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State ex rel. Kerr v. Turner

Supreme Court of Ohio

November 21, 2019

The State ex rel. Kerr, Appellant,
v.
Turner, Warden, Appellee.

          Submitted August 6, 2019

          Appeal from the Court of Appeals for Marion County, No. 9-19-06.

          Jeremy Kerr, pro se.

          Dave Yost, Attorney General, and Stephanie L. Watson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          PER CURIAM.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Jeremy Kerr, an inmate at North Central Correction Institution, appeals the dismissal of his complaint for a writ of habeas corpus. We affirm.

         Background

         {¶ 2} Kerr was convicted in the Wood County Court of Common Pleas of four counts of forgery and four counts of tampering with evidence. State v. Kerr, Wood C.P. No. 2012CR0389. In June 2013, the trial court sentenced him to an aggregate prison term of seven years and eight months.

         {¶ 3} On January 28, 2019, he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Third District Court of Appeals against appellee, Warden Neil Turner. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint on the grounds that it failed to state a claim for habeas relief and was barred by res judicata.

         {¶ 4} Kerr appealed.

         Analysis

         {¶ 5} A writ of habeas corpus "is warranted in certain extraordinary circumstances 'where there is an unlawful restraint of a person's liberty and there is no adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.'" Johnson v. Timmerman-Cooper, 93 Ohio St.3d 614, 616, 757 N.E.2d 1153 (2001), quoting Pegan v. Crawmer, 76 Ohio St.3d 97, 99, 666 N.E.2d 1091 (1996). With few exceptions, habeas corpus will lie only to challenge the jurisdiction of the sentencing court. State ex rel. Quillen v. Wainwright, 152 Ohio St.3d 566, 2018-Ohio-922, 99 N.E.3d 360, ¶ 6.

         {¶ 6} Kerr's complaint challenges his convictions under four theories, none of which is cognizable in habeas corpus. First, he argues that the prosecution failed to prove every element of the charged forgery offenses. But habeas corpus is not available to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence. State ex rel. Tarr v. Williams, 112 Ohio St.3d 51, 2006-Ohio-6368, 857 N.E.2d 1225, ¶ 4.

         {¶ 7} Next, Kerr asserts that the evidence did not establish that the crimes occurred in Wood County. But an alleged failure to prove venue "must be raised by appeal" and is not a "question[] cognizable in habeas corpus." Cook v. ...


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