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Boyd v. State

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

January 12, 2018

ALLEN D. BOYD, Plaintiff-Appellant
STATE OF OHIO, et al. Defendant-Appellee

         Trial Court Case No. 16-CV-6512 (Civil Appeal from Common Pleas Court)

          ALLEN D. BOYD, 56 E. Alkaline Springs Road, Vandalia, Ohio 45377 Plaintiff-Appellant, Pro Se

          ZOE SAADEY, Atty. Reg. No. 0089181, 150 East Gay Street, 16th Floor, Criminal Justice Section, Columbus, Ohio 43215 Attorney for Defendant-Appellee


          FROELICH, J.

         {¶ 1} Allen D. Boyd, pro se, appeals from a judgment of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, which dismissed, pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(6), his action against the State of Ohio for a declaration that he is a "wrongfully imprisoned individual, " as that term is defined by R.C. 2743.48(A). For the following reasons, the trial court's judgment will be affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case will be remanded for further proceedings.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} Our opinion in Boyd's direct appeal in his 2011 criminal case, State v. Boyd, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 25182, 2013-Ohio-1067, provides the following underlying facts.

         {¶ 3} At approximately 4:00 p.m. on August 1, 2011, Vandalia police officers responded to a two-story, four-unit apartment building on a report of domestic violence. The caller had reported that her boyfriend, Boyd, had put a gun to her head. After arriving, Officer Brazel called the girlfriend and instructed her to exit the building. After exiting, the girlfriend approached Brazel and provided additional details about what Boyd had done. She also indicated that her adult nephew was inside the apartment. The officer contacted the nephew by phone, who then also exited the building. The officer made numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact Boyd. Boyd eventually exited the apartment; he was ordered to the ground and handcuffed. After Boyd was arrested, Officer Brazel and Sergeant Stanley "cleared" the apartment to make sure there were no other suspects or victims. During the sweep, the officers located a firearm on the bed in the master bedroom of the girlfriend's apartment. Brazel testified at a suppression hearing that the apartment complex was "for single mothers and their children only, " but he understood from past encounters with Boyd and his girlfriend that Boyd "basically lived there."

         {¶ 4} Boyd was charged with having weapons while under disability, in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(3), a felony of the third degree. State v. Boyd, Montgomery C.P. No. 2011 CR 2608. The alleged disability stemmed from a prior drug conviction in Case No. 1995 CR 4033. Boyd unsuccessfully sought to suppress the evidence against him. In April 2012, the matter proceeded to a jury trial, and the jury found him guilty as charged. The trial court sentenced Boyd to 30 months in prison.

         {¶ 5} On appeal, Boyd challenged the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress, claiming that the "trial court erred in overruling [his] motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of the unconstitutional search of his residence." On March 22, 2013, we concluded that the trial court had erred in denying the motion to suppress. Boyd, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 25182, 2013-Ohio-1067. We stated that "[s]ince the officers herein arrested Boyd outside of the apartment, and no one posed a danger to them, the trial court erred when it determined that the protective sweep was justified by the circumstances." Id. at ¶ 27. We further concluded that there were no exigent or emergency circumstances justifying the officers' entry into the apartment, id. at ¶ 30, and that the State had waived any argument that Boyd lacked standing to object to the search, id. at ¶ 31 -32. We reversed Boyd's conviction and remanded for further proceedings.

         {¶ 6} Upon remand, a jury trial was scheduled for August 13, 2013. Boyd alleges in his amended complaint in this action that the State made several plea offers, but he rejected each of the offers. On August 9, 2013, the trial court dismissed the action, without prejudice, at the request of the State; the entry indicated that a necessary witness could not be located. Boyd was released from jail the same day.

         {¶ 7} After the dismissal of the criminal action, Boyd and others filed several motions with the trial court related to the return of property. Of relevance, one motion was brought by Boyd's neighbor, Lori Staley, seeking the return of the seized firearm, which allegedly belonged to her. The court ultimately ordered the firearm to be destroyed.

         {¶ 8} On December 29, 2016, Boyd, pro se, filed this civil action in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, seeking a determination that he was a "wrongfully imprisoned individual, " pursuant to R.C. 2743.48(A). He filed an amended complaint on January 19, 2017; numerous documents from his prior court proceedings were attached.

         {¶ 9} In his amended complaint, Boyd detailed the trial court proceedings that occurred in his prior drug case and his 2011 case for having weapons while under disability. Boyd alleged that his initial 1995 drug offense conviction was void, and thus he had no disability to form the basis of his subsequent conviction for having weapons while under disability. Boyd also alleged that he never possessed the gun seized on August 1, 2011, which belonged to Staley.

         {¶ 10} Addressing the requirements to be declared a wrongfully imprisoned person, within the meaning of R.C. 2743.48(A)(1 -5), Boyd alleged that (1) he was indicted in Case No. 2011-CR-2608 for having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony, (2) a jury convicted him of that offense, (3) the trial court sentenced him to 30 months in prison for having weapons while under disability, (4) his conviction and sentence for having weapons while under disability were reversed by the Second District Court of Appeals, and (5) he was released from the Montgomery County Jail on August 9, 2013 (after the trial court entered a judgment dismissing the case), he was not under disability when he was arrested on August 1, 2011, and he never possessed the firearm.

         {¶ 11} On February 20, 2017, the State filed a motion to dismiss the action, pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(6), for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The State asserted that Boyd was unable to satisfy the fourth and fifth prongs of R.C. 2743.48(A). Specifically, it argued that Boyd engaged in the act that formed the basis for the having weapons while under disability charge, and thus he could not satisfy R.C. 2743.48(A)(5). The State further argued that Boyd could not prove that he was not engaged in other criminal conduct arising out of the incident for which he was charged, because he had engaged in felonious assault (at a minimum) when he threatened his girlfriend with a gun. The State thus argued that he also could not satisfy R.C. 2743.48(A)(4).

         {¶ 12} Boyd opposed the State's motion, asserting that he could satisfy each element of R.C. 2743.48(A). On March 23, 2017, the trial court dismissed Boyd's action, pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(6), finding that he could not satisfy the fifth requirement of R.C. 2743.48(A).

         {¶ 13} Boyd appeals from the trial ...

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