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Washington v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

Court of Claims of Ohio

October 17, 2017

JIMMIE L. WASHINGTON Plaintiff
v.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTION Defendant

          Sent to S.C. Reporter 11/7/17

          Howard H. Harcha, IV Assistant Attorney General.

          GARY PETERSON MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

          ENTRY GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Patrick M. McGrath Judge.

         {¶1} On August 16, 2017, defendant filed a motion pursuant to Civ.R. 56(B) for summary judgment. Plaintiff did not file a response. The motion is now before the court for a non-oral hearing pursuant to L.C.C.R. 4(D).

         {¶2} Civ.R. 56(C) states, in part, as follows:

         {¶3} "Summary judgment shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, written admissions, affidavits, transcripts of evidence, and written stipulations of fact, if any, timely filed in the action, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. No evidence or stipulation may be considered except as stated in this rule. A summary judgment shall not be rendered unless it appears from the evidence or stipulation, and only from the evidence or stipulation, that reasonable minds can come to but one conclusion and that conclusion is adverse to the party against whom the motion for summary judgment is made, that party being entitled to have the evidence or stipulation construed most strongly in the party's favor." See also Gilbert v. Summit Cty., 104 Ohio St.3d 660, 2004-Ohio-7108, citing Temple v. Wean United, Inc., 50 Ohio St.2d 317 (1977).

         {¶4} According to the complaint, plaintiff was an inmate in the custody and control of defendant. The complaint provides that on December 15, 2010, plaintiff was sentenced to a term of imprisonment, apparently following an appeal from his original sentence. Plaintiff alleges that his lawful term of imprisonment expired when the "trial court failed to invoke a timely denovo 'sentencing' hearing after the Court of Appeals remand. The trial court lost its jurisdiction to impose a sentence." Complaint at ¶ 7. The complaint further provides that due to the alleged delay in holding a sentencing hearing, the sentence imposed on December 15, 2010 is void. The complaint concludes that "plaintiff suffered false imprisonment dating from December 15, 2010 until his release on March 24, 2016." Id. at ¶ 9.

         {¶5} Defendant argues that the court lacks jurisdiction to review the decisions of other courts and that, to the extent plaintiff challenges the trial court's jurisdiction to impose a sentence, the court lacks jurisdiction to consider such a claim. Indeed, the court has no appellate jurisdiction to review any alleged errors in the sentencing entry. Foreman v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr ., 10th Dist. Franklin No. 14AP-15, 2014-Ohio-2793, ¶ 16.

         {¶6} Turning to plaintiff's claim for false imprisonment, defendant argues that it confined plaintiff at all times pursuant to facially valid sentencing entries. In support of its motion, plaintiff submitted the affidavit of Charlene Gregory who is employed as a Correctional Records Sentence Computation Auditor. Defendant also submitted the indictment, sentencing entries, and decision of the court of appeals.

         {¶7} Gregory avers that on August 19, 2009, plaintiff was sentenced in Summit County following a jury trial where he was convicted of aggravated robbery, theft, and a firearm specification. Plaintiff was sentenced to a definite term of four years for aggravated robbery to run concurrent to one year for theft. That sentence was to run consecutive to three years for a firearm specification. Plaintiff was admitted to defendant's custody on August 27, 2009 and plaintiff was given eight days jail credit from the time of sentencing up to plaintiff's entry into defendant's custody.

         {¶8} On December 23, 2009, the Summit County Court of Common Pleas granted plaintiff 146 additional days of jail time credit, bringing plaintiffs total jail credit to 153 days. Plaintiffs release date was set for March 24, 2016.

         {¶9} Following an appeal to the Ninth District Court of Appeals, on December 15, 2010, plaintiff was resentenced to four years for aggravated robbery plus three years on the firearm specification. Plaintiff was not resentenced on the charge of theft. Gregory avers that plaintiffs release date was recalculated and his sentence began to run on January 6, 2011. Plaintiff was given jail time credit for 650 days. Plaintiffs release date was set as March 24, 2016.

         {¶10} Gregory avers that there was nothing about the August 19, 2009 or the December 15, 2010 entries that caused defendant to believe they were not accurate. Gregory concludes that at all times plaintiff was ...


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