City of Cleveland v. Spencer, No.: 2018 TRC 025584

CourtCourt of Common Pleas of Ohio
Writing for the CourtJUDGE EMANUELLA GROVES
Citation143 N.E.3d 1188
Parties CITY OF CLEVELAND, Plaintiff v. Robert SPENCER, Defendant
Decision Date06 June 2019
Docket NumberNo.: 2018 TRC 025584

143 N.E.3d 1188

CITY OF CLEVELAND, Plaintiff
v.
Robert SPENCER, Defendant

No.: 2018 TRC 025584

Ohio Municipal Court, Cleveland.

Date: June 6, 2019


Attorney Mark Jablonski, Olmsted Falls, appeared for Plaintiff and Attorney Joseph M. Giersz, appeared for Defendant.

JUDGMENT ENTRY

JUDGE EMANUELLA GROVES

143 N.E.3d 1189

Facts

The facts in this case are undisputed. On August 23, 2018, the defendant was arrested by an Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer for alleged violations of RC 4511.19, driving while impaired, a misdemeanor and 2921.31(B) failure to comply and 2921.31(A) obstruction of official business, which were charged as felonies. On August 27, 2018, a complaint for driving while impaired was filed in Cleveland Municipal Court. On September 18, 2018, the defendant was indicted in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for the two felony offenses. On January 29, 2019 the defendant plead to the felony failure to comply and the obstruction charge was dismissed. In the meantime, the misdemeanor offense, which arose out of the same act, remained pending in this court. As a result of the felony conviction, the defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss the pending misdemeanor pursuant to Criminal Rules 1(B), 5(B)(1) and 48(B).

Findings

Only upon good cause shown should misdemeanor and felony offenses arising out of the same incident be adjudicated in separate courts.1 The mere fact that charges from the same indictment are filed separately in different counts does mean they must remain separate through adjudication. As a matter of fact, those charges must be joined in the Court of Common Pleas just as they would had the charges been initiated in the municipal court and then bound over. The requirement that the misdemeanor and felony charges be together is not limited to instances where the felony complaint is subject to a preliminary hearing. Criminal Rule 5(B)(1) mandates that the misdemeanor complaint be bound over or transferred with the felony case. The manner in which the felony and misdemeanor charges are initiated does not affect the mandate set forth in Criminal Rule 5(B)(1) that the misdemeanor offense must be bound over or transferred with the felony case.

Yes, the prosecutor has discretion in the filing of criminal charges.2 However, the prosecutor must exercise his discretion within the mandates set forth in the Rules of Criminal Procedure. Here, the prosecutor must demonstrate good cause to keep this complaint in the municipal court, while the companion felony charges have been adjudicated separately. No good cause has been shown. Instead, the prosecutor has argued these facts are not subject to Criminal Rule 5(B)(1). In support of its position the prosecutor cites:

It is clear from the language of the rule that it does not apply to the procedural posture in this case because there was neither a preliminary hearing nor a waiver of the preliminary hearing in regards to the municipal court felony. Rather, the prosecutor
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2 practice notes
  • State v. Hanson, No. 28057
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • September 13, 2019
    ...police department to make his complaint at about 5:00 p.m. that day. Sgt. Keefer met with him and, among other things, had him sign a 143 N.E.3d 1188 printout of R.C. 2921.15 describing the offense of making a false allegation against a peace officer. The printed date and time on that form ......
  • State v. Ebersole, WM-21-002
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • October 22, 2021
    ...Id. at ¶ 15 {¶ 10} In contrast, appellant urges us to adopt the reasoning of the Cleveland Municipal Court in Cleveland v. Spencer, 143 N.E.3d 1188 (M.C. 2019), which held that the requirement under Crim.R. 5(B)(1) that related felony and misdemeanor charges be tried together is not limited......
2 cases
  • State v. Hanson, No. 28057
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • September 13, 2019
    ...police department to make his complaint at about 5:00 p.m. that day. Sgt. Keefer met with him and, among other things, had him sign a 143 N.E.3d 1188 printout of R.C. 2921.15 describing the offense of making a false allegation against a peace officer. The printed date and time on that form ......
  • State v. Ebersole, WM-21-002
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • October 22, 2021
    ...Id. at ¶ 15 {¶ 10} In contrast, appellant urges us to adopt the reasoning of the Cleveland Municipal Court in Cleveland v. Spencer, 143 N.E.3d 1188 (M.C. 2019), which held that the requirement under Crim.R. 5(B)(1) that related felony and misdemeanor charges be tried together is not limited......

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