Monday, October 17, 2011

Ohio Supreme Court seeking comments on Rule of Practice & Procedure amendments

The Ohio Supreme Court will accept public comment until Nov. 22 on amendments to annual updates to the Rules of Practice and Procedure recommended by the Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure.

The Court's announcement last Friday says that the proposed amendments concern changes to the state’s rules of appellate procedure, civil procedure, criminal procedure, juvenile procedure and rules of evidence, many of which target inconsistencies, allow for electronic means of service, remove outdated concepts, or move certain rules to other sections that make more sense. There are, however, a few new rules proposed.

-- Civil Procedure Rule 65.1, for instance, has been proposed regarding civil protection orders. Currently, existing civil rules governing protection order proceedings and the requirements and purposes of two Ohio Revised Code statutes are in conflict. "Sections 3113.31 and 2903.214 of the Ohio Revised Code," the amendment brief states, "establish special statutory proceedings for obtaining domestic violence, stalking, and sexually oriented offense civil protection orders. Both statutes state that the proceedings 'shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure.' However, the civil rules governing magistrates, discovery, and other procedures applicable to civil actions in general interfere with the process and requirements set out in the statutes. It is difficult, if not impossible, to apply the existing civil rules in these protection order proceedings and still comply with the requirements and purposes of the statutes.

"The legislature has also adopted R.C. 2151.34, a statute dealing with civil protection orders against a minor. This statute must also be addressed in drafting a new rule because, like the other two statutes, it states that the proceedings 'shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure.'

" The procedures for obtaining the protection orders provided by these three statutes are designed for the benefit of pro se parties and the orders are generally sought pro se—a significant consideration in drafting the proposed rule."

Another new rule – Juvenile Procedure Rule 5 – has been proposed to require juvenile courts to use a juvenile's initials rather than his or her full name in court decisions and press releases.

A clean-up amendment to Juv. R. 22 is also proposed. "The current rule requires the filing of a motion for discovery within ten days of appearance of counsel which leaves little time for the juvenile’s defense to file a request for discovery, for the prosecutor’s office to comply, and a subsequent motion for discovery to be filed. Although the rule allows for the court to extend time for making prehearing motions in the interest of justice, if the rule is strictly adhered to, the defense may be out of time to file a motion legitimately certifying that the request was refused The proposed amendment will provide more workable timelines and consistency of notice in these circumstances."

Text of Proposed Amendments

Comments should be submitted in writing to:

Jo Ellen Cline, Government Relations Counsel
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 S. Front St., Seventh Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Or via e-mail to

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