Johnson v. Scott, 62672

CourtSupreme Court of Oklahoma
Citation1985 OK 50,702 P.2d 56
Docket NumberNo. 62672,62672
PartiesWilliam J. JOHNSON, Appellant, v. Sheriff Darrell SCOTT, Appellee.
Decision Date25 June 1985

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702 P.2d 56
1985 OK 50
William J. JOHNSON, Appellant,
Sheriff Darrell SCOTT, Appellee.
No. 62672.
Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
June 25, 1985.

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William J. Johnson, pro se.

Michael C. Turpen, Atty. Gen. by Rozia M. McKinney, Asst. Atty. Gen., Oklahoma City, for appellee.

HODGES, Justice.

William J. Johnson (appellant) asks this Court to reverse an Order of the District Court of Cherokee County dismissing his small claims action and to allow appellant to plead his cause of action before the courts to regain his personal property.

Chronologically, appellant, a prisoner, was taken from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary (OSP) to the Tulsa County Jail for an evidentiary hearing on a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty in a criminal case. The evidentiary hearing was continued and the prisoner was held over in Tulsa to await the new hearing date. Appellant's trial date apparently came up in Cherokee County and appellant was transferred from the Tulsa County Jail to the Cherokee County Jail. Appellant was unaware when he left OSP that he would be required to appear in court. Therefore, he did not request any street clothes when he left OSP for the purpose of attending his trial. Appellant refused to take the witness stand in his prison clothes. A lawyer in the courtroom loaned appellant a suit for the trial.

Upon appellant's request, the Under-Sheriff of the Cherokee County Jail directed the Trusty to use part of appellant's money to purchase clothes for appellant for further court appearances. The Trusty purchased three pairs of Levis, two sweat shirts, one pair of slippers and underwear, totaling $111.00. The Trusty gave receipts for such purchases to appellant. Thereafter, appellant brought the above clothing with him when he was transferred several times between the Cherokee County Jail and the Tulsa County Jail for various hearings and trial dates. Usually he was allowed to keep all of his property in plastic garbage sacks in his cell.

After another court appearance in Cherokee County, appellant was transferred back to Tulsa. On this trip he was required to leave his personal property with the jail office. When appellant signed out of the Cherokee County Jail, his money but not his clothing was returned to him. Appellant asked the officer transporting him for

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his clothing but was told that it was already in the car. When appellant arrived at the Tulsa County Jail he discovered that the clothing in question was not transported with him. Appellant expressed concern regarding his missing clothing to the officer and was told that it would be brought by a highway patrolman or deputy later. The clothing was never returned to him.

Appellant and his attorney then wrote separate letters to Darrell Scott, the Sheriff of Cherokee County (appellee), requesting the return of appellant's clothing. Neither appellant nor his attorney received any response to such requests.

Appellant was allowed to file the action informa pauperis. A small claims action was filed pro se against appellee to regain possession of his personal property. He also filed a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum requesting the district court to require the Warden of OSP to bring appellant before the court for the hearing of his small claims action.

The trial was set for June 6, 1984, but was dismissed by the trial court for failure of...

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22 cases
  • Mehdipour v. State Dept. of Corrections, 99,301.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 30 Marzo 2004
    ...¶ 7, 37 P.3d 866; Shabazz v. Keating, 1999 OK 26, ¶ 14, n. 26, 977 P.2d 1089; Gaines v. Maynard, 1991 OK 27, ¶ 6, 808 P.2d 672; Johnson v. Scott, 1985 OK 50, ¶ 10, 702 P.2d 20. The statute at question in Mehdipour v. Wise, 2003 OK 3, 65 P.3d 271, was 21 O.S.2001 § 65 which provides in perti......
  • Rollings v. Thermodyne Industries, Inc., 82774
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 23 Enero 1996
    ...legislation to facilitate speedy resolution of differences, that legislation cannot be used to deny access to court. In Johnson v. Scott, 702 P.2d 56 (Okla.1985), the plaintiff was incarcerated, and brought a small claims action to retrieve some clothes left in the jail. The judge dismissed......
  • In re Adoption of CDM, 94,879.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 4 Diciembre 2001 also violated by the exercise of judicial power in an action where a party is not given a reasonable opportunity to be heard. Johnson v. Scott, 1985 OK 50, ¶ 11, 702 P.2d 56, 59. Minimum standards of due process require that persons be afforded not only notice but also an opportunity to ......
  • Patterson v. Beall, 92,399.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 14 Noviembre 2000
    ...It provides an informal procedure "to facilitate the access of parties to simple, inexpensive and speedy justice." Johnson v. Scott, 1985 OK 50, 702 P.2d 56, 59. The unmistakable public policy goal of the Act is to provide small claims forums as "people's courts, uncomplicated by the formal......
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