On Wednesday, May 15, 2024, Vincent Alan Parker filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court of Ohio challenging rulings made by Judge Nancy M. Russo in an underlying criminal case.

Parker, an inmate currently incarcerated at Richland Correctional Institution, was originally convicted in 1995 for murder but had his conviction vacated. On remand, he plead guilty before Judge Russo to a single count of murder. However, Parker has made numerous attempts since then to vacate his guilty plea and sentence.

In his latest filing, Parker alleges 16 claims relating to Judge Russo’s jurisdiction and the validity of his conviction. He argues that his plea was void because Judge Russo incorrectly informed him at his change of plea hearing that he could still appeal the denial of his pre-trial motion to dismiss the indictment for speedy trial violations. Parker did not realize at the time that a guilty plea waives the right to appeal such issues.

Parker’s notice of appeal was filed following the dismissal of his claims by the Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals on April 10th. In its ruling, the appellate court did not consider the merits of Parker’s arguments, instead sua sponte dismissed the case for failing to comply with the mandatory filing requirements of Ohio Revised Code 2969.25.

This statute requires inmates who wish to waive prepayment of filing fees in civil actions against government employees to file affidavits of indigence and account statements. Parker did not file these documents. The appellate court affirmed that strict compliance with this statute is necessary, and noncompliance is grounds for dismissal.

It remains to be seen whether the Ohio Supreme Court will agree to hear Parker’s appeal. He is arguing the case involves substantial constitutional questions and matters of public or great general interest. However, the dismissal was based on procedural defects rather than the underlying claims regarding Judge Russo’s handling of his case.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.