The State ex rel. Woods, Appellant,
Dinkelacker, Judge, Appellee.
Submitted September 26, 2017
from the Court of Appeals for Hamilton County, No. C-170098.
Jeffery Woods, pro se.
T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Scott M.
Heenan, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.
1} Appellant, Jeffery Woods, a.k.a. Jeffrey Woods,
appeals the judgment of the First District Court of Appeals
dismissing his petition for a writ of mandamus. For the
reasons below, we affirm.
2} In 1986, Woods was convicted of rape, attempted
rape, aggravated robbery, and robbery and sentenced to
concurrent prison terms. Woods appealed, and the First
District Court of Appeals affirmed. State v. Woods, 1st
Dist. Hamilton Nos. C-860576 and C-870179, 1987 WL 12463
(June 10, 1987).
3} According to his mandamus petition, in 2014,
Woods filed a motion in the trial court, seeking to correct
his 1986 sentencing entry. He argued that the entry was void
because the trial judge had not signed it. The trial court
overruled the motion, and the court of appeals affirmed. In
its decision, the court of appeals held that "the 
judgments satisfied the requirements for a 'judgment of
conviction' then set forth in Crim.R. 32(B) (now, Crim.R.
32(C))." State v. Woods, 1st Dist. Hamilton
C-140606 (Aug. 12, 2015).
4} In March 2017, Woods filed a petition for a writ
of mandamus in the First District Court of Appeals. He sought
an order compelling the trial court to issue a final,
appealable order for his 1986 convictions and sentence. Woods
again argued that the 1986 judgment entry was unsigned and
5} Judge Dinkelacker filed a motion to dismiss,
which the court of appeals granted. According to the court of
appeals, the trial court's 1986 judgment was a final
judgment. Woods's appeal from the judgment granting the
motion to dismiss is before us.
6} A judgment entry is not "a final order
subject to appeal under R.C. 2505.02" unless it includes
"the judge's signature." State v.
Lester, 130 Ohio St.3d 303, 2011-Ohio-5204, 958 N.E.2d
142, ¶ 14; see also Crim.R. 32(C). Woods points
to the blank signature line on an uncertified copy of his
1986 judgment entry that he attached to his memorandum
opposing the motion to dismiss his petition as proof that the
judge did not sign the entry.
7} But even accepting as true Woods's assertion
that the entry was unsigned, res judicata bars him from
raising his claim that the entry did not comply with Crim.R.
32. See State ex rel. Newell v. Gaul, 135 Ohio St.3d
187, 2013-Ohio-68, 985 N.E.2d 463, ¶ 2. In his petition,
Woods acknowledges that he unsuccessfully raised the same
argument in a 2014 motion to correct his sentence. See