December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Court orders Oberlin to return seized guns to Lorain man

ELYRIA — The 9th District Court of Appeals has ruled that the city of Oberlin should return firearms confiscated from a Lorain man whose guns were seized following his arrest on a domestic violence charge in 2010.

Joseph Wysocki, who later pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of criminal mischief involving a family member, sued the city in 2012, arguing that the city had improperly refused to return the two weapons.

Prosecutors objected to the return of the firearms on the grounds that Wysocki had been convicted of a crime of domestic violence and would be barred under the law from owning guns. Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers later agreed with prosecutors and refused to order the return of the guns.

But the appeals court wrote in a decision released Monday that there was nothing in the law preventing Wysocki from owning guns.

The third-degree misdemeanor criminal mischief charge he pleaded no contest to involved property, not violence against a person, which is a first-degree misdemeanor, the appeals court wrote.

“This Court concludes that, given the fact that he was convicted of a third-degree misdemeanor, his conviction did not involve the risk of physical harm to his victim,” the decision said. “This Court further notes that criminal mischief is not listed as an ‘offense of violence’ as defined by (the Ohio) Revised Code.”

The appeals court did not weigh in on a request Wysocki had made for legal fees and monetary damages.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.