RULES OF COURT
COURT OF COMMON
, GENERAL DIVISION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
RULE 1 – Terms and Sessions of the Court
RULE 2 – Filing, Removal, Service of Process, and Records Retention
by the Clerk
RULE 3 – Facsimile Filings
RULE 4 – Electronic/Internet Filings
RULE 5 – Security for Costs
RULE 6 – Presiding and Administrative Judge
RULE 7 – The Assignment System
RULE 8 – Notice
RULE 9 – Time Limitations
RULE 10 – Civil Case Management Procedure
RULE 11 – Trial Witnesses
RULE 12 – Trial Continuances
RULE 13 – Alternative Dispute Resolution
RULE 14 – Arbitration
RULE 15 – Mediation
RULE 16 – Foreclosure, Quiet Title, and Partition of
RULE 17 – Sheriff’s Sale
RULE 18 – Jury Commissioner System
RULES OF COURT
COURT OF COMMON
The General Division of the
adopts the following rules for the conduct, government and management of business
operations, court proceedings, and other functions and services of the Court. These
rules govern the procedure in the
Common Pleas Court
, General Division, and supersede all previous rules promulgated by the General
Division. These rules do not govern the procedure in the Probate, Juvenile, and Domestic Relations Divisions.
These rules shall supplement and complement the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, the
Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of
Ohio, the Ohio Revised Code and any other applicable authority.
These rules are effective
January 31, 2007
TERMS AND SESSIONS OF THE COURT
I. Terms of Court
The Court shall be in continuous sessions for the transaction
of judicial business, but each calendar year shall be divided
into four (4) terms, designated as the January, April, July and
October terms of Court.
Responsibility During Term of Court
The Judge assigned to each term of Court shall supervise the grand jury. The assignment shall be rotated among the several judges
of the General Division in the order of their seniority upon the
bench. The grand jury Judge shall handle criminal
matters that may arise in individual cases prior to
indictment and arraignment,
including setting of bonds, extraditions and habeas corpus actions pertaining to
extraditions. The grand jury Judge
shall be responsible for handling arraignments, judgment lien executions, and miscellaneous
docket cases filed during the Judge’s term.
Hours of Session
The hours for the regular sessions of the Court shall be from
, Monday through
Friday of each week, except for those days designated by law as
legal holidays. Each Judge may establish earlier opening or later
closing times to handle civil pre-trials or motions and may extend
the closing hour during trials when deemed necessary.
Back to top
FILING, REMOVAL, SERVICE OF PROCESS, AND RECORDS RETENTION BY THE CLERK
A. Duties of Clerk
In accordance with these rules the Clerk of Courts shall file and maintain all documents
delivered to the Clerk’s Office. The
Clerk is instructed to refuse to accept for filing any document or case that does
not conform to these rules.
B. Filing Requirement
All pleadings, motions, brief and other similar documents that are filed with the
Clerk shall meet the following requirements:
1. Be typewritten or legibly printed on 8 ½ x 11 paper, securely bound
and without backing;
2. Contain a blank
space of at least 2 ½ inches at the top of the first page for endorsements;
3. Contain a short title indicating the nature
of the document (complaint, answer, motion, brief, etc.);
4. Be signed by
the attorney of record or party when not represented by counsel;
5. Include the
attorney registration number, if applicable, along with the address, telephone,
fax, and email of the individual filing the document.
Every complaint shall be accompanied by a case designation sheet which may be obtained
from the Clerk of Courts. In addition,
the complaint shall include the name and address,
if known, of each party.
D. Subsequent Documents
All pleadings, motions, briefs, and documents subsequent to the complaint shall
include the following:
1. The name of the first party plaintiff and
the first party defendant;
2. The name of
the Judge to whom the case
3. The case number.
E. Discovery Papers
The Clerk of Courts shall not accept for filing depositions, transcripts, interrogatories,
requests for documents, requests for admissions, answers and responses
they are accompanied by a certification that said documents are being filed on order
of the Court, or for use as evidence in a motion or proceeding.
II. REMOVAL, EXAMINATION,
No person except a Judge, or a member of a Judge’s staff
shall remove any documents
or case files from the custody of the Clerk. Originals of papers or pleadings in
this Court shall not be taken from the courthouse, except upon order of the Court.
Upon request, the Clerk of Courts shall allow any person to examine, but not remove,
any original document or case file that is maintained by its office.
Examination shall be allowed during regular business hours.
Upon request and the payment of a photocopy fee, the Clerk shall provide copies
of any original document, excluding transcripts, maintained by its office. Copies
shall be provided during regular business hours within a reasonable period of time
as determined by the Clerk of Courts. A reasonable period of time shall be based
upon the extent of the request with efforts toward a 24-hour response time.
III. SERVICE OF PROCESS
AND ELECTRONIC TRACKING OF CERTIFIED MAIL
The Clerk may utilize service of process methods as outlined in Civil Rule 4.1,
which methods shall include “virtual” service of process utilizing advanced postal
technology for service by certified mail, including but not limited to, certified
electronic return receipt technology.
This advanced postal technology does not modify Civil Rule 4.1(1) Service by Certified
Mail, but merely provides for advanced electronic and website technology in the
sending of certified mail and receipt of confirmation utilizing the Court’s website
to show to whom the mail was delivered, the date of delivery and address where delivered,
all in accordance with the Civil Rules currently in existence.
All service of process of complaints or other documents served with virtual service
of process are subject to review and/or challenge as further outlined in Civil Rule
4.1, with confirmation of service of process being made available through the Clerk
of Court’s office.
IV. EXHIBIT, DEPOSITION,
AND RECORD RETENTION
Exhibits and Depositions
Exhibits and Depositions in the custody of the Clerk of Courts and/or the Official
Court Reporter may be returned to the offering party after the expiration of the
appeal process. Upon notification, the offering party and/or counsel of record may obtain their exhibits and depositions
Lorain County Justice Center
. If exhibits and depositions are not
sixty days of notification they may be destroyed.
Records in the custody of the Clerk of Courts and/or the Official Court Reporter
may be destroyed after notice and in accordance with Ohio Revised Code.
Back to top
I. In General
This rule has been instituted solely for
the convenience of those filing documents with the Clerk of Courts.
Neither the Clerk of Courts nor the Court assumes any new or additional responsibilities,
obligations, or liabilities by virtue of this rule.
This rule pertains only to the method of filing; it does not override, alter,
amend, revoke or otherwise change any Local Rule or Ohio Rule of Civil or Criminal
filings not accepted
Except for the following documents, this rule authorizes the filing of facsimile
transmissions of pleadings, motions, and other documents that may otherwise be filed
with the Clerk of Courts.
of an Action
Any filing commencing an action (e.g., a complaint, a third party complaint, a post-decree
motion, a motion for injunctive relief) for which the Clerk of Courts must collect an initial case deposit against costs or a specific filing fee and/or for which
the Clerk of Courts is required to effectuate service or summons;
B. Journal Entry
Any entry which must be signed by a Judge.
Any faxed document must include a cover page containing the following information:
Caption of the case;
Description of the
documents being filed;
Date of Transmission;
and contract number; and
Number of pages,
If the cover page does not contain all required
information, the faxed documents shall not be entered on the docket and shall be
considered a nullity. The Clerk of
Courts is not required to send any form of notice to the sender of a failed fax
IV. FACSIMILE MACHINE
The facsimile machine available for receiving fax filing for Common Pleas
Civil Cases is (440) 328-2416
and for Criminal Cases is
(440) 329-5404. These lines
are available twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.
Fax filings may not be sent directly to the Court for filing but
may only be transmitted through the Clerk of Courts.
Transmissions sent to any other location are neither covered by nor permitted
under this rule. However, copies of
properly filed with the Clerk of Courts, such as courtesy copies
for the Court, may with Court approval be sent by facsimile directly to the Court. Facsimiles sent direct to the Court
shall not be considered as having been filed thereby.
V. DOCUMENT RESTRICTIONS
A fax transmission may contain more than one document but may not apply to more
than one case number per transmission.
Motions and other filings making reference to or incorporating other documents attached
to the motion or other filing as an exhibit thereof shall be considered as part
of a single file. If exhibits are impossible
or burdensome to send by facsimile the original exhibits may be separately filed
if done so within forty-eight hours of the related transmission.
If the exhibits are filed separately, then an insert page describing the
exhibit must be included in the facsimile transmission.
Facsimile transmissions must comply with the filing requirements under Local
Rule 2 and may not exceed twenty pages regardless of the number of documents being
VI. DATE AND TIME
Subject to the other provisions of the rule, all documents filed by fax shall be
considered filed with the Clerk of Courts as of the date and time that the fax transmission
has been received by the Clerk of Courts.
For purposes of this provision and for entering such filings into the docket
system, a facsimile filing shall be deemed to have been received by the Clerk of Courts
as of the date and time printed at the top of each page of the incoming fax as printed
out by the Clerk of Courts’ facsimile equipment.
There shall be no other date and time stamp required for the filing of a
fax document with the Clerk of Courts.
The risks of transmitting a document by fax to the Clerk of Courts shall be borne
entirely by the sender.
VII. ORIGINAL FILING
A document filed by fax shall be accepted as the original filing provided all the
requirements set forth in this rule are satisfied.
The source document shall not be filed with the Clerk of Courts.
However, until the case is closed and all opportunities for post-judgment
relief are exhausted, any source documents filed via facsimile shall be retained
and available for production at the Court’s request.
Facsimile filings shall contain a signature or a /s/ notation followed by the name
of the person signing the source document.
VIII. ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION
The Clerk of Courts is hereby authorized to
reject and will not docket any facsimile transmission which fails to comply with
Back to top
(To Be Established)
Back to top
SECURITY FOR COSTS
I. In General
civil action or proceeding shall be accepted by the Clerk of Courts
for filing unless the party or parties offering same for filing
shall have first deposited a sum to secure the payment of costs
that may accrue in such action or proceedings, except as otherwise provided by law.
Such advance deposit shall be in accordance with the schedule approved by the Court
and prepared and published
by the Clerk of Courts. The
Court may also order the deposit of additional funds depending on the nature of
the case. All costs associated with
the case may be deducted from the security deposit regardless of which party is
ordered to pay the costs.
Cases Transferred from Municipal Court
On cases transferred to the
in which the demand of the cross-claim or counter-claim exceeds
the monetary jurisdiction of the Municipal Court, the cross-claimant
and counter-claimant shall post security for costs in a sum equal
to the amount required if the case were originally filed in this Court.
In cases with
multiple parties, the Clerk of Courts may require the party requesting
service to advance an amount estimated by the Clerk to be sufficient
to cover the costs thereof.
Bond in Lieu of
In lieu of case deposit, costs may be secured by bond with surety
approved by the Clerk, provided, however, that no member of the
Bar shall be accepted as such surety.
A poverty affidavit filed in lieu of a cash deposit must state
the reasons for the inability to prepay costs and is subject to Court review at any stage of the proceedings.
Back to top
PRESIDING AND ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE
Judicial administration of the General Division shall be in accordance with the
Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio.
Back to top
THE ASSIGNMENT SYSTEM
I. In General
Except as otherwise provided, all cases shall be assigned to a Judge by a random
computer selection process. Civil cases
shall be assigned at the time and in the order of filing or transfer from another
Court. Criminal cases shall be assigned
following preparation of the arraignment list by the Clerk of Courts.
Secret indictments shall be assigned following service upon the Defendant.
Civil Refiling and Consolidation
A. Refiling – Civil
When a previously dismissed case is refiled, the attorney or party shall so indicate
on the case designation sheet, whereupon the Clerk of Courts shall assign the refiled
case to the Judge assigned at the time of the original dismissal.
Any case filed beyond the guidelines established by Civil Rule 41 is a new
action not subject to this rule.
When actions involving a common
question of law or fact have been filed as separate cases, a motion
for consolidation shall be filed with the Court to whom the lowest
case number has been assigned. If the
motion is granted, the cases shall be consolidated
and go forward under the lowest case number.
Criminal Companion and Capital Cases
When a Defendant has a pending case, any new case shall be assigned to the judge
with the pending case.
When cases involving multiple Defendants are related, all cases shall be assigned
to the Judge with the lowest pending case number.
C. Dismissal and
When an individual is indicted for offenses that were pending in a case that was
previously dismissed, the new case shall be assigned to the Judge who was presiding
over the original
All capital cases shall be assigned randomly through a process where each Judge,
after receiving an assignment, is excluded from the assignment pool until all Judges
have received a capital case.
Any cases requiring reassignment shall be referred to the Administrative Judge along
with reason for reassignment. When
merited, the Administrative Judge will reassign the case.
The Judge receiving the reassigned case may transfer a case of similar import
to the Judge requesting reassignment.
Back to top
In general notification of the assignment of a case for any purpose shall be by
ordinary mail. In the event mail delivery
would be untimely because of a scheduling adjustment, telephone, fax or electronic
communication may be utilized.
Back to top
time allowed or permitted for the performance of any act shall be as established
by the Ohio Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure, the Rules of Superintendence,
or as otherwise established by order of the Court.
Any request for an extension shall be in writing and state the number of prior extensions granted.
Back to top
CIVIL CASE MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE
The purpose of this rule is to ensure the efficient and comprehensive management
of civil cases.
I. Case Management Conference
Within ninety days of the filing of responsive pleadings, the case shall be set
by the Court for a case management conference.
Except as otherwise ordered by the Court, the parties’ attendance is not
Notice of the case management conference shall be mailed to all counsel of record
at least fourteen days prior to the conference.
1. The case management
conference shall be conducted in person, or by telephone
with prior Court approval. All counsel
attending shall have full authority to enter into a binding case management order. Failure of counsel to appear will result
in counsel’s forfeiting
the right to have any input into the scheduling order.
2. Counsel shall
consult with their client(s) and opposing counsel in advance of the
case management conference and be prepared to confer practically and earnestly on
all matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.
The following matters will be considered at the case management conference:
a. The possibility
of settlement of the action or referral to ADR;
b. The necessity
of amendments to the pleadings;
of expenses and special damages;
d. Deadlines for
the exchange of expert reports, completion of discovery,
and filing of motions;
e. Dates for further
pretrial conference and trial.
Failure of counsel to be fully prepared for
the case management conference may result in sanctions.
The purpose of this Conference is to effect an amicable settlement, if possible,
and to narrow factual and legal issues by stipulation or motions.
B. Final Pre-trial
All counsel shall cooperate with Plaintiff’s counsel who shall file a
joint statement at least one day before the final pre-trial, setting forth
1. Statement of
agreed facts and issues, with disputed facts and issues of law noted;
2. Jury instructions
including a list of non-OJI contemplated by any party;
demand and Defendant’s offer;
4. List of expert
and non-expert witnesses;
5. Legal or evidentiary
6. Estimated length of trial;
7. Each party’s
anticipated pre-trial motions;
8. Equipment needs
Failure of any party to cooperate in the joint statement may result in sanctions.
All parties and chosen representatives must be present, or in exceptional circumstances
with prior Court
approval, be available by telephone, with full settlement authority. If the real party
in interest is an insurance company, corporation,
or other artificial entity, then the chosen representative
must have full authority to negotiate the claim to the full extent
Back to top
I. Expert Witnesses
Each counsel shall exchange with all other counsel written reports of medical and
expert witnesses expected to testify in advance of the trial.
The parties shall submit expert reports in accord with the time
schedule established at the case management conference.
with the burden of proof as to a particular issue shall be required
to first submit expert reports as to that issue.
responding party shall submit opposing expert reports within the
schedule established by the Court.
Upon good cause shown, the Court may grant the parties additional time within which
to submit expert reports. All experts must submit reports, including any party who will testify as an expert.
A party may not call an expert witness
to testify unless a written report has been procured from the
witness and provided to opposing counsel in accordance the schedule
established by the Court. It is counsel’s
responsibility to ensure that each report adequately sets forth the expert’s opinion,
including if necessary the procurement of supplemental reports.
The report of an expert must reflect his opinions as
to each issue on which the expert will testify. An expert
will not be permitted to testify or provide opinions on issues not raised in his
C. Discovery Depositions
A party may take a discovery deposition of their opponent’s medical or expert witness only after the mutual
exchange of reports has occurred.
Upon good cause shown, additional time after submission of both sides’ expert
reports will be provided for these discovery depositions.
party chooses not to hire an expert in opposition to an issue,
that party will be permitted to take the discovery deposition
of the proponent’s expert. In this situation, the taking
of a discovery deposition of the proponent’s expert constitutes
a waiver of the right on the part of the opponent to call an expert
at trial on the issues raised in the proponent’s
All parties are required to submit a trial witness list, including
the full name and address of all witnesses expected to testify
at the trial on their behalf, no later than fourteen days prior to the final pre-trial.
Thereafter, upon a showing of good
cause, the opposing party may take the discovery deposition of
any witness contained on the opposing trial witness list who has
not been previously deposed during the normal discovery period.
This extension of discovery cutoff is specifically restricted
to depositions not previously taken of individuals listed on the opponent’s trial witness list.
Back to top
Continuances of civil and criminal cases shall be in accordance with Rule 41 of
Super-intendence for the Courts of Ohio.
Failure to Proceed
If a party or counsel seeking affirmative relief fails to appear or is not ready
to proceed with trial, the Court may in its discretion dismiss
the claim for want of prosecution. With respect to the
Defendant or their counsel, the Court may proceed with the case and determine all
matters ex parte.
Settlement or Dismissal Prior to Trial
If a case set for trial is settled or dismissed, the trial counsel shall immediately
notify the Court. Failure to timely
provide notice may result in the imposition of additional costs.
Back to top
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
The Court recognizes these ADR methods: mediation, arbitration. The Court may approve any other ADR method the parties suggest or the Court believes is suited to the
litigation. All ADR methods are important. Parties and counsel are expected to meaningfully
participate. Failure to comply with
the rules will result in appropriate sanctions, including the possibility of dismissal,
default or waiver of the right to file an appeal de novo.
Mediation is a non-binding process involving a neutral mediator who acts
as a facilitator to assist the parties to craft a mutually acceptable resolution
for themselves. Arbitration is an adjudicative
process by which a neutral person or persons decide the rights and obligations of
the parties. It may be consensual, mandatory, non-binding, or binding.
Timing of ADR Decision
Before the initial pre-trial
conference in a case, counsel shall discuss the appropriateness of ADR in the litigation
with their clients and with opposing counsel.
At the initial pre-trial conference the parties and counsel shall advise the Court of the results of their discussions concerning ADR. At that time and at
subsequent conferences, if necessary, the Court may explore with the parties and
counsel the possibility of using ADR.
Opposition to ADR Referral
A party opposing either the
ADR referral or the appointed mediator/arbitrator must file a written objection
with the Court within seven days of receiving notice of the referral or provider
and explain the reasons for any opposition.
Attendance and Authority to Settle
Unless otherwise provided
by the Court, party representatives with authority to negotiate a settlement and
all other persons necessary to negotiate a settlement, including insurance carriers,
must attend any ADR session. In the
event the parties and or their attorneys do not attend the ADR session, or do not
meaningfully participate in the process, the ADR provider(s) may recommend to the
Judge appropriate sanctions, including but not limited to dismissal, default judgment,
attorney fees and or costs.
The result of ADR proceedings
are not binding unless the parties agree otherwise.
Confidentiality, Privileges and Immunities
All communications made during
ADR procedures, other than by witnesses testifying under oath, are confidential
and protected from disclosure, except as otherwise provided by law, and do not constitute
a waiver of any existing privileges and immunities. ADR providers shall be prohibited
from being called as witnesses in any subsequent legal proceeding, except as to
the terms of the settlement agreement.
Back to top
In referring a case to arbitration,
the Court considers the following conditions:
The case should be at least six months old; and
The apparent value of the claim or claims of each Plaintiff or Plaintiffs should
not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) exclusive of interest and costs (this
condition may be waived by agreement of all parties; and
Cases involving title to real estate or actions in equity are usually not suitable for arbitration unless the determination of a sum of money is a matter at issue,
and it will substantially dispose of an action.
An arbitration panel shall consist of two members and a chairman.
The Court will select the chairman and provide the parties with a list of
available arbitrators from which the remaining panelists may be drawn.
Attorneys desiring to be added or removed from the list shall notify the
Court Administrator, who shall be responsible for maintaining the master list of
all arbitration panelists.
In order to serve as an arbitrator,
one must have been admitted to the practice of law for more than two years and have
consented to act as an arbitrator.
Appointment of Arbitrators
Each side may request the
appointment of an arbitrator from the list provided.
In addition both sides will each select two alternates who will serve in
the event that the individual first selected is unavailable on the scheduled date. Where there is more than one Plaintiff
or more than one Defendant, each side shall nominate one arbitrator and two alternates. In the event of a conflict the Court
shall make appropriate rulings.
Duties of Arbitrators
The arbitrators’ function is to consider the evidence, to apply the facts to the
law in a fair and impartial manner, and to render a just decision.
The arbitrators shall:
- Perform their duties fairly, impartially
- Be patient, dignified and courteous
to all who come before them;
- Be faithful to the law;
- Be unswayed by personal interests
or fear of criticism;
- Not identify themselves as Plaintiff
or Defendant's arbitrator.
IV. OATH OF ARBITRATORS
When all the arbitrators are assembled and before the hearing begins, each arbitrator
shall in the presence of the parties take an oath or affirmation, as follows:
"I solemnly affirm that I will faithfully and fairly hear and examine the matter
in controversy and that I will make a just award to the best of my understanding
This oath shall not be waived. Any
arbitrator who fails to take this oath shall not be entitled to any compensation
for serving as an arbitrator.
COMMUNICATIONS WITH ARBITRATORS
There shall be no communications by counsel or the parties with any arbitrator concerning the merits of the controversy prior to the commencement of the arbitration hearing
nor following the conclusion of the arbitration hearing until the Report and Award
has been filed and served on all parties.
Compensation of Arbitrators
Each member of arbitration panel who has sworn the oath, signed an award, or files
a minority report shall receive as compensation for his or her services in each
case a fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00). When more than one case arising out
of the same transaction is heard at the same hearing or hearings, it shall be considered
as one case insofar as compensation of the arbitrators is concerned.
In cases requiring hearings of unusual duration involving questions
of unusual complexity, the assigned Judge, on motion of the members of the panel
and for cause shown, may allow additional compensation. The members of a panel shall
not be entitled to receive their fees until after filing the Report and Award with
the Court. Fees paid to arbitrators shall not be taxed as costs.
VII. ABRITRATION FEE
The arbitration fee shall be split equally among the parties and be in accordance
with the schedule on file with the Clerk of Courts.
Payments shall be made to the Clerk of Courts no later than fourteen
days before the date set for the arbitration hearing.
Failure to pay by the time period prescribed may result in an order for the
delinquent party to pay the entire cost of the arbitration and a refund of the sums
deposited by the non-delinquent parties.
In the event that one or more parties are unable due to poverty to make the payment
for arbitrators' fees, they may file a motion and affidavit of indigency.
Settlement OR Dismissal Prior to Scheduled Arbitration
The parties are responsible for immediately notifying all members of the arbitration
panel and the Court of a settlement or dismissal.
If a case is settled or dismissed more than two Court days prior to the date
scheduled for the hearing, the panel members shall not be entitled to any fee except
in cases where the arbitrators are not notified of the settlement or dismissal by
that date. If a case is settled or dismissed within that two-day period, the panel
members shall be entitled to receive the fee.
Continuances or Cancellations
Continuances of arbitrations
are counter productive and requests are discouraged absent exigent circumstances. Under no circumstances shall
an arbitration be continued or cancelled by the parties.
Arbitrations may be rescheduled only by order of the Court.
Court approval shall be conditioned upon a written motion filed forty-eight
hours prior to the scheduled arbitration.
Said motion shall contain the new arbitration date and time, which the moving party
has confirmed with the arbitrators and opposing counsel.
In the event a party requests a continuance within two Court days of a scheduled
arbitration, the panel members shall be entitled to receive their fee.
The party requesting a continuance shall deposit the entire arbitration fee
no later than seven days after the continuance request.
The arbitration fee for the new arbitration date shall be in accordance with
above. Failure to appear at a scheduled
arbitration may result in a dismissal or default against the non-attending party.
Conduct of Hearing – General Powers
Although strict conformity to legal rules of evidence is not necessary, the panel
shall receive only relevant and material evidence. All evidence shall be taken in
the presence of the arbitrators and the parties except where any
of the parties is absent, is in default or has waived the right to be present. The panel shall
receive evidence in the following forms:
1. Sworn testimony
by competent witnesses;
2. The product
of all discovery completed prior to the hearing;
documentary evidence and/or written reports, provided that such evidence has been
served upon the adverse parties or their counsel at least fourteen days before the
hearing, unless counsel otherwise agree.
Notwithstanding the above, the panel may receive additional evidence as it deems proper. All evidence received shall
be given such weight as the board deems it is entitled to after consideration of any objections, which may be made.
The arbitrators shall have the general powers of a Court including,
but not limited to, the following powers:
1. Subpoenas -
to cause the issuance of subpoenas to witnesses to appear before the panel. Counsel shall whenever possible produce a party or witness at the
hearing without the necessity of a subpoena.
2. Production of Documents - to compel
the production of all books, papers and documents which they shall
deem material to the case.
3. Administering Oaths; Admissibility of Evidence - to administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses, to determine
the admissibility of evidence, to permit testimony to be offered
by depositions and to decide the law and the facts of the case submitted to them.
In actions involving personal injury and/or damage to property,
the following documents
may be offered and shall be received into
evidence without further proof, for purposes of proving the value
and reasonableness of the charges for services, labor and material,
or items contained therein, and, where applicable, the necessity
for furnishing the same. The foregoing is conditioned
upon the adverse party receiving a copy of same at least fourteen days before the
hearing, unless counsel otherwise agree.
1. Medical bills,
including the following:
a. Health Care
Providers - bills of hospitals, doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, and all other
health care providers, on the proper form or letterhead, when itemized and dated;
b. Bills for Medicines, etc. - bills
for medicines, eye glasses, prosthetic devices, medical appliances, or
2. Property Repair Bills or Estimates - property repair bills or estimates, when identified and itemized
setting forth the charges for labor and material used in the repair
of the property,
provided that sufficient proof of ownership is offered by the party seeking to introduce
such bill or estimate.
3. Procedure in
Case of Estimate - in the case of an estimate, the party intending to offer the estimate
shall forward with his or
her notice to the adverse party, together
with a copy of the estimate, a statement indicating whether or
not the property was repaired, and if it was, whether the estimated
repairs were made in full or part, attaching a copy of the
receipted bill showing the items or repair made and the amount
4. Records and
a. Police, sheriff and highway patrol reports.
b. Hospital, medical,
therapy, doctor's reports, and x-rays.
reports on lost wages and economist reports.
5. Similar Materials
- any reports and/or records and/or other materials that are substantially similar
to any of the items specifically set forth may be offered and shall be admitted
Supervisory Powers of Court
The assigned Judge shall have full supervisory powers with regard to any questions
that arise in all arbitration proceedings and in the application
of these rules.
Witness fees in any case referred to arbitration shall be in the same amount
as now or hereafter provided for witnesses in trials in the Common
Pleas Court of Lorain County, Ohio. These costs may be ordered taxed in the case and the costs in any case shall be paid by
the same party or parties by whom they would have been paid had
the case been tried in the Common Pleas Court of Lorain County,
Transcript of Testimony
shall not be required to make a transcript of the proceedings
before them. If any party shall desire a transcript, that party at its own costs shall
provide a reporter and cause a record to be made. Any party desiring a copy of any
transcript shall be provided with it by the reporter upon payment, based upon the usual
charges made for a copy of a deposition.
Default - Failure to Appear
An arbitration may proceed in the absence of any party
who, after due notice, fails to be present or fails to obtain an adjournment. An award shall not be made solely
on the default of a party. The arbitration panel shall require the other party to
submit such evidence as they may require for the making of an award.
The failure of a party to appear either in person or by counsel and participate
in an arbitration proceeding shall be considered a waiver of the right to file an
appeal de novo and a consent to the entry by the Court of judgment on the report
and award of the panel. The Court to
whom a case is assigned may for good cause shown, grant leave to file an appeal
de novo to a party who has failed to appear and participate in an arbitration. The party requesting leave shall do
so by motion within ten days after the filing of the arbitrators’ Report and Award.
Report and Award
Within seven days following the hearing, the arbitration panel shall file a report
and award with the Court. An award may not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00)
per Plaintiff and/or cross-claimant, exclusive of interest, unless the parties have
waived the monetary limits. The report and award shall be signed by all of the arbitrators. In the event all three arbitrators do
not agree on the finding and award, the dissenting individual shall write the word "dissents" before the signature. A
minority report shall not be required unless the dissenting arbitrator elects to submit a report due to unusual circumstances.
The Report and Award, unless appealed, shall be final and shall have the
attributes and legal effect of a verdict. If no appeal is taken
within the time and in the manner specified, the Court shall
enter judgment. After entry of judgment, execution process
may be issued as in the case of other judgments.
Except as otherwise provided in these rules, any party may appeal from an arbitration.
No appeal can be withdrawn without consent of all parties. The filing of a single
appeal shall be sufficient to require a de novo trial of the entire case on all
issues and as to all parties without the necessity of each party filing a separate
appeal de novo. The right of appeal
shall be subject to the following conditions, all of which shall be complied with
within thirty (30) days after filing of the arbitrators’ Report and Award.
A. Appeal de Novo
An appellant shall file a notice of appeal de novo, in the office of the Clerk,
together with an affidavit indicating that the appeal is not being taken for delay
but because the appellant believes an injustice has
been done. Arbitrations shall
not be substituted for discovery. Frivolous
appeals of arbitration decisions shall be subject to sanctions.
In addition to payment of the sum mentioned below, the appellant shall serve
a copy of the notice of appeal and affidavit upon all parties or their counsel.
B. Appeal Filing
The appellant shall pay an appeal filing fee in accordance with the schedule on
file with the Clerk of Courts contemporaneously with the filing of the notice of
appeal de novo. An appeal shall not
be considered so filed until said fee has been paid or an affidavit of indigency
filed. With respect to the appeal filing
fee, the sum of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) shall not be taxed as costs
in the case and shall be recoverable by the appellant only if:
1. Upon a trial
de novo, the appellant secures a judgment: (a) which reverses the decision
of the arbitrators, or (b) which is more favorable to the appellant than the award of the
2. Prior to a
trial de novo, the appellant secures a settlement which is more favorable to the
appellant than the award of the arbitrators and such settlement is evidenced by
an entry of dismissal, which recites that the Court has been advised of the amount
of settlement and orders the Clerk of Courts to refund the aforementioned sum.
Affidavit of Indigency
A party, desiring to appeal an award, may concurrently with the filing of a notice
of appeal de novo file with the assigned Judge a written motion and affidavit averring that by reason of poverty the party is unable to make the payments required for
an appeal and requesting the Court to allow an appeal de novo without payment of
the amount specified above. If after
due notice to the opposing parties, the Judge is satisfied with the truth of the
statement in the affidavit, the Judge may order that the appeal of such party be
allowed although the amounts are not paid by the appellant.
If, however, the Plaintiff or party appealing, who has filed a
poverty affidavit as described above, receives a settlement, or judgment in the
case, the Defendant or party who agrees to or is ordered to pay the judgment, shall
pay first to the Clerk of Courts out of the settlement or judgment, before making
payment to anyone else, an amount equal to all arbitration compensation fees and
appeal de novo fees previously waived by an affidavit of poverty.
Back to top
Case Selection for Mediation
Any civil case may be referred to mediation. Mediation shall not be used as an alternative to the prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence, to determine whether to
grant, modify, or terminate a protection order, to determine the terms and conditions of a protection order, or to determine the penalty for violation of a protection
Referral to Mediation
A case is referred to mediation by order of the Court.
The Court may issue the order on its own motion, upon the motion of counsel,
upon referral by the mediator or upon agreement of the parties.
Continuances shall be granted only for good cause shown.
Except as authorized by the Court, the existence of pending motions shall
not be good cause for a continuance and no continuance will be granted unless the
mediation can be scheduled prior to the final pre-trial.
No Stay of Proceedings
All remaining court orders shall remain in effect. No order is stayed or suspended
during the mediation process.
Mediation communications are privileged as described in Ohio Revised Code 2710.03-2710.05.
If the parties believe that confidentiality beyond the scope of the privilege is
necessary, then the parties shall effect a written confidentiality agreement prior
to the mediation.
VI. MEDIATOR’S DUTY
Mediator is defined to mean any individual who mediates cases pursuant to an order
of this Court, regardless of whether that individual is an employee, an independent
contractor or a volunteer. The mediator
shall inform the Court who attended the mediation, whether the case settled, and
whether efforts to settle the case through mediation are being continued or if the
case is being returned to the Court for further proceedings.
No other information shall be directly or indirectly communicated by the
mediator to the Court, unless all who hold a mediation privilege, including the
mediator, have consented to such disclosure.
The mediator shall keep mediation communications confidential unless all who hold
a mediation privilege, including the mediator, have consented to such disclosure.
VII. DUTIES OF ATTORNEYS/PARTIES/NON-PARTY
Trial counsel who is primarily responsible for each party’s case personally shall
attend the mediation conference and shall be prepared and authorized to discuss
all relevant issues and settlement terms.
All parties, or if applicable, the principal insurance adjuster for the claim, shall
personally attend all mediation conferences with authority to settle.
A party other than a natural person must be represented by a person, other
than counsel, with authority to settle.
If counsel or any mediation party becomes aware of the identity of a person or entity
whose consent is required to resolve the dispute, but who has not yet been joined
as a party in the pleadings, they shall promptly inform the mediator as well as
the assigned Judge of such fact.
If the opposing parties to any case either resided in a common residence or are
related by blood, adoption, or marriage and have known or alleged domestic abuse
at any time prior to the mediation, then the parties and their counsel have a duty
to disclose such information to the Mediation Office and have a duty to participate
in any screening required by the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Rules of Superintendence
Rule 16 both prior to and in the mediator’s discretion, during the mediation session.
Individuals who participate in a mediation as non-party participants, by such participation,
are bound by this rule and submit to the Court’s jurisdiction to the extent necessary
for enforcement of this rule. Any
non-party participant shall have the rights and duties under this rule as are attributed
to parties, except that no privilege shall be expanded.
A mediator acting pursuant to this local rule shall have all immunity conferred by statute, rule and common law.
No Legal Advice
The efforts of the mediator shall not be construed as giving legal advice.
The mediator is authorized to provide resource information for legal or other
support services available in the community; however, such distribution shall not
be construed as a recommendation of or referral to such resource.
The recipient of that information is charged with the duty to evaluate those
Failure to attend mediation without good cause may result in sanctions being imposed by the Court. Such sanctions may include
attorney’s fees or such other sanctions as the Court deems appropriate.
If the parties fail to dismiss a settled case within the earlier of 60 days or the
time noted in the entry that gave the Court notice of the settlement, then the Court
may dismiss the case administratively.
Back to top
FORECLOSURE, QUIET TITLE,
actions to quiet title, partition, and for marshaling and foreclosure
of liens on real property, the attorney for the Plaintiff shall procure and file
with the Clerk, within 30 days after the filing of the complaint,
evidence of the record title to the premises in question, including but not limited to, the names of the owners of the property to
be sold and the names of all lienholders.
Evidence of the title
may be demonstrated by a preliminary opinion of the
attorney in a
form and to such extent as would satisfy the requirements of the
Marketable Title Act or a preliminary judicial report issued by
a title insurance company. Such opinion or report shall be rendered
as of a date which is 14 days after the date of the filing of the complaint, and shall include all matters affecting
the title up to and including a date which is 14 days after the filing date of the complaint.
Upon failure of the attorney for the Plaintiff to comply with the foregoing requirement within 60 days after filing of the complaint, any cross-complainant
or other interested party, upon notice to Plaintiff’s attorney,
may procure leave to furnish and file such evidence of title within
the ensuing 30 days.
Such evidence of title or copy thereof shall become and remain a part of
the files in the case. Where the evidence
of title indicates that necessary parties have not been made Defendants, the attorney for the party filing the same
shall proceed without delay to cause such new parties to be added
II. FINAL JUDICIAL
Prior to or contemporaneously with the submission of the final entry of judgment
in any such case, a final
opinion of attorney or final judicial report shall be prepared
and filed in accordance with the foregoing requirements showing
the description of the property and the record state of title
as of the day following the filing of the decree. Such extension shall
also become and remain a part of the files in the case.
III. DISMISSAL OF ACTION
Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall be grounds for dismissal of an action. Dismissal may be granted
on motion of any party or upon the motion of the Court.
IV. EXPENSE OF TITLE WORK
expense of the title work required under this rule for each property
involved may be taxed as part of the costs in favor of the Plaintiff unless otherwise
ordered by the Court.
V. SUPREME COURT
For purpose of reporting by trial Judge to the Supreme Court in foreclosure cases,
the entry granting final judgment will determine the date of case closure.
All other proceedings in foreclosure cases will proceed according to law.
VI. PROPERTY DESCRIPTION
All judgment orders of foreclosure and sale shall contain the legal description
of the property to be sold, together with the permanent parcel
number, and address, if applicable.
VII. REAL ESTATE TAXES; VERIFICATION
In all foreclosure actions and Sheriff’s sales, the purchaser shall pay all required
real estate taxes directly to the Lorain County Treasurer.
Real estate taxes shall include delinquent, tax certified liens, and current
taxes. The purchaser shall obtain a
verification form from the Treasurer’s office to be delivered to the Sheriff’s civil
division. No deed will be issued without
proper verification from the Treasurer’s office.
Back to top
In every Sheriff’s sale of real property, the purchaser, immediately following the
acceptance of bid, shall deposit in cash, certified check, or personal check payable
to the Sheriff, 10% of the amount of such accepted bid, but in no event less than
$1,000.00. The purchaser shall be required
to pay interest on said unpaid balance at 10% per annum from the date of confirmation
of the sale to the date of payment of the balance unless the balance shall be paid
within 8 business days from the date of confirmation of sale.
Any interest received shall
be distributed by the Sheriff to the parties entitled to distribution
of the proceeds of the sale in the proper order of priority. The provisions
of this paragraph shall not be applicable when the purchaser is
the plaintiff or in tax foreclosure cases
for non-payment of real estate taxes.
II. SHERIFF’S RETURN
Within 10 days of the date of sale, the Sheriff shall make his return to the Court. Counsel for Plaintiff shall submit a proposed journal entry confirming the
sale and file a motion requesting the Court to confirm the sale,
stating in the motion the date the sale was held, and send copies
to all parties or their counsel by regular
mail, no later than 14 days following the day on which the sale was held.
It shall not be necessary to have approval of any parties or their counsel
prior to filing such entry.
The failure of Plaintiff’s counsel to submit a confirmation order within the time
provided may result in sanctions, including any damages, costs, or fees incurred
by the purchasing party.
. FAILURE TO COMPLETE
In the event a purchaser fails to pay the balance due on the purchase price and
complete the purchase within 30 days after confirmation of sale, the purchaser shall
be in contempt of this court, and the
Sheriff shall forthwith cause a citation to issue commanding such
defaulting purchaser to appear and show cause why an order
of contempt should not issue.
IV. NOTICE OF
In each advertisement of sale, the Sheriff shall cause to be included a notice that
the full purchase price shall be paid within 30 days from confirmation of sale and
unless paid within 8 business days after confirmation
of sale, shall bear interest at 10% per annum until paid, otherwise
the purchaser shall be adjudged to be in contempt of court. The Sheriff shall
forward to each attorney of record in every judicial proceeding a copy of the advertisement
V. APPRAISAL FEES
Appraisal fees shall be based on the Auditor’s last tax appraisal of the property
as shown by his duplicates and be scaled in accordance with the schedule on file
with the Clerk of Courts.
VI. CANCELLATION OF
Except in the case of bankruptcy, no Sheriff’s sale will be cancelled prior to all
costs and fees being paid in full.
The cancellation of Sheriff’s sale shall be by written motion filed 24 hours prior
to the date of sale and include a copy of the receipt evidencing payment of costs.
Back to top
JURY COMMISSIONER SYSTEM
The responsibility for the administration of the jury system will be vested in the
Court’s Jury Management Division under the supervision of the Administrative Judge
of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas.
All procedures concerning jury selection and service are governed by the Ohio Revised
Code and the Ohio Rules of Court.
A. Grand Jury
1. Grand jury meets twice a week for
three consecutive months. There are
two groups of grand jurors which will meet weekly as provided by the schedule established
by the Judge presiding over the grand jury for that term.
2. The foreperson(s) may be appointed
by the Judge presiding over the grand jury for that term.
3. 100 grand jurors shall be pulled
for each three month term; 50 for each grand jury.
4. In addition to the foreperson, the
jury commissioner shall provide 11 additional grand jurors for each session, or
as provided by the schedule established by the Judge presiding over the grand jury
for that term.
B. Petit Jury - Selection.
1. Petit jury is for three weeks.
2. 450 jurors may be pulled for each
three week period.
3. The Jury Commission prepares the
summons to jury duty not less than three weeks prior to the date of service. The summons includes the juror’s group
number, term of service, and a questionnaire which is to be returned within 5 days.
4. As jurors return their questionnaires,
the Jury Commissioner must sort the responses according to the date upon which the
juror is to begin his/her service, juror group number, and whether the person is
a qualified or unqualified candidate to be a juror.
qualified candidate is one who meets the statutory qualifications.
b. If a candidate fails to meet the
statutory criteria, the Jury Commissioner shall notify the candidate that
he or she is exempt.
c. In the event that a candidate seeks
exemption that is not resolved by statutory exemption, such request will be sent
to the Judge currently presiding over the grand jury, or that Judge’s representative,
5. The Jury Commissioner retains the
juror questionnaires for a period of 4 years for capital cases; all others may be
destroyed upon completion of the venire period.
C. Petit Jury – Trial preparation.
1. Each day the Jury Commissioner must
do the following to prepare for trial:
a. Determine the jury needs for each
court. The Jury Commissioner will list
whether jurors are needed for civil or criminal cases and whether any extra jurors
b. Determine how many trials will be
starting the next day and the number of jurors to send to each courtroom.
1. A minimum of 20 jurors are needed
for a civil case.
2. A minimum of 30 jurors are needed
for a criminal case.
c. Create a list for each judge with
the juror group number assigned to their courtroom for the next day.
d. Sort the questionnaires, arranging
the stacks to be sent to the courtrooms for the next day.
e. Prepare the message for the jury
recording. Jurors shall be on call
Monday through Friday.
2. The Jury Commissioner must perform
the following on the day of trial:
a. After the jurors sign in, determine
which jurors did not show up and move their questionnaires to the bottom of the
b. Print the finalized list with one
copy for the courtroom and two copies for the Jury Commission office.
Send copies of the list and questionnaires to the courtrooms.
Inform the bailiff when the jurors are prepared and available for service.
Call any juror who did not show up for service.
f. Record those jurors who have been
seated on a case so as not to call those jurors for a trial in another courtroom
g. Sort questionnaires, placing all
jurors in one pile and not seated in another pile should there be a need for jurors
in another courtroom that day.
If a juror is not seated, that juror goes back into the pool.
D. Jury orientation.
1. The Jury Commissioner must perform
the following in order to orient new jurors:
Introduce self as Jury Commissioner and explain duties briefly.
Check the sign in sheet to determine who is present.
c. Explain that petit jury is for three
weeks and that in circumstances in which civil cases will be heard, eight
jurors will be seated, and in criminal cases with crimes classified as felonies,
twelve jurors will be seated, with one or two alternates.
Inform the jurors about parking.
Answer any questions which jurors may have.