All Defendants convicted in the Mahoning County Courts enjoy an appeal of right to the Seventh District Court of Appeals. This includes all felony and misdemeanor convictions, as well as any juvenile who was adjudicated delinquent in the Juvenile Court. If the defendant’s conviction (or juvenile’s adjudication) is affirmed in that court, the defendant (or juvenile) may pursue a discretionary appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio, and in a rare occasion, the defendant (or juvenile) may seek a discretionary appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
The Appellate Division’s primary role is to represent the State of Ohio in those appellate cases and to seek affirmation of those criminal convictions or juvenile adjudications. Representation in such appeals include the filing of written briefs and/or memoranda, and often include the presentation of oral arguments to the appellate courts. The Appellate Division seeks affirmation of defendants’ convictions and juveniles’ adjudications to the fullest proper extent of the law.
The Appellate Division is also responsible for all post-trial capital defendants. This includes responding to and prosecuting all direct appeals, post-conviction petitions, and clemency reviews before the Ohio Parole Board.
The State of Ohio also can appeal in certain limited circumstances when reversible error prejudicial to the prosecution has occurred. As a result, the Appellate Division’s role includes filing appeals on behalf of the State of Ohio in those above-mentioned appellate courts.
The Appellate Division also represents county entities and officials in appealed civil matters, as well as county officials in federal court when those officials are sued in federal habeas corpus actions. This includes any time an extraordinary writ is filed against a county entity or official.