Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Geauga
Criminal Appeals from the Geauga County Court of Common
Pleas, Juvenile Division, Case No. 15 JD 106.
R. Flaiz, Geauga County Prosecutor, and Melissa J. Lee,
Assistant Prosecutor, For Plaintiff-Appellee, State of Ohio.
Timothy Young, Ohio Public Defender, and Charlyn Bohland,
Assistant State Public Defender, For Defendant-Appellant,
R. WRIGHT, J.
Appellant, T.M., appeals the trial court's decision that
he is not entitled to an immediate hearing to modify or
terminate his classification as a Tier III sex offender. He
contends that the hearing is required because he has
satisfied all requirements placed upon him. Since we agree
that an immediate hearing is mandated under the
circumstances, we reverse and remand the case for further
In November 2014, appellant admitted to a charge of rape, a
first-degree felony under R.C. 2907.02(A)(2) in the Cuyahoga
County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division. On the date
of this admission, appellant was 15 years old, having been
born December 10, 1998. The underlying offense occurred when
he was 14. His victim was 6.
In light of the admission, the Cuyahoga County court found
appellant to be a juvenile delinquent. But, because appellant
was a resident of Geauga County, the Cuyahoga County court
transferred the case to the Geauga County juvenile court for
The final dispositional hearing was held before the Geauga
County trial court on April 10, 2015. The trial court ordered
that appellant be committed to the custody of the Ohio
Department of Youth Services (ODYS) "for an indefinite
term consisting of a minimum period of one year and a maximum
period not to exceed the juvenile's twenty first
birthday." The court further ordered appellant to
undergo sex offender treatment during commitment. Last, the
court ordered appellant to have no contact with the victim or
his family until appellant turns 21 years old.
In February 2016, ODYS notified the trial court that its
release review panel had approved appellant for release on
parole on or after April 10, 2016. As a result, the trial
court classified appellant a Tier III sexual offender. That
decision was affirmed in In re T.M., 11th Dist.
Geauga No. 2016-G-0067, 2017-Ohio-156.
Notwithstanding the pendency of his prior appeal, appellant
was released on parole on April 10, 2016. Nine months later,
in December 2016, ODYS notified the trial court that
appellant had been approved for discharge from parole on
January 6, 2017.
Within three weeks of discharge, appellant moved the trial
court to review/modify his classification as a Tier III
juvenile sex offender. The state opposed, maintaining that
although appellant was no longer on parole, his request was
premature because he was still subject to the no-contact
On February 23, 2017, the trial court heard oral arguments on
whether a "review" hearing could be held prior to
the termination of the no-contact order. Appellant's
counsel argued that once discharged from parole, the trial
court no longer has jurisdiction to enforce the no-contact
order. The trial court rejected that argument, holding that
its jurisdiction continues despite parole discharge. However,
the trial court also stated that it would accept additional
briefing whether the no-contact order should be vacated so
that the "review" hearing could go forward.
Appellant immediately moved the trial court to vacate the
no-contact order, arguing that the order was void since its
issuance because a juvenile court has no authority to impose
such an order unless it is part of a community control
sentence, citing State v. Anderson, 143 Ohio St.3d
173, 2015-Ohio-2089, ¶17.
Without waiting for a response, the trial court denied
appellant's motion to vacate ruling that a juvenile court
has discretion to impose a ...