FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR-2016-04-1091-A
D. MILLS, pro se, Appellant.
BEVAN WALSH, Prosecutinbg Attorney, and JACQUENETTE S.
CORGAN, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
J. CARR JUDGE.
Defendant-Appellant Phil Mills appeals the judgment of the
Summit County Court of Common Pleas dismissing his petition
for post-conviction relief. This Court affirms.
In 2016, following a traffic stop, Mills was indicted on one
count of having weapons while under disability, one count of
carrying concealed weapons, and one count of improperly
handling firearms in a motor vehicle. Trial counsel filed a
motion to suppress which was denied following a hearing.
Thereafter, Mills entered a written plea of guilty to having
weapons while under disability and improperly handling a
firearm in a motor vehicle. The third charge was dismissed.
The trial court merged the two remaining counts and Mills was
sentenced to a term of 18 months on the offense of having
weapons while under disability. The plea and sentencing
hearing also addressed a trafficking charge in another case.
The judgment entry was journalized August 14, 2017.
Mills did not file a direct appeal. However, on July 26,
2018, Mills filed a petition for post-conviction relief and
requested an evidentiary hearing. The case number heading of
the petition listed the instant trial court case number, as
well as the case number of the trafficking conviction. In his
petition, Mills raised several grounds for relief, some of
which only related to the trafficking case. Relevant to the
arguments raised on appeal, Mills argued that his trial
counsel was ineffective as counsel failed to conduct an
adequate investigation, failed to advise Mills of a
meritorious Fourth Amendment defense, and failed to file a
motion to suppress evidence.
Mills' argument centered on the traffic citation which
was issued at the traffic stop, which ultimately led to the
charges and conviction in this case. Mills pointed out that
the traffic citation stated that he made an improper right
turn when the charging officer reported that Mills made an
improper left turn. Mills also noted that the Akron Municipal
Court records reflect that the violation was "DISMISSED
NOT INDICTED[.]" Mills argued that this meant that he
did not commit a traffic offense and therefore the officer
could not have stopped him. Accompanying Mills' petition
was his own affidavit, an affidavit of another individual,
the plea and sentencing transcripts, the written pleas of
guilty, the traffic citation, the dismissal of the traffic
citation, and provisions of the Ohio Revised Code.
In response to the petition, the State filed a motion to
dismiss the petition without a hearing. The trial court
denied Mills' request for a hearing and dismissed the
petition. In so doing, the trial court found that "the
Court conducted a plea colloquy that advised the Petitioner
of his rights, the nature of the charges, and the effect of a
guilty plea. The Court inquired as to whether the Petitioner
was satisfied with his attorney. The petitioner indicated
that he understood his rights, the nature of the charges, the
effect of a guilty plea, and that he was satisfied with his
attorney." The trial court concluded that "the
Petitioner failed to meet the burden of demonstrating a
denial or infringement of his rights. * * * The evidence
attached to the petition does not set forth sufficient
operative facts to establish substantive grounds for relief.
The Petitioner's various assertions of ineffective
assistance of counsel are not supported by sufficient
evidence that his attorney was ineffective." In
addition, the trial court stated that "[t]he Court rules
that the Petitioner's claims are barred by res judicata.
The Petitioner's claims could have been raised on a
direct appeal." (Emphasis omitted.)
Mills has appealed, pro se, raising four assignments of error
for our review.