Criminal Practice Guidelines

I. General

  1. All persons shall show respect for the law, parties, counsel, deputies, and staff.
  2. Counsel shall appear on time or notify the Bailiff of any delays in a timely fashion.
  3. During trials, pleas or other business will be conducted during breaks and/or the lunch recess.

II. Case Scheduling and Continuances

  1. Defendants must appear in person to execute a continuance with their counsel.  Continuance entries are to be in paper form.  We do not accept electronic motions for continuance.
  2. If there is a conflict with a court date please contact the prosecutor’s office prior to contacting the Court about appearing to execute a continuance.
  3. The bailiff will provide a court date after the continuance is executed.
  4. If a case genuinely appears likely to require a trial, alert the Bailiff as early as possible so that a firm trial date may be assigned.  
  5. Counsel should alert the Bailiff as promptly as possible if a plea agreement is worked-out that makes it probable that no trial will be needed.  

III. Motions and Memoranda

  1. All motions should be accompanied by a separate proposed entry.  Such proposed entry shall be prepared in Word and uploaded in the e-filing system.
  2. Motions in Limine are discouraged.  They may be filed only after good faith discussion by counsel, and upon certification that reasonable efforts to resolve the issue(s) were exhausted.
  3. Any sentencing memoranda must be filed at least 2 business days prior to the scheduled sentencing date.

IV. Trial Procedures

  1. Ordinarily trials commence at 9 a.m. and recess for the day at 5:00 p.m., however these hours may be altered to accommodate witness schedules.  Once a jury is sworn we make it a priority to move trials to completion.  Please plan accordingly.
  2. Marking exhibits during trial wastes time.  The Court reserves the right to exclude exhibits not pre-marked and exchanged among counsel prior to trial.  It is tremendously helpful for counsel to provide the Court with an exhibit list prior to the presentation of their case.
  3. Local Rule 27.13(F) sets out “Rules on Voir Dire.”  Because the Court does preliminary questioning of and juror questionnaires are available, lengthy voir dire is usually unnecessary.
  4. During voir dire, counsel is to question the entire jury panel.  Challenges for cause and preemptory challenges are exercised outside the presence of the jury.
  5. Jurors are permitted to take notes during trial.  Questions from jurors during trial are not permitted.
  6. Counsel are expected to be available on a ten (10) minute’s notice during jury deliberations and should provide contact information to the Bailiff.

V. The Ohio Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights (Marsy’s Law)

The Court will strictly enforce the rights afforded to victims under Article I, Section 10a of the Ohio Constitution and expects counsel to do the same.