On Monday, December 4, 2023, Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Tammy O’Brien was named in a writ of habeas corpus filed in the Supreme Court of Ohio. The writ was filed by J.C. Sanders, who is currently being held in the Summit County Jail.
Sanders claims in the writ that Judge O’Brien, along with the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, are illegally restraining his liberty. Sanders states that he has not received proper notices or proceedings in his criminal case before Judge O’Brien. His criminal case was allegedly terminated in June 2023 but was transferred to Judge O’Brien in July without being reinstated.
Sanders further alleges that Judge O’Brien revoked his bond in September in retaliation for Sanders asserting his constitutional rights in the case where he is representing himself. Sanders says the bond revocation and his current detention are preventing him from preparing an adequate defense and filing appeals. He maintains that he is not a flight risk.
The writ filing details prior habeas attempts by Sanders in the Ninth District Court of Appeals in September and October that were denied or dismissed. It lists several civil rights lawsuits Sanders has filed in federal court against Judge O’Brien, prosecutors, and the Summit County Sheriff’s Department regarding the criminal case and incidents of assault.
Sanders is requesting immediate release and claims the judge and prosecutors have violated his due process, liberty, and civil rights. He asks the Ohio Supreme Court to compel Judge O’Brien to prove the lawful cause for his ongoing detention. If granted, the writ could result in Sanders’ release from custody as he awaits trial.
Judge Tammy O’Brien has served on the Summit County Court of Common Pleas since her appointment in 2011. She was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2014 and 2020. She presided as the administrative judge from 2014 to 2015. Judge O’Brien also oversees a specialized Re-Entry docket and is a member of the Summit County Re-Entry Network Steering Committee.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.