On Friday, May 3, 2024, Dennis Swift, Jr. filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Supreme Court of Ohio against Judge John Miraldi of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas.

According to the filing, Swift is currently incarcerated at the Mansfield Correctional Institution. He asserts that in 2003 he was convicted of felonious assault, attempted robbery, and breaking and entering in Lorain County Case No. 03CR062110. However, the sentencing entry from that case did not include all the necessary information to properly impose post-release control. Neither Swift nor the state appealed this issue at the time.

Swift alleges that in 2015 he was convicted of new charges in Lorain County Case No. 2015CR092183. At that time, Judge Miraldi terminated Swift’s post-release control from the 2003 case and imposed a 686-day prison sentence to be served consecutive to the new sentence. However, Swift argues the judge did not have jurisdiction to do so because the original 2003 sentencing entry was invalid regarding post-release control.

In his petition, Swift maintains that once an offender has completed their prison term for an offense, the trial court loses jurisdiction over post-release control for that case. He cites prior Ohio Supreme Court rulings that have established offenders have a legitimate expectation of finality in their sentences once fully served. Therefore, Swift claims Judge Miraldi lacked authority to terminate his post-release control and resentence him since the 2003 sentencing entry was invalid.

Swift is seeking a writ of mandamus to compel Judge Miraldi to vacate the imposed 686-day sentence. He asserts he has established a clear legal right to the requested relief as well as a clear legal duty on the part of Judge Miraldi to provide that relief since the judge acted without proper jurisdiction. According to Swift, no appeal can be taken from a void judgment, so this writ is his only adequate remedy.

Judge Miraldi‘s courtroom is located at 225 Court St., Elyria, OH 44035, and can be reached at (440) 329-5560.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.