Published December 20, 2006
The Seventh District Court of Appeals had granted a writ of prohibition
preventing Judge Kobly from holding a contempt hearing to determine if
the Sheriff should be held in contempt for releasing a prisoner who she
had sentenced to jail along with an order to the Sheriff not to release
him early. (Seventh Dis.Ct. of Appeals Judge MaryDeGenaro *correctly* dissented on this)The county prosecutor's office argued that Section 341.02 of
the Ohio Revised Code, which permits the Sheriff to prepare operational
policies and procedures for the jail which go into effect if approved by
the common pleas judges, gave the common pleas judges the authority to
issue the "emergency release mechanism" and divest Judge Kobly of her
authority to require her sentence be carried out.
The Ohio Supreme Court
found that Section 341.02 did not authorize the common pleas judges to
order the release of prisoners. They also found that the Sheriff has no
authority to release prisoners due to overcrowding and under staffing.
They found that Section 341.12 of the Ohio Revised Code, which requires
that the Sheriff transport prisoners to another facility if his jail is
overstaffed or overcrowded, would prevail if a conflict existed between
it and Section 341.02 because of its greater specificity. The common
pleas judges, therefore, have no ability to divest Judge Kobly of her
authority under the Ohio Revised Code to sentence prisoners and to hold
contempt hearings to enforce her sentencing orders. The Ohio Supreme
Court reversed the court of appeals and removed the writ of prohibition.
I admire the intelligence,correctness and courage of Judges E/Liz Kobly and Mary DeGenaro !!!