from Lima Municipal Court Trial Court No. 17CRB00858
J. Lucente, Jr. for Appellant
R. Payne for Appellee
Defendant-appellant, Raymond A. Valladares, appeals the
October 2, 2017 judgment of the Lima Municipal Court
journalizing his conviction for domestic violence by the
trial court, and sentencing him to 180 days in jail, with 119
days suspended upon his compliance with certain conditions,
and assessing a $250.00 fine, plus court costs.
On April 4, 2017, two complaints were filed against
Valladares alleging that he committed the offenses of
domestic violence, in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a
misdemeanor of the first degree, and assault, in violation of
R.C. 2903.13(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree. The
charges arose from allegations of an altercation involving
Valladares and his mother at the home where he resided with
his mother. Valladares appeared for arraignment and entered
pleas of not guilty to the charges.
On April 27, 2017, Valladares appeared in court with counsel
for a pre-trial where he waived his right to a speedy trial
and elected to proceed with a trial to the court.
On July 21, 2017, a bench trial was held, without objection
by Valladares. The same day, a journal entry issued by the
Presiding and Administrative Judge of the municipal court
announced the appointment of that court's magistrate as
"Acting Judge" for the courtroom where the case was
assigned to be heard. Thus, the magistrate presided as the
"Acting Judge" over the trial. After hearing the
evidence presented, the "Acting Judge" found
Valladares guilty on both counts.
On September 19, 2017, Valladares appeared for sentencing
before the elected municipal court judge assigned to that
courtroom. The trial court found the offenses to be allied
and of similar import. The State chose to proceed to
sentencing on the domestic violence offense. The trial court
imposed a $250.00 fine and 180 days in jail, with 119
suspended upon Valladares compliance with the terms of his
two-year period of community control sanctions. (See
Doc. No. 12).
Valladares filed this appeal, asserting the following
assignments of error.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 1
APPELLANT'S CONVICTION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ASSAULT
WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE AND IS
CONTRARY TO LAW.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 2
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR
ACQUITTAL AT THE CLOSE OF THE STATE'S CASE IN CHIEF,
WHERE THERE WAS LEGALLY INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH
EACH MATERIAL ELEMENT OF THE OFFENSE BEYOND A REASONABLE
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 3
ACTING JUDGE RICHARD K. WARREN LACKED AUTHORITY TO PRESIDE
OVER THE TRIAL IN THESE PROCEEDINGS FOR LACK OF OHIO SUPREME
COURT APPOINTMENT TO THE CASE.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 4
DEFENDANT WAS DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL AS
REQUIRED BY THE SIXTH AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION.
For ease of discussion, we elect to address the assignments
of error out of order.
Assignment of Error
In his third assignment of error, Valladares claims that the
appointment of the magistrate, who is over the age of seventy
and a retired judge, as "Acting Judge" by the
municipal court's Presiding Judge was "illegal"
and therefore invalidates his convictions. Specifically,
Valladares contends that the Presiding Judge lacked the
authority to make the appointment because (1) only the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio is authorized to appoint
a retired judge ...