11th District Criminal Case Update

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I got behind a couple weeks while my new web site launched.  Lucky for me the 11th only released three criminal opinions in that time.  That makes it easy for me to bust out a quick summary while stuck in a cabin at Salt Fork State Park with a whole lotta kids.

State v. Smith, 2014-Ohio-2115
Smith tries to employ some Bugs Bunny-esque reverse psychology in his pro se appeal of a speeding and reckless operation ticket.  The cop cut him a break and cited him with a minor misdemeanor for the reckless op.  He ended up pleading no contest to just the speeding ticket.  He argues that he should have been allowed to have a jury and an appointed lawyer because, due to his past tickets, he should have been charged with a 4th degree misdemeanor.  You and I read this and say “wtf?”  The record doesn’t show whether any of the judges actually said the same, or just thought it.  Cannon, Wright, O’Toole.

State v. Lewis, 2014-Ohio-2224
Another pro se appeal falls to a missed deadline.  In August of 2013, Lewis filed for post-conviction relief from his conviction for his 6th OVI and a couple counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault.  He was convicted in 2009.  He missed the 180-day window.  Regardless, the Court goes on to say that his underlying theory was wrong anyways.  He argues that the trial judge made findings that should have been left for the jury.  He bases this argument on a 2013 SCOTUS case that seems to support him, and argues that it should be retroactively applied to him.  The problem is, SCOTUS has to actually say it’s retroactive for it to be retroactive.  They didn’t, so it’s not.  Wright, Cannon, Rice.

State v. Porterfield, 2014-Ohio-2225
Any opinion with the words “vexatious litigator” in the first sentence is going nowhere.  The Trumbull County court declared Porterfield to be one, which means that anytime he wants to file something with the court, he has to file a motion asking for permission first.  He did, and the trial court denied it.  He appeals that denial, but the law says you can’t even appeal that.  Wright, Grendell.  O’Toole concurs in judgment only.