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State v. M.H.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

February 15, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
M.H. DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-05-463341-A

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Mark Stanton Cuyahoga County Public Defender Paul Kuzmins Assistant Public Defender.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Diane Smilanick Assistant County Prosecutor.

          BEFORE: Boyle, J., Stewart, P.J., and Laster Mays, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY J. BOYLE, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, M.H., appeals from a judgment denying his application to seal his record of conviction. He raises one assignment of error for our review:

The trial court erred when it denied appellant's application for an expungement without giving individualized consideration to appellant's circumstances and his stated interests.

         {¶2} Finding merit to his appeal, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand for the trial court to seal M.H.'s convictions.

         I. Procedural History and Factual Background

         {¶3} In May 2005, M.H. pleaded guilty to an amended indictment of theft in office in violation of R.C. 2921.41, a fourth-degree felony, and attempted tampering with records in violation of R.C. 2923.02 and 2913.42, a fourth-degree felony.

         {¶4} According to the presentence investigation report ("PSI"), the charges arose when M.H. was working as a part-time police officer for Cuyahoga Community College. M.H. was the "officer on duty" responsible for collecting parking fees at the District Administration Building, also known as Gateway Special Events Parking. The police department for the college discovered that on at least three occasions in February 2005, M.H. turned in receipts for and logged less vehicles than were actually parked in the parking lot, amounting to $660 in losses to the college.

         {¶5} The trial court sentenced M.H. to six months in prison for theft in office and three years of community control sanctions for attempted tampering with records to commence once M.H. was released from prison. The trial court also advised M.H. that he would be subject to postrelease control for "the maximum time allowed * * * under R.C. 2967.28." As part of his sentence, M.H. also had to pay $660 in restitution, a $3, 000 fine, and a supervision fee of $200.

         {¶6} In October 2016, M.H. filed an application to seal his record of conviction. M.H. also requested that the court hold a hearing on his application. The court ordered an expungement investigation report from the Cuyahoga County Probation Department, and the state opposed his application.

         {¶7} The court held a hearing on M.H.'s application on March 2, 2017, and denied it ...


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