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State of Ohio v. James Varholick

October 13, 2011

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
JAMES VARHOLICK DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-485615

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sean C. Gallagher, P.J.

Cite as

State v. Varholick,

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

JUDGMENT:

AFFIRMED

BEFORE: S. Gallagher, P.J., Keough, J., and E. Gallagher, J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant James Varholick*fn1 appeals the trial court's decision to deny his motion to correct an improper sentence. For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

{¶2} In 2007, the trial court found Varholick guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of R.C. 4511.19. Varholick unsuccessfully appealed

{¶3} In July 2009, a hearing was held to determine whether Varholick violated the terms of his community control sanctions. The trial court found that he did, terminated the remaining term of community control, and sentenced Varholick to 30 months in prison. Varholick did not directly appeal this decision.

{¶4} In April 2010, Varholick filed a "motion to correct improper sentence." The trial court summarily denied his motion. It is from this decision that Varholick appeals, raising one assignment of error, which provides as follows: The "[t]rial court was within proper authority and [had] jurisdiction to review said claims."

{¶5} Varholick argues that the trial court improperly sentenced him because R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(d) requires the court to impose a mandatory 60-day term of local incarceration that must be served prior to the imposition of any community control sanctions. The state counters with two misplaced arguments.

{¶6} First, the state claims that the court sentenced Varholick to the mandatory 60 days of local incarceration, thereby satisfying the statutory requirements. That much is not disputed. Varholick contends that he must have served the 60 days prior to the imposition of community control sanctions and, therefore, the state's first argument is essentially non-responsive. The state next argues that once a sentence is executed, the court loses jurisdiction to modify the sentence. State v. Clark, Cuyahoga App. No. 82519, 2003-Ohio-3969, ¶ 20. However, Clark more accurately refers to a valid sentence, not just any sentence in general. Id. Once a valid sentence is executed, the court loses jurisdiction to modify the sentence. Id. Since Varholick is attacking the validity of his sentence, the state's second argument is likewise non-responsive. Nevertheless, we find Varholick's argument is without merit.

{ΒΆ7} Varholick's sole assignment of error addresses the issue of whether the trial court had jurisdiction to rule on his motion to correct the sentence. Varholick assumes the trial court denied his motion on jurisdictional grounds in light of the fact that the state raised the argument in its brief in opposition to his motion. The trial court, however, denied the motion without any supporting rationale, and we cannot presume that the trial court based its decision on the arguments contained in the state's brief in opposition. Furthermore, even if the court relied on the state's jurisdictional argument, "[a]n appellate court shall affirm a trial court's judgment that is legally correct on other grounds, that is, one that achieves the right result for the wrong reason, because such ...


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