Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Brown
APPEAL FROM BROWN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT Case No. TRD1700429
Cecelia J. Potts, for plaintiff-appellee
Michael S. Adkins, defendant-appellant, pro se
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
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 ...