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State ex rel. Jackson v. Larose

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning

December 30, 2019

STATE EX REL KEITH JACKSON, Relator,
v.
CHRISTOPHER LAROSE, WARDEN et al., Respondents.

          Writ of Habeas Corpus

         JUDGMENT Dismissed.

          Keith Jackson, Atty. Barry W. Wilford, Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A., for Relator

          Atty. David Yost, Ohio Attorney General, Atty. Jerri L. Forsnaught, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Justice Section, Christopher Larose, Warden, Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, Stuart Hudson, Interim Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, for Respondents.

          BEFORE: Carol Ann Robb, Gene Donofrio, Cheryl L. Waite, Judges.

          OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          PER CURIAM.

         {¶1} This matter comes before the Court upon consideration and determination of Relator's motion to dismiss, pursuant to Civ.R. 41(A)(2), his successive petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Relator, through counsel, filed his first petition against Respondents Christopher LaRose, Warden of the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, and Gary Mohr, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), with the Court on September 10, 2018. State ex rel. Jackson v. LaRose, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 18 MA 0099. Relator ultimately filed a notice of voluntary dismissal pursuant to Civ.R. 41(A)(1)(a). The Court acknowledged and accepted the notice and dismissed the case without prejudice. State ex rel. Jackson v. LaRose, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 18 MA 0099 (Jan. 9, 2019).

         {¶2} Meanwhile, Relator refiled his petition with the Court, which is the subject of this original action. State ex rel. Jackson v. LaRose, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 18 MA 0129. He has named Warden LaRose as Respondent, but has substituted Stuart Hudson, Interim Director of the ODRC for former Director Mohr. This case highlights Petitioner's somewhat complicated, lengthy, and increasingly violent criminal history spanning over 17 years; with all of his convictions and sentences emanating from the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Because Petitioner's criminal history is so lengthy and he is seeking release from prison, the claim alleged in his petition necessarily implicates Ohio's statute governing multiple sentences, R.C. 2929.41, and the historical revisions that have been made to that statute over the years by the General Assembly.

         {¶3} In both petitions, Relator focuses on one of his particular cases alleging he has served the maximum term of 25 years imprisonment imposed in 1990 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court Case No. 89CR-12-5841. The sentence is a pre-Senate Bill 2 indefinite sentence (5-25 years). Relator also has two other pre-Senate Bill 2 indefinite sentences (1-5 and 4-15 years) and one Senate Bill 2 sentence (18 years). With the exception of his first pre-Senate Bill 2 indefinite sentence (1-5 years), each of Petitioner's subsequent sentences were imposed for new offenses, each of which he committed while on parole. His petitions overlook the fact that his three pre-Senate Bill 2 indefinite sentences (1-5, 4-15, and 5-25 years) were mandated to be aggregated and served consecutively by operation of statute (because he was on parole each time he reoffended), under former R.C. 2929.41 (B) in effect during the time of those convictions and sentences.

         {¶4} Meanwhile, while this action was pending, Relator was administratively transferred to another correctional facility located in a county not within this Court's jurisdiction. R.C. 2725.02 grants to a court of appeals the ability to authorize writs of habeas corpus. However, R.C. 2725.03 sets forth a territorial jurisdictional limit:

If a person restrained of his liberty is an inmate of a state benevolent or correctional institution, the location of which is fixed by statute and at the time is in the custody of the officers of the institution, no court or judge other than the courts or judges of the county in which the institution is located has jurisdiction to issue or determine a writ of habeas corpus for his production or discharge. Any writ issued by a court or judge of another county to an officer or person in charge at the state institution to compel the production or discharge of an inmate thereof is void.

(Emphasis added.)

         {¶5} Therefore, even if Relator's petition had some substantive merit, this Court would lack jurisdiction to issue a writ because he is not an inmate of any of the state correctional institutions located within the eight counties over which this Court has jurisdiction. Relator was transferred to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility which is located in Scioto County and falls within the jurisdiction of the Fourth District Court of Appeals where Relator states he intends on refiling the petition.

         {¶6} Consequently, Relator is seeking to have his petition dismissed ...


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