State ex rel. Raymond L. Eichenberger, Relator,
Judge Terri B. Jamison et al., Respondents.
MANDAMUS ON OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE'S DECISION
Raymond L. Eichenberger, pro se.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Bryan B. Lee, for
1} In this original action, relator, Raymond L.
Eichenberger, filed his complaint in mandamus seeking a writ
compelling respondent, Judge Terri B. Jamison of the Franklin
County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations,
to rule on the merits of relator's underlying divorce
matter and release to relator an appeal bond posted by
relator. Relator also names the administrative judge of the
domestic relations court as a respondent, but the complaint
does not specify any claim or relief sought against this
party. Relator further seeks an award of attorney fees and
court costs he has expended in this mandamus action.
2} Pursuant to Civ.R. 53 and Loc.R. 13(M) of the
Tenth District Court of Appeals, we referred this matter to a
magistrate, who issued the appended decision, including
findings of fact and conclusions of law. The magistrate sua
sponte reviewed the trial court record in this case and took
judicial notice of later proceedings before the trial court
in Franklin C.P. No. 14DR-4674. The magistrate noted that the
trial court had set this case for hearing on May 8, 2019 and
was proceeding toward final judgment with this case.
Accordingly, the magistrate concluded the matter had become
moot because relator had obtained the result corresponding to
the relief sought in this case. The magistrate recommended
this court sua sponte dismiss this action.
3} Relator has filed the following two objections to
the magistrate's decision:
THE MAGISTRATE ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW BY EITHER REFUSING TO
RECOGNIZE THE MANDAMUS CASE AS AUTOMATICALLY STAYING THE
LOWER COURT ACTION, OR BY REFUSING TO GRANT THE RELATOR'S
MOTIONS FOR A STAY OF THE LOWER COURT PROCEEDING.
THE MAGISTRATE ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW IN STATING THAT THE
TRIAL COURT HAD A RIGHT TO PROCEED WITH THE UNDERLYING TRIAL
COURT CASE IN ORDER TO MAKE THE MANDAMUS ACTION MOOT.
4} We will discuss the objections together as
relator's arguments in support thereof are intertwined.
Relator argues as follows:
1) it is a uniform and common practice in Ohio and Franklin
County courts that a trial judge will not proceed forward in
a case when a Mandamus action has been filed in the
underlying case, 2) a trial Court lacks jurisdiction in a
case when an appeal has been filed (and the Mandamus action
is a quasi-appeal and has all of the characteristics of an
appeal), and, 3) Ohio courts have held that the Stay
provisions of Civil Rule 62 govern the filing of Writs in the
courts of Ohio, including a Complaint for a Writ of Mandamus.
(Relator's Objs. at 3.)
5} Relator points this court to State ex rel.
Special Prosecutors v. Judges, Court of Common Pleas, 55
Ohio St.2d 94, 97 (1978). Special Prosecutor's
states: "The general rule of law is that the trial court
loses jurisdiction to take action in a cause after an appeal
has been taken and decided." Id. Relator
confuses a direct appeal with a complaint in mandamus or
procedendo. Contrary to relator's argument, Special
Prosecutors does not hold that a trial court lacks
jurisdiction to proceed on a case when a mandamus action
seeking an order to compel a trial court to proceed on the
same case is pending in the court of appeals. Neither do
State ex rel Geauga Cty. Bd. of Commrs. v. Milligan,
100 Ohio St.3d 366, 2003-Ohio-6608, nor State ex rel
Ocasek v. Riley, 54 Ohio St.2d 488 (1978).
6} Indeed, this court as well as the Supreme Court
of Ohio have on numerous occasions determined to be moot a
complaint in mandamus or procedendo where the trial court
judge has performed the very action the complaint seeks to
compel while the complaint is pending.
7} In State ex rel Hamilton v. Brunner, 105
Ohio St.3d 304, 2005-Ohio-1735, the Supreme Court affirmed
this court's denial of a writ seeking to compel a trial
court judge to rule on his pending postconviction motions.
The court stated:
In November 2002, Hamilton filed a petition in the Court of
Appeals for Franklin County for a writ of mandamus to compel
appellee, Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer
L. Brunner, to rule on his pending postconviction motions and
to correct his judgment entry to reflect that the common
pleas court never obtained jurisdiction over him. [While the
complaint was pending], [o]n July 23, 2003, Judge Brunner
denied Hamilton's petition for postconviction relief and
pending motions. On July 25, 2003, Judge Brunner moved to