Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
IN RE: D.D. A MINOR CHILD[Appeal by the State of Ohio]
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Juvenile Division Case No. DL 16107471
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor Frank Romeo Zeleznikar Assistant County
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Mark A. Stanton Cuyahoga County Public
Defender John T. Martin Assistant Public Defender
BEFORE: McCormack, P.J., Boyle, J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
The state of Ohio appeals the juvenile court's sua sponte
dismissal of its complaint against appellee D.D. For the
following reasons, we reverse the juvenile court's
dismissal and remand for lack of a final verdict.
and Substantive History
Beyond the allegations listed in the complaint, the record in
this case prior to dismissal includes no mention of the
underlying substantive facts. After the juvenile court
dismissed the complaint with prejudice, the court questioned
D.D. on the record about the incident. The following facts
are a summary of D.D.'s recollection.
On November 4, 2015, D.D. had an altercation with another
girl who had been bullying her. The two girls physically
fought near their school, and D.D.'s nose was fractured
in the fight. Immediately after this initial incident, D.D.
followed the girl to a nearby location, where she resumed
fighting with the girl and threw a chair at her. D.D. was
asked to leave and initially refused to do so.
On August 16, 2016, a complaint based on the November 4, 2015
events was filed in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas, Juvenile Division, alleging D.D. to be a delinquent
child. The complaint alleged the following counts: (1)
felonious assault, a felony of the second degree; (2)
criminal activity on school property, a misdemeanor of the
first degree; (3) inducing panic, a misdemeanor of the first
degree; and (4) criminal trespass, a misdemeanor of the
Each count of the complaint listed the name and numerical
designation of the alleged offense, the date of the alleged
offense, the street address of the alleged offense, and the
name and address of D.D.'s mother. Additionally, each
count was sworn to under oath.
An arraignment was held on September 19, 2016. A reading of
the complaint was waived, and D.D. denied the allegations of
the complaint by a plea entered through her counsel.
After holding pretrial hearings on October 31 and December
12, 2016, an adjudicatory hearing was held on February 27,
2017. At this hearing, the prosecutor made an oral motion to
amend the complaint to reflect a plea agreement reached
between D.D. and the state. Pursuant to this agreement, D.D.
would enter an admission to Count 1, amended to aggravated
assault, and Count 4. In exchange for those admissions, the
state would nolle Counts 2 and 3. The court granted this
motion to amend the complaint.
After ensuring that D.D. understood the rights she was
waiving by entering these admissions, the court accepted the
admissions in accordance with Juv.R. 29(D).
The court then noted a defect in the complaint, and the
prosecutor made an oral motion to amend the complaint to
include "Cleveland, Ohio, 44111" to be the location
of the offenses. The court denied this motion, stated that it
lacked jurisdiction, and dismissed the case with prejudice.
The court's journal entry stated, in relevant part:
Upon due consideration, the court finds that the allegations
of the complaint have not been proven beyond a reasonable