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State v. Dickerson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

July 3, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
OSCAR S. DICKERSON, Defendant-Appellee.

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-14-585521-A

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and Daniel T. Van, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellant.

          Russell S. Bensing, for appellee.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          ANITA LASTER MAYS, JUDGE

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, the state of Ohio, appeals the trial court's denial of the state's motion to reinstate the conviction of the defendant-appellee, Oscar S. Dickerson ("Dickerson"). Upon a review of the record, we find that the trial court's denial to reinstate the conviction is not a final appealable order, and accordingly, we have no jurisdiction to determine this appeal.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} On May 15, 2014, Dickerson, along with his codefendant, Michael J. Jenkins ("Jenkins") were indicted on five counts relating to a sexual assault that occurred on July 2, 1994. Both were charged with two counts of rape, two counts of complicity, and one count of kidnapping. On November 5, 2014, six days before the trial, Dickerson filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of preindictment delay. The trial court denied the motion as untimely. Both Dickerson and Jenkins were found guilty, and Dickerson was sentenced to five years in prison.

         {¶ 3} The state appealed the sentence, and Dickerson filed a cross-appeal. This court in State v. Dickerson, 2016-Ohio-807, 60 N.E.3d 699, ¶ 54 (8th Dist.) ("Dickerson I ") held that "[h]aving found that trial counsel was ineffective by not filing a timely motion to dismiss on the ground of preindictment delay, the conviction against Dickerson is vacated." The state appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court decided "judgment vacated and cause remanded to the court of appeals for application of State v. Jones, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-5105." State v. Dickerson, 146 Ohio St.3d 1493, 2016-Ohio-5585, 57 N.E.3d 1172. On remand and after applying Jones, this court again held "[h]aving found that trial counsel was ineffective by not filing a timely motion to dismiss on the ground of preindictment delay, the conviction against Dickerson is reversed." State v. Dickerson, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 102461, 2017-Ohio-177, ¶ 64 ("Dickerson II ").

         {¶4} On remand, the trial court held a hearing on the issue of the preindictment delay and found that Dickerson did not suffer prejudice due to the delay. The state then filed a motion with the trial court to reinstate Dickerson's convictions. The trial court denied the motion on July 6, 2018. The state sought leave to appeal the denial of their motion, and this court granted leave. Dickerson[1] and Jenkins, [2] simultaneously filed appeals on the trial court's denial of their preindictment delay motions. Those appeals are pending before this same panel. The state also filed an identical appeal to this one in regards to Jenkins.[3] The state assigns one error for our review:

I. The trial court erred in denying the state's motion to reinstate convictions because such an order granted the defendant a new trial where no error justifies a new trial and the taint of the remand has been neutralized.

         II. Final Appealable Order

         A. Whether this Court has Authority to Review the Trial Court's Decision to Deny Reinstatement of Convictions

         {¶5} The state contends that the trial court's denial of its motion to reinstate Dickerson's convictions is a final appealable order.

The requirement of a final, appealable order is equally important in both civil and criminal cases. "An appellate court can review only final orders, and without a final order, an appellate court has no jurisdiction." Supportive Solutions, L.L.C. v. Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow,137 ...

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