83 N.E.3d 883 (Ohio 2017), 2015-0677, State v. Aalim

Docket Nº:2015-0677
Citation:83 N.E.3d 883, 150 Ohio St.3d 489, 2017-Ohio-2956
Opinion Judge:KENNEDY, J.
Party Name:THE STATE OF OHIO, APPELLEE, v. AALIM, APPELLANT
Attorney:Mathias H. Heck Jr., Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney, and Andrew T. French, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee. Amanda J. Powell; and Timothy Young, Ohio Public Defender, and Charlyn Bohland, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant. Ron O'Brien, Franklin County Prosecuting Attor...
Judge Panel:KENNEDY, J. O'DONNELL, FRENCH, and DEWINE, JJ., concur. DEWINE, J., concurs, with an opinion joined by O'DONNELL, J. FISCHER, J., concurs in part and dissents in part, with an opinion. O'CONNOR, C.J., dissents, with an opinion joined by O'NEILL, J. O'NEILL, J., dissents, with an opinion. DEWINE, ...
Case Date:May 25, 2017
Court:Supreme Court of Ohio
 
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Page 883

83 N.E.3d 883 (Ohio 2017)

150 Ohio St.3d 489, 2017-Ohio-2956

THE STATE OF OHIO, APPELLEE,

v.

AALIM, APPELLANT

No. 2015-0677

Supreme Court of Ohio

May 25, 2017

Submitted February 7, 2017

Page 884

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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APPEAL from the Court of Appeals for Montgomery County, No. 26249, 2015-Ohio-892.

State v. Aalim, 150 Ohio St.3d 463, 2016-Ohio-8278, (Ohio, Dec. 22, 2016)

State v. Aalim, 2015-Ohio-892, (Ohio Ct.App., Montgomery County, Mar. 13, 2015)

Mathias H. Heck Jr., Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney, and Andrew T. French, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

Amanda J. Powell; and Timothy Young, Ohio Public Defender, and Charlyn Bohland, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

Ron O'Brien, Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney, and Steven L. Taylor, Chief Counsel, Appellate Division, urging reconsideration for amicus curiae, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

KENNEDY, J. O'DONNELL, FRENCH, and DEWINE, JJ., concur. DEWINE, J., concurs, with an opinion joined by O'DONNELL, J. FISCHER, J., concurs in part and dissents in part, with an opinion. O'CONNOR, C.J., dissents, with an opinion joined by O'NEILL, J. O'NEILL, J., dissents, with an opinion. DEWINE, J., concurring. O'DONNELL, J., concurs in the foregoing opinion. FISCHER, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part. O'CONNOR, C.J., dissenting.

OPINION

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On Motion for Reconsideration.

KENNEDY, J.

[¶1] This court has the authority to grant motions for reconsideration filed under S.Ct.Prac.R. 18.02 in order to " correct decisions which, upon reflection, are deemed to have been made in error." State ex rel. Huebner v. W. Jefferson Village Council, 75 Ohio St.3d 381, 383, 662 N.E.2d 339 (1995). In seeking [150 Ohio St.3d 490] reconsideration of this court's decision in State v. Aalim, 150 Ohio St.3d 463, 2016-Ohio-8278, N.E.3d (" Aalim I " ), the state argues that the court failed to consider Article IV, Section 4(B) of the Ohio Constitution, which grants the General Assembly exclusive authority to define the jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas. We agree.

[¶2] Article IV, Section 4(B) of the Ohio Constitution grants exclusive authority

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to the General Assembly to allocate certain subject matters to the exclusive original jurisdiction of specified divisions of the courts of common pleas. State v. Wilson, 73 Ohio St.3d 40, 42, 1995-Ohio-217, 652 N.E.2d 196 (1995). The General Assembly exercised that authority when it vested in the juvenile courts " exclusive jurisdiction over children alleged to be delinquent for committing acts that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult." In re M.P., 124 Ohio St.3d 445, 2010-Ohio-599, 923 N.E.2d 584, ¶ 11, citing R.C. 2151.23(A). However, as part of Ohio's response to rising juvenile crime, in 1996, the General Assembly enacted former R.C. 2151.26, now R.C. 2152.12,1 State v. Hanning, 89 Ohio St.3d 86, 89, 2000-Ohio-436, 728 N.E.2d 1059 (2000), citing Am.Sub.H.B. No. 1, 146 Ohio Laws, Part I, 1, 18, creating " a narrow exception to the general rule that juvenile courts have exclusive subject matter jurisdiction over any case involving a child," Wilson at 43. Under R.C. 2152.12, a juvenile who has committed a qualifying offense and who meets certain age requirements is automatically removed from the jurisdiction of the juvenile division and transferred to adult court.

[¶3] This court's ruling in Aalim I declared that the Ohio Constitution requires that a juvenile who is subject to mandatory bindover receive an amenability hearing. Aalim I at ¶ 25. Implicit in Aalim I is the conclusion that a juvenile-division judge has discretion in deciding whether to transfer to adult court a juvenile in a case in which the juvenile is 16 or 17 years old and there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed an offense outlined in R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b). Our decision in Aalim I therefore usurped the General Assembly's exclusive constitutional authority to define the jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas by impermissibly allowing a juvenile-division judge discretion to veto the legislature's grant of jurisdiction to the general division of a court of common pleas over this limited class of juvenile offenders. Therefore, we grant the state's motion for reconsideration.

[¶4] Having granted reconsideration, we turn to the original questions presented and determine that the mandatory bindover of certain juveniles to adult court under R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and 2152.12(A)(1)(b) does not violate the Due Course of Law Clause [150 Ohio St.3d 491] or the Equal Protection Clause of the Ohio Constitution and the analogous provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

I. CASE BACKGROUND

[¶5] On December 3, 2013, appellee, the state of Ohio, filed a complaint in the Juvenile Division of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, alleging that appellant, Matthew I. Aalim, engaged in conduct that would be considered aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1) if committed by an adult. The complaint also contained a firearm specification. The state filed a motion to transfer Aalim, requesting that the juvenile court relinquish jurisdiction and transfer him to the general division of the common pleas court to be tried as an adult pursuant to Juv.R. 30, R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b), and R.C. 2152.12(A)(1)(b).

[¶6] On January 10, 2014, Aalim appeared before the Juvenile Division of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas for a hearing on whether the juvenile court should relinquish jurisdiction

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over Aalim's case. At the hearing, Aalim was represented by counsel and his mother was also present. After the hearing, the juvenile court issued an order and entry finding that Aalim was 16 years old at the time of the alleged offense and that there was probable cause to believe that he had committed the conduct alleged in the complaint, including the firearm specification. Based on these findings, the juvenile court recognized that it no longer had jurisdiction and transferred the case to the general division of the common pleas court as required under R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and 2152.12(A)(1)(b). An indictment was issued charging Aalim with two counts of aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1) with accompanying firearm specifications. The two counts of aggravated robbery charged in the indictment reflected the fact that there were two victims of the alleged conduct.

[¶7] Aalim filed a motion to dismiss the indictment and transfer his case back to juvenile court, arguing that mandatory bindover of juveniles pursuant to R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and 2152.12(A)(1)(b) violates their rights to due process and equal protection as well as the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments under both the United States and Ohio Constitutions. The trial court overruled the motion, and Aalim entered pleas of no contest to the two counts of aggravated robbery. The court accepted the pleas, dismissed the firearm specifications consistently with a plea agreement that the parties had reached, and sentenced Aalim to concurrent prison terms of four years on each count.

[¶8] The Second District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment, rejecting Aalim's challenges to the mandatory-bindover statutes. Rejecting Aalim's due-process argument, the court of appeals relied on a previous decision [150 Ohio St.3d 492] to hold that the mandatory-bindover scheme of R.C. 2152.12 comports with fundamental concepts of due process. 2015-Ohio-892, ¶ 7-9, citing State v. Brookshire, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 25853, 2014-Ohio-1971, ¶ 30. It also rejected Aalim's equal-protection argument, concluding that the singling out of juveniles aged 16 and 17 charged with serious offenses is rationally related to the legitimate governmental purpose of protecting society and reducing violent crime by juveniles. Id. at ¶ 13-17, citing State v. Anderson, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 25689, 2014-Ohio-4245, ¶ 72-75. Aalim also raised a cruel-and-unusual-punishments challenge, which the Second District rejected. 2015-Ohio-892 at ¶ 19-21. He has not included his cruel-and-unusual-punishments argument in this appeal.

[¶9] We accepted jurisdiction over two propositions of law, which ask us to hold that R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and 2152.12(A)(1)(b) violate juveniles' rights to due process and equal protection as guaranteed by the United States and Ohio Constitutions. See 143 Ohio St.3d 1498, 2015-Ohio-4468, 39 N.E.3d 1270. On December 22, 2016, we issued an opinion reversing the Second District's judgment and declaring that the mandatory-bindover statutes were unconstitutional because they violated juveniles' right to due process as...

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