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Bode v. Fairfield County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Fairfield

January 2, 2018

JASON T. BODE Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
FAIRFIELD COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY'S OFFICE Defendant-Appellee

         Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2016CV00678

          For Plaintiff-Appellant SCOTT P. WOOD

          For Defendant-Appellee JOSHUA S. HORACEK, DEBRA GORRELL-WEHRLE

          JUDGES: Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Wise, Earle, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-Appellant, Jason T. Bode, appeals the April 12, 2017 entry of the Court of Common Pleas of Fairfield County, Ohio, granting judgment on the pleadings to Defendant-Appellee, Fairfield County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, on his complaint for declaration of wrongful imprisonment.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} On January 6, 2012, the Fairfield County Grand Jury indicted appellant on five counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (OVI) in violation of R.C. 4511.19. Each count carried a specification pursuant to R.C. 2941.1413 alleging five OVI convictions within the twenty years prior, elevating the counts to felonies in the fourth degree. Four of the priors (1996-1999) were committed when appellant was an adult and one (1992) was committed when he was a juvenile.

         {¶ 3} On May 2, 2012, appellant pled no contest to two of the counts with their attendant specifications (Count 3, a violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(f) committed on May 28, 2011, and Count 5, a violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(h) committed on December 29, 2011). The remaining three counts and their specifications were dismissed. By judgment entry filed June 26, 2012, the trial court indicated it found appellant guilty, and sentenced him to seven and one-half years in prison, four and one-half years suspended in lieu of community control. Appellant was required to serve three years of mandatory prison time.

         {¶ 4} Appellant filed an appeal, challenging in part the use of his juvenile OVI. This court affirmed appellant's convictions and sentence. State v. Bode, 5th Dist. Fairfield No. 12-CA-33, 2013-Ohio-2134.

         {¶ 5} Appellant filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Ohio. The court found a prior juvenile adjudication cannot be used "under R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(d) to enhance the penalty for a later offense when the adjudication carried the possibility of confinement, the adjudication was uncounseled, and there was no effective waiver of the right to counsel." State v. Bode, 144 Ohio St.3d 155, 2015-Ohio-1519, syllabus. The court reversed this court's judgment and remanded the matter to the trial court for resentencing. At the time of the reversal, April 23, 2015, appellant had already served almost three years in prison.

         {¶ 6} Upon remand, by entry filed June 17, 2015, the trial court resentenced appellant on Counts 3 and 5 as misdemeanors in the first degree, imposing an aggregate term of three hundred sixty days in the county jail with credit for time served.

         {¶ 7} On November 18, 2016, appellant filed a complaint against appellee for a declaration of wrongful imprisonment pursuant to R.C. 2743.48. On February 15, 2017, appellee filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, claiming appellant did not meet the requirements under the statute. By entry filed April 12, 2017, the trial court granted the motion, finding the facts alleged in appellant's complaint failed to satisfy R.C. 2743.48(A)(4).

         {¶ 8} Appellant filed an appeal and this matter is now before this court for consideration. ...


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