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State ex rel. Sevayega v. Gallagher

Supreme Court of Ohio

November 1, 2017

The State ex rel. Sevayega, Appellant,
v.
Gallagher, Judge, Appellee.

          Submitted June 20, 2017

         Appeal from the Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County, No. 104225, 2016-Ohio-5421.

          Reginald D. Sevayega, pro se.

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and James E. Moss, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Per Curiam

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Reginald D. Sevayega, appeals the judgment of the Eighth District Court of Appeals denying his complaint for writs of procedendo and mandamus. We affirm.

         Background

         {¶ 2} On July 6, 1993, Sevayega was convicted of rape and other offenses. He was sentenced by then Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Terrence O'Donnell. The case was reassigned to Judge Nancy M. Russo in January 1998 and to Judge José A. Villanueva in April 2003, but Judge Villanueva soon recused himself from the case.

         {¶ 3} The administrative judge, Richard J. McMonagle, then assigned the case to himself. On July 29, 2003, Judge McMonagle held a sex-offender-classification hearing and classified Sevayega as a sexual predator.

         {¶ 4} On January 5, 2015, Sevayega filed a motion to vacate his classification as a sexual predator. He argued that the judgment was void for lack of jurisdiction because Judge McMonagle was neither the original sentencing judge nor "the successor judge."

         {¶ 5} On or about January 10, 2015, Judge McMonagle retired and the case was reassigned to appellee, Judge Shannon Gallagher.

         {¶ 6} On March 11, 2016, Sevayega filed a complaint for writs of mandamus and procedendo in the Eighth District Court of Appeals. The complaint alleged that extraordinary relief was warranted to compel Judge Gallagher to rule on Sevayega's motion to vacate and to compel her to declare his sexual-predator classification void.

         {¶ 7} On August 12, 2015, Judge Gallagher issued a journal entry denying Sevayega's motion to vacate. Judge Gallagher then moved for summary judgment in the mandamus/procedendo case. Sevayega filed a cross-motion for summary judgment.

         {¶ 8} On August 17, 2016, the court of appeals denied Sevayega's cross-motion, granted Judge Gallagher's motion, and denied the writs. The court held that in light of Judge Gallagher's August 2015 journal entry, Sevayega's complaint was moot to the extent that it sought to compel a ruling on the motion to vacate. 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 104225, 2016-Ohio-5421, ΒΆ 4. The court rejected Sevayega's argument that Judge McMonagle lacked jurisdiction to hold the sex-offender-classification hearing and noted that in any case, ...


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