RULES OF COURT
1: HOURS OF COURT
of the Court shall be open between the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P. M.,
Monday through Friday. These times may be modified by special order of the
Court. Holidays listed in Section 1.14 of the Ohio Revised Code will be
2: COMPUTATION OF TIME
period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules shall be computed in
accordance with the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure or the Ohio Rules of
Criminal Procedure as applicable.
3: WITHDRAWAL OF FILES
Clerk of Court shall not permit original files of cases entered upon the
docket of the Court to be taken from the custody of the Clerk except upon
order of the Court.
4: PROHIBITIONS ON EMPLOYEES
to parties by employees of the Court shall be limited to furnishing
the necessary forms where appropriate and any explanation as to their
use. No legal advice shall be given.
employee of the Court shall at anytime, whether by request or
otherwise, refer or direct any person to an attorney or to a bail
5: REFERRALS OF CASES TO OTHER COURTS
the filing of any action in this Court wherein any employee of the Court
is involved as a party, the case shall be transmitted immediately to the
Presiding Judge of the Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County for
assignment to another court.
6: ADDITIONS AND AMENDMENTS TO RULES
rules and amendments to these rules may be promulgated from time to time
and shall be effective with or without general publication when the Court
is satisfied that reasonable opportunity for notice of such additional
rule or amendment was provided and the additional rule or amendment has
been filed with the Ohio Supreme Court in accordance with Ohio Civil Rule
83 and Ohio Criminal Rule 57.
7: PUBLICATION OF RULES OF COURT
Clerk of Court shall order production of copies of these rules and any
subsequent additions or amendments. Copies shall be made available at the
cost of production.
8: JURY DEMANDS; COSTS
costs are $625.00. In civil cases where a jury demand has been made, a
deposit of $625.00 must be made by the demanding party at least eight
(8) days prior to the commencement of the jury trial. Failure to abide
by this rule will be considered a withdrawal of the jury demand.
of jury demand timely made under Ohio Civil Rule 38 or Ohio Criminal
Rule 23 must be in writing. Any deposit for costs which has not been
used in summoning the jury shall be returned to the depositor. Any
additional costs incurred shall be assessed by the Court. The
withdrawal of jury demand after 3:00 p.m. on the day before trial is
untimely and the party will be accessed the full jury cost.
a panel of jurors appears for service and the trial is continued or
postponed by failure of a party or counsel to appear, that party shall
be assessed the full jury cost, unless failure to appear is proved to
the satisfaction of the Court to be due to extreme emergency or other
conditions beyond the control of the party or counsel.
demand for a jury trial on the first cause of action for forcible
entry and detainer must be made in writing and must be filed with the
Clerk of Court not less than three (3) days prior to the date set for
Motion for Continuance must be filed at least three (3) working days
in advance of the court proceeding for which the continuance is
sought. All motions should be supported by any relevant documentation.
for Continuance filed pursuant to Rule 16 (B) of the Ohio Supreme
Court Rules for the Superintendence of Municipal Courts must specify
the reason for the continuance and the amount of time requested. Where
a continuance is requested because of a conflicting date in another
court, a copy of the other courts notice must be attached.
civil actions, there is a $5 filing fee for all Motions to Continue.
10: WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL
otherwise ordered, any attorney designated as Trial Attorney shall not be
permitted to withdraw from an action less than five (5) days before trial.
shall be permitted only by written motion filed with the Court. The motion
must include: (1) the time and date of any pending proceedings; (2) the
specific reasons for requesting withdrawal; (3) the name and address of
new counsel, if any, and (4) proof of notification to the withdrawing
attorneys client and the opposing party or his attorney.
11: ELECTRONIC FILING
to Rule 5(E) of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure this Court will allow
the filing by electronic transmission, through the clerk's office, of
requests for continuances, motions, and other pleadings, not in excess of
seven (7) pages. THIS COURT WILL NOT ACCEPT ELECTRONIC FILING OF ANY
DOCUMENT THAT MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A FEE. Except, this
Court will accept continuances filed by fax in civil cases if the required
fee is paid within two (2) days of filing. Failure to pay the fee within
two (2) days will constitute a withdrawal of that motion.
words "Filed by Fax" must appear on any electronically filed
document. The facsimile will be accepted as the original to be filed with
the Court. The sender's original and fax confirmation slip will serve as
proof of filing. No filed stamped copy of an electronically transmitted
document will be mailed to any party.
Court FAX machine will be on line twenty-four (24) hours a day. A document
will be considered received on the day transmitted if that transmission
takes place Monday through Friday (except holidays) between the hours of
8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. After 4:45 p.m., the next business day's filing
date will be applicable.
12: COMPUTER DOCKET SEARCHES
Court allows access by public terminal or modem to docketing information
placed on its computer system. The information in available for review
only. Generally the system will be available 24 hours a day with the
exception of early morning hours when the system is being backed-up.
court also posts certain information regarding procedure on its WEB SITE
GOVERNING CIVIL CASES
13: COSTS OF FILING
action or proceeding shall be accepted for filing by the Clerk of Court
unless fees and deposits are paid as set forth in the schedule of court
costs. Costs may be waived only upon filing of an affidavit of indigency
and approval by the court.
Clerk of Court will serve all civil complaints by certified mail in
accordance with Rule 4 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure. If service of
process by certified mail is returned by the postal authorities with an
endorsement of "Refused" or "Unclaimed," the Clerk
shall employ certificate of mail service.
may access the Courts docket by modem to determine whether service has
15: LEAVES TO MOVE OR PLEAD
extension of time to move or plead must be filed before the due date of a
responsive pleading and may be granted by the Court or by stipulation for
a period not to exceed thirty (30) days. No further leaves shall be
granted except upon motion, in writing, supported by affidavit showing
16: CASE MANAGEMENT
The purpose of this rule is to establish, a system for civil case
management which will provide for fair and impartial administration of
civil cases. These rules shall be construed and applied to eliminate
unnecessary delay and expense for all parties involved in the court
Case Designation Sheet In all civil cases (other than
small claims) a party or his counsel, upon filing a complaint, shall
complete a Case Designation Sheet providing the Court with information
regarding the anticipated scope of discovery, use of expert witnesses
and viability of any alternative dispute resolution procedures. A Case
Designation Sheet will be supplied to the defendant with the service
of summons and shall be completed and filed with the answer.
Management Conference A case management conference will
be set in each civil matter (other than small claims) within five (5)
weeks of the filing of the answer. At that case management conference
a binding case management schedule shall be set as well as a final
pretrial date and/or trial date. In appropriate circumstances, an
expert discovery schedule will be set and/or the case will be referred
to alternative dispute resolution.
primary purpose of a pretrial hearing is to achieve settlement. If
settlement is unattainable, attempts shall be made to narrow the
legal issues, to reach stipulations as to facts not in controversy
and to shorten the time of trial.
Court may order any civil case to be set for a pretrial hearing at
and parties shall appear for the hearing at the time designated in
the notice. If counsel appears without parties, counsel must have
full settlement authority or the parties must be available by
and counsel may be required to produce or reveal any evidence,
witnesses, documents or other matters intended to be relied upon at
the trial. The Court may impose sanctions in accordance with Ohio
Civil Rule 37 for failure to comply with this rule.
documents should not be filed with this Court. The Court does,
however, require that any party serving discovery on another party
must file a notice of service of same with this Court. Parties
responding to discovery must likewise file a Notice of Service of
Responses to Discovery with the Court. However, the responses
themselves should not be filed.
to Compel Motions
to Compel Discovery will be entertained by this Court only after the
party seeking responses has attempted to resolve the dispute with the
other party without the assistance of the Court. If such efforts fail
then a party seeking discovery may file a Motion to Compel with this
Court. That motion must include a recitation of the efforts made to
resolve the dispute before the motion was filed and copies of any and
all written discovery and responses necessary for the Court to
determine whether an order to compel is appropriate.
a party intends to call an expert to testify at trial, that party
may be required to cause an expert report to be prepared and to
serve a copy of same on the opposing party. Notice of Service of
same (but not the report itself) shall be filed with the Court.
party with the burden of proof as to a particular issue shall be
required to first submit expert reports on that issue. Thereafter,
the responding party shall submit a report in accordance with the
schedule set by the Court.
party may not call an expert witness unless a written report has
been procured from the witness and provided to the opposing party as
required by the Court. The report of the expert must reflect his
opinions as to each issue upon which the expert will testify. An
expert will not be permitted to testify or provide opinions on
issues not raised in his report.
party may take the discovery deposition of the opposing party's
expert only after a mutual exchange of expert reports has occurred.
If a 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. Except for good cause shown, the taking of the
discovery deposition of the proponent's expert constitutes a waiver
on the part of the opponent to call an expert at trial on the issues
raised in the proponent's report.
18: DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS
to File A party to a civil action may file a dispositive
motion at any time before a trial or pretrial has been set. After a
trial or pretrial has been set a party may only file a dispositive
motion with leave of Court.
to File Brief in Opposition Parties shall have thirty
(30) days from the date of service to file briefs in opposition to
dispositive motions. Extensions of time for filing responsive briefs
shall be made prior to the expiration of the time period originally
designated for response. Unless otherwise provided in the Ohio Rules
of Civil Procedure, the failure of the party against whom a motion is
directed to file a brief in opposition may be construed by the Court
as an admission that the motion should be granted.
19 : NON-DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS
party shall have ten (10) days to file briefs responsive to all non-dispositive
motions. A request for an extension of time in which to respond to a non-dispositive
motion shall be made in the same manner as for dispositive motions. Unless
otherwise provided in the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, a partys
failure to respond to a non-dispositive motion directed against him may be
construed by the court as an admission that that motion should be granted.
20: TRIAL MEMORANDUM; SANCTIONS
Memorandum Where a trial memorandum is required by order of
the Court, it shall be filed three (3) days before trial unless
otherwise ordered by the court and shall contain the following:
A brief itemization of any special evidentiary or other legal issues
which the party intends to raise at trial;
Copies of all authorities which the party desires the Court to read;
A final list of witnesses and a brief description of their testimony;
Copies of all evidentiary documents to be offered; and
Discussion of any special issues raised pursuant to agreement at the
The Court may refuse to admit into evidence the testimony of any
witness and the use of any exhibit not listed in the trial memorandum
where required. Unless good cause is shown, failure to comply with the
requirements of this rule may be cause for entry of dismissal, default
judgment, or any other sanction permitted by law.
21: JURY INSTRUCTIONS
all civil cases that are to be tried before a jury, each party must file a
full set of jury instructions on the day of trial.
22: NOTIFICATION OF SETTLEMENT
a case has been set for pretrial, trial or other proceeding requiring
personal appearance, a request for dismissal by the plaintiff or by
agreement of the parties due to settlement or some other reason shall be
submitted in writing to the Court as soon as reasonably possible. Failure
to give such written notice of settlement and non-appearance of the
parties shall subject the action to dismissal by the Court at the
23: SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT
person other than the Clerk of Court or a deputy clerk may enter
satisfaction of judgment upon the records of the Court.
satisfaction of judgment shall be entered until all court costs have
24: GARNISHMENTS AND BANK ATTACHMENTS
garnishments and bank attachments shall be filed on multi-part forms
carbon or NCR only.
GOVERNING CRIMINAL CASES
25: CASE MANAGEMENT
The purpose of this rule is
to establish a system for criminal case management which will provide
fair and impartial administration of criminal cases. These rules shall
be construed and applied to eliminate unnecessary delay and expense
for all parties involved in the court system.
After arraignment, the Court may require the prosecutor and defendant
(or his counsel) to hold a pretrial conference. At the conclusion of
the pretrial, the prosecutor shall report any proposed change of
charge and/or plea to the Court. If the Court approves any proposed
amendment of charges, dismissal and/or changes of plea, the matter
will proceed accordingly. In the absence of such changes and/or the
Court's approval of same, the case will be assigned a trial date.
Day Trials to the
bench in criminal cases shall take place on one designated day per
week. Trials will be scheduled for either the morning or afternoon
session. Defendants will be scheduled to check in one half hour before
the session begins. With some exceptions, trials will be scheduled in
the order in which the defendants check in.
Upon a finding of guilty;
either after a plea or a trial, the Court will either sentence
directly from the bench or set a date for the defendant's sentencing
hearing. That date will be set sufficiently far in advance to
accommodate a pre-sentence investigation.
26: EXCEPTIONS TO MAGISTRATES PENALTY
who take exception to a fine or other penalty imposed by a Magistrate must
make a written request for a hearing before the Judge within fourteen (14)
days from the date the penalty was imposed. The defendant objecting to the
penalty must serve a copy of the written request for hearing on the
27: PAYMENT OF FINES AND COSTS IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
and costs are due upon imposition of penalty except as set forth in
Rule 26 above.
who are unable to pay fines and costs immediately may be granted
additional time to pay as follows: the defendant shall pay twenty-five
(25) percent of said fines and costs on the day imposed and the
remaining seventy-five (75) percent within thirty (30) days or upon a
monthly pay schedule, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Failure
to adhere to an imposed payment schedule may result in a warrant for
the defendants arrest and/or forfeiture of the defendants
drivers licence and registration privileges.
suspension of costs requires a finding of indigency and is within the
sound discretion of the Court.
DUI finds and costs must be paid in full before a request for
occupational driving privileges will be granted.
28: COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL
conjunction with Rule 8 of the Rules for Superintendence for The Courts of
Ohio, Court appointed counsel are selected and compensated as follows:
court will make additions to the appointed counsel list based on its
current needs (in terms of number), the applicants credentials and
his or her current standing with the Ohio Supreme Court.
to individual cases will be made on a rotating basis with
consideration being given to areas of expertise and his or her current
caseload. Appointments will be reviewed bi-annually to ensure equal
distribution of same.
counsel are compensated upon the filing for approval of payment.
HEIGHTS MUNICIPAL COURTS RULE NO. 29 (JURY MANAGEMENT) IS AVAILABLE
UNDER SEPARATE COVER.
LYNN C. TOLER