Third District Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of 2-1401 Petition on Jurisdictional Grounds Only

In this case, the defendant lost at trial, on appeal, and at post-conviction. He then went ahead from prison and mailed through regular mail a 2-1401 petition.

The State filed a special limited appearance and filed a motion to dismiss on both jurisdiction and the merits. The judge held a hearing with the State and without the incarcerated defendant and granted the State’s motion on both grounds.

The appellate court agreed that there was no jurisdiction because there was a lack of proper service on the State as governed by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 105 but also noted that the analysis there should have stopped. Since there’s no jurisdiction, it’s improper to rule on the merits.

The judgment was affirmed, as modified.

The case is People v. Paul Smith.

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