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Village of Fayetteville v. Adkins

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Brown

February 12, 2018

VILLAGE OF FAYETTEVILLE, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MICHAEL S. ADKINS, Defendant-Appellant.

         CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BROWN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT Case No. TRD1700429

          Cecelia J. Potts, for plaintiff-appellee

          Michael S. Adkins, defendant-appellant, pro se

          OPINION

          M. POWELL, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Michael Adkins, appeals his conviction in the Brown County Municipal Court for speeding.

         {¶ 2} On November 12, 2016, appellant was charged with speeding in violation of a Fayetteville Village ordinance after Fayetteville Lieutenant John Pullin used a stationary radar unit and measured appellant traveling 65 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. zone. Appellant appeared in the Fayetteville Mayor's Court for trial in January 2017. At trial, appellant asked the magistrate whether the proceedings were being recorded. The magistrate advised that they were not. Appellant asked that the proceedings be recorded and offered to record them himself. The magistrate advised that recording was not allowed. Appellant was found guilty of speeding and ordered to pay $150. He appealed to the Brown County Municipal Court.

         {¶ 3} A bench trial was held in the municipal court on March 14, 2017. At the beginning of trial, and again by motion filed on April 5, 2017, appellant moved to dismiss the case against him, arguing that the failure of the mayor's court to record the proceedings violated his due process rights. The municipal court denied the motion, finding that a mayor's court is not required to record its proceedings because it is not a court of record.

         {¶ 4} At trial, Lieutenant Pullin testified on behalf of the village. Appellant did not call any witnesses and did not testify on his own behalf. The officer's testimony confirmed that the mayor's court magistrate did not record that court's proceedings despite appellant's request that they be recorded. By entry filed on April 5, 2017, the municipal court found appellant guilty of speeding and ordered him to pay $150.

         {¶ 5} Appellant now appeals, raising six assignments of error, which present two primary issues for review. The first issue challenges the municipal court's denial of appellant's motion to dismiss. The second issue challenges appellant's speeding conviction.

         {¶ 6} Appellant first argues the municipal court erred in failing to dismiss the case against him, in light of the mayor's court's failure to record its proceedings. Appellant asserts that a mayor's court is required to record all proceedings before it pursuant to May.R. 11(B)(2), Crim.R. 19(D)(7), and Crim.R. 22. Appellant further asserts he was prejudiced by the mayor's court's failure to record the proceedings because he could not use the transcript of the proceedings to show that Lieutenant Pullin changed his testimony during trial in the municipal court.

         {¶ 7} Mayor's court proceedings are governed by the United States and Ohio Constitutions, R.C. Chapter 1905, and the Mayor's Court Education and Procedural Rules as promulgated by the Ohio Supreme Court. Office of Montgomery Cty. Pub. Defender v. Rosencrans, 111 Ohio St.3d 338, 2006-Ohio-5793, ¶ 2. In Rosencrans, the Ohio Supreme Court held that notwithstanding the provision of May.R. 11(B)(2) that "[a]n audio system to record mayor's court proceedings should be provided and tapes of proceedings should be maintained[, ]" the rule "does not require that mayor's court proceedings be recorded." Id. at ¶ 31. Thus, May.R. 11(B)(2) does not impose a duty on the mayor and village to record mayor's court proceedings. Id.

         {¶ 8} Crim.R. 19(D)(7) provides that "[e]xcept as otherwise provided by law, all proceedings before a magistrate shall be recorded in accordance with procedures established by the court." In turn, Crim.R. 22 provides that "if requested by any party[, ] all proceedings [for petty offenses] shall be recorded."

         {¶ 9} We are not persuaded that Crim.R. 19(D)(7) applies to mayor's court proceedings given its phrase "except as otherwise provided by law" and the supreme court's holding in Rosencrans that May.R. 11(B)(2) does not require the recording of mayor's court proceedings. With regard to Crim.R. 22, the supreme court has held that "[b]y its explicit terms, the recordation requirement of Crim.R. 22 applies to all proceedings." (Emphasis sic.) State v. Grewell, 45 Ohio St.3d 4, 8 (1989).

         {¶ 10} Nevertheless, even if Crim.R. 22 is construed as requiring the recording of mayor's court proceedings, we find the municipal court did not ...


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