The Ohio Supreme Court this morning announced its accepting public comments until October 16 on amendments to the annual update to the Rules of Practice and Procedure and to the Ohio Traffic Rules.
The announcement stated that many of the proposed changes would make simple clarifications, target inconsistencies, or account for renumbering of rules, although there are several substantive changes to existing rules including:
• Proposed amendments to Civ.R. 10 and Evid.R. 601 seek to enhance the affidavit of merit requirement and clarify who qualifies as an expert in a medical claim. The amendments distinguish between medical malpractice cases and other medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic claims. An amendment to Evid.R. 601 would require experts to have devoted three-quarters of their professional time to active clinical practice at the time of the event giving rise to the claim. (These proposed amendments were part of the Rules of Practice and Procedure package last year, but interested parties made clear that their support hinged on simultaneous adoption of legislation to curtail naming numerous defendants initially in a lawsuit but dismissing them later.)
• Proposed amendments to Crim.R. 41 address issuing and executing tracking-device search warrants. According to Jo Ellen Cline, Supreme Court government relations counsel, law enforcement officers currently have three days to complete a search with no differentiation made between a search warrant for property and the installation of a tracking device. The ability to install the tracking device within the time limit proved difficult if no opportunities arose for law enforcement to do it safely and secretly. The proposed amendments are designed to give law enforcement greater flexibility while protecting individuals’ rights.
• Proposed amendments to Civ.R. 53 respond to concerns raised in two appeals court cases about magistrates conducting civil jury trials. Under the proposed amendment, orders, decisions, and objections during magistrate jury trials would be exempt from current rule requirements and new procedures put into place.
The traffic rule amendment would clarify that a defendant’s signature isn’t necessary on an electronically produced ticket.
Comments should be submitted in writing before Oct. 16, 2013 to:
Jo Ellen Cline, 65 S. Front St., Seventh Floor, Columbus, Ohio, 43215 Or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org