Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Juvenile Division Case No. DL 87100350
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Stephen P. Hanudel Stephen P. Hanudel,
Attorney at Law.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor Frank Romeo Zeleznikar Assistant
Prosecuting Attorney The Justice Center.
BEFORE: Jones, J., S. Gallagher, P.J., and Blackmon, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. JONES, SR., JUDGE.
In 1987, defendant-appellant, R.L.J. and his brother, C.J.,
were charged in the stabbing death of Christina Kozak. R.L.J.
and C.J. were minors at the time of Kozak's death and
were charged in juvenile court with aggravated murder and
aggravated robbery. A bindover hearing was held on March 11,
1987, and the court issued an order that day transferring the
cases to the common pleas court for the brothers to stand
trial as adults.
In September 1987, R.L.J. pleaded guilty to aggravated murder
with a felony murder specification in Case No.
CR-87-216477-B. In October 1987, he pleaded guilty to
aggravated robbery with a three-year firearm specification in
Case No. CR-87-221669-B. He was sentenced to life in prison
with parole eligibility after 20 years. R.L.J. was granted
leave to file a delayed appeal from his convictions in
CR-87-216477-B and CR-87-221669-B and his convictions were
affirmed in State v. Johnson, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga
Nos. 55295, 55811, and 55812, 1989 Ohio App. LEXIS 1525 (Apr.
20, 1989), application to reopen denied, State v.
Johnson, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga Nos. 55295, 55811, and
55812, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 3617 (Aug. 8, 2000). Johnson also
pursued an appeal from the trial court's denial of his
motion for a new trial in CR-87-216477-B, which this court
affirmed in State v. Johnson, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.
In 2003, R.L.J. filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
in federal court, which was dismissed. Then, in 2016, R.L.J.
filed a series of writs and motions. He filed a petition for
a writ of habeas corpus in the Eleventh District Court of
Appeals, which was dismissed. Johnson v. Sloan, 11th
Dist. Ashtabula No. 2016-A-0009, 2016-Ohio-5375. He sought a
writ of prohibition in this court alleging that the general
division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
patently and unambiguously lacked jurisdiction to convict and
sentence him on the aggravated robbery charge in
CR-87-221669-B. This court denied his writ and granted
respondent's motion to dismiss. State ex rel. Johnson
v. Cuyahoga Cty. Court of Common Pleas, 8th Dist.
Cuyahoga No. 104891, 2017-Ohio-394, ¶ 19. R.L.J. also
filed the motion that is the basis for this appeal, asking
the juvenile court to issue a nunc pro tunc order with regard
to the bindover judgment entry filed March 11, 1987. The
court held a hearing on the matter and denied the motion.
R.L.J. now appeals, raising one assignment of error for our
Juvenile Court erred by denying Appellant a Nunc Pro Tunc
Entry to reflect the truth of Appellant's bindover
proceedings in 1987.
In his motion, that, as mentioned, was filed in juvenile
court, R.L.J. asked the court to amend its March 11, 1987
bindover entry, by way of a nunc pro tunc order, to reflect
that a physical examination of him never occurred and that
his mental examination was not completed by a qualified
Trial courts are granted authority to correct errors in
judgment entries so that the record speaks the truth through
the use of nunc pro tunc entries. State ex rel. Fogle v.
Steiner, 74 Ohio St.3d 158, 163-164, 656 N.E.2d 1288
(1995); Crim.R. 36. Crim.R. 36 provides that "[c]lerical
mistakes in judgments, orders, or other parts of the record,
and errors in the record arising from oversight or omission,
may be corrected by the court at any time." Thus, a nunc
pro tunc entry merely serves as an accurate reflection of
what the trial court actually decided; it cannot be used to
reflect what the court might or should have decided, or
intended to decide. State v. Carter, 8th Dist.
Cuyahoga No. 101810, 2015-Ohio-1834, ¶ 40, citing
State v. Lester, 130 Ohio St.3d 303, 2011-Ohio-5204,
958 N.E.2d 142, ¶ 18.
The record reflects that during the March 11, 1987 bindover
hearing, R.L.J.'s probation officer advised the court
that after psychological and psychiatric tests were performed
in the detention home, the examinations did not find that
R.L.J. had any physical or mental