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STATE OF OHIO v. MARQUIS JACKSON
Case Number: 109788
Judge: KATHLEEN ANN KEOUGH
Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO
EIGHTH APPELLATE DISTRICT
COUNTY OF CUYAHOGA
Plaintiff's Attorney: Michael C. O’Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and Megan Helton, Assistant Prosecuting
Cleveland, Ohio - Criminal defense attorney represented Marquis Jackson with a aggravated robbery, robbery, theft, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges.
In 2017, Jackson was arrested on an outstanding registered warrant
issued in June 2013, in Cleveland M.C. No. 2013CRA017937.1 He was subsequently
indicted on charges of aggravated robbery, robbery, theft, and contributing to the
delinquency of a minor. Jackson was referred to the Court’s Psychiatric Clinic for a
psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he was competent to stand trial.
At a hearing on October 31, 2017, Jackson appeared with retained
counsel. Jackson’s counsel and the state stipulated to Dr. James Rodio’s psychiatric
report opining that Jackson was not competent to stand trial, but restorable within
the relevant statutory timeframe. The court remanded Jackson to Northcoast
Behavioral Health (“NBH”) for treatment and restoration.
Jackson’s retained counsel subsequently filed a motion to transfer
Jackson’s case to the Cuyahoga County Mental Health and Developmental
Disabilities docket. The court never ruled on this motion.
At a review hearing in June 2018, Jackson appeared with his retained
counsel. The parties stipulated to Dr. Jeffrey Khan’s report opining that Jackson
lacked the ability to adequately assist with his defense, but that there was a
substantial probability that he would be restored within the relevant statutory
1 This case was pending while Jackson was resolving another case in which he was
sentenced to four years in prison. See Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-13-575250. In fact,
according to the indictments, the date of offense giving rise to the instant case —May 29,
2003 — occurred prior to the subsequent case that was resolved. Despite the existence of
the registered warrant, Jackson was not apprised of or arrested on that warrant until he
was released from prison in 2017. timeframe if he continued with treatment. The court ordered Jackson to continue
with treatment at NBH.
On November 2, 2018, the trial court conducted a competency hearing,
which we note was reduced to six pages of transcript. At the hearing, Jackson was
represented by his retained counsel. The parties stipulated to Dr. Susan Hatters
Friedman’s report opining that Jackson is mentally ill and subject to court-ordered
civil commitment. Following the stipulation, the state orally requested “pursuant to
R.C. 2945.38” that the trial court retain jurisdiction over Jackson. The trial court
Okay. Do we need to do anything further other than — I will make the
finding that Mr. Jackson is mentally ill subject to court[-]ordered civil
commitment. And I do find that Northcoast Behavioral Hospital will
be the least restrictive treatment alternative at this time. Counsel, is
there anything else the Court needs to do other than retain jurisdiction?
(Tr. 4-5.) After the parties both answered in the negative, the trial court adjourned
the hearing. The trial court did not make any additional findings, and the state
presented no evidence for the trial court to consider.
The court journalized the following order, which states in relevant part,
Competency hearing held 11/02/2018. Parties stipulate to the report
written by Susan Hatters Friedman, M.D. Dr. Hatters Friedman opines
with reasonable medical certainty that Mr. Jackson is unable to
understand the nature and objective of the proceedings against him
and lacks the ability to adequately assist in his defense. Dr. Hatters
Friedman opines that Mr. Jackson is a mentally ill person subject to a
court-ordered civil commitment and that Northcoast Behavioral
Healthcare is the least restrictive treatment alternative as this time.
On November 26, 2018, the trial court entered a nunc pro tunc journal entry to
reflect that the trial court “retains jurisdiction.” On August 5, 2019, the trial court conducted a review hearing pursuant
to R.C. 2945.401. Although Jackson had retained counsel, the court inexplicably
assigned a public defender to represent Jackson. At the hearing, the state and the
court-assigned public defender stipulated to Jackson’s continued commitment at
NBH. There is nothing in the record evidencing that notice of the review hearing
was sent to Jackson’s retained counsel or that counsel had moved to withdraw from
On March 4, 2020, Jackson’s retained counsel moved the trial court for
a status hearing and disposition of Jackson’s case. In the motion, counsel advised
that Jackson’s mother obtained guardianship over Jackson, and thus requested that
he be released into her care and custody. The trial court denied the motion the same
day, stating that “counsel had not filed a notice of appearance.” The following day,
Jackson’s retained counsel filed a notice of appearance. The trial court then again
denied Jackson’s motion for a status hearing and disposition, presumably on the
merits of the request.
In May 2020, Jackson’s retained counsel filed a motion to dismiss and
discharge Jackson pursuant to R.C. 2945.39. In the motion, he contended that the
trial court failed to follow the statutory mandates of R.C. 2945.39 to retain
jurisdiction. The state opposed the motion, contending that the trial court had
jurisdiction over Jackson for up to 11 years. The trial court summarily denied the
motion. Jackson timely appealed. This court granted the state’s request to supplement the appellate
record with (1) the transcript of the November 2, 2018 hearing, and (2) a journal
entry filed on July 16, 2020, after the trial court held another statutory review
hearing. Despite the trial court undoubtedly having notice that Jackson had
retained counsel, it again assigned a public defender to represent Jackson at the July
2020 review hearing. At the hearing, the court-assigned public defender acted on
Jackson’s behalf, and stipulated to and signed a journal entry stating that Jackson
(1) remains a mentally ill person subject to civil commitment, and that NBH is the
least restrictive treatment for his needs and the safety of the community, and (2) was
granted Level 3 and Full Level 4 movement privileges. The record is again entirely
devoid of Jackson’s retained counsel receiving notification of the review hearing, or
any motion to withdraw by Jackson’s retained counsel.
II. The Appeal
Jackson raises the following assignment of error:
The trial court erred in civilly committing [Jackson] and maintaining
jurisdiction over him because, while it conducted a hearing on
[November 2, 2018] concerning Jackson’s competency, there is no
finding that [Jackson] was BOTH a [mentally ill] person subject to
hospitalization/institutionalization AND that he committed the
offenses with which he was charged with clear and convincing
evidence, and in the absence of BOTH findings, the trial court did not
apply to the Probate Court of Cuyahoga County for civil commitment.
Therefore, [Jackson] must be discharged by the trial court and the
criminal case against him must be dismissed.
Simply, Jackson contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss
and for discharge because it failed to make the requisite statutory findings pursuant
to R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) for the trial court to retain jurisdiction over him. “R.C. 2945.39, along with its related statutes, authorizes a common
pleas court to exercise continuing jurisdiction over a criminal defendant who has
been charged with a violent first- or second-degree felony and who has been found
incompetent to stand trial and remains so after the expiration of R.C. 2945.38’s oneyear time frame for restoring competency.” State v. Williams, 126 Ohio St.3d 65,
2010-Ohio-2453, 930 N.E.2d 770, ¶ 1; R.C. 2945.38 and 2945.39.
After the one-year timeframe for treatment expires and the defendant
remains incompetent to stand trial, R.C. 2945.38(H)(3) directs that further
proceedings must occur under R.C. 2945.39, 2945.401, and 2945.402. Williams at
¶ 12. R.C. 2945.39(A) offers two options that the prosecuting attorney or the trial
court can pursue for a defendant who is mentally ill — either may seek (1) civil
commitment of the defendant in probate court under R.C. Chapter 5122, or (2) to
have the common pleas court retain jurisdiction over the defendant. In this case,
the prosecuting attorney orally requested that the trial court retain jurisdiction over
Jackson pursuant to R.C. 2945.39(A)(2).
“To retain jurisdiction, the trial court must find, by clear and
convincing evidence after a hearing, both that the defendant (a) committed the
charged offense and (b) is a mentally ill person subject to hospitalization by court
order.” Williams at ¶ 13, citing R.C. 2945.39(A)(2)(a) and (b). In making its
determination, “the court may consider all relevant evidence, including, but not
limited to, any relevant psychiatric, psychological, or medical testimony or reports, the acts constituting the offense charged, and any history of the defendant that is
relevant to the defendant’s ability to conform to the law.” R.C. 2945.39(B).
If the court does not make both findings, R.C. 2945.39(C) mandates
that it must dismiss the indictment and discharge the defendant unless the court or
the prosecuting attorney files for the defendant’s civil commitment in probate court
under R.C. Chapter 5122. Williams, 126 Ohio St.3d 65, 2010-Ohio-2453, 930
N.E.2d 770, at ¶ 14, citing R.C. 2945.39(C). However, “[a] dismissal of charges
under [R.C. 2945.39(C)] is not a bar to further criminal proceedings based on the
same conduct.” Id.
If the court makes both R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) findings, then R.C.
2945.39(D)(1) directs the court to commit the defendant to a hospital, facility, or
agency as deemed appropriate in accordance with the statute. “The court must order
that the defendant be placed in the least-restrictive commitment alternative
available consistent with public safety and the defendant’s welfare, ‘giv[ing]
preference to protecting public safety.’” Williams at ¶ 15, quoting R.C.
“Once a court commits a defendant under R.C. 2945.39(D)(1), all
further proceedings are governed by R.C. 2945.401 (which include proceedings
regarding the defendant’s possible placement in nonsecured status; the termination
of the commitment; periodic clinical reports and clinical recommendations on the
defendant’s competence, degree of confinement, and termination of commitment; and trial court hearing requirements) and 2945.402 (regarding the defendant’s
possible conditional release).” Williams at ¶ 16, citing R.C. 2945.39(D)(3).
In this case, the parties agree that the trial court did not make the
requisite findings under R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) to retain jurisdiction over Jackson. The
dispute is over what remedy is afforded to Jackson. Jackson contends that pursuant
to the plain language of R.C. 2945.39(C), the indictment should be dismissed
because the trial court did not make the findings. The state disagrees that dismissal
of the charges against Jackson is mandated because his retained counsel invited the
error when he did not object or notify the court that it failed to make the requisite
findings. The state alternatively argues that if the invited error doctrine does not
apply, this court should remand the matter to the trial court to allow it to conduct a
proper hearing under R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) and make the appropriate findings.2
III. Invited Error
The doctrine of “invited error” provides that “a party will not be
permitted to take advantage of an error which he himself invited or induced the trial
court to make.” State ex rel. Smith v. O’Connor, 71 Ohio St.3d 660, 663, 646 N.E.2d
1115 (1995). In this case, Jackson’s retained counsel did not invite any error by
failing to object or notify the trial court of its duty to make the requisite statutory
findings. The burden is not on the defendant to ensure that the trial court makes
the requisite findings. Rather, the state requested that the trial court retain
2 The state did not make any argument in the trial court or on appeal that Jackson’s
challenge is barred by res judicata. Accordingly, we will not address its application. jurisdiction over Jackson. Accordingly, the state had the burden to ensure that the
trial court adhered to its statutory duties and made the appropriate findings when
considering the state’s request. See, e.g., State v. McIntosh, 2d Dist. Montgomery
No. 25445, 2015-Ohio-2786 (finding that the state met its burden of establishing the
elements of R.C. 2945.39(A)(2)); State v. Henderson, 5th Dist. Fairfield No. 13-CA61 (finding that the state satisfied its burden under the first prong of R.C.
2945.39(A)(2)). The state’s assertion that counsel invited the error is misplaced.
IV. What is the appropriate remedy?
When a trial court partially or completely fails to follow the procedural
and jurisdictional mandates of R.C. 2945.39(A)(2), what remedy is afforded to a
According to the state, this court should remand the case to the trial
court to hold a proper hearing and make the necessary findings. The state contends
that when a judge makes a procedural error, but the record is clear the parties
understand the court’s intention of achieving a certain result, reviewing courts can
remand the case to the trial court to fix the error. In support, the state cites to cases
where the trial court failed to make the statutory findings prior to imposing
consecutive sentences, or when the trial court failed to properly advise a defendant
of postrelease control. In each of these instances, reviewing courts, including this
court, have remanded the matter to the trial court to make the findings, if supported
by law and the record. See State v. Matthews, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 102217, 2015-
Ohio-4072 (remand for consecutive sentence findings); State v. Almashni, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 101475, 2015-Ohio-606 (remand for imposition of postrelease
control). However, in each of these instances, statutory authority exists permitting
either error-correction by the trial court or authorizing a reviewing court to remand
the matter for the trial court to make the statutory findings. See R.C. 2953.08(G)
(authorizing the appellate court to remand the case to the sentencing court to make
the requisite findings or for resentencing); R.C. 2929.191 (sets forth the procedures
for which the trial court can correct errors in its notification of postrelease control).
No such statutory authority exists under R.C. 2945.39, and our search of instructive
case law yields no results.
According to Jackson, the statute requires dismissal of the indictment.
In support, he cites to this court’s decision in State v. Wright, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga
No. 108343, 2020-Ohio-1271. In Wright, the trial court conducted a hearing
pursuant to R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) in which the state presented testimonial and
documentary evidence that the defendant committed the charged offenses. The trial
court found that clear and convincing evidence existed that Wright committed the
charged offenses, thus satisfying the statutory requirement of R.C.
2945.39(A)(2)(a). This court disagreed, and found that the evidence presented did
not meet the clear and convincing threshold that Wright committed the crimes.
Accordingly, this court concluded that it was appropriate to dismiss the indictment
against Wright because both of the R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) findings were not satisfied.
Id. at ¶ 21. In this case, the state presented no evidence at the hearing.
Additionally, the trial court did not evaluate any evidence on its own and did not
make any finding regarding R.C. 2945.39(A)(2)(a). Therefore, unlike the Wright
decision, which was based on the merits of the trial court’s decision, we are
presented with a trial court’s procedural or jurisdictional error. Accordingly, Wright
is distinguishable. We agree with Jackson, however, that R.C. 2945.39 mandates
“R.C. 2945.39 is a civil statute,” and therefore, “a person committed
under the statute need not be afforded the constitutional rights afforded to a
defendant in a criminal prosecution.” Williams at ¶ 37. Nevertheless,“[a] civil
commitment for any purpose is a significant deprivation of liberty and due-process
protections must be afforded to a person facing involuntary commitment.” Id. at
¶ 54, citing Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418, 425, 99 S.Ct. 1804, 60 L.Ed.2d 323
(1979). And although “the right to be free from physical restraint is not absolute,”
the confinement must occur “‘pursuant to proper procedures and evidentiary
standards.’” Williams at id., quoting Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346, 356-357,
117 S.Ct. 2072, 138 L.Ed.2d 501 (1997).
In this case, Jackson’s commitment was not based on proper
procedures and evidentiary standards. The trial court did not hold a proper hearing
pursuant to R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) to retain jurisdiction over him. And even if this
court construed the brief “competency hearing” held on November 2, 2018, as the
type of hearing contemplated in R.C. 2945.39(A)(2), the state failed to present any evidence for the court to consider, and the court failed to make any findings, let
alone any findings by “clear and convincing evidence.” It is undisputed that the trial
court failed to make the R.C. 2945.39(A)(2)(a) finding that Jackson committed the
offenses charged. Although the trial court verbally made an arguable R.C.
2945.39(A)(2)(b) finding on the record based on Dr. Hatters Friedman’s report and
stipulation by the parties that Jackson “is mentally ill subject to court[-]ordered civil
commitment,” it did not state it was doing so by clear and convincing evidence. But
more importantly, this finding was not journalized.
It is well settled that a court speaks only through its journal. State v.
Henderson, 161 Ohio St.3d 285, 2020-Ohio-4784, 162 N.E.3d 776, ¶ 39, citing State
v. Hampton, 134 Ohio St.3d 447, 2012-Ohio-5688, 983 N.E.2d 324, ¶ 15. In its
entire November 8, 2018 journal entry and subsequent nunc pro tunc entry, the
court made no independent findings as is required under R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) — the
court only noted Dr. Hatters Friedman’s opinions regarding Jackson’s mental status
and treatment. As the Tenth District stated, “‘[a] civil commitment for any purpose
is a significant deprivation of liberty,’” and “[d]ue to the importance of the interest
at stake, a trial court must articulate its [R.C. 2945.39] findings with clarity and
specificity.” State v. Ellison, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 17AP-328, 2018-Ohio-1835,
¶ 16, quoting Williams at ¶ 54. Here, the trial court’s judgment entry of civil
commitment contains no statutory findings as mandated under R.C. 2945.39(A)(2)
for the trial court to retain jurisdiction over Jackson. The trial court’s requirement to make the statutory findings under
R.C. 2945.39 is procedural, but more importantly, jurisdictional. In order for a trial
court to retain jurisdiction over Jackson, the court is statutorily required to make
two findings after a hearing, both by clear and convincing evidence — (1) that the
defendant committed the charged offenses, and (2) that the defendant is a mentally
ill person subject to hospitalization by court order. When a trial court fails to make
these findings, it is statutorily required to dismiss the indictment. See R.C.
2945.39(C). Accordingly, the General Assembly clearly stated that the procedures
in R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) — a hearing, the relevant evidentiary standard, and
mandatory findings — are prerequisites for a trial court to retain jurisdiction over a
defendant. When the General Assembly expressly states that particular statutory
requirements are jurisdictional, the trial court’s error in failing to follow those
requirements, renders the order void. See Smith v. May, 159 Ohio St.3d 106, 2020-
Ohio-61, 148 N.E.3d 542, ¶ 21-23, citing State v. Wilson, 73 Ohio St.3d 40, 44, 652
N.E.2d 196 (1995) (the legislature determines a trial court’s subject-matter
In Wilson, the Ohio Supreme Court considered whether the failure to
follow proper bindover procedures rendered the judgment of conviction by the
general division of the court of common pleas void. The case involved the state
prosecuting a juvenile in adult court under the mistaken belief that he was an adult
when he committed the offense. Not only was Wilson a juvenile when he committed
the offense, he was never bound over from juvenile court. In finding that the adult court lacked jurisdiction and that Wilson’s conviction was therefore void, the
Supreme Court held that “[a]bsent a proper bindover * * *, the juvenile court has
exclusive subject matter jurisdiction over any case concerning a child who is alleged
to be a delinquent.” Wilson at paragraph one of the syllabus. In finding Wilson’s
conviction void, the Supreme Court focused on the express statutory language that
specifically compelled its result — “any prosecution that is had in a criminal court
on the mistaken belief that the child was eighteen years of age or older at the time of
the commission of the offense shall be deemed a nullity.” See former R.C.
2151.26(E), now R.C. 2152.12(H). Accordingly, the General Assembly’s express
language required the Wilson Court to declare the conviction void.
The Ohio Supreme Court has consistently held that the focus should
be on the statutory text and “whether the legislature has ‘clearly state[d]’ that a
particular statutory requirement is jurisdictional.” Smith at ¶ 24, citing Arbaugh v.
Y & H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 515-516, 126 S.Ct. 1235, 163 L.Ed.2d 1097 (2006); Pryor
v. Dir., Dept. of Job & Family Servs., 148 Ohio St.3d 1, 2016-Ohio-2907, 68 N.E.3d
729, ¶ 14, 16 (General Assembly provided timely filing of a notice of appeal is the
only jurisdictional requirement for perfecting an appeal); Nucorp, Inc. v.
Montgomery Cty. Bd of Revision, 64 Ohio St.2d 20, 22, 412 N.E.2d 947 (1980)
(declining to “find or enforce jurisdictional barriers not clearly statutorily or
In this case, the General Assembly clearly stated that the procedures
in R.C. 2945.39(A)(2) are jurisdictional — i.e., a court may only retain jurisdiction over a defendant if it conducts a hearing and makes both findings by clear and
convincing evidence. According to the plain language of R.C. 2945.39(C) — “if the
court does not make both findings described in divisions (A)(2)(a) and (b) of this
section by clear and convincing evidence, the court shall dismiss the indictment,
information, or complaint against the defendant.” Accordingly, the General
Assembly compels dismissal when a court fails to follow the statutory procedures; it
has not authorized any other remedy or result. Because the trial court failed to make
the statutory findings to retain jurisdiction over Jackson, it abused its discretion in
denying Jackson’s motion to dismiss. Jackson’s assignment of error is sustained.
Outcome: Judgment reversed and case remanded for the trial court to enter a
judgment dismissing the indictment against Jackson.