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State ex rel. Johnson v. Cain

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 25, 2019

The State ex rel. DeShawn Johnson, Relator,
v.
Judge David E. Cain, Respondent.

         IN PROCEDENDO/MANDAMUS ON OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE'S DECISION

         On brief:

          DeShawn Johnson, pro se.

          DECISION

          LUPER SCHUSTER, J.

         {¶ 1} Relator, DeShawn Johnson, commenced this original action requesting that this court issue a writ of procedendo/mandamus ordering respondent, the Honorable David E. Cain, judge of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, to issue a final appealable order journalizing Johnson's criminal conviction.

         {¶ 2} Pursuant to Civ.R. 53(C) and Loc.R. 13(M) of the Tenth District Court of Appeals, this court referred the matter to a magistrate. As the magistrate noted, Johnson did not pay the filing fee, nor did he, at the time of filing the action, file a statement of the balance of his inmate account for the previous six months certified by an institutional cashier. Under R.C. 2969.25(C), both an affidavit of waiver and the statement of the account balance are mandatory filing requirements. Because Johnson failed to satisfy the mandatory filing requirements of R.C. 2969.25(C), the magistrate, in a January 10, 2019 decision, recommended sua sponte dismissal of the action.

         {¶ 3} Johnson filed objections to the magistrate's decision pursuant to Civ.R. 53(D)(3)(b), arguing the magistrate erroneously concluded he failed to file an affidavit of indigency and a statement of his inmate account. Thus, Johnson argues this court should liberally construe the filing requirements of R.C. 2969.25 and conclude he satisfied those requirements.

         {¶ 4} As the Supreme Court of Ohio has held, "[t]he requirements of R.C. 2969.25 are mandatory and failure to comply with them requires dismissal of an inmate's complaint." State ex rel. Hall v. Mohr, 140 Ohio St.3d 297, 2014-Ohio-3735, ¶ 4, citing State ex rel. Washington v. Ohio Adult Parole Auth., 87 Ohio St.3d 258, 259 (1999). Thus, both the affidavit of waiver and the certified statement of account "must be filed at the time the complaint is filed, and an inmate may not cure the defect by later filings." Id., citing Fuqua v. Williams, 100 Ohio St.3d 211, 2003-Ohio-5533, ¶ 9. See also Morris v. Franklin Cty. Court of Common Pleas, 10th Dist. No. 05AP-596, 2005-Ohio-6306 (noting "[c]ompliance with R.C. 2969.25 is mandatory and failure to comply subjects an inmate's action to dismissal").

         {¶ 5} Here, although Johnson filed a purported affidavit of indigency at the time he filed his complaint in mandamus/procedendo, the statement of account balance he filed was not certified by the institutional cashier. Because it was not certified by the institutional cashier, the statement of his inmate account balance for the previous six months did not satisfy the mandatory filing requirements of R.C. 2969.25(C). Additionally, while Johnson objects to the magistrate's statement that he did not file an affidavit of indigency, the document he filed did not set forth the amount in the inmate's account for each of the preceding six months as certified by the institutional cashier, rendering his affidavit of indigency deficient under R.C. 2969.25(C). Although Johnson provided a certified copy of his statement of inmate account balance along with his objections, Johnson cannot cure the defect in his initial filing through subsequent filings included with his objections. Accordingly, we adopt the magistrate's decision as our own, including the magistrate's findings of fact and conclusions of law.

         {¶ 6} Having adopted the magistrate's decision as our own, we overrule Johnson's objections to the magistrate's decision. In accordance with the magistrate's decision, we sua sponte dismiss Johnson's request for a writ of mandamus/procedendo.

         Objections overruled; case dismissed.

          BROWN and DORRIAN, JJ., concur.

         APPENDIX

         Rendered on ...


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