[Cite as Myers v. Noble Correctional Inst., 2003-Ohio-6424.]
IN THE COURT OF CLAIMS OF OHIO
MARK A. MYERS
NOBLE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION :
CASE NO. 2003-06166-AD
FINDINGS OF FACT
Plaintiff, Mark A. Myers, an inmate at defendant, Noble Correctional
Institution, alleges on December 26, 2002, his locker box was broken into and several
items of personal property were stolen.
Defendant conducted prompt, but fruitless investigation after being
informed of the theft.
Plaintiff has filed this complaint seeking to recover $225.92, the
estimated value of his personal property, which he asserts was stolen as a direct result of
defendant’s negligence in failing to provide adequate protection. Plaintiff also seeks
recovery of the $25.00 filing fee.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The mere fact a theft occurred is insufficient to show defendant’s
negligence. Williams v. Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (1985), 83-07091-AD; Custom
v. Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (1985), 84-02425. Plaintiff must show defendant
breached a duty of ordinary or reasonable care. Williams, supra.
Defendant is not responsible for the actions of other inmates unless an
agency relationship is shown or it is shown that defendant was negligent. Walker v.
Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (1978), 78-0217-AD.
The fact defendant supplied plaintiff with a locker box and lock to
secure valuables constitutes prima facie evidence of defendant discharging its duty of
reasonable care. Watson v. Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (1987), 8602635-AD.
This court in Mullett v. Department of Correction (1976), 76-0292-AD,
held that the defendant does not have the liability of an insurer (i.e., is not liable without
fault) with respect to inmate property, but that it does have the duty to make “reasonable
attempts to protect, or recover” such property.
Plaintiff has failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, he
suffered any loss as a result of a negligent act or omission on the part of defendant.
Consequently, plaintiff’s case is denied.
Having considered all the evidence in the claim file and, for the reasons set
forth in the memorandum decision filed concurrently herewith, judgment is rendered in
favor of defendant. Court costs are assessed against plaintiff. The clerk shall serve upon
all parties notice of this judgment and its date of entry upon the journal.
DANIEL R. BORCHERT
Mark A. Myers, #435-419
15708 St. Rt. 78 W.
Caldwell, Ohio 43724
Gregory C. Trout, Chief Counsel
Department of Rehabilitation
1050 Freeway Drive North
Columbus, Ohio 43229
Plaintiff, Pro se
Sent to S.C. reporter 12/2/03