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State v. Valle

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

September 30, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Appellant
v.
ADA I. VALLE Appellee

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 10CR082008

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

MICHAEL DUFF, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

HENSAL, Judge.

(¶1} The State of Ohio appeals a judgment of the Lorain County common pleas court that dismissed the criminal case that was pending against Ada Valle. For the following reasons, this Court affirms.

I.

(¶2} In December 2010, the Grand Jury indicted Ms. Valle for theft and passing bad checks. Before trial, she moved to be accepted into "the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas Diversion Program." Over the State's objection, the trial court accepted her guilty plea and approved her entrance into the program. Following a year of supervision by the Lorain County Adult Probation Department, the court found "that the defendant has successfully completed the period of rehabilitation." It, therefore, dismissed the case "pursuant to R.C. 2951.041(E)." The State has appealed, assigning two errors.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I
THE TRIAL COURT IMPROPERLY DISMISSED MS. VALLE'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 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.

(¶3} The State argues that the trial court improperly dismissed the charges against Ms. Valle because it did not have authority to establish a diversion program. It also argues that the court's program violates the concept of separation of powers.

(¶4} According to the trial court's journal entry, it dismissed Ms. Valle's case "pursuant to R.C. 2951.041(E)." Revised Code Section 2951.041 "lays out a process under which a defendant may seek intervention in lieu of conviction that, upon successful completion, culminates in the dismissal of the charges against [her]." State v. Wagner, 9th Dist. Lorain No. 12CA010199, 2013-Ohio-2036, ¶ 4. As in Wagner, the State, in its brief, "has not cited Section 2951.041, let alone demonstrated that the court improperly applied the statute." Id. It also has not challenged the constitutionality of Section 2951.041(E). Id. at ¶ 7. In addition, the record does not contain any details about the trial court's allegedly unlawful diversion program. Id.at ¶ 7; State v. Hatfield, 9th Dist. Lorain No. 12CA010198, 2013-Ohio-3069, ΒΆ 6. Although the State has attempted to append documents to its brief ...


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