STATE EX REL. DAVIS v. SUTULA

No. 105817.

2017-Ohio-7179

STATE OF OHIO, EX REL. DWAYNE DAVIS, Relator, v. JUDGE KATHLEEN ANN SUTULA, Respondent.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga County.


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Dwayne Davis, pro se, Lake Erie Correctional Institution, Inmate No. 644-653, 501 Thompson Road, Conneaut, Ohio 44030, for Relator.

Michael C. O'Malley , Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, By: James E. Moss , Assistant County Prosecutor, The Justice Center, 1200 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113, Attorneys for Respondent.


JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

ANITA LASTER MAYS, J.

{¶1} The relator, Dwayne Davis, has filed this mandamus action against the respondent, Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula. Because Davis has failed to state a claim entitling him to the extraordinary writ of mandamus, we sua sponte dismiss his complaint.

A. Procedural History and Facts

{¶2} According to Davis's complaint, Judge Sutula has failed to "follow the law" and "follow Civ.R. 56" when denying Davis's motion for summary judgment in support of his petition for postconviction relief in Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-13-574008-A. Although the relief that Davis seeks is not entirely clear, it appears that the gravamen of this mandamus action is to compel Judge Sutula to state her reasoning for denying his motion or produce evidence that would preclude summary judgment under Civ.R. 56. Specifically, Davis asserts that he does not want this court to compel Judge Sutula to "grant" the motion for summary judgment; instead, he seeks an order compelling Judge Sutula — "the non-movant" — "to adduce affirmative evidence as to why she dismissed and denied relator's [motion for] summary judgment."

B. Mandamus

{¶3} "Dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted is appropriate if, after all factual allegations of the complaint are presumed true and all reasonable inferences are made in relator's favor, it appears beyond doubt that relator can prove no set of facts entitling relator to the requested extraordinary relief." State ex rel. Woods v. Oak Hill Community Med. Ctr., 91 Ohio St.3d 459, 461, 746 N.E.2d 1108 (2001), citing State ex rel. Lanham v. Ohio Adult Parole Auth., 80 Ohio St.3d 425, 426, 687 N.E.2d 283 (1997).

{¶4} To be entitled to a writ of mandamus, Davis must establish (1) a clear legal right to the requested relief, (2) a clear legal duty on the part of Judge Sutula to provide it, and (3) the lack of an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. See State ex rel. Waters v. Spaeth, 131 Ohio St.3d 55, 2012-Ohio-69, 960 N.E.2d 452, ¶ 6.

{¶5} Here, Davis's complaint fails to meet any of the requisites for mandamus. Davis's complaint erroneously treats Judge Sutula as an adversary to the proceedings in Case No. CR-13-574008-A. Contrary to Davis's assertion, Judge Sutula is not a "non-movant" to his motion for summary judgment filed in Case No. CR-13-574008-A and has no duty "to adduce affirmative evidence" or explain why she denied his motion for summary judgment. Civ.R. 56 neither entitles him to this relief; nor does it place such a duty on the trial court judge deciding a motion for summary judgment. Moreover, to the extent that Davis is dissatisfied with Judge Sutula's ruling, he has an adequate remedy at law by way of an appeal after a final judgment, and mandamus is not a substitute for appeal. Thompson v. State, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 99265, 2013-Ohio-1907, ¶ 7, citing State ex rel. Keenan v. Calabrese, 69 Ohio St.3d 176, 631 N.E.2d 119 (1994); and State ex rel. Pressley v. Indus. Comm. of Ohio, 11 Ohio St.2d 141, 228 N.E.2d 631 (1967), paragraph three of the syllabus.

{¶6} Because it appears beyond doubt that relator could prove no set of facts entitling him to the requested writ of mandamus, we dismiss, sua sponte, this application for a writ of mandamus. Relator to pay costs. It is further ordered that the clerk of courts serve notice of this judgment upon all parties as required by Civ.R. 58(B).

{¶7} Complaint dismissed.

PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, P.J., and LARRY A. JONES, SR., J., CONCUR.


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