Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull
Appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, Case
No. 2015 CR 00693.
Watkins, Trumbull County Prosecutor, and LuWayne Annos,
Assistant Prosecutor, Administration Building, Fourth Floor,
160 High Street, N.W., Warren, OH 44481 (For
Jonathan R. Emerine, pro se, PID: A683-007, Lake Erie
Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 8000, 501 Thompson Road,
Conneaut, OH 44030 (Defendant-Appellant).
COLLEEN MARY OTOOLE, JUDGE
Appellant, Jonathan R. Emerine, appeals from the August 1,
2017 judgment of the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas,
denying his timely pro se petition to vacate or set aside
judgment without a hearing. On appeal, appellant asserts the
trial court erred in failing to enter written findings of
fact and conclusions of law. Appellee, the state of Ohio,
agrees. Accordingly, we dismiss this appeal and remand the
matter to the trial court for the entry of such findings of
fact and conclusions of law.
On September 4, 2015, the Trumbull County Grand Jury indicted
appellant on one count of rape and three counts of gross
sexual imposition. Appellant was represented by counsel,
entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment, and waived his
right to a speedy trial.
A jury trial commenced on March 28, 2016. Following trial,
the jury found appellant guilty. On May 2, 2016, the trial
court sentenced appellant to an aggregate term of 31 and
one-half years to life in prison and labeled him a Tier III
sex offender. The court also notified appellant that
post-release control is mandatory for five years.
Appellant filed a timely direct appeal with this court, Case
No. 2016-T-0048. In that appeal, appellant asserted the trial
court erred in not providing lesser included offense
instructions and alleged his conviction was against the
manifest weight of the evidence. Finding no error, this court
affirmed the judgment of the trial court on March 31, 2017.
State v. Emerine, 11th Dist. Trumbull No.
2016-T-0048, 2017-Ohio-1206. Appellant's appeals to the
Supreme Court of Ohio were not accepted for review. State
v. Emerine, 150 Ohio St.3d 1432, 2017-Ohio-7567;
State v. Emerine, 151 Ohio St.3d 1457,
On June 15, 2017, appellant filed a timely pro se petition to
vacate or set aside judgment pursuant to R.C. 2953.21. The
state filed a motion to dismiss the petition on July 28,
2017. On August 1, 2017, the trial court denied
appellant's petition without a hearing and without
entering findings of fact and conclusions of law. Appellant
filed the instant appeal, Case No. 2017-T-0091, and raises
the following assignment of error:
"The trial court abuses discretion when it denied
(dismissed) petitioner-appellant's postconviction relief
petition without issuing findings and facts and conclusions
"A decision or order dismissing a petition for
postconviction relief is not a final appealable order until
the trial court files the requisite findings of fact and
conclusions of law. See State v. Lester (1975), 41
Ohio St.2d 51, 55 * * * When a trial court dismisses a
postconviction relief petition without holding an evidentiary
hearing, it must enter findings of fact and conclusions of
law. R.C. 2953.21 (C). While a trial court need not discuss
every issue that the petitioner raises or engage in an
elaborate and lengthy discussion in its findings of fact and
conclusions of law, its findings must be sufficiently
comprehensive and pertinent to the issues to form a basis
upon which the evidence supports the conclusion.'
State v. McKnight, 4th Dist. No. 06CA645,
2006-Ohio-7104, at ¶5, citing State v. Calhoun
(1999), 86 Ohio St.3d 279, 291-292 * * *." (Parallel
citations omitted.) State v. Henry, 11th Dist. Lake
No. 2008-L-178, 2010-Ohio-1446, ¶39.
In this case, the record reveals and the state concedes that
the trial court erred in failing to file findings of fact and
conclusions of law when it denied appellant's timely
petition for postconviction relief without a hearing. Thus,
we dismiss and remand for the required findings. See
State v. Perkins, 5 Ohio App.3d 182, 184 (8th Dist.
For the foregoing reasons, appellant's sole assignment of
error is well-taken. This matter is dismissed and remanded