Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Videotape Transcripts & Ohio’s Appellate Rule 9(A)

Technology in the courtroom has changed how business is done. In several Ohio Counties, like Montgomery County located in Ohio’s Second District, you won’t find the traditional court reporter recording the events in the courtroom. Instead, the proceedings are videotaped.

The Appellant (the party initiating the appeal) has the duty of providing the complete record for the appeal. That includes a written transcript. Appellate Rule 9(A) states that the "videotape ... constitutes the transcript" when the proceedings are recorded by videotape. And Rule 9(A) states that, "When the transcript of proceedings is in the videotape medium, counsel shall type or print those portions of such transcript necessary for the court to determine the questions presented, certify their accuracy, and append such copy of the portions of the transcripts to their briefs."

So far in 2009, two appeals have been lost before they got started because the attorneys attached portions of transcript to their briefs but failed to "certify their accuracy" as required by Rule 9(A) and as explained at the end of Rule 9(B). Don’t let this happen to you or your client.

Contact me if you need a Dayton criminal defense lawyer for your appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site www.robertalanbrenner.com and filling in the "contact me" form.

The Supreme Court of the United States reigns in Belton! (4 21 09)

New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, had been viewed to allow a complete search of the passenger compartment of an automobile as a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment whenever any occupant of the car was arrested for any reason. This was true even if that occupant was secured in the back of a police car before the search was conducted. But not anymore!

Today in Arizona v. Gant, the SCOTUS reigned in Belton to allow an unlimited search of the passenger compartment of a car if an occupant of the car was arrested only in two circumstances. One is if the occupant still has access to the passenger compartment of the car (to prevent the occupant from getting a weapon or hiding evidence). Two is if the officers have a reasonable belief that evidence might be found in the car that relates to the reason the occupant was arrested (for example, a search for drugs if the occupant was arrested for drug dealing from the car).

Ohio’s Second District Court of Appeals recently struggled with this very issue. In State v. Williams, 2009-Ohio-1627, the Second District said it was bound to follow the Ohio Supreme Court’s interpretation of Belton and allow a search incident to the arrest of a recent occupant of a car who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest (the car was stopped for littering). Today’s decision by the Ohio Supreme Court gives Williams solid grounds for an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Contact me if you need a Dayton Defense Lawyer for your appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site www.robertalanbrenner.com and filling in the "contact me" form.
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