Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Gallia
M. Donahue, Dublin, Ohio for Defendant-Appellant.
D. Holdren, Gallia County Prosecuting Attorney and Jeremy
Fisher, Gallia County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Gallia
County, Ohio for Plaintiff-Appellee.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
Appellant William S. Sowards appeals a trial court order
executing his sentence and ordering him to report to the
Gallia County jail. As it appeared we may not have
jurisdiction to consider this matter because it appeared that
the order was not a final appealable order, we ordered
appellant to file a memorandum addressing this jurisdictional
issue. See Entry, September 13, 2017. In response
appellant filed a memorandum in support of jurisdiction that
contends that this is not "a typical or mill run
case" because Sowards has not begun to serve his
sentence. Therefore, he contends that he may request a
modification of his sentence and the trial court has
jurisdiction to make modifications. However, this is not an
appeal from a post-conviction relief petition - it is an
appeal from an order granting the state's motion to
The state contends that a criminal sentence is final upon the
issuance of a final order and the trial court cannot modify
the sentence even if the sentence had not yet been executed.
The state contends that the order executing Sowards's
sentence is not a final appealable order.
We find that the order executing Sowards's sentence is
not a final appealable order under R.C. 2505.02(B)(1), (2) or
(4). Thus, we dismiss the appeal.
In 2006 after a jury found Sowards guilty of marijuana
possession, the trial court sentenced him to prison. Sowards
appealed and was released on bond pending appeal. We affirmed
appellant's conviction. See State v. Sowards,
4th Dist. Gallia App. No. 06CA13, 2007-Ohio-4863.
Sowards sought other forms of appellate and post-conviction
relief in both state and federal courts. See State v.
Sowards, 4th Dist. No. 09CA8, 2011-Ohio-1660; State
v. Sowards, 116 Ohio St.3d 1508, 880 N.E.2d 484,
2008-Ohio-381; Sowards v. State, 555 U.S. 816, 129
S.Ct. 69, 172 L.Ed.2d 26 (2008); Sowards v. Atty. Gen. of
Ohio, S.D.Ohio No. 2:11-CV-954, 2012 WL 4051238 (Sept.
13, 2012); State v. Sowards, 4th Dist. Gallia No.
06CA13, 2013-Ohio-3265. It appears from the trial court
docket that Sowards remained released on bond pending
numerous appellate filings in the state and federal courts.
In August 2017, the trial court granted the state's
motion to execute sentence and ordered Sowards to report to
Upon the motion of the State of Ohio, it is ORDERED that the
Defendant immediately report to the Gallia County Jail by
8:00 am on Thursday, August 31, 2017 Should the
Defendant fail to report to jail a warrant will issue. SO
ORDERED. (Emphasis sic.)
August 22, 2017. Sowards appeals this entry.
Ohio law provides that appellate courts have jurisdiction to
review only final orders or judgments. See,
generally, Section 3(B)(2), Article IV, Ohio
Constitution; R.C. 2505 .02. If an order is not final and
appealable, an appellate court has no jurisdiction to review
the matter and it must be dismissed. "An order of a
court is a final appealable order only if the requirements of
both R.C. 2505.02 and, if applicable, Civ.R. 54(B), are
met." State ex rel. Scruggs v. Sadler, 97 Ohio
St.3d 78, 2002-Ohio-5315, 776 N.E.2d 101; see also, Chef
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