On Thursday, November 14, 2023, an inmate incarcerated at the Marion Correctional Institution filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court seeking to overturn a decision by a Marion County judge assessing court costs against him.

Prince Charles Cotten Sr. lost his appeal of a ruling by Marion County Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew P. Frericks dismissing his habeas corpus petition last year. Judge Frericks ordered Cotten to pay court costs associated with the petition.

Cotten then filed a motion with Judge Frericks’ court asking the judge to vacate the costs. But Judge Frericks denied that motion. Cotten appealed Judge Frericks’ ruling to the Third District Court of Appeals.

On October 4, 2023, the panel of the Third District affirmed Judge Frericks’ decision. The court said Cotten could have appealed the initial dismissal but failed to do so, preventing a “collateral attack” on the judgment through a mandamus appeal.

On November 14, Cotten filed a notice of appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Third District’s ruling upholding Judge Frericks’ assessment of court costs against him. As a pro se litigant, Cotten filed the notice himself without an attorney. In his filing, Cotten argued the Third District case raises a substantial constitutional question.

Judge Frericks‘ courtroom is located at 100 N. Main Street Marion, OH 43302, and can be reached at 740-223-4210.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.