State ex eel. Scott v. Ohio Dep't of Rehab. & Corr., 2022-0278

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Ohio
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation2022 Ohio 3635
PartiesThe State ex rel. Scott, Appellant, v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction,[1] Appellee.
Docket Number2022-0278
Decision Date18 October 2022

2022-Ohio-3635

The State ex rel. Scott, Appellant,
v.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction,[1] Appellee.

No. 2022-0278

Supreme Court of Ohio

October 18, 2022


Submitted August 2, 2022

Appeal from the Court of Appeals for Marion County, No. 9-21-38.

Ledail Scott, pro se.

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

PER CURIAM.

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{¶ 1} Appellant, Ledail Scott, an inmate at the North Central Correctional Complex, appeals the judgment of the Third District Court of Appeals dismissing his amended petition for a writ of mandamus against appellee, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction ("DRC"). We affirm.

Background

{¶ 2} In August 2015, Scott was sentenced in two criminal cases in Lorain County. In case No. 11CR084217, he was convicted of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification and sentenced to an aggregate prison term of seven years: four years for aggravated robbery and three years for the specification, to be served consecutively. The sentencing entry stated, "Sentence is concurrent with the sentence imposed in 11CR084218 for an aggregate sentence of 10 years."

{¶ 3} In case No. 11CR084218, Scott was convicted of two counts of aggravated burglary, each with a firearm specification. The trial court merged the aggravated-burglary counts and sentenced Scott to an aggregate prison term of seven years: four years for aggravated burglary and three years for the specification, to be served consecutively. The sentencing entry stated, "Sentence is concurrent with the sentence imposed in 11CR084217 for an aggregate sentence of 10 years."

{¶ 4} In November 2021, Scott filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus against the warden of the facility in which he was confined. He alleged that by imposing concurrent sentences in the two cases, the trial court had sentenced him to an aggregate prison term of only seven years and that given his jail-time credit, he completed his maximum sentence in April 2020. The warden filed a motion to dismiss under Civ.R. 12(B)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

{¶ 5} Scott then filed a motion for leave to file an amended petition setting forth the same legal theory but seeking relief in mandamus instead of habeas corpus. Scott's motion made clear that he was abandoning his habeas claim and

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pursuing mandamus relief as "the original and only Petition filed herein." The mandamus petition substituted DRC as the respondent and sought a writ compelling DRC to correct Scott's sentences.[2]

{¶ 6} The Third District granted Scott's motion for leave to file the amended petition. But on the merits, the Third District still treated Scott's petition as a habeas petition, denying relief because Scott was "restrained by virtue of judgments of a court of record that had jurisdiction to issue the judgments, the aggregate sentence has not expired, and a writ of habeas corpus will not issue;" the court also observed that "sentencing errors, such as those alleged by [Scott], are not cognizable in habeas corpus." The Third District, however, also made the critical determination necessary to dispose of Scott's mandamus claim, concluding that DRC had "properly calculated the firearm specifications as consecutively imposed prison terms based upon the explicit language of the sentencing court in its judgment entries, which incorporated the sentencing sequencing requirement of R.C. 2929.14(C)(1)(a)." The court saw no need to correct DRC's sentence calculation because DRC had "properly executed the sentence imposed by the sentencing court." Accordingly, the court granted DRC's motion to dismiss the amended petition.

{¶ 7} Scott timely appealed to this court.

Analysis

{¶ 8} We review dismissals under Civ.R. 12(B)(6) de novo. State ex rel. McKinney v. Schmenk, 152 Ohio St.3d 70, 2017-Ohio-9183, 92...

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