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Ohio State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Ohio

Highest Court

The highest court in Ohio is the Supreme Court of Ohio.  The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and 6 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Court of last resort on state constitutional questions and questions of great general or public interest. (2) Appeals from Board of Tax Appeals and Public Utilities Commission. (3) All death sentences. (4) Original jurisdiction in select cases.

Intermediate Courts

Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals consists of 3-judge panels. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appellate review of judgments of Common Pleas, and Municipal and County Courts. (2) Appeals from Board of Tax Appeals (3) Original jurisdiction in select cases.

General Courts

Court of Common Pleas
The Court of Common Pleas consists of 375 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) General Division, Civil and Criminal cases, and appeals from most administrative agencies. (2) Domestic Relations Division, divorces and dissolutions, and support and custody of children. (3) Probate Division, Decedent’s estates, mental illness, adoptions, issues marriage licenses and performs weddings. (4) Juvenile Division, offenses involving minors, and most paternity actions.

Limited Courts

Municipal Courts
The Municipal Court consists of 203 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Misdemeanor offenses (2) Traffic cases. (3) Civil actions up to $15,000.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

County Courts
The County Court consist of 55 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Misdemeanor offenses (2) Traffic cases (3) Civil actions up to $15,000.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Court of Claims
The Court of Claims consist of judges assigned by Supreme Court. It has jurisdiction over (1) All suits against the state for personal injury, property damage, contract and wrongful death.. (2) 3-judge panels upon request.

Mayor’s Court
The Mayor’s Court consist of approx. 428 mayors. It has jurisdiction over (1) Violation of local ordinances and state traffic laws. (2) Not courts of record and not subject to Supreme Court Rules of Superintendance.

Additional Information

Powers when more than one judge
A municipal court with more than one judge may have the judges sit separately as the presiding judge directs and shall meet at least once a month concerning business of the court.  An order of the presiding judge may be vacated, amended, or modified by a majority vote of the judges of court.  Administrative authority shall be used by a majority vote of the judges, including the presiding judge.
(Ohio Revised Code § 1901.16)

Voluntary conciliation
The court may establish, by rule, voluntary conciliation procedures for the small claims division and for the recover of taxes in that division. (Ohio Revised Code § 1925.03)

Transfer of case
A civil action that was originally filed on small claims docket may be transferred to a regular docket by a motion of the court or by the filing of a counterclaim or cross-claim for more than $3,000.  A small claim may be transferred to the regular docket upon the motion of a party against whom a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim is instituted, or upon the motion of a third-party defendant.    This motion must have an affidavit stating the defense to the claim, setting forth the grounds of the defense, and setting forth the compliance of the party or third-party defendant with any terms fixed by the court.  The party or third party defendant forfeits the right to a trial by jury if the motion is not filed as such. (Ohio Revised Code § 1925.10)

Chief justice; election; term
A chief justice of the supreme court shall be elected every six years and shall hold office for six years commencing on the first day of January next after his election. Vacancies occurring in the office of chief justice shall be filled in the manner prescribed for the filling of vacancies in the office of judge of the supreme court.  (Ohio Revised Code § 2503.02)

Filing of transcript
A complete transcript of the original papers, testimony, and evidence is to be prepared and filed by the officer or body from which the appeal was taken within 40 days after the officer or appropriate person  filed the notice of appeal. (Ohio Revised Code § 2506.02)

Except as stated in section 2743.63 of the Revised Code, the court of claims has the same powers to subpoena witnesses, require the production of evidence, and punish for contempt as the court of common pleas. (Ohio Revised Code § 2743.05)

Payment of jail fees
If a person causes another person to be sent to jail for reasons cited in section 2713.01 to 2713.29 will be responsible for the jail fees that will become part of the costs of the case. (Ohio Revised Code § 2713.28)

Inside Ohio State Courts