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State v. Botts

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

September 19, 2013

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Terrance Lynn Botts, Defendant-Appellant.

APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 12CVH-05-5975

Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Stacy Hannan, for appellee.

Terrance Lynn Botts, pro se.

DECISION

CONNOR, J.

(¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Terrance Lynn Botts ("appellant"), appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granting the Civ.R. 12(B)(6) motion of defendant-appellee, the State of Ohio ("the State"). Because appellant's filing in the trial court failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

(¶ 2} On May 9, 2012, appellant filed a document in the trial court entitled "Notice to the Court." The document stated that it served as "notification of the forthcoming filing strictly as a professional courtesy and as such this Private Party has maintained his obligations as to FULL DISCLOSURE of all matters pertaining to [his] formal request to the CLERK OF MY 'SPECIAL VISITATION' into the Public Venue for these matters." (Notice to the Court, 1.) Appellant appears to have served the notice to the court on the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's ("ODRC") director, regional administrator, parole service coordinator supervisor, and parole service coordinator.

(¶ 3} Attached to the notice to the court was a document entitled "NOTICE OF PETITION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION AND SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION OF THE STATE OF OHIO OVER A FOREIGN STATE AND A STATE CITIZEN DOMICILED IN A FOREIGN STATE AND THE STATE OF OHIO TO HAVE JURISDICTION OVER A STATE CITIZEN OF A FOREIGN STATE WITH NO NEXUS WITH THE STATE OF OHIO." (Notice to Dismiss, 1.) The notice to dismiss stated its purpose was to "Petition the Court to dismiss the lack [of] standing of the STATE OF OHIO, a corporation of the State of Ohio, to bring suit against a State Citizen outside the jurisdiction of the STATE OF OHIO in the above matter." (Notice to Dismiss, 2.)

(¶ 4} In the notice to dismiss, appellant discussed personal and subject matter jurisdiction and concluded that, as a "man domiciled in Franklin County, " he was "not subject to the jurisdiction of the STATE OF OHIO." (Notice to Dismiss, 4.) Appellant explained that all of the "courts and judges of the courts for the STATE OF OHIO are operating under a Foreign Sovereign Immunity Agreement, and therefore are FOREIGN AGENTS operating outside the jurisdiction of the United States." (Notice to Dismiss, 5.) Appellant asserted that, since Ohio state courts "are not Article III Constitutional courts, and they are not Article I territorial courts, " they are "outlaw courts-courts which do not exist by laws of the United States promulgated by Congress." (Notice to Dismiss, 9.) The notice to dismiss concluded by stating that the "folks appointed under Article IV § 1 of the Constitution to preside in lawful courts of the state of Ohio, but without constitutional or statutory authority elected to set up a system of private court systems which operate under the territorial illusion." (Notice to Dismiss, 11.)

(¶ 5} On May 29, 2012, the State filed a Civ.R. 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss the notice to dismiss, which the State construed as a complaint. The State noted that the notice to dismiss asked the court to dismiss the action for lack of jurisdiction. The State explained its assumption that the notice to dismiss was related to appellant's status as a convicted sex offender on post-release control, although such information was not contained in the notice to dismiss. The State asked the court to dismiss the notice to dismiss, as it failed to state any claim for which relief could be granted.

(¶ 6} On June 11, 2012, appellant filed a response to the State's motion to dismiss, explaining that the notice to dismiss was filed to challenge ODRC's jurisdiction. Appellant asserted that the court could not "further proceed in matters involving Terrence-Lynn: Botts© as the question of jurisdiction has NOT been settled, " and claimed that "[f]or the above entitled court to take another step in these matters shall be construed as acts of treason against Terrence-Lynn: Botts©." (Response to Motion to Dismiss, 6.) Appellant asked the court to "render a Judgment by Default for failure to prove jurisdiction over the State Citizen of a Foreign State with no nexus with the State of Ohio." (Response to Motion to Dismiss, 7.)

(¶ 7} On August 31, 2012, the trial court issued a decision and entry granting the State's motion to dismiss. The court noted that appellant filed the notice to dismiss "apparently to notify this Court that [appellant] does not believe this Court or any other existing Ohio Court has jurisdiction over him." (Decision and Entry, 1.) The court held that appellant had not filed a complaint pursuant to Civ.R. 3(A), and thus had not commenced a civil action. The court found that the notice to dismiss failed to ask for relief of any kind, and did not seek a declaration regarding the accuracy of the legal theories asserted therein. The court concluded that "[t]o the extent that Mr. Botts may be believed to have commenced an action in this Court, that action is dismissed for failure to state a claim." (Decision and Entry, 2.) Appellant timely filed his notice of appeal.

II. MOTION TO DISMISS PROPERLY GRANTED

(¶ 8} Appellant has filed a pro se appellate brief which does not present any assignments of error for this court to review. App.R. 16 requires that an appellant shall include in its brief "[a] statement of the assignments of error presented for review, with reference to the place in the record where each error is reflected" and "[a] statement of the issues presented for review, with references to the ...


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