in violation of R.C. 2950.05(A) and (F)(1). After pleading no contest, Dawson was found guilty and was sentenced to community control sanctions. The trial court suspended all sanctions pending appeal, other than treatment at Daymont West, completion of a Community Employment Class at Goodwill Easter Seals, and compliance with sex offender registration requirements.

(¶ 2} Dawson contends that the trial court erred in overruling his motion to dismiss the indictment. Dawson further contends that the trial court erred when it found him guilty of Failure to Notify under R.C. 2950.05(A) and (F)(1).

(¶ 3} We conclude that the trial court did not err in overruling Dawson's motion to dismiss the indictment, which was based on alleged error in a prior juvenile court proceeding. Even if the juvenile court had erred in failing to timely hold a sexual offender classification hearing, the juvenile court's decision cannot be collaterally attacked. Dawson's proper remedy was to appeal from the classification decision made by the juvenile court. The trial court also did not err in finding Dawson guilty of Failure to Notify. The evidence Dawson presented in support of this assignment of error involves matters outside the trial court record and cannot be considered on appeal. For the same reason, the State's motion to strike the appendix to Dawson's brief will be granted. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.

I. Facts and Course of Proceedings

(¶ 4} The facts in the case before us are not in dispute. In March 2002, a complaint was filed in Montgomery County Juvenile Court (J.C. No. A 2002-3512 02), alleging that Dawson had committed a sexually-oriented offense at the age of 14. The juvenile court found Dawson to be a delinquent child in May 2002, following his admission to having committed gross sexual imposition in violation of R.C. 2907.05, which would have been a felony of the third degree if committed by an adult. At disposition, which was held on September 20, 2002, the juvenile court ordered Dawson into the custody of the Department of Youth Services (DYS) for a minimum of six months and a maximum period not to exceed Dawson's 21st birthday. However, the time in DYS was suspended, and Dawson was ordered to serve a period of probation until September 30, 2003. He was also ordered to attend the Dora Tate Juvenile Program for eight days, pay restitution, have no contact with the victim, and attend outpatient therapy after school at the Lighthouse Program. The juvenile court did not impose classification as a sex offender registrant at that time.

(¶ 5} Dawson's probation was extended twice after violations of court orders in January 2003 and January 2004. Subsequently, in June 2005, Dawson's probation officer filed a motion for probation to be extended, for custody and placement, and for sexual offender classification of Dawson. The juvenile court then ordered probation to be continued until October 2005 and terminated the Lighthouse placement. In addition, the court classified Dawson as a Juvenile Sex Offender Registrant pursuant to R.C. 2152.83(B). The court also held that Dawson was required to register pursuant to R.C. 2950.03, as he was 14 years old at the time of the offense. Finally, the court ordered Dawson placed with the George Foster Group Home in Dayton, Ohio. An entry reflecting these findings was filed on June 29, 2005. Dawson did not appeal from the juvenile court judgment.

(¶ 6} In June 2012, Dawson was indicted by the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court for Failure to Notify, a felony of the third degree. Dawson filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, contending that the juvenile court order imposing the sex offender classification was void because the court failed to comply with statutory requirements for imposing the classification. The trial court overruled the motion to dismiss in September 2012, concluding that the juvenile sex offender hearing and classification were timely. Dawson filed a motion for reconsideration on September 24, 2012, arguing that the trial court may have made a mistake of fact, since the Lighthouse Youth Facility was not a "secure facility." The trial court overruled the motion for reconsideration on September 27, 2012. The same day, Dawson pled no contest to the charge of Failure to Notify, and was sentenced to community control sanctions, most of which were stayed by the trial court, other than as noted above.

(¶ 7} Dawson appeals from his conviction and sentence.

II. Did the Trial Court Err in Overruling the Motion to Dismiss?

(¶ 8} Dawson's First Assignment of Error is as follows:

The Trial Court Erred As a Matter of Law When It Overruled the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

(¶ 9} Under this assignment of error, Dawson contends that the juvenile court was required to classify him as a juvenile sex offender at the time of his disposition in September 2002. This is based on the fact that R.C. 2152.83(B)(1) allows juvenile offenders ages 14 or 15 at the time of the offense to be classified only at the time of disposition or at the time they are released from a secure facility. However, Dawson was never committed to a statutorily defined secured facility. Accordingly, he contends that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to rule on his status by waiting for almost three years after his dispositional hearing.

(¶ 10} R.C. 2152.83 became effective on January 1, 2002, shortly before the complaint was filed against Dawson in juvenile court. See generally Am.Sub.S.B. No. 3, 149 Ohio Laws, Part I, 537. The statute was amended in July 2002, and at the time of Dawson's disposition, R.C. 2152.83(B)(1) provided that:

The court that adjudicates a child a delinquent child, on the judge's own motion, may conduct at the time of disposition of the child or, if the court commits the child for the delinquent act to the custody of a secure facility, may conduct at the time of the child's release from the secure facility, a hearing for the purposes described in division (B)(2) of this section if all of the following apply:
(a) The act for which the child is adjudicated a delinquent child is a sexually oriented offense that the child ...

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