The Ohio Supreme Court announced this morning that it is going to be accepting public comments on a new rule that outlines standards to help guide local courts if they are currently operating or considering starting a specialized court docket until March 1.
Since the establishment of the Hamilton County Drug Court in 1995, Ohio has been recognized as a national leader in the implementation of specialized dockets. In 2001, the Supreme Court created the Specialized Dockets Section to assist and support local courts in developing specialized programs uniquely tailored to helping specific populations within the court system. Today, there are nearly 150 specialized dockets operating in Ohio including drug courts, mental health courts, re-entry courts, OVI courts, veterans courts, sex offender courts, felony non-support courts and domestic violence courts.
The Court’s announcement said the 12 standards proposed under Rule 36.02 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio are intended to create a minimum level of uniform practices yet still allow courts to tailor operations to meet their individual needs. Some of the standards require courts to engage in a planning process, use a non-adversarial approach, hold regular treatment team meetings, and conduct regular status review hearings.
Comments on the proposed amendments should be submitted in writing to: Melissa Knopp, Specialized Dockets Section manager, Supreme Court of Ohio, 65 S. Front St., Sixth Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215 or Melissa.Knopp@sc.ohio.gov.
Text of Proposed Amendments