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State v. Carnahan

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Wayne

August 12, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
ARRON MICHAEL CARNAHAN Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE WAYNE COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. 2017 CR-B 001659

          WESLEY A. JOHNSTON, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          DANIEL R. LUTZ, Prosecuting Attorney, and ANDREA D. UHLER, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          TEODOSIO, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant, Arron Michael Carnahan, appeals from his conviction for domestic violence in the Wayne County Municipal Court. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Mr. Carnahan and the victim ("K.C") were married and living together in Orrville with their three children. On September 7, 2017, the couple became engaged in an argument with each other over K.C.'s decision to go out with her friends that evening. K.C. returned home later that night and slept on the couch. The following morning, the argument briefly resumed until the children were sent off to school. Once the children were gone, the argument turned physical after Mr. Carnahan demanded K.C.'s car keys and she refused. K.C. eventually called 911 and police responded to the scene. K.C. was later transported to the emergency room by ambulance and was treated for her injuries.

         {¶3} Mr. Carnahan was charged with one count of domestic violence, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Following a bench trial, the trial court found him guilty and ordered a presentence investigation report. The court later sentenced him to 180 days in jail and ordered him to pay a $750.00 fine and court costs. Mr. Carnahan never sought a stay of execution of his sentence pending appeal. He has since completed his jail sentence, but has not yet paid his fine or court costs.

         {¶4} Mr. Carnahan now appeals from his conviction and raises two assignments of error for this Court's review.

         II.

         {¶5} As a preliminary matter, we must first address the State's contention that this appeal is moot because Mr. Carnahan has completed his sentence. "As a general rule, courts will not resolve issues which are moot." Boncek v. Stewart, 9th Dist. Summit No. 21054, 2002-Ohio-5778, ¶ 10. See also Cleveland Hts. v. Lewis, 29 Ohio St.3d 389');">129 Ohio St.3d 389, 2011-Ohio-2673, ¶ 18 ("[I]t is reversible error for an appellate court to consider the merits of an appeal that has become moot after the defendant has voluntarily satisfied the sentence * * *."). "A case is moot if it involves 'no actual genuine controversy which can definitely affect the parties' existing legal relationship.'" State v. Ross, 9th Dist. Lorain No. 18CA011284, 2019-Ohio-323, ¶ 6, quoting Harris v. Akron, 9th Dist. Summit No. 24499, 2009-Ohio-3865, ¶ 7.

         {¶6} The Supreme Court of Ohio has held:

Where a defendant, convicted of a criminal [misdemeanor] offense, has voluntarily paid the fine or completed the sentence for that offense, an appeal is moot when no evidence is offered from which an inference can be drawn that the defendant will suffer some collateral disability or loss of civil rights from such judgment or conviction.

State v. Wilson, 41 Ohio St.2d 236 (1975), syllabus. See also State v. Berndt, 29 Ohio St.3d 3, 4 (1987); State v. Golston, 71 Ohio St.3d 224, 227 (1994) ("[T]he test for mootness outlined in Wilson and Berndt applies only to appeals from misdemeanor convictions"). This Court has likewise held:

[W]hen an appellant completes a misdemeanor sentence without requesting a stay pending appeal and does not offer evidence from which this Court could infer that the appellant would suffer collateral disability or loss of civil rights ...

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