L o c a l R u l e s o f T h e
C h i l l i c o t h e M u n i c i p a l C o u r t

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Click and GoGENERAL PROVISIONS
Click and GoJurisdiction of Court
Click and GoTimes of Holding Court
Click and GoAssignment of Cases Between Judges
Click and GoPreservation of Papers
Click and GoHolding Jury Trials
Click and GoJury Selection
Click and GoCourt Reporter

Click and GoPublic Access

Click and GoFacsimile Filings

Click and GoAdmission to courthouse

Click and GoCIVIL RULES
Click and GoJury Trials and Demands
Click and GoJury Questionnaires
Click and GoCourt Costs and Security Deposits
Click and GoFiling of Pleadings, Motions, Etc.
Click and GoWithdrawal of Trial Counsel
Click and GoChange of Trial Counsel
Click and GoPreparation of Papers in Civil Cases
Click and GoPretrial Procedure for Civil Cases
Click and GoDefault Judgment and Failure of Service
Click and GoAssignment of Cases
Click and GoSales and Proceedings in Aid of Execution
Click and GoGarnishment Proceedings
Click and GoJudgment Debtor Examination
Click and GoForcible Entry Detainer
Click and GoSmall Claims Division
Click and GoTrusteeship
Click and GoCaseflow Management in Civil Cases
Click and GoCase Management in Special Proceedings
Click and GoForcible Entry & Detainer Hearings
Click and GoSmall Claims Court
Click and GoSubstitution of Parties

Click and GoCRIMINAL RULES
Click and GoArraignment Time
Click and GoAffidavits and Complaints
Click and GoNumbering of Actions
Click and GoTraffic Violations Bureau
Click and GoBail, Fine, and Costs Schedule
Click and GoSessions of Court
Click and GoNotification as to Cases Set for Hearing
Click and GoPretrial Procedure in Criminal Cases
Click and GoPublic Defender System for Indigent Defendants
Click and GoDemand for Jury Trial
Click and GoWaiver of Jury
Click and GoJury Questionnaires
Click and GoSubpoenas
Click and GoModification of Drivers License Suspensions
Click and GoModification of Sentences
Click and GoCollection of Fines
Click and GoCosts of Incarceration
Click and GoCaseflow Management in Criminal Cases

Click and GoJURY MANGEMENT PLAN
Click and GoIntroduction
Click and GoJury Eligibility
Click and GoProcedure for Jury Selection
Click and GoSummoning of Prospective Jurors
Click and GoExemption, Excuse, and Deferral
Click and GoExamination of Prospective Jurors
Click and GoJury Orientation
Click and GoConclusion

I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

  1. Jurisdiction of Court:
    The territorial jurisdiction of the Chillicothe Municipal Court includes all of Ross County. The monetary jurisdiction of the Chillicothe Municipal Court shall be in an amount as provided for in the appropriate section of the Ohio Revised Code. (Sec. 1901.17, Ohio Revised Code)

  2. Times of Holding Court:
    A) The sessions of this Court shall be from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. during Monday through Friday each week, legal holidays excepted. The office of the clerk shall be open for the transaction of business from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during Monday through Friday each week, legal holidays excepted. The clerk's office may be closed at such other times as the Court may designate.

    B) To facilitate the issuance of such papers as might be discovered necessary during a trial which may extend beyond the conclusion of the Court day at 4:30 p.m., the clerk is instructed to keep the clerk's office facilities available. Should a trial extend beyond 4:30 p.m., the clerk shall remain available or shall have at least one deputy clerk available until the conclusion of all trials for that day.

    C) Each judge shall have full discretion in the disposition of the work of his office, and shall have the right to make his own rules and regulations with respect to the time of convening and adjourning. In the absence of any order by a judge to the contrary, five days of the week, Monday through and including Friday, shall be for regular Court work with attendance of jurors, such as are necessary.

    D) The judges shall hold joint sessions from time to time for the purpose of considering matters of general importance to the Court, and important questions of fact or law involved in any case pending before any one or more of the judges. Such joint sessions may be called by the Presiding and Administrative Judge on his own motion, or whenever requested to do so by any of the judges.

    E) The judges shall hold separate sessions in their respective courtrooms and transact such business as may be assigned to them under these rules or by the Presiding and Administrative Judge.

  3. Assignment of Cases Between Judges:
    Assignment of cases between judges shall be in accordance with Municipal Court Rules of Superintendence Rule 3 (B) (1).
    Judges shall rotate assignment to particular session every week, insofar as is possible, having regard to vacation schedules, trials, illness, or other matters which might interrupt such rotation. The Presiding and Administrative Judge may rearrange the assignment to particular session on a schedule other than is set forth herein, so as to maintain approximate equality in assignment to particular session.

    When the judge who is assigned to particular session has a conflict because of jury trial, the remaining judge, if he is available and not in jury trial himself, shall take the particular session assignments.

  4. Preservation of Papers:
    The clerk shall file and carefully preserve in the office of the clerk all papers delivered to the clerk in every action or proceeding. No original papers or depositions in any case or proceeding shall be removed from the office of the clerk, except for use in court or by the Court, except on written order of the Court.

  5. Holding of Jury Trials:
    Jury trials will be held throughout the year on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or as otherwise designated by the judge to whom the case is assigned.

    In the event that a holiday precedes a jury day, the courtroom of the judge assigned to the particular session shall be held available for arraignments and no jury trial shall be scheduled in that courtroom unless approved by such judge.

  6. Jury Selection:
    Jurors to be used in the Chillicothe Municipal Court shall be chosen and summoned by the jury commissioners of Ross County as provided in Sections 2313.01 to 2313.26, inclusive, of the Ohio Revised Code, subject to the exceptions hereafter set forth.

    The Presiding and Administrative Judge shall, approximately every two months, notify the jury commissioners of Ross County of the number of jurors needed in the Chillicothe Municipal Court for the next two month period. A new panel of jurors shall be chosen approximately every two months and the jurors shall then be divided between courtroom number one and courtroom number two, although they may be used interchangeably between the courtrooms in the discretion of the trial judge.

    Section 2313.16 of the Ohio Revised Code is hereby declared not to be applicable to the Chillicothe Municipal Court pursuant to the authority of Section 1901.25, Ohio Revised Code. The judge presiding in the courtroom for which the juror is to serve, or in his absence, either judge of the Court, may excuse a juror for good cause shown, such excuse to be in writing and signed by the judge. Such excuse may be for a particular date or dates, or for the entire term.

  7. Court Reporter:
    The Court Reporter shall record arraignments, preliminary hearings, and such other matters as may be designated by the judge. In every case reported by the Court Reporter, the fee provided by the court order pertaining to costs in the Chillicothe Municipal Court shall be collected as other costs in the case. Before the Court Reporter shall begin making a written transcript, the party requesting the same shall deposit, if requested, an amount sufficient to cover the estimated cost of the written transcript, said amount to be determined by the Court Reporter. At the completion of the written transcript, if the deposit is not sufficient, the balance shall be paid before the written transcript is released to the party.

    The Court Reporter shall not prepare a transcript of the evidence in any case for a person or persons not a party herein unless all parties to the case, if it is civil, or the defendant or defendants, if it is criminal, have been notified by mail that a transcript has been requested, or unless written permission from all parties is shown to the Court Reporter and the Court. The person requesting the transcript shall furnish the Court a copy of the notice showing the certificate as to mailing, or the written consent, as the case may be. The notice or the consent shall be filed with the papers in the case. The Court Reporter shall not permit an audible playback of recorded proceedings without the consent of the Court.

    In felony cases, if a transcript of the preliminary hearing proceedings is requested for an indigent defendant, an entry must be approved by a Common Pleas Court Judge ordering such transcript. In such cases, the governmental agency (City of Chillicothe or the State of Ohio, as the case may be) shall pay for such transcripts, such amount to be taxed as costs.

  8. Public Access:
    In accordance with Ohio Revised Code 149.43, the Chillicothe Municipal Court will conduct a public records check upon request. All information provided is case information from the Chillicothe Municipal Court only. The information provided is local information constituting a public record and contains no statewide LEADS information or national NCIC information, dissemination of which is prohibited be state and federal law. The court does not conduct criminal record or background checks. These requests must be made to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. All terms contained in this public records policy are as defined in O.R.C. Section 149.43.

    The party making a request for a public record must furnish the court with a name and case number. All requests will be answered within a reasonable period of time, which is normally within 10 days.

    Public Access Terminal. The Chillicothe Municipal Court maintains a public access terminal during normal business hours for public record inquiries. Normal business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. No fee is required for use of this terminal. Use of the terminal may be limited to a reasonable time in order to accommodate other persons. The Chillicothe Municipal Court also maintains a website that allows public access (www.chillicothemunicipalcourt.org).

    Manner of Request. Requests will be accepted in person, by mail, or by facsimile. All fees for copies must be paid in advance. No requests will be accepted by telephone.

    Format of Response and Costs.

    (1) Unless otherwise requested, public records requests will be filled on paper. All fees must be paid in advance at $.05 per page plus postage, if applicable.

    (2) Requests for public records via computer diskette are accepted provided the information is already available in the format requested. The format used by the court is UNIX. A fee os $.50 for the diskette must be paid in advance or the party requesting the information may submit a diskette.

    (3) The court will assess postage and long distance telephone charges for all requests where applicable and must be paid in advance.

    (4) Special extraction requests will be attempted where resonable and requested. All costs associated therewith must be paid in advance. If a new program is required this must be requested through our software vendor. Any costs associated shall be paid to said vendor.

    (5) Copies will be certified at a cost of one dollar ($1.00) per page upon request.

    (6) Any other medium requested will be at the cost of the requesting party provided it can be reasonably duplicated as an integral part of the normal operations of the court.

    (7) All costs must be paid in advance and made in the form of cash, check, money order. Credit cards may be accepted for criminal/traffic inquiries only.

    Persons Incarcerated. Requests by persons incarcerated are subject to O.R.C. Section 149.43(B)(4).

    No party making a records request shall use or forward the requested records or information contained therein for commercial purposes as defined by O.R.C. Section 149.43(B(3).

  9. Facsimile Filings:

    In conformity with Ohio Civil Rule 5 (E) and Criminal Rule 12 (B) and effictive upon approval by the Supreme Court Committee on Technology and the Courts, pleadings and other documents may be filed with the Clerk of Court by facsimile transmissions to 740-774-1101, 24 hours per day, seven days per weeks, subject to the following conditions:

    1. Definitions. The following terms in this Rule shall be as follows:

    a) Facsimile transmission means the transmission of a source document by a facsimile machine that encodes a document into signals, transmits and reconstructs the signals to print a duplicate of the source document at the receiving end.

    b) Facsimile machine means a machine that can send and receive a facsimile transmission either as a stand alone device or as part of a computer system.

    c) Fax or faxes - an abbreviation for "Facsimile" and refers, as indicated by the context, to facsimile transmission or to a document so transmitted.

    d) Source document means the document transmitted to the court by facsimile machine/system.

    e) Effective Original Document means the facsimile copy of the source document received by the Clerk of Courts and maintained as the original document in the court's file.

    2. Application of Rules and Orders. This local rule has been instituted solely for the convenience of those filing documents with the Clerk of Courts. Neither the Clerk of Courts nor the Chillicothe Municipal Court, Chillicothe, Ohio assumes any new or additional responsibilities, obligations or liabilities by virtue of this Local Rule, except as expressly provided for herein. Further this Local Rule pertains only to the method of filing; it does not override, alter, amend, revoke, or otherwise change and Local Rule or Ohio Rule of Civile or Criminal Procedure respecting the requirements of any filings such as obtaining the consent of parties or counsel or obtaining signatures or the authorization to sign for opposing counsel.

    3. Original Filing. A document filed by fax shall be accepted as the effective original filing. The person making the fax filing need not file any source document with the Clerk of Court. the person shall, however, keep the source document in his or her records and have it available for production on request by the court.

    4. Filings Not Accepted. This Rule authorizes the filing of facsimile transmissions for Municipal civil, small claims, traffic and criminal cases of all pleadings, motions and other documents that may otherwise be filed with the Clerk of Courts. The following documents may NOT be filed by facsimile transmission:

    (a) Any document filed by facsimile that requires a pre-paid filing fee.
    (b) Any e-mail transmission.

    (c) Any document in excess of 20 pages.

    5. Cover Page. The person filing a document by fax shall provide therewith a cover page containing the following information: (a) the name of the court (b) the title of the case (c) the case number (d) the assigned judge (e) the title of the document being filed (e.g. defendant Jones' Answer to Ammend complaint; Plaintiff Smith's Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss); (f) the date of transmission (g) the transmitting fax number (h) an indication of the number of pages included in the transmission, including the cover page (i) if a judge or case number has not been assigned, state that fact on the cover page (j) the name, address, telephone number, fax number, Supreme Court registration number (if applicable) and e-mail address of the person filing the fax document if available. If a document is sent by fax to the Clerk of Courts without a cover page information listed above, it shall be deposited in a file for failed documents with a notation of the reason for the failure; in this instance, the document shall not be considered filed with the Clerk of Courts. The Clerk of Courts is not required to send any form of notice to the sender of a failed fax filing.

    6. Signature. A party who wishes to file a signed document by fax shall either:

    (a) fax a copy of the signed source document; or

    (b) fax a copy of the document without the signature but with the notation "/s/" followed by the name of the signing person where the signature appears in the signed source document.

    A party who files a signed document by fax represents that the physically signed source document is in his/her possession or control.

    7. Exhibits.

    (a) Each exhibit to a facsimile produced document that cannot be accurately transmitted via facsimile transmission for any reason must be replaced by an insert page describing the exhibit and why it is missing. Unless the court otherwise orders, the missing exhibit shall be filed with the court, as a separate document, not later than five (5) court days following the filing of the facsimile document. Failure to file the missing exhibits as required by this paragraph may result in the court striking the document and/or exhibit.

    (b) Any exhibit filed in this manner shall be attached to a cover sheet containing the caption of the case which sets forth the name of the court, the case number, name of the judge and the title of the exhibit and shall be signed and served in conformance with the rules governing the signing and service of pleadings in thins court.

    8. Time of Filing. Subject to the provisions of these rules, all documents sent by fax and accepted by the Clerk shall be considered filed with the Clerk of Courts as of the date and time the Clerk time-stamps the document received, as opposed to the date and time of the fax transmission. The office of the Clerk of Court shall be deemed open to receive facsimile transmission of documents on the same days and at the same time the court is regularly open for business.

    The risks of transmitting a document by fax to the Clerk of Courts shall be borne entirely by the sending party. Anyone using facsimile filing is urged to verify receipt of such filing by the Clerk of Court through whatever technological means are available.

    9. Fees and Costs. No document filed by facsimile that requires a filing fee shall be accepted by the Clerk for filing until court costs and fees have been paid in full. Civil fax fees may be paid by cash, check or money order. Criminal and traffic fax fees may be paid by cash, check, money order, mastercard or visa.

    No additional fees shall be assessed for facsimile filings.

  10. Admission to courthouse. Prohibited items. Dress Code.:

    A) Admission to courthouse. In order to provide a safe, secure and contraband-free environment for the people who work in, or visit, the court, Court Security Officers shall inspect everyone who wishes to enter the building. The inspection shall include the person, clothing, belongings, bags, briefcases, packages, and any carried items. The inspection shall be conducted in accordance with the Court's Security Procedure's Manual. Anyone refusing the inspection shall not be admitted into the building.

    B) Prohibited items. The following items are prohibited from being brought into the Chillicothe Municipal Court:

    1. firearms 13. hacksaws and blades
    2. switchblades 14. scissors
    3. knives 15. razorblades
    4. any cutting blade that can be
    used as a weapon
    16. nail files
    5. brass knuckles 17. large safety pins
    6. ammunition 18. knitting needles
    7. explosives 19. letter openers
    8. chemicals 20. handcuffs and handcuff keys
    9. stun guns 21. illegal drugs, controlled substances
    and drug paraphernalia
    10. expandable batons or clubs 22. other tools or items which can be
    used as a weapon
    11. hammers, screwdrivers, pliers
    and other similar tools
    12. box cutters

    C) Exemptions. The following persons are exempted from the inspection
    provisions of this Rule:

    1. the judges of the court,
    2. the employees of the court,
    3. uniformed law enforcement officers,
    4. non-uniformed law enforcement officers who exhibit their
    official department photo identification card,
    5. attorneys,
    6. anyone who has been approved and given and identification card
    by the presiding and administrative judge


    D) Dress Code. No person shall be admitted unless they comply with
    the dress code as adopted by the court and posted at the court enterance.

II. CIVIL RULES

  1. Jury Trials and Demands:
    A) A demand for a civil jury trial shall be made as required by Civil Rule 38 and shall be accompanied by a deposit of $225.00 as security for the first day jury cost. Said sum shall be applied to the costs of the case in the event that costs are taxed to the party posting such deposit upon disposition of the case. Otherwise, the deposit shall be refunded to the party posting it at the conclusion of the case.

    In the event a party claims to be indigent and unable to post the deposit, an affidavit as to such indigence shall be filed with the demand for jury, and the Court may summon the party into court for further investigation of the claimed indigence.

    B) In the event a civil case is settled or dismissed prior to trial and it is not possible to notify all jurors of such cancellation, the requesting party shall bear the cost of juror fees for those jurors who report on the day of trial.

  2. Jury Questionnaires:
    Jury questionnaires shall be submitted to potential jurors and shall be available for review by any party or their counsel one (1) week prior to trial.

  3. Court Costs and Security Deposits:
    The schedule of costs, security deposits, and filing fees for all cases in the Chillicothe Municipal Court will be as set forth by separate order of this court.

  4. Filing of Pleadings, Motions, Etc.:
    A) In every pleading, motion, or document filed on behalf of a party or parties, there shall be set forth in the caption the names of all parties with complete addresses, if known, whose names appear in the proceeding for the first time.

    Every pleading, motion, or document filed on behalf of a party shall have printed or typed thereon the name, address, telephone number, and attorney registration number of counsel filing the same, and if filed by a law firm, the name of the particular attorney having primary responsibility for the case shall be indicated thereon.

    Sufficient copies of every pleading, motion, or document to be served by the clerk, bailiff, or sheriff, shall be filed with the clerk.

    The clerk shall make a copy of any pleading, motion, or document for the use of any counsel of record who has not previously been supplied with a copy, and charge the expense thereof as costs in the case.

    B) In all cases where the filing of a pleading or amended pleading is not fixed by law or another rule, the pleading or amended pleading shall be served on or before the fourteenth (14th) day after the date of the entry requiring or granting leave for the filing of such pleading or amended pleading, or overruling or sustaining a motion, unless otherwise specified in the entry. The opposing party shall move or plead to the pleading or amended pleading so filed on or before the fourteenth (14th) day after such pleading or amended pleading is filed, unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

    Where a case is transferred from small claims court to the regular docket of the Court pursuant to Section 1925.10, Ohio Revised Code, the answer of the defendant or defendants shall be filed within fourteen (14) days of the date of the entry ordering such transfer.

    C) It shall be the duty of the party or attorney filing a pleading, written motion, or brief subsequent to the complaint to mail or deliver a copy thereof to each other party to the case, or the attorney for such party. Failure to comply with this rule shall be sufficient cause to strike the pleading, motion, or brief from the files. If a copy of a pleading is to accompany a summons to be served in the case, it shall be sufficient compliance with this rule to deposit such copy with the clerk. The fact of such mailing or delivery to the adverse party shall be noted on the original. Insofar as the party filing a document is aware of the judge to whom the case is assigned, he shall note the same between the Case Number and title of the document in the caption.

    D) In the absence of a request to the Court for an oral hearing, notice of which request shall have been previously given to opposing counsel, a motion shall be deemed submitted on written briefs unless the opposing counsel requests in writing an oral hearing, which request shall be submitted within seven (7) days of receiving the motion.

    E) Pleadings, motions, or other documents not complying with this rule of Court shall not be accepted for filing by the clerk.

  5. Withdrawal of Trial Counsel:
    A) Counsel shall be allowed to withdraw from trial counsel responsibility in cases where counsel was designated only with the consent of the judge assigned to the case.

    B) In the absence of judicial assignment, or in the absence of the assigned judge, such application shall be made to the Administrative Judge. No such application will be considered unless:

    (1) A written entry or motion is presented stating the reasons for the application. The entry or motion will contain the following:

    {a} The time and date of trial, if set.
    {b} A certification of service to opposing counsel.
    {c} Certification that the client has been notified that the attorney is seeking to withdraw from the case.
    {d} Counsel's professional statement that, if allowed, a copy of the entry will be mailed immediately to the last known address of the client.

    C) Withdrawal of counsel within five (5) court days of any hearing assignment shall not be permitted.

    D) If the judge assigned to a case finds that Municipal Court Rule of Superintendence 16(C) is applicable, he shall refer such matter to the Administrative Judge for determination.

  6. Change of Trial Counsel:

    Once trial counsel has been designated, such designation shall remain until termination of the case. Change of trial counsel may be permitted by the judge assigned to the case upon the filing of an entry containing the designation of new trial counsel and the agreement of prior trial counsel and provided such change will not delay the trial of such case.

  7. Preparation of Papers in Civil Cases:

    No official or employee of this Court is permitted to prepare or assist in preparing any pleadings, motions, or other documents on behalf of a party to a case to be filed in this Court or which may be pending in this Court. This prohibition is not applicable to assistance required by law to be rendered to parties in the small claims division of this Court, or minor typing assistance, such as corrections of errors or last minute changes on papers filed with the Court, if requested and supervised by the filing party, or ordered by the Court.

  8. Pretrial Procedure for Civil Cases:

    A) The pretrial procedure called for in Ohio Civil Rule 16 shall be used by this Court, insofar as may be applicable or practical, in all contested civil cases, that is, civil cases which are at issue on an answer or a reply to a counterclaim.

    B) It is the order of this Court that attorneys appear for pretrials as scheduled, and that the parties to the case, or a representative of the party, also appear unless dispensed from appearance by the Court (service of notice pursuant to Civil Rule 5 is hereby deemed sufficient as to the notice of pretrial).

    Unless leave of Court is first obtained, failure of plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney to appear at a scheduled pretrial conference may be grounds for dismissal of the case pursuant to Ohio Civil Rule 41 (B)(1); failure of any other party or their attorney to appear may be deemed a contempt of this Court, and punished accordingly.

    C) Continuances of pretrials may be granted only by the Court, and no continuance shall be granted without approval of the judge before whom the pretrial is scheduled.

  9. 9(A). Default Judgment:

    A party seeking a default judgment pursuant to Ohio Civil Rule 55 shall file a written motion and a proposal Judgment Entry with the Clerk of Courts. Military Affidavits pursuant to the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act shall be filed with the proposed entry, unless filed earlier.

    If the claim is liquidated, in addition to the motion, the moving party shall file an affidavit containing sufficient information in support of the claim.

    If the claim is unliquidated, or if the party against whom judgment by default is sought has appeared in the action, or both, then a hearing is required before the Magistrate. In these cases, the motion for default judgment must include, on the face of the motion, notice of the date and time of the scheduled hearing on the motion. Service of the motion and notice of hearing shall be made on the opposing party in accordance of Rule 4(C) and not less than seven (7) days before the scheduled hearing. The moving party shall be responsible to show that the other parties have been properly served as required by this rule.

    At the hearing on the unliquidated claim, the moving party shall present evidence to support the award of the default judgment. The Magistrate may require testimony under oath or by affidavit. At the conclusion of the hearing, if the Magistrate is satisfied that service of summons and complaint has been obtained, and the evidence presented establishes the party's entitlement to judgment, the Magistrate shall prepare a Decision and file it with the Clerk. Copies of the Magistrate's Decision shall be served upon the parties or their attorneys by the Clerk, such notice to contain language the Objections to the Magistrate's Decision must be filed within 14 days of the filing of the Decision.

    9(B) Failure of Service:

    In the event there is a failure of service of summons, the complainant or his attorney shall make additional effort within ninety (90) days of the original failure of service.

    If the complainant or his counsel fail to comply with this rule, the Court may proceed to dismiss the case for failure to prosecute pursuant to Ohio Civil Rule 41.

  10. Assignment of Cases:

    All cases are subject to being assigned for pretrial or trial at any time after the expiration of a full day from the time the issues are made up, unless they are otherwise disposed of by dismissal, settlement, continuance, or upon the order of the Court.

    All cases will be heard on the day assigned for pretrial or trial, and continuances to a day certain will only be granted upon the demonstration to the satisfaction of the Court of the necessity for the continuance.

  11. Sales and Proceedings in Aid of Execution:

    The bailiff shall follow the procedure set forth in Section 2329.13 et seq. of the Ohio Revised Code in the advertising and conducting of sales on attachment, execution, or foreclosure of chattel mortgages. In all attachments or executions to be levied upon personal property, the attorney or party shall describe in detail those items which are to be levied upon; an instruction to "levy upon all goods and chattels" is not sufficient. Information must be supplied to the bailiff as to the type, size, and number of items to be levied upon, so that the bailiff can make an accurate estimate as to the cost of the proceedings, and so that he can require a sufficient deposit to secure costs before proceeding with the execution or attachment.

    If the item to be levied upon is an automobile or other motor vehicle, the party or his attorney shall furnish the bailiff with an accurate description of the automobile or motor vehicle, a license number or serial number, and a written statement as to whether there is a lien of record on the vehicle in the office of the Ross County Clerk of Courts. Before the bailiff proceeds to levy upon the vehicle, he shall determine whether there are any liens on it, and he shall also determine the fair market value of the vehicle by referring to the appropriate book valuation. If there is a lien on the vehicle, the name of the lienholder shall appear on the notice of sale. If the bailiff determines that the vehicle, when sold, will not bring a sufficient amount to cover the cost of towing, storage, appraisal, advertising, and other court costs, he shall require the party seeking the levy to post additional deposit for costs to cover these expenses before proceeding with the levy.

    If the sale will encompass many items, the bailiff may secure the services of an auctioneer and proceed in accordance with Section 2335.021, Ohio Revised Code.

  12. Garnishment Proceedings:

    All garnishment proceedings shall be in the form required by Section 2715.11, Ohio Revised Code, and the garnishment papers will be properly filled out, including date. They will be accompanied by the proof of service of the demand required by Section 2715.02, Ohio Revised Code, and by the garnishee's fee provided by Section 2715.111, Ohio Revised Code. The Clerk of this Court is instructed to refuse to accept for filing any garnishment papers not complying with this rule.

  13. Judgment Debtor Examination:

    Judgment debtor examinations shall be scheduled in front of the Magistrate. If the judgment debtor fails to appear after having been served with the order to appear, it is the duty of the applicant for the judgment debtor exam or his attorney to file appropriate papers to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the judgment debtor, unless the Court directs that other action be taken.

    Motions to cite judgment debtors for failure to appear for examination shall be identified as to the judge and court offended as pre-judgment pleadings per local Rule 11(C) or the same shall not be accepted for filing by the clerk.

  14. Forcible Entry and Detainer:

    When a judgment has been rendered ordering a defendant to vacate premises, the bailiff shall not proceed until there is filed with the Court a praecipe requesting such action, and the praecipe shall be accompanied by a deposit in accordance with the Court's Court Costs Schedule.

  15. Small Claims Division:

    Pursuant to Section 1925.01, Ohio Revised Code, and Ohio Civil Rule 53, the position of Small Claims Magistrate has been heretofore established by the Court and shall continue to exist. The appointments to fill any vacancy in the position shall be made by the judges of the Court, and the appointee shall serve at the pleasure of the judges for such term as they deem advisable.

    The deputy clerk of the Court assigned to Small Claims Division shall be responsible for assisting persons to file small claims complaints, entering these complaints in the Index and Docket, setting them for hearing, receiving the Court costs and money paid on judgments, and accounting for the same.

    The judges of the Court may hear small claims cases when the magistrate is unable to hear such cases, or when the judges otherwise deem it advisable to hear such cases.

  16. Trusteeship:

    Sections 2329.70 and 2329.71 of the Ohio Revised Code shall govern all applications for trusteeship in this Court.

  17. Caseflow Management in Civil Cases:

    A) Purpose: The purpose of this rule is to establish, pursuant to M.C. Sup. R 18, a system for civil case management which will achieve the prompt and fair disposition of civil cases.

    B) Scheduling of events: The scheduling of a case begins when a civil case is filed. Thereafter, the case is managed in five (5) clerical steps and five (5) judicial steps.

    C) Clerical steps:

    (1) Summons shall be served in accordance with the Ohio Rules of Procedure. In the event there is a failure of service, the clerk shall notify counsel immediately. If counsel fails to obtain service of summons within six (6) months from the date the cause of action has been filed, then the clerk shall notify counsel that the case will be dismissed in ten (10) days unless good cause is shown to the contrary.

    (2) Upon perfection of service, the clerk shall notify counsel of the default and that a failure to submit an entry within fifteen (15) days may result in the case being dismissed.

    (3) After any responsive pleading is filed, the clerk shall immediately forward said pleading and file to the judge so the matter may be set for hearing.

    (4) If no action has been taken on a file for a six (6) month period and the case is not set for trial, then the clerk shall notify the party that the matter will be dismissed within one (1) week unless good cause is shown.

    (5) When a file has been marked "settlement entry to come" and the entry has not been received within thirty (30) days, then the clerk shall notify the party that his case will be dismissed unless the entry is received within ten (10) days.

    D) Judicial Steps:

    (1) Status Hearing: After an answer is filed, the case will be assigned to a judge and the clerk will forward the file to said judge. The Court will then set a status hearing which may be heard in court or by phone. The purpose of the status hearing is to set discovery and motion deadlines so a formal pretrial can be set.

    (2) Motions: All motions must be in writing and accompanied by a written memorandum containing citations or the arguments of counsel. Opposing counsel shall answer in like manner within fourteen (14) days thereafter. All motions will be considered submitted at the end of said fourteen (14) day period unless time is extended by the Court.

    There will be no oral hearing granted in said motions unless the parties request an oral hearing in writing and the court deems it necessary.

    (3) Pretrials: For the purpose of this rule, "Pretrial" shall mean a court-supervised conference chiefly designated to produce an amicable settlement. The terms "Party" or "Parties" used hereinafter shall mean the party or parties to the action, and/or, his, hers, or their attorney of record.

    Any attorney for a party to the action who fails to attend at a scheduled pretrial conference, without just cause being shown, may be cited for contempt of this Court.

    Notice of pretrial conference shall be given to all counsel of record by mail and/or telephone from the assignment commissioner not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the conference. Any application for continuance of the conference shall be addressed to the judge to whom the case has been assigned.

    Counsel attending the pretrial conference must have complete authority to stipulate on items of evidence and must have full settlement authority.

    The primary purpose of the pretrial conference shall be to achieve an amicable settlement to the controversy in suit. The Court shall attempt to narrow legal issues to reach stipulations as to facts in controversy and, in general, to shorten the time and expense of trial. The Court will file a pretrial statement to become part of the record and the case embracing all stipulations, admissions, and other matters which have come before it in the pretrial. The Court shall, at that time, determine whether or not trial briefs should be submitted and shall fix a date when they are to be filed.

    Any judge presiding at pretrial conference of trial shall have the authority to dismiss the action for want of prosecution on motion of defendant upon failure of plaintiff, and/or his counsel to appear in person at any pretrial conference or trial; to order the plaintiff to proceed with the case and to decide and determine all matters ex parte upon failure of the defendant to appear in person or by counsel at any pretrial conference of trials as required; to make such other order as the court may deem appropriate under all the circumstances.

    If the case cannot be settled at pretrial, then the case will be set for trial at a time agreeable to all parties.

    (4) Continuances: No party shall be granted a continuance of a trial or a hearing without a written motion from the party or his counsel stating the reason for the continuance.

    When a continuance is requested for the reason that counsel is scheduled to appear in another case assigned for trial on the same date in the same or another trial court of this state, the case which was first set for trial shall have priority and shall be tried on the date assigned. Movant shall name the court, and state the date which the case was scheduled in conflict in order to facilitate this process. Motions filed without this information are subject to dismissal. Criminal cases assigned for trial have priority over civil cases assigned for trial. The granting of any other request for continuance of a scheduled trial is a matter within the discretion of the trial court.

    If a designated trial attorney has such a number of cases assigned for trial in courts of this state so as to cause undue delay in the disposition of such cases, the Administrative Judge may require the trial attorney to provide a substitute trial attorney. If the trial attorney was appointed by the Court, the Court shall appoint a substitute trial attorney.

    (5) Judgement Entries: Counsel for the party in whose favor and order or judgment is rendered shall prepare a journal entry unless the trial judge indicates that he will prepare same; if court-prepared, the entry will not be submitted for approval. If counsel-prepared, the entry shall be submitted to opposing counsel within fourteen (14) days of the decision. Opposing counsel shall approve or reject the entry within seven (7) days or the same shall be transmitted to the court marked "unapproved". Within twenty-one (21) days of the decision, the journal entry shall be submitted to the judge for signature, or, hereafter, the Court will prepare the journal entry, and may charge a court cost of $50.00 to the party in whose favor an order of judgment is rendered.

    Entries of settlement may be filed at any time. The avoidance of trial by settlement shall be allowed without the filing of an entry, but such entry shall be filed within thirty (30) days or the case will be dismissed for want of prosecution.

    Upon notification from the clerk that the case has defaulted, prevailing counsel shall submit an application for default judgment within fifteen (15) days or the case will be dismissed for want of prosecution. The journal entry shall state which party will pay the court costs.

  18. Case Management in Special Proceedings:

    (A) Purpose: The purpose of this rule is to establish, pursuant to M.C. Sup. R 18, a case management system for special proceedings to achieve prompt and fair disposition of these matters. The following civil matters are considered special proceedings and may be heard by a judge or magistrate, to wit: Small Claims, Forcible entry and detainer, Default hearings, Rent escrow, Replevin, Motion to cite, Garnishment hearings, Debtor's exams and Bureau of Motor Vehicles appeals. The following criminal matters are considered special proceedings and they are to be heard by a judge, to wit: Preliminary hearings, and Extradition hearings.

    (B) Scheduling of Events: Cases that have time limits established by the Ohio Revised Code shall be set within those time limits for hearing. In all other special proceedings, the case shall be set for hearing within a reasonable time not to exceed ninety (90) days.

    (C) Clerical Steps: In all new cases, if counsel fails to obtain service of summons within six (6) months, the clerk shall notify counsel that the case will be dismissed in ten (10) days unless good cause is shown to the contrary.

    (D) Upon perfection of service, the clerk shall notify counsel of said default and that a failure to submit an entry within twenty-one (21) days may result in the case being dismissed.

    (E) After any responsive pleading is filed, the clerk shall immediately forward said pleading and file to the judge so the matter may be set for a hearing.

    (F) If no action has been taken on a file for a six (6) month period and the case is not set for trial, then the clerk shall notify the party that the matter will be dismissed within one (1) week unless good cause is shown.

    (G) When a file has been marked "Settlement to Come" and the entry has not been received within thirty (30) days, then the clerk shall notify the party that his case will be dismissed unless the entry is received within ten (10) days.

  19. Forcible Entry & Detainer Hearings

    (A) Complaint: All eviction complaints filed by non-attorneys must be accompanied by a copy of the current deed to the rental property and the current property record card from the Ross County Auditor's Office. These documents are required as evidence at trial to prove ownership of the property and standing of the Plaintiff to proceed pro se.

    (B) Hearing: All forcible entry and detainer cases shall be set for hearing before the magistrate, or judge, pursuant to the time limits set forth in the Ohio Revised Code. At that hearing, the Ohio Rules of Evidence and the applicable Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure will be applied. The magistrate shall, at the conclusion of the hearing, file his or her written findings within seven (7) days and cause a copy to be served on the plaintiff and defendant.

    (C) Judgement Entries: The Court shall review the findings of the magistrate weekly and enter the appropriate judgment entry. Default judgment on damage claims shall proceed in accordance with Rule 9(A).

    (D) Objections to magistrate's Findings: The magistrate shall, at the conclusion of each case, serve a copy of his findings upon the plaintiff and defendant and inform the parties that they may file objections to the magistrate's findings within fourteen (14) days, in writing.

    The objections to the magistrate's findings should state, with specificity, the reason a new hearing is requested. No oral hearing will be granted on said motion unless upon good cause shown, the judge grants same. The Court shall, after consideration of the reasons in the objections to the magistrate's findings, rule on said objections to magistrate's findings within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the objections.

    (E) If an answer or jury demand is filed in a forcible entry and detainer case, then the clerk shall forward the case to a judge so the case can be scheduled for the appropriate hearing.

  20. Small Claims Court:

    (A) A small claims action is commenced by filing a Small Claims Petition, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 1925.04 on the form provided by the clerk of this court. No defendant is required to file an answer or statement of defense. However, should the defendant fail to appear for the hearing, after being duly served, then a default judgment will be entered against said defendant. All pleadings will be construed to accomplish substantial justice.

    (B) Upon filing of motion and affidavit, as required by Ohio Revised Section 1925.10, and upon payment of the required cost, the small claim will be transferred to the regular docket. No transfer will be granted until the filing costs are paid. If a defendant, the same shall reduce his affidavit to an answer or move as though served with complaint within fourteen (14) days of the date of his filing.

    (C) Hearing: The hearing in Small Claims Court shall be conducted by the magistrate. The magistrate shall place all parties who plan to offer evidence under oath and then allow the plaintiff and defendant to state their case. The plaintiff and defendant may subpoena and call witnesses if they desire to do so. The Ohio Rules of Evidence and the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure will not apply to a hearing in Small Claims Court.

    (D) Appeal from Hearing: The magistrate shall, at the conclusion of each case, serve a copy of his finding upon the plaintiff and defendant and inform the parties that they may file objections to the magistrate's findings within fourteen (14) days, in writing.

    The objections to the magistrate's findings should state, with specificity, the reason a new hearing is requested. No oral hearing will be granted on said motion. The court shall, after consideration of the reasons in the objections to the magistrate's findings, rule on said objections to magistrate's findings within fourteen (14) days of the filings of the objections.

    (E) The judge shall review the findings of the magistrate, each week, and enter the appropriate judgment.

    (F) Collection of Judgments: The employees of the court shall assist the prevailing parties in collecting their judgments pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 1925.13.

  21. Substitution of Parties:

    Substitution of parties, at any stage of the proceedings, must be by motion and order of the court. An assignment of judgment or other transferof interest will not be effective unless it is approved by a judge's entry. The motion for substitution may be made by any party or by the successor of any party and, together with a notice of hearing, shall be served on the parties as provided in Civil Rule 5, and upon persons not parties in the manner provided in Civil Rule 4 through Civil Rule 4.6 for the service of summons.

    Collection actions or other proceedings brought by assignees or agents are not permitted in the Small Claims Division. [R.C. 1925.02(A)(2)(a)(ii)] Therefore, any request to substitute parties in such actions must be preceded by a motion to transfer the case to the regular docket of the court.

III. CRIMINAL RULES

  1. Arraignment Time:

    Arraignments shall be held at 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, when court is in session, and at such other times as the judge deems appropriate. Arraignments of persons not in custody shall be held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or on Tuesday and Thursdays when no jury trial is scheduled in the arraignment court.

  2. Affidavits and Complaints:

    All criminal and traffic cases shall be commenced in this court by the filing of a complaint. All complaints shall state the name of the offense charged and shall contain the numerical designation of the statute or ordinance.

    If a warrant is requested on a complaint, the complaint shall be accompanied by an affidavit of fact pursuant to Ohio Criminal Rule 4(A)(1) whereby the Court can determine probable cause. An affidavit of fact merely phrased in statutory language and in substantially the same language as the complaint is not sufficient. In the alternative, the Court may hold a probable cause hearing in open Court before authorizing the issuance of the warrant.

    Complaints may be in statutory language, but should not contain surplusage from the statute or ordinance which is not involved in the case.

    The clerk of this Court and the deputy clerks of the Court shall not prepare or actively assist in the preparation of criminal or traffic complaints. This prohibition is not applicable to minor typing assistance, such as corrections of errors or last minute changes on papers filed with the Court, if requested and supervised by the filing party, or ordered by the Court.

  3. Numbering of Actions:

    Cases are to be categorized as to criminal or traffic, and will be serially numbered within each category. They will be identified by the year in which they are filed.

    Where, as the result of the same act, transactions, or series of acts or transactions, a defendant is charged with more than one misdemeanor, one case number shall be used, together with an additional digit identifying the particular case in sequence.

    Each case shall be identified by an alphabetical designator as follows:

    (1). A - "FELONY"
    (2). B - "MISDEMEANOR"
    (3). C - "DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE"
    (4). D - "ALL OTHER TRAFFIC OFFENSES"

  4. Traffic Violations Bureau:

    The Traffic Violations Bureau of this Court is established by a separate entry.

  5. Bail, Fine, and Costs Schedules:

    The Court has established a bail schedule for certain criminal and traffic offenses by separate entry.

    The Court has also established an optional procedure in minor misdemeanor cases pursuant to Ohio Criminal Rule 1.

    In all criminal cases where the defendant posts a property bond, his attorney or an attorney for the surety whose property is being used to secure the bond must provide the Clerk of the Courts with a title search, certifying the following:

    A short description of the property, the names that appear on the deed, the true value of the property as shown on the records in the County Auditor's office and whether there are any liens on file against the property.

  6. Sessions of Court:

    Sessions of court shall be divided into particular session and individual assignment session, in accordance with the Rules of Superintendence for Municipal and County Courts.

    The Administrative and Presiding Judge shall equally apportion particular session assignments. No one judge shall be assigned to a particular session of court for more than two consecutive weeks.

  7. Notification as to Cases Set for Hearing:

    The Court will notify the Law Director, the complaining party or officer, the attorney for the defendant, and the defendant as to the dates of any hearings.

    Notices shall be deemed sufficient if sent to the last known address listed on the papers making up the file on the case.

    It is the order of the Court that all parties notified of a hearing appear before the Court at the time designated unless otherwise excused from attendance by the judge.

  8. Pretrial Procedure in Criminal Cases:

    When a jury demand is filed in a criminal case, or when it is indicated to the Court that a jury is desired in a criminal case, the case will be assigned for trial and for pretrial.

    It is the order of the Court that the Law Director or his assistant, the complaining party, the defendant's attorney, and the defendant to be notified of pretrial in criminal cases and attend the pretrial unless dispensed from attendance by the Court as in the "1st Pretrial" status conference in Rule III-18 (B)(1).

    Subsequent pretrials or those so designated on the notice are appearance pretrials.

    Unless leave of Court is first obtained, any attorney or person required to attend the pretrial who fails to appear for the pretrial, may be cited for a contempt of this Court.

    No pretrial shall be held if the defendant is not represented by counsel.

    A pretrial may be scheduled in a non-jury case at the request of defendant or his attorney, or at the request of the Law Director or his assistant.

    No criminal or traffic charge will be reduced or dismissed after the last pretrial unless parties shall show good cause excusing their failure to reach the result at the pretrial, and the Court may conduct an examination into the causes of said failure, in granting leave.

  9. Public Defender System for Indigent Defendants:

    Preamble: So that indigent criminal defendants are afforded their right to representation in the Court consistent with the plan adopted effective January 1, 1991 by the Commissioners of Ross County, Ohio, the following rule is promulgated. This Court recognizes that the resources of the Ross County Public Defender are not infinite, and that, by appropriate procedure and scheduling, the manpower of the office may be most effectively applied.

    When the defendant in a criminal case, other than a minor misdemeanor, indicates to the Court that he is indigent and desires counsel, the Court shall refer him or her to the office of the public defender or to a public defender on duty in the Court. The Court reserves the right to examine the documents comprising the investigation of the defendant's indigence, but requires only the filing of the prescribed form of the Ohio Public Defenders Office in the Court's file regarding the individual defendant.

    The local office of the public defender shall provide a list of "on duty" attorneys who shall take the particular session arraignments for whatever period the local office shall designate. Whether or not the attorney is able to attend arraignments, such cases shall be assigned to him for further appearance as if he had entered a written appearance. The Court may make exceptions if found that the defendant is already represented by a particular public defender counsel in other pending cases, or to honor a request. The defendant may express a preference for a particular attorney pursuant to Section 120.33(A)(1), Ohio Revised Code.

    The judge of the particular session, in the absence of the public defender, in criminal and traffic arraignments may:

    1) Enter a plea of "not guilty" on behalf of an indigent defendant;

    2) Direct that the defendant proceed to the designated attorney's office, or return to court at a specific date and time to meet with designated counsel, or direct the public defender to meet defendant at Ross County Law Enforcement Center;

    3) Conduct a preliminary bail hearing, set bail, with the public defender to move for additional in-court bail hearings as he or the designated attorney in the case sees fit; and

    4) Generate and file an appropriate journal entry recording for the foregoing acts.

    In all subsequent proceedings the designated counsel shall be treated and be responsible as though privately retained.

  10. Demand for Jury Trial:

    In criminal cases the demand for jury trial must be filed within the time limits set forth on Ohio Criminal Rule 23(A), that is not less than ten (10) days prior to trial date, or on or before the third day following receipt of notice of the day set for trial, whichever is later. Failure to demand a jury trial within the time limits set forth is a complete waiver of the right to trial by jury, and absolutely no exceptions to this rule will be allowed.

  11. Waiver of Jury:

    Once a written demand for jury has been filed, any subsequent waiver of the jury trial shall be made in writing at least eight (8) days prior to the trial date. Failure to abide by this rule will result in defendant's paying all jury fees and expenses incurred by reason of such demand, unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

  12. Jury Questionnaires:

    Jury questionnaires shall be submitted to potential jurors and shall be available for review by any party or their counsel one (1) week prior to trial date.

  13. Subpoenas:

    It is the responsibility of the complaining party to see that subpoenas for prosecution witnesses are properly requested. Where the complaining party is not a law enforcement officer then the Law Director shall file a proper and timely praecipe.

    Once subpoenas are issued, the Law Director or his/her assistants shall determine whether service has been obtained for the purpose of assuring service before trial or hearing date. All praecipes for witnesses shall, unless the case is set for trial less than three (3) days in advance, be filed not less than three (3) days prior to trial date. All praecipes for witnesses to be served in any other than Ross County. shall unless the case is set for trial less than seven (7) days in advance, be filed not less than seven (7) days prior to trial date.

    It is the responsibility of defendant or his attorney to see that defense witnesses are properly subpoenaed, and that once subpoenas are issued, that proper service has been obtained. All praecipes for witnesses shall, unless the case is set for trial less than three (3) days in advance, be filed not less than three (3) days prior to trial date.All praecipes for witnesses to be served in any other than Ross County. shall unless the case is set for trial less than seven (7) days in advance, be filed not less than seven (7) days prior to trial date.


  14. Modification of Driver's License Suspension:

    In making application for modification of the court order suspending driving privileges, a written application shall be submitted containing the following:

    1) the reason for the application;

    2) the distance from home to the place of employment;

    3) the hours of beginning and ending of work for each day requested;

    4) if the request is for driving privileges during hours of employment, a statement of whether employment will be terminated if the request is not granted; and

    5) the type of vehicle to be operated and the owner of the vehicle.

    The application shall be accompanied by a liability insurance policy which is personal to the defendant, plus a statement from the employer verifying facts with regard to the employment.

    Mandatory suspensions required by Section 4507.16, Ohio Revised Code, shall not be modified for the first thirty day period of such suspension.

  15. Modification of Sentences:

    All requests for modification of sentences shall be directed to the probation officer. It is the responsibility of the probation officer to investigate, evaluate, and report on such requests to the sentencing judge.

  16. Collection of Fines:

    In order that this Court may properly administer Sections 2947.14 and 2947.20 of the Ohio Revised Code, any person who claims inability to pay a fine shall furnish the Court with a written and signed statement setting forth information as to such person's assets and liabilities, including, but not limited to, current wages and employment and last employment, accounts in financial institutions, property owned, and debts, and shall set forth whether the fine could be paid by a certain date if time to pay were granted.

    The refusal to submit such statement, or the furnishing of a false statement, may be punished as a contempt of court.

  17. Costs of Incarceration:

    In order that this Court may properly administer Section 2929.15 of the Ohio Revised Code and any City of Chillicothe Ordinance or resolution of the Ross County Commissioners pursuant to Sections R.C. 753.02(B) and R.C. 341.23 of the Ohio Revised Code, any person before the Court for consideration under such Ordinance or Resolution who claims inability to pay the costs of incarceration, either in whole or part, shall furnish the Court with a written and signed statement setting forth information as to such person's assets and liabilities, including, but not limited to, current wages and employment and last employment, accounts in financial institutions, property owned, the costs of supporting dependents, and debts.

    The refusal to submit such statement, or the furnishing of a false statement, may be punished as a contempt of court.

    The above rule and order shall be recorded by the clerk in the journal of the Court, and after said recording the clerk shall cause a copy of this rule to be mailed or delivered to each member of the Ross County Bar Association and to those out-of-town attorneys who regularly practice in this Court (effective April 25th, 1985).

  18. Caseflow Management in Criminal Cases:

    A) The purpose of this rule is to establish, pursuant to M.C. Sup. R 18, A System for Criminal Case Management which will provide the 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 justice system.

    B) Scheduling of Events: The scheduling begins after arraignment. Thereafter, the case is managed in three (3) judicial steps.

    {1} Pretrials: After arraignment, all jailable misdemeanors wherein the defendant is represented by a defense counsel shall be set for pretrial by the assignment commissioner within thirty (30) days save in those cases wherein the time allowed by R.C. 2945.71 is less than thirty (30) days. All other misdemeanors shall be set for trial unless the judge orders a pretrial in said case.

    Such first pretrial shall be conducted in accordance with Criminal Rule 1 and to secure those goals shall consist of the following steps conducted by the Law Director and the defense counsel of record in the case:

    {a} Within fourteen (14) days of the date of arraignment, the Law Director shall prepare a "discovery packet". The contents of the "discovery packet" shall consist of all discoverable material in accordance with Criminal Rule 16. The same shall be provided counsel for defendant. If said defendant's attorney accepts the discovery, he is bound by a condition of reciprocal discovery and the same shall be served upon the Law Director within seven (7) days of receipt and acceptance of the "discovery packet". Rejection of the "discovery packet" shall be signified by the filing of the same, envelope seal unbroken, with the clerk of this Court.

    {b} The Law Director, by utilizing the "discovery packet" procedure, shall investigate the fitness of every case assigned him for eventual trial. He shall, in advance of the filing date of the Pretrial Report contact the victim, witnesses, private complainants and/or law enforcement officers as necessary to obtain whatever information or authority he deems necessary to prepare for trial or plea negotiations.

    {c} At a date and time mutually agreeable to the Law Director and Defense Counsel, but in advance of the deadline set for pretrial, the same shall meet, personally or by telephone conference, and discuss the issues raised by Criminal Rule 1. Defendant shall be in personal attendance at Defense Counsel's office or with Defense Counsel, or be consulted before the filing of the report.

    {d} Upon the close of the pretrial meeting, the Law Director and the Defense Counsel shall jointly prepare a pretrial statement on a form provided by the Court. Said form shall be completed and filed with the clerk of this Court on or before the date and time given in the first pretrial notice.

    {e} The judge assigned to the case shall review the Pretrial Report submitted by the Law Director and Defense Counsel and issue appropriate orders.

    {f} Failure to file a pretrial report, failure to diligently prepare or complete pretrial investigation or failure to attend any hearing wherein a personal appearance is indicated shall subject any attorney in such default without just cause being shown to citation for contempt of court. Alternatively, failure to prepare for the first pretrial may be foundation for a finding of failure to prosecute and dismissal of the case may be ordered.

    {g} If the parties cannot resolve the case, then the case should be set for trial to court unless a jury is demanded.

    {2} Motions: All motions shall be made in writing and accompanied by a written memorandum containing the arguments of counsel. Motions must be filed within the time limits established by the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure. All motions shall be set for oral hearing.

    {3} Trials: Each case not resolved at pretrial shall be set for trial to court if not already set at arraignment (to reserve timely trial dates). If a jury demand is timely filed, then the case will be moved to the jury trial schedule, if not already set. All defense counsel having filed jury demands (or in serious misdemeanors) shall notify the court by 4:00 p.m. of the eighth (8th) day preceding their trial of any change in plea, or jury demand status by a jury waiver in writing signed by the Defendant or jury costs will be attached to their case.

    {a} Continuances: No party shall be granted a continuance of a trial or a hearing without a written motion from the party or his counsel stating the reason for the continuance. Rule II-17 (D)(4) shall apply as though fully restated here regarding the requirements for a valid continuance motion.

IV. JURY MANAGEMENT PLAN

  1. Introduction:

    This local Rule of Practice is being implemented in compliance with Municipal Court Superintendence Rule 18(C), which requires that each municipal court, prior to July 1, 1994, develop and implement a Jury Management Plan. It is the purpose of this Rule to implement an efficient and comprehensive system of jury use and management for the Chillicothe Municipal Court.

  2. Jury Eligibility:

    To ensure that the jury pool is representative of the adult population of Ross County, Ohio, all persons are eligible to serve on a jury, except as follows:

    1. Persons less than 18 years of age.
    2. Persons who are not residents of Ross County.

    All reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate prospective jurors who have special needs.

  3. Procedure for Jury Selection:

    Potential jurors shall be drawn from a jury source list, which shall constitute a list of all registered voters in Ross County, by the use of random selection procedures using automated data processing equipment in conformity with ORC 2313.08, and ORC 2313.21.

    In August of each year, the Jury Commissioners, duly appointed by the Court pursuant to Revised Code 2313.01, shall convene and select jury panels to cover potential jury dates throughout the calender year. The jury source list shall be reviewed and unsuitable names purged from such list, in accordance with the powers provided to jury commissioners by ORC 2313.01.

    In the event the jury panels drawn are insufficient to meet the needs for the court in the calender year, the Jury Commissioners shall reconvene as necessary to select additional jury panels, in accordance with ORC 2313.01.

    If, in the opinion of the court, this jury source list is not representative of the adult population of the jurisdiction, additional source lists shall be utilized as authorized by law.

    Further, random selection processes shall be utilized to assign prospective jurors to specific panels and for assignment during voir dire.

    Departures from random selection shall be permitted only as follows:

    1. To exclude persons ineligible for service.
    2. To excuse or defer prospective jurors.
    3. To remove prospective jurors for cause or if challenged peremptorily.
    4. To provide all prospective jurors with an opportunity to be called for jury service and to be assigned to a panel.

    All prospective jurors shall be notified by regular mail of their requirement of service by the issuance of a summons directing them to appear on the date assigned. (See Exhibit A).
    Further, all prospective jurors shall be required to complete a jury questionnaire and, if appropriate, a request for excuse, exemption or a deferral. (See Exhibit B). Said summons shall be phrased so as to be readily understood by an individual unfamiliar with the legal process, and shall be delivered by ordinary mail. Said summons shall clearly explain how and when the recipient must respond and the consequences of his failure to respond. Any person who fails to respond to a duly served summons may be served with a citation for contempt of court, and must appear to answer on said summons or, if appropriate, shall be arrested and detained for examination as to why they failed to attend.

  4. Summoning of Prospective Jurors:

    Prospective jurors shall be summoned only upon the filing of a written jury demand, if required. In civil cases, a jury deposit of Two Hundred Twenty-Five Dollars ($225.00) shall be assessed. In the event the deposit is not made, no jury will be summoned, and the failure to make said deposit shall be deemed a waiver of the right to trial by jury. A person determined to be indigent may petition the Court for a waiver of the jury deposit requirement.

    In criminal cases, no deposit shall be required.

    Prospective jurors shall be summoned to appear in sufficient numbers to accommodate trial activity. Panels of seventy-five (75) persons per trial shall be summoned for service unless the Court determines that a lessor or greater number is necessary for a particular trial.

    Every effort shall be made to resolve cases prior to summoning juries. A jury panel shall not be summoned unless it appears that there is a substantial likelihood of trial.

    Persons summoned for jury service shall receive compensation AS FOLLOWS:

    - A PERSON WHO PERFORMS ACTUAL SERVICE - $20.00 PER DAY
    - A PERSON WHO APPEARS FOR SERVICE BUT DOES NOT SERVE - $10.00 PER DAY
    - A PERSON WHO PERFORMS ACTUAL SERVICE IN EXCESS OF 10 DAYS - $30.00 PER DAY

    Such fee shall be promptly paid from the City or County treasury, as appropriate.

    Any juror wishing to waive his fee for service shall be permitted to do so in writing in the Clerk's office. All waived fees shall be returned to the City or County Treasury, as appropriate.

    The term of service for any prospective panel shall be one day or the completion of one trial, whichever is longer. After completion of such service the juror may be excused if request for excuse is received by the Court.

  5. Exemption, Excuse, and Deferral:

    All persons except those who exercise their right to exemption are subject to service. Eligible persons who are summoned may be excused from service only if it is determined that their ability to receive and evaluate information is so impaired that they are unable to perform their duties as jurors, or that service upon a would constitute a significant hardship to them or members of the public. Persons excused from service shall be deferred and may be subject to jury service at a later time. All requests for excuse, exemption, or deferral must be made on the form provided, and shall be accompanied by appropriate documentation. These documents shall be retained by the court.

    The following factors constitute a partial, although not exclusive, list of excuses for which a person may be excused or deferred from jury service:

    1. Any person who suffers from a substantial physiological or psychological impairment.

    2. Any person who has a scheduled vacation or business trip during potential jury service.

    3. Any person for whom jury service would constitute a substantial economic hardship.

    4. Any person for whom service on a jury would constitute a substantial hardship on their family, clients, or members of the public affected by the prospective jurors occupation.

    5. Any person who has served on a jury within the last year.

    6. Any person for whom it may be readily determined is unfit for jury service.

    7. Any person for whom it is readily apparent would be unable to perform their duty as a juror.

    8. Other valid excuse

    No person shall be excused from jury service, except by the Judge. No person who does not complete the jury excuse deferral or exemption form shall be excused from service. Once a prospective juror has submitted his request for excuse, the prospective juror must report for service unless otherwise notified by the Court.

  6. Examination of Prospective Jurors:

    Examination of prospective jurors shall be limited to matters relevant to determining whether to remove a juror for cause, and to determine the jurors fairness and impartiality.

    All prospective jurors shall be placed under oath in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code. The oath administered shall incorporate an oath to assure the truthfulness of the answers provided on jury questionnaires.

    Jury questionnaires indicating basic background information concerning panel members shall be made available to counsel one day prior to the day on which jury selection is to begin (See Exhibit C). Counsel is permitted to record or copy the information contained on the questionnaires, except addresses and telephone numbers, so long as all copies of jury questionnaires are returned to the court upon the completion of trial. Under no circumstances may counsel or a party retain any jury questionnaire.

    Neither counsel nor party will be permitted to question prospective jurors as to matters contained in the questionnaire. Parties and counsel may be permitted to ask follow up questions concerning such information.

    The Court shall conduct a preliminary voir dire examination concerning basic and relevant matters, and counsel shall be permitted a reasonable period of time to question panel members thereafter. Counsel or parties shall conform their voir dire questioning to the following rules:

    1. Counsel may not examine prospective jurors concerning the law or possible instructions.

    2. Counsel may not ask jurors to base answers on hypothetical questions.

    3. Counsel may not argue the case while questioning jurors.

    4. Counsel may not engage in efforts to indoctrinate jurors.

    5. Jurors may not be asked what kind of verdict they might return under any circumstances. No promises may be elicited from jurors.

    6. Questions are to be asked collectively of the panel whenever possible.

    7. Counsel may inquire by general questions concerning the validity and philosophy of reasonable doubt or the presumption of innocence.

    In the event there exists a potential for sensitive or potentially invasive questions, the Court or the parties may request a hearing preceding voir dire to consider these questions.

    In all cases, voir dire shall be held on the record, but may be conducted outside the presence of other jurors in order to protect juror privacy, or to avoid juror embarrassment.

    If it is determined by the court during the voir dire process that the individual is unable or unwilling to sit in a particular case fairly and impartially, the individual shall be removed from the panel. Such motion for removal for cause may be made by counsel, a party if unrepresented, or upon motion of the court. Further, Ohio Revised Code 2313.42 and Ohio Criminal Rule of Procedure 24(B) set forth additional cause challenges which may be made against potential jurors.

    Peremptory challenges shall be exercised alternatively as presently established by Revised Code 2945.23, and Civil Rule 47, and Criminal Rule 24, unless prior to trial the parties agree on the record to another method. Unless otherwise agreed, all challenges shall be made in open court. In special circumstances, challenges may be made outside the hearing of the prospective jurors. There shall be no limit to that number as established by the Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure.

    Challenges to the jury array shall be made in accordance with established rules of procedure.

    In criminal cases, the jury shall consist of eight regular jurors and one alternate juror at the option of the Court. In civil cases, the jury shall consist of eight regular jurors and one alternate juror at the option of the Court, unless by agreement, the parties stipulate to a lesser number. In special circumstances, additional alternate jurors may be selected.

  7. Jury Orientation:

    Jurors shall report for service no later than 8:45 a.m., unless otherwise directed. After orientation, voir dire shall commence promptly. All unresolved trial issues must be brought to the attention of the court before the completion of orientation. No motions shall be entertained by the court the day of trial, except those which the court must consider by law or by rule of procedure.

    Prospective jurors shall be provided with oral orientation upon their initial appearance and prior to service. The court shall give preliminary instructions to all prospective jurors, as well as additional instructions to all prospective jurors, as well as additional instructions following the impaneling of the jury to explain the jury's role, trial procedures of the court, along with other basic and relevant legal principals.

    Upon the completion of the case and prior to jury deliberations, the court shall instruct the jury on the law and the appropriate procedures to be followed during the course of deliberations. In accordance with the Civil and Criminal Rules of Procedure, the parties or their counsel may request that special instructions be given to the jury.

    A final jury charge shall, whenever possible, be committed to writing, and shall be provided to the jury for its use during deliberation.

    All jurors shall be permitted to take notes during the course of the presentation of evidence after proper instruction by the court.

    Upon appearance for service, all prospective jurors shall be placed under the supervision of assigned personnel and shall direct any questions or communications to such court personnel for appropriate action.

    All communications between the judge and the members of the jury panel, from the time of reporting to the court through dismissal, shall be committed to writing or placed on the record in open court. Counsel for each party shall be informed of any communications, and shall be given the opportunity to be heard as to such communication. Under no circumstances shall counsel, a party, or other witness, have any contact with jurors.

    All jury deliberations shall be conducted in the jury deliberation room. Jury deliberation rooms shall include space furnishings and facilities conducive to reach a fair verdict. Court personnel shall endeavor to secure the safety of all prospective jurors, and shall arrange and conduct all activities so as to minimize conduct between jurors, parties, counsel, and the public. Upon the commencement of deliberations, all jurors shall remain in the care of court personnel and shall not be permitted to leave the court without permission.

    Deliberations shall not continue after a reasonable hour, unless the trial judge determines that evenings or weekend deliberations would not impose an undue hardship upon the jurors, and are required in the interest of justice. Jurors shall be consulted prior to any decision.

    If jury deliberations are halted, jurors shall be permitted to be separated, unless for good cause shown, the Court finds that sequestration is necessary. If a jury is sequestered, the court shall undertake the responsibility to oversee the conditions of sequestration and the transportation of all jurors.

    Upon reaching a verdict, all jurors shall return to the courtroom where the verdict or verdicts shall be read in open court. Upon the reading of the verdict, in criminal cases, either party may request that the jury be polled.

  8. Conclusion:

    The court shall evaluate the performance of this jury management plan to determine the representativeness of the jury pool; the effectiveness of the summoning procedures; the responsiveness of individual citizens to jury summons; the efficient use of jurors; the cost effectiveness of this plan; and overall juror satisfaction.