On Friday, May 24, 2024, Johnnita Ford filed a writ of mandamus with the Supreme Court of Ohio against Judges Eileen A. Gallagher and Eileen T. Gallagher of the Eighth District Court of Appeals.

Ford has been appealing a forcible entry and detainer case in the Shaker Heights Municipal Court regarding her premises. In her writ, Ford alleges that the judges improperly denied her motion to stay the eviction order while her appeal was pending. Ford claims she was entitled to a stay under both the appellate rules and Ohio Revised Code. Without a stay, Ford argues her right to appeal will be rendered moot because she will be removed from the property.

According to the complaint, Ford was first notified of the municipal court’s ruling on April 25, ordering her to vacate the premises by April 29. She immediately filed objections and a motion to stay in both the lower court and the court of appeals. The Eighth District remanded the case back to the trial court, which overruled Ford’s objections and denied her request for a stay. Ford then filed another motion for a stay in the appellate court on May 17.

Two days later, the judges summarily denied Ford’s motion without explanation. In the writ, Ford argues the judges had a mandatory duty under the law to grant the stay as long as she agreed to pay accruing rent into escrow each month pending appeal. Ford claims denying the stay improperly deprived her of her due process right to appeal. She is asking the Supreme Court to issue a writ ordering the judges to grant the stay subject to her payment of monthly rent into the court.

Ford argues that without Supreme Court intervention, she will lose both her home and right to appeal. The Supreme Court will now review the writ and decide whether the Eighth District judges abused their discretion in denying Ford’s request for a stay of the eviction order.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.