The new Franklin County Courthouse, scheduled for completion in 2010, will be the first LEED-certified building in the State of Ohio. Click here to learn more.The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas is a stong supporter of Green initiatives. Click here to learn more.

Judge Michael J. Holbrook

Common Pleas Courthouse, Courtroom 5B
345 S. High St., 5th Floor
Columbus, Oh 43215
Tel: 614-525-3664
Fax: 614-525-3476
Local Rules
Clerk of Courts' on-line records

Who to call . . .when you need . . .

Elizabeth Bright
general court info; to report settlement of a civil case.

David Petikas
to inquire about procedures and processes in any criminal matters before the court.

Darcy Shafer
Staff Attorney
to request a status conference or to inquire about any pending civil matters before the court.

Elizabeth Watters
to inquire about scheduling mediation, magistrate trials, or damages hearings.

Civil Litigation Preferences
(for info on criminal procedures and preferences, please call the Judge’s bailiff)
Status Conferences

A representative counsel for each party is required to appear at the initial status conference unless arrangements are made, prior to the conference date, to conduct the status conference by phone. The Court's current procedure for telephonic appearances is as follows.

Telephone appearances are permitted for initial status conferences only, at the Court’s permission and discretion, and subject to the following conditions:
  • Unless otherwise requested, and upon good cause shown, all telephonic status conferences are conducted by the Court’s staff attorney.

  • The time of the status conference is changed from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or, in the event that more than one telephone conference is scheduled for any given day, the next available thirty-minute time-slot.

  • Taking into account that the time of the status conference will be changed subject to availability, the requesting party must contact all counsel and unrepresented parties to obtain global consent to a telephone conference. All counsel and unrepresented parties must attend by telephone. Absent compelling circumstances, the Court will not conduct a status conference with some participants appearing in person and others appearing by phone.

  • Once all participants have consented to a telephone conference, the requesting party must email the Court’s staff attorney at to confirm the same; all counsel and unrepresented parties must be copied to the email.

  • If a telephonic conference is permitted, the requesting party will be required to initiate the call. The initiating party must have all other participants on the line before contacting the Court at the time and number directed.

  • Until the Court’s staff attorney has sent a reply email confirming that the initial status conference will be conducted by telephone at the allotted time—or a formal order is entered on the docket—all counsel and unrepresented parties are required to appear for the conference as originally scheduled.

As this process requires consultation with the Court and its staff attorney, the Court encourages attorneys and unrepresented parties that wish to conduct an initial status conference by telephone to contact the Court rather than file a formal motion.

A representative counsel for each party is required to appear for final pretrial conferences. Final pretrial conferences will not be held by phone. Clients are not required to appear, unless otherwise noted. Pretrial statements are not required.
Motion Practice
Entries should be provided for all joint or unopposed motions.
The parties are required to make genuine efforts to resolve all discovery disputes without the Court’s assistance. If the parties are unable to resolve the conflict, contact the staff attorney and a discovery status conference will be scheduled. The Court will advise the parties if briefing of the issue is necessary.
Settlement Conferences:
Settlement conferences, with either Magistrate Watters or Judge Holbrook, will be scheduled upon request. Contact the staff attorney for scheduling.
Continuances or Amended Case Schedules
Prior to contacting the Court, make efforts to speak with opposing counsel first. Clearly advise the Court as to whether any request for continuances are agreed or opposed, and submit an entry.