Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court, T.C. NO.:
MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by ALICE PETERS, Atty. Reg. No. 93945,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Montgomery County
Prosecutor's Office, Appellate Division, Montgomery
County Courts Building, 301 West Third Street, Dayton, Ohio
45422 Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee
D. HARRISON, 718 Heck Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45417
Defendant-Appellant, Pro Se
1} This matter is before the Court on the May 18,
2017 pro se Notice of Appeal of Todd Harrison. Harrison
appeals from the May 4, 2017 "Entry Denying Sealing of
Records after Not Guilty Finding, Dismissal of Proceedings,
or No Bill (O.R.C. 2953.552(A)(B))." We hereby affirm
the judgment of the trial court.
2} On February 12, 2004, Harrison was indicted in
the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on one count of
having weapons while under disability, in violation of R.C.
2903.11(A)(2), and one count of felonious assault, in
violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(2), in Case No. 2003 CR 4725.
The indictment provides that the offenses occurred on or
about December 25, 2003. Harrison pled not guilty on February
17, 2004. Following a jury trial, Harrison was found not
guilty of both offenses on July 16, 2004.
3} On April 7, 2017, Harrison filed a pro se
"Application for Sealing of Record, after Not Guilty
Finding, Dismiss[al] of Proceedings or No True Bill."
His application was limited to his acquittal for felonious
assault. Prior to a hearing on his application, on May 2,
2017, Harrison filed a lengthy pro se "Motion in
Opposition and to Objected to the Courts [sic] Judgment Entry
Denying the Sealing of a 2003 Felonious Assault Mr. Harrison
was Exonerated by a Jury and in Accordance to Ohio Law the
Sealing of Record after Not Guilty Pursuant to O.R.C.
2953.52(B)(2) Denial by the Court is Flawed and Decided in
Error of Law and Theory." Attached to the Motion in part
is correspondence to Harrison, dated April 5, 2017, on
"Lyons Gate Apartments" letterhead, denying
Harrison's application for a lease due to a
"criminal record match." Also on May 2, 2017,
Harrison filed a pro se "Reconsideration on Application
to Sealing the Arrest Record & the Charge of Felonious
Assault, after being Acquitted by a Jury Rendering a Not
Guilty Verdict, " with a supporting memorandum.
4} At the May 3, 2017 hearing on Harrison's
application, the court indicated that it considered what it
characterized as "premature" filings of May 2,
2017. The court then confirmed that the State did not file
written objections to Harrison's application to seal the
record, and the prosecutor responded, "[w]e only
received notice of this this [sic] morning or close to this
afternoon and did not have time to file written objections.
We would, for the record, object due to the defendant's
criminal history." Harrison responded that any
objections by the State should be "in writing." The
court allowed the oral objection, noting, "[t]here was a
mistake made by my case management that did not get this on
the docket in a timely fashion. Notice went out but it
wasn't on the docket for the prosecution to see."
5} The court indicated that "there does appear
to be a government need to maintain the record of not
guilty." The court concluded as follows:
I have found that you incurred two counts of felonious
assault, which were ignored by the grand jury, back in
October of 2014. You also have a criminal history which
contains the following convictions - - aggravated trafficking
in '89, 89CR3137; felonious assault, a felony of the
first degree in Hamilton County; a failure to comply with
signal or order of a police officer, felony of the third
degree; illegal possession of firearms in a liquor permit
premises, a felony of the fifth degree; tampering with
evidence, a felony of the fifth degree.
And due to your consistent criminal history, this record of
not guilty, I believe, should be maintained for potential
future involvement with law enforcement.
6} Harrison asserted that he has been denied public
housing. When asked by the court if he was previously
convicted as the court just indicated, Harrison responded,
"I have no recollection at this time." He asserted
that he met the "criteria" pursuant to R.C.
2953.52. Harrison asserted that "my housing situation
outweighs the manifest weight for the government to even
maintain that record and it still, to this day, has been held
against me and that's a discriminatory act under the
doctrine of the Discriminatorial (sic) Act." Harrison
argued, "I've been maintaining and staying out of
trouble for well over 13 years without any incident, "
and "because I was mistakenly misidentified, I was clear
of those charges." The court again inquired
"whether or not those charges that I read to you were
convictions. Were you convicted of those offenses or has it
been some sort of mistake?" Harrison responded, "I
mean - - I - - it could be sort of a mistake. I don't
recollect because I take medication, Your Honor, and I have a
disability." The court concluded that Harrison was
convicted of the offenses the court recited on the record.
7} The court's written decision provides as
The Court has determined whether the applicant was found
not guilty, or the complaint, indictment, or information in
the case was dismissed; or a no bill was returned in the
case; whether criminal proceedings are pending against the
applicant at the present time; and whether the interest of
the applicant in having the records pertaining to the case
sealed are not outweighed by the government's need to
maintain these records, and whether, in the case of a no
bill, the application was filed in a timely manner.
The Court has determined that the applicant does
not meet the criteria according to O.R.C.
2953.52(B)(2). THEREFORE, the Court finds that the
application is ...