Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning
Criminal Appeal from the Youngstown Municipal Court of
Mahoning County, Ohio Case No. 2016 CRB 843, 2016 CRB 844.
Dana Lantz, City Prosecutor and Atty. Jeffrey Moliterno,
Assistant Prosecutor, 26 South Phelps Street,
Wesley Johnston, P.O. Box 6041, Youngstown, Ohio 44501, for
BEFORE:Gene Donofrio, Cheryl L. Waite, Carol Ann Robb,
OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
Defendant-appellant, Brandon Miller, appeals his convictions
in the Youngstown Municipal Court for nine counts of
Youngstown Municipal Property Maintenance violations pursuant
to 546.04 of Youngstown Codified Ordinances, misdemeanors of
the third degree, following a bench trial.
Appellant is the owner of real property located at 2028
Pointview Avenue in Youngstown, Ohio. Appellant also resides
at this property. On April 20, 2016, appellant was charged
with nine violations of the Youngstown Municipal Property
Maintenance Code pursuant to Chapter 546 of the Youngstown
Codified Ordinances, misdemeanors of the third degree. The
violations all occurred at appellant's property.
Appellant was arraigned on April 21, 2016 and a bench trial
was scheduled for May 13, 2016. Four days before trial, on
May 9, 2016, appellant filed a request for a bill of
particulars. The trial court postponed the trial in order to
allow plaintiff-appellee, the State of Ohio, time to produce
a bill of particulars. The state provided the bill of
particulars to appellant on May 13, 2016.
The trial court rescheduled appellant's trial for June 9,
2016. Three days before the trial, on June 6, 2016, appellant
filed a "motion to dismiss/acquit." This motion
argued, in part, that the state failed to properly notify
appellant of the charges pursuant to Y.C.O 546.06(a). On the
date of the bench trial, June 9, 2016, the trial court
verbally denied appellant's motion. The trial court
memorialized said ruling in a journal entry dated June 9,
At trial, the state called Abigail Beniston, a code
enforcement and blight remediation superintendent for the
City of Youngstown. Relevant to this appeal, Beniston
testified that she could not produce a copy of the notice of
violation issued to appellant at trial nor could she testify
as to which of appellant's nine violations were in the
At the end of the state's case, appellant moved again to
dismiss the charges on the basis that the state failed to
prove that it properly notified him of the violations. The
trial court denied this motion.
At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court found
appellant guilty of all nine violations of Y.C.O. 546.04. The
trial court sentenced appellant to 60 days of incarceration
on three counts to run concurrently, two years of probation,
community service, and a $100.00 fine for each count.
Appellant timely filed this appeal on July 13, 2016.
Appellant now raises one assignment of error.
Appellant's sole assignment of error states:
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT GRANTING DEFENDANT-APPELLANTS
MOTION TO DISMISS/ACQUIT WHEN THE STATE FAILED TO PROVIDE THE
REQUIRED ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICE OF THE ...