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Date: 01-20-2021

Case Style:

State ex rel. Harold Hunley v. Lyneal Wainwright, Warden

Case Number: 20AP-208



Plaintiff's Attorney: Not listed

Defendant's Attorney:

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Akron, OH - Criminal defense attorney represented Harold Hunley with requesting this court to issue a writ of habeas corpus and issue an order terminating his detention.

It appears that Hunley is being detained on a combination of sentences from
six separate cases, three of which are definite sentences from Franklin County, one of
which is a definite sentence from Stark County, and the other two of which are pre-Senate
Bill 2 indefinite sentences from Stark County. In Franklin CP. Nos. 07CR-8887, 08CR3191, and 08CR-3192 he is serving concurrent sentences of 6 years for each case, in Stark
CP. No. 2001CR-0113(B), he is serving a sentence of 6 years; and in Stark CP. Nos. 89-
9098 and 92-2692, he is serving indefinite sentences of 3 to 15 years in each case. Hunley
argues that these sentences should have been aggregated concurrently but that ODRC has
incorrectly aggregated some of them consecutively to extend his incarceration. He
contends that his maximum aggregate sentence of 30 years expired in March 2019 but
that he was denied release by the parole board in October 2019, and he was at that time
ordered to serve the entirety of his remaining sentence with a release date set for February
{¶ 3} Hunley filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to this court on April 8,
2020. No answer was filed by the respondent. Pursuant to Civ.R. 53 and Loc.R. 13(M) of
the Tenth District Court of Appeals, this matter was referred to a magistrate who issued a
decision, including findings of fact and conclusions of law. The magistrate's decision is
appended hereto. The magistrate determined that because petitioner is incarcerated in
Marion County but filed his writ of habeas corpus in Franklin County, this court does not
have jurisdiction over the writ pursuant to R.C. 2725.03 and therefore, recommended this
court dismiss the petition. No objections to the magistrate's recommendation have been
filed. Pursuant to Civ.R. 53(D)(4), we review the recommendation for adoption by the
{¶ 4} At the time he filed his petition to this court, Hunley was housed by
respondent Warden Lyneal Wainwright at the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion
County, Ohio, and he remains detained there. R.C. 2725.03 provides in part that "[i]f 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
No. 20AP-208
in which the institution is located has jurisdiction to issue or determine a writ of habeas
corpus for his production or discharge." (Emphasis added.)
{¶ 5} In Goudlock v. Vorhiees, 119 Ohio St.3d 398, 2008-Ohio-4787, the Supreme
Court of Ohio held that an inmate's petition for a writ of habeas corpus was properly
dismissed because the inmate filed the petition in a county in which the inmate was not
incarcerated, contrary to the requirements of the statute. This case involves an identical
situation, as Hunley has filed his petition for habeas corpus relief in a county where he is
not confined. For this reason, dismissal of the writ for lack of territorial jurisdiction is
proper. See also State ex rel. Jefferson v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr., 10th Dist. No. 19AP366, 2019-Ohio-4025, at ¶ 4 (adopting magistrate's decision and dismissing petition for
lack of territorial jurisdiction where habeas petitioner "incorrectly" filed action in county
where he was not confined).

Outcome: Upon review of the magistrate's decision and independent review of the
record, we find the magistrate properly determined the facts and applied the appropriate law. We accordingly adopt the magistrate's decision as our own, including the findings of fact and conclusions of law contained therein, and dismiss the relator's petition for writ of habeas corpus.

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