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State v. Campbell

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Adams

June 6, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ROSCOE T. CAMPBELL, Defendant-Appellant.

          Roscoe T. Campbell, Lebanon, Ohio, pro se appellant.

          David Kelley, Adams County Prosecuting Attorney, and Kris D. Blanton, Adams County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, West Union, Ohio, for appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          William H. Harsha, Judge.

         {¶1} Roscoe T. Campbell appeals the dismissal of his motion for reconsideration of a prior motion to vacate or suspend court costs and fines. Campbell argues that the trial court had jurisdiction to consider his original motion concerning costs and fines and therefore it should have granted his motion for reconsideration. Because the trial court order Campbell appeals is not a final appealable order, we dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

         I. FACTS

         {¶2} A jury convicted Campbell of two counts of rape of a minor child less than thirteen years of age and the trial court sentenced him accordingly. In his direct appeal we reversed that portion of the judgment imposing consecutive sentences and remanded for resentencing. See State v. Campbell, 4th Dist. Adams No. 13CA969, 2014-Ohio-3860. After that occurred Campbell appealed again but we found no merit to his appeal and affirmed the judgment. See State v. Campbell, 4th Dist. Adams No. 15CA1012, 2016-Ohio-415.

         {¶3} Several months later Campbell filed a "Motion to Vacate/Suspend Court Costs and Fines and/or Clarify Previous Judgment Entry Order" asking the trial court to vacate or suspend court costs and the fine, or clarify the portion of the judgment entry that imposed the fine and costs.

         {¶4} The trial court dismissed the motion on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction to rule on it: "This Court finds it is without authority to rule on this motion, and therefore the same is dismissed." Campbell did not appeal this order. Instead, Campbell filed a "Request for Reconsideration of Order to Vacate/Suspend Court Costs and Fines" in which he asked the court to reconsider its decision and argued that a trial court has jurisdiction to waive, suspend or modify the payment of costs at the time of sentencing or at any time thereafter under R.C. 2947.23(C). The trial court dismissed the motion for reconsideration on the ground it lacked authority to rule on it. Campbell appeals this order.

         II. ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         {¶5} Campbell assigns the following error for our review:

TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS [SIC] DISCRETION WHEN IT DENIED PRO SE-APPELLANTS MOTION TO VACATE/SUSPECT [SIC] COURT COSTS AND FINES.

         III. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         {¶6} Before we address the merits of the appeal, we must decide whether we have jurisdiction to do so. Under Section 3(B)(2), Article IV of the Ohio Constitution, courts of appeals have "such jurisdiction as may be provided by law to review and affirm, modify, or reverse judgments or final orders of the courts of record inferior to the court of appeals within the district." R.C. 2505.03(A) similarly limits the appellate jurisdiction of courts of appeals to the review of final orders, judgments, or decrees. If a judgment is not final and appealable, an appellate court has no jurisdiction to review the matter and must dismiss the appeal. Eddie v. Saunders, 4th Dist. Gallia No. 07CA7, 2008-Ohio-4755, ¶ 11. If the parties do not raise the jurisdictional issue, we must raise it sua sponte. State v. Locke, 4th Dist. Scioto No. 11CA3409, 2011-Ohio-5596, ¶ 4.

         {¶7} A criminal conviction becomes final upon the entry of the sentence. See Crim.R. 32(C) and State v. Carlisle,131 Ohio St.3d 127, 2011-Ohio-6553, 961 N.E.2d 671, ¶ 11. A judgment of conviction is final when the order sets forth (1) the fact of the conviction; (2) the sentence; (3) the signature of the judge; and (4) entry on the journal by the clerk of court. Id. Crim.R. 32(C) also provides that a judgment becomes final when the trial court reduces it to writing and the clerk enters it on the journal. See State v. Purnell,171 Ohio App.3d 446, 2006-Ohio-6160, 871 N.E.2d 613 (1st Dist.) citing State v. Danison,105 Ohio ...


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