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State v. Valladares

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Allen

April 2, 2018

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RAYMOND A. VALLADARES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

          Appeal from Lima Municipal Court Trial Court No. 17CRB00858

          Thomas J. Lucente, Jr. for Appellant

          John R. Payne for Appellee

          OPINION

          SHAW, J.

         {¶1} 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.

         {¶2} 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.

         {¶3} 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.

         {¶4} 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.

         {¶5} 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).

         {¶6} 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 DOUBT.


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.

         {¶7} For ease of discussion, we elect to address the assignments of error out of order.

         Third Assignment of Error

         {¶8} 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 ...


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