The Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office representation of the State of Ohio does not end at the trial court level and often extends to cases that are appealed. The vast majority of the cases that are appealed are criminal, however, the Appellate Division also handles appeals that stem from our civil, juvenile, and child support enforcement divisions as well.
All appeals from decisions of the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas are made to the Ohio Eleventh District Court of Appeals which is located in Warren, Ohio. The Eleventh District Court is an intermediate level appellate court and handles appeals from Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage, and Trumbull Counties. In most circumstances, once appellate briefs are filed with the Appellate Court, the cases are then set for an oral argument. At each oral argument a panel of three Judges will hear arguments from both the prosecutor and defense counsel regarding their case. After the oral argument is held the Eleventh District Court will then issue its written opinion either affirming, modifying or reversing the final judgment of the underlying court or administrative body.
If either party disagrees with the opinion of the Eleventh District Court, the case can be appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court. The Ohio Supreme Court has a very limited jurisdiction and may accept or decline an appeal in cases where (1) they involve substantial constitutional questions; (2) they are of great public or general interest; (3) there are conflicting opinions from two or more courts of appeals on a relevant issue; or (4) the death penalty has been imposed. Generally, only about 10 percent of all cases that go up the Ohio Supreme Court on appeal are accepted. If the Ohio Supreme Court grants jurisdiction in a particular case the parties will then file appellate briefs and the case will proceed to oral argument. Oral arguments for the Ohio Supreme Court are held in the Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus, Ohio.
In most of the cases that are appealed the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office defends the decision of the Court of Common Pleas. However, on occasion, the Prosecutor must appeal rulings by the trial court that are adverse to the position of the State of Ohio.