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Michael L. Baker v. Michele Miller

September 28, 2011

MICHAEL L. BAKER,
PETITIONER,
v.
MICHELE MILLER,
RESPONDENT.



Per curiam.

Cite as Baker v. Miller,

OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

CHARACTER OF PROCEEDINGS: Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

JUDGMENT: Petition Dismissed.

JUDGES: Hon. Mary DeGenaro Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Joseph J. Vukovich

{¶1} On July 28, 2011, Petitioner Michael L. Baker, filed a pro-se petition requesting a writ of habeas corpus. Respondent Michelle Miller, Warden of the Belmont Correctional Institution in Belmont County, filed a motion to dismiss and/or motion for summary judgment on August 29, 2001. For the following reasons, Respondent's motion for summary judgment is granted, Petitioner's request for a writ of habeas corpus is denied and the petition is dismissed.

{¶2} It can be gleaned from the record that Petitioner was convicted of two counts of robbery (R.C. 2911.01(A)(2)) in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas in 2004, and that imposition of Petitioner's sentence upon those convictions was suspended and he was placed on probation. On April 5, 2010, Petitioner's community control sanctions were revoked due to violations and his original four-year prison sentence was imposed. In his habeas petition before this Court, Petitioner appears to contend that his original sentence is void for various reasons and that a writ should therefore issue.

{¶3} We cannot reach the merits of the allegations contained in the petition because we lack jurisdiction to proceed. While R.C. 2705.02 generally grants this Court the authority to issue writs of habeas corpus, R.C. 2705.03 further provides:

{¶4} "If a person restrained of his liberty is an inmate of a state benevolent or correctional institution, the location of which is fixed by statute and at the time is in the custody of the officers of the institution, no court or judge other than the courts or judges of the county in which the institution is located has jurisdiction to issue or determine a writ of habeas corpus for his production or discharge. Any writ issued by a court or judge of another county to an officer or person in charge at the state institution to compel the production or discharge of an inmate thereof is void." (Emphasis added.)

{¶5} According to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction records, attached as an exhibit to Respondent's motion for summary judgment, Petitioner was not incarcerated in Belmont County on July 28, 2011, the date he filed his habeas petition, having been transferred to the Lorain Correctional Institution, in Lorain County, six days earlier, on July 22, 2011. Petitioner is currently incarcerated at the London Correctional Institution. When a prisoner files a habeas petition in a county other than where he is incarcerated, the court of that county lacks jurisdiction to decide the merits of the petition. See Brown v. Hall, 123 Ohio St.3d 381, 2009-Ohio-5592, 916 N.E.2d 807, at ¶1, citing Goudlock v. Voorhies, 119 Ohio St.3d 398, 2008-Ohio-4787, 894 N.E.2d 692, at ¶17, citing Sevayega v. Bobby, 7th Dist No. 03 MA 48, 2003-Ohio-6395, at ¶4.

{¶6} Accordingly, Petitioner's request for a writ of habeas corpus is denied. Petition dismissed.

{¶7} Costs taxed against Petitioner. Final order. Clerk to serve notice on the parties as provided by the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.

DeGenaro, J., concurs.

Donofrio, J., concurs. Vukovich, ...


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