Timothy Young, Ohio Public Defender, and Eric M. Hedrick,
Ohio Assistant Public Defender, Columbus, Ohio, for
Kelley, Adams County Prosecuting Attorney, West Union, Ohio,
DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
William H. Harsha, Judge.
About five months after a bench trial, the court entered a
judgment convicting Bradley D. Doughman of domestic violence.
Doughman claims that the nearly five-month delay from the
trial until the court found him guilty was unreasonable and
resulted in a denial of his constitutional rights to due
process of law and the administration of justice without
denial or delay. As a result he contends the trial court lost
jurisdiction to sentence him. He relies initially upon R.C.
2838.11(F), which states that a bench finding shall be
announced in open court not more than 48 hours after
submission of the case, and Sheffield v. Nieves, 52
Ohio App.2d 187, 188, 368 N.E.2d 1262 (9th Dist.1976), in
support of his claim.
We reject Doughman's claim for several reasons. First,
R.C. 2938.11(F) is directory, not mandatory. Second,
Nieves is not binding upon our court and contains
little analysis to make it persuasive. And as we have held,
the test to determine both a due process and constitutional
speedy-trial claim in a post-trial context is the same as the
test for pretrial delay. Third, the nearly five-month delay
and the lack of reasons to justify the delay do weigh in
Doughman's favor. However, he did not assert his right to
a timely court ruling, and although he speculates about the
court's faded memory, he has not established any
prejudice from the delay. Under these circumstances, he has
failed to demonstrate a violation of his constitutional
speedy-trial or due-process rights.
Doughman also contends that he is entitled to reversal of his
conviction and discharge based on Crim.R. 32(A), which
requires that sentence shall be imposed without delay. But he
concedes that provision and the cases he cites construing it
are inapplicable here because the rule addresses a delay
between a conviction and the sentence, which he does not
directly contest here.
Therefore, we overrule Doughman's assignment of error and
affirm his conviction.
In July 2015, a deputy sheriff filed a complaint in the Adams
County Court alleging that Bradley D. Doughman had committed
domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A) by choking
and punching his wife in the nose. After Doughman's
arrest he was released from jail on his own recognizance.
On October 19, 2015, the court held a bench trial on the
criminal charge. At the conclusion of the trial the court
stated that it would "make a decision and advise the
parties." One hundred and forty three days later, on
March 10, 2016, the trial court issued a journal entry
finding Doughman guilty of domestic violence and ordered a
Subsequently, the trial court sentenced Doughman to a
suspended jail term, one year of community control, a fine,
and court costs.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
Doughman assigns the following error for our review:
THE DELAY OF NEARLY FIVE MONTHS BETWEEN MR. DOUGHMAN'S
BENCH TRIAL AND THE COURT FINDING HIM GUILTY WAS UNREASONABLE
AND RESULTED IN A DENIAL OF HIS RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW
UNDER THE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES AND OHIO, A
DIVESTMENT OF THE COURTS JURISDICTION, AND A VIOLATION OF THE
OHIO CONSTITUTION'S ARTICLE I, SECTION 16 ...