MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGES SET UP ILLEGAL RULE TO PREVENT LOCAL CITIZENS FROM FILING CRIMINAL CHARGES
Illegal Rule approved and enforced by Scioto County Common Pleas Court
Judge Howard H. Harcha III
May 30, 2007
Many residents of Scioto County are unaware of an illegal rule that is in place at the Portsmouth Municipal Court that prevents citizens of this county from filing criminal complaints without the special approval of the Portsmouth City Solicitor. This rule is called Rule 28 and was written by Portsmouth Municipal Court Judges William Marshall (now a Scioto County Common Pleas Court Judge) and Judge Richard T. Schisler. The rule was established a few years ago when citizens found out that they had a right to go to either a Clerk of Court, a Magistrate, a Prosecutor, or a Judge and file a criminal complaint with the full power of the Ohio Revised Code backing the citizen.
Citizens filed criminal complaints against numerous public officials through Scioto County Common Pleas Court Clerk Mildred Thompson who agreed that there was enough evidence presented to her to warrant acceptance of the charges filed by the citizens. The citizens deliberately filed their complaints when then Scioto County Common Pleas Court Judge Walter Lytten was on vacation in order to force Scioto County Common Pleas Court Judge Howard Harcha III to make the ruling on the charges. According to the Ohio Revised Code once the complaints were filed and submitted to Judge Harcha III by Clerk Thompson, Judge Harcha III should have either issued arrest warrants or brought witnesses into his courtroom to gather more evidence before issuing the arrest warrant.
Judge Harcha III followed the pattern of the prior SOGP gangster judges and waited for Scioto County Judge Walter Lytten to return from vacation and both judges issued an order sending the citizens over to the Portsmouth Municipal Court claiming that the citizens were in the “wrong court” to begin criminal charges. The sad part about this matter is that the citizens were in the court that handles felony charges and had the full authority to act on the criminal complaints but Judge Harcha III was following the illegal Rule 28.When confronted with Rule 28 Judge Harcha III told me that the rule was “probably illegal” but said until someone challenged it in court he couldn’t do anything about it. (This is on audio tape.) Judge Harcha III has made it clear that he is willing to break the laws of the State of Ohio. He is a disgrace to the honest judges serving in this great state.
Rule 28 clearly sets up a situation where one man determines the fate of all criminal charges in the county, right? Wrong. Every week the Scioto County Prosecutors Office takes criminal allegations to the Scioto County Grand Jury and receives indictments on citizens without going through the Portsmouth Municipal Court. Rule 28 is only used when crooked judges such as Howard Harcha III wants to help cover up crimes by public officials. Judge Harcha III knows he can’t be sued because of his immunity as a sitting judge and he now is going down the path other judges have taken when they become power hungry. Judge Harcha III admitted during the sentencing phase of John Michael Schmidt that he was about to give Schmidt who had admitted raping his own daughter on numerous occasions probation. Judge Harcha III leaned back in his chair and stated, “I have reflected on this case and now realize that there are people coming through here everyday that I send to prison for less than what this man has done.” That statement came after Scioto County Assistant County Prosecutor Anita Matthew stood before Judge Harcha III and stated probation is not what this case deserves. That was said after Schmidt’s attorney, Mike Mearan told Judge Harcha III, “I know you can’t give my client probation after what has been written by local websites.” That’s right people, the only reason Judge Harcha III sent Schmidt to prison was because of our publicity.
Well maybe it’s going to take publicity on Judge Harcha III’s illegal actions enforcing Rule 28 to get the citizens rights to access to the courts back. Why are citizens in the county being forced to go to an office where they are not allowed to vote on the person that holds that office begging for help? County residents are not allowed to vote on the person that holds the City Prosecutors job. Isn’t that a little unfair? It’s also immoral and illegal.
Judge Harcha III has covered up numerous crimes that have been brought to his attention. He uses Rule 28 to back up his actions especially when it comes to helping out public officials. In 1995 Judge Harcha III was shown sworn testimony of a Ohio Highway Patrolman who went to Judge Harcha III’s home to get a search warrant and lied to Judge Harcha III. In court this trooper was confronted with his lies and admitted that he had lied to get the search warrant. When confronted with this information Judge Harcha III took no action. Judge Harcha III didn’t ask anyone in the County or City Prosecutors Offices to investigate the perjury committed by the Ohio Highway Patrolman.
Why? In Scioto County cops are allowed to lie under oath and they are protected by many judges including Judge Howard Harcha III.
In a recent civil case Judge Harcha III through out a lawsuit filed by David Newman who charged his lawyer with misconduct. Newman was seeking a judgment against Portsmouth Attorney Enrickez when Judge Harcha III used his power to initially deny David Newman his day in court. But the Ohio 4th District Court of Appeals overturned Judge Harcha III’s ruling. In fact, David Newman’s new lawyer, D. Joe Griffith, filed his appeal citing five areas where Judge Harcha III ruled illegally. The 4th District Court of Appeals agreed with four of the five areas and ordered Judge Harcha III to reinstate the civil case. In a round about way the Newman case involves activity by Portsmouth City Solicitor David Kuhn who was acting as a hearing officer for the federal bankruptcy court. Once again, Judge Harcha III was found covering up for his buddies.Read the Ohio 4th Court of Appeals decision against Judge Harcha III by following this link.
Judge Harcha III needs to either step up and stop the injustices of Rule 28 or resign his office. He is a disgrace to the bench and until such activities he allows to continue are stopped no citizen of Scioto County is safe.
More on Judge Harcha III is coming.
John Welton (Doug Deepe) Sentinel Reporter/Opinion Columnist