FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE STOW MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 18 CRB 0426
M. PAPOTTO, pro se, Appellant.
BRADRIC T. BRYAN, Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. SCHAFER, JUDGE.
Defendant-Appellant, Robert Papotto, appeals from his
conviction in the Stow Municipal Court. This Court affirms.
One afternoon, the police responded to a report of a
fistfight between two men at a casino in Northfield. Papotto
was one of the men involved in the fight and the other was
W.K. When officers spoke with the men, they each identified
the other as the initial aggressor. The officers, therefore,
reviewed the casino's security footage at the scene.
Based on their review of the footage, the officers determined
that Papotto was the aggressor.
Papotto was charged with one count of assault in violation of
Northfield Village Codified Ordinance 636.02. He was
appointed counsel and demanded a jury trial. On the day of
trial, however, the State amended his charge to disorderly
conduct in violation of R.C. 2917.11(A)(1). Because the
amended charge was a minor misdemeanor, the trial court
dismissed the jury and held a bench trial. At the conclusion
of trial, the court found Papotto guilty and sentenced him to
a fine. The court later granted his motion to stay the
execution of his sentence for purposes of his appeal.
Papotto now appeals from his conviction and raises two
assignments of error for our review.
of Error I
trial court erred by being extremely prejudicial when she
convicted Appellant of disorderly conduct. This conviction
was unjust and decided by a judge who was hostile, aggressive
and "in a hurry" in direct violation of his
constitutional rights and the Ohio Codes of Judicial
In his first assignment of error, Papotto argues that he was
prejudiced as a result of "unwarranted and egregious
conduct" on the part of the trial judge. He asserts that
he was denied a fair trial because the trial judge acted in a
hostile and biased manner. For the following reasons, we
reject his argument.
The issue of whether a conviction must be vacated due to bias
or prejudice on the part of a trial judge is one that lies
exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Chief Justice of
the Ohio Supreme Court. See State v. Polke, 9th
Dist. Medina No. 18CA0061-M, 2019-Ohio-904, ¶ 7; R.C.
2701.031. This Court lacks authority "to void a trial
court's judgment on the basis of personal bias or
prejudice on the part of the trial judge * * *."
State v. Hunter, 151 Ohio App.3d 276,
2002-Ohio-7326, ¶ 18 (9th Dist.), citing Beer v.
Griffith, 54 Ohio St.2d 440, 441-442 (1978).
Nevertheless, we may determine whether conduct on the part of
a trial judge denied a criminal defendant due process of law.
See, e.g., State v. Powell, 9th Dist. Lorain No.
12CA010284, 2017-Ohio-4030, ¶ 8-13. "A judge is
presumed to follow ...