Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ohio Supreme Court Taking Steps in Dealing with Judicial Emergencies

  Court News Ohio, the Supreme Court’s news service, announced yesterday that the Court was proposing changes to deal with judicial emergencies and the temporary relocation of courts in the state after questions arose from emergency-related events, such as the 2012 wind storm that closed the Logan County Courthouse, and whether current Ohio law and court rules adequately address such emergencies.

  Committee Chair Judge Scott Gwin said they were “looking at language that has essentially remained unchanged since Rule 14 was originally enacted in 1971 and the new rules would provide greater clarity for the powers and responsibilities of the Chief Justice during a judicial emergency.”

  CNO further reported that “as part of updating the rules, the Supreme Court will also be submitting proposed amendments to R.C. 1901.0211, 1907.0111, 2301.011, and 2501.04 to the Ohio General Assembly, providing courts specific authority and direction for temporarily relocating outside of the court’s territorial jurisdiction during a disaster, civil disorder, or any extraordinary circumstance that interrupts orderly operation of the court or division of the court within its territorial jurisdiction. Among the provisions in the proposed amendments:
Allow the administrative judge of the court or division to issue an order authorizing
the court or division to operate at a temporary location either inside or outside its
territorial jurisdiction.
Provide that while the court or division operates at the temporary location, it continues
 to have its normal territorial jurisdiction and has jurisdiction to hear actions and conduct
proceedings the same as if it were operating within its territorial jurisdiction.
   Complete text of the proposed rule amendments and statutory changes are available here.
   Written comments on Rule 14 will be accepted until March 19 and should be submitted to:
John VanNorman, Policy and Research Counsel
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street, Seventh Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

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