FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE AKRON MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 17 TRC 04945
BELFANCE, Director of Law, GERTRUDE E. WILMS, Chief
Prosecutor, and BRIAN D. BREMER, Assistant Director of Law,
HELLER, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
Appellant, State of Ohio, appeals from the judgment entered
by the Akron Municipal Court, which granted Brandon
McKenzie's motion to vacate his administrative license
suspension ("ALS"). This Court reverses and
Mr. McKenzie was arrested for two counts of operating a
vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
("OVI") and other offenses that are not relevant to
this appeal. Because he refused to submit to chemical
testing, Mr. McKenzie was issued an administrative license
suspension. An ALS appeal hearing was never held. After a
jury found Mr. McKenzie not guilty of the two OVI offenses,
he filed a motion to vacate the ALS. The trial court granted
the motion on June 14, 2017, which was the same day the
motion was filed. The State subsequently filed a response,
which the trial court found moot. The State now appeals,
raising three assignments of error.
OF ERROR ONE
TRIAL COURT'S ORDER VACATING MR. MCKENZIE'S ALS WAS
VOID BECAUSE THE TRIAL COURT LACKED JURISDICTION OVER HIS ALS
DUE TO HIS FAILURE TO APPEAL THE ALS.
In its first assignment of error, the State argues that,
because Mr. McKenzie did not file a timely appeal of his ALS,
the trial court lacked jurisdiction to rule on his motion and
the order vacating the ALS is void. This Court disagrees.
Initially, we note that Mr. McKenzie has failed to file an
appellate brief in this appeal. Thus, "[p]ursuant to
App.R. 18(C), this Court may accept the [State's]
statement of the facts and issues as presented in [its] brief
as correct and reverse the judgment of the trial court if
[the State's] brief reasonably appears to sustain such
action." Bank of New York v. Smith, 9th Dist.
Summit No. 21534, 2003-Ohio-4633, ¶ 2.
"Challenges to a trial court's jurisdiction present
questions of law and are reviewed by this Court de
novo." (Citations and quotations omitted). Wells
Fargo Bank, NA v. Vasquez, 9th Dist. Medina No.
13CA0086-M, 2015-Ohio-717, ¶ 16.
"Pursuant to R.C. 4511.191(B), the Bureau of Motor
Vehicles  imposes a suspension upon a person who is
arrested for OVI and who refuses to take the chemical test or
who tests above the prohibited alcohol level." State
v. Hollaender, 9th Dist. Wayne Nos. 12CA0040, ...