Civil Practice Guidelines
- Please contact opposing counsel first before contacting the magistrate about your issue. If you contact the magistrate, you must automatically copy opposing counsel on the same correspondence or email.
- When you settle a case, please contact the magistrate and inform her that the case has been settled so that she can schedule another matter in that time slot.
- If you are not an attorney and you are representing yourself pro se, Ohio case law mandates that you be held to the same standard as an attorney in presenting your case to the court by following the rules of evidence and civil procedure.
- On occasion, the magistrate will be asked if an attorney or a client can appear for a matter via telephone. Barring exigent circumstances, those requests are routinely denied. All attorneys and all litigants shall be present in the courtroom for any matter scheduled.
- Please provide your email address on all documents filed with the court.
Attorneys and litigants are expected to display professional conduct in their interactions with the court and opposing counsel. Attorneys and litigants also are expected to be respectful and courteous to all court personnel such as our secretaries and bailiffs.
Generally, status conferences will be scheduled by the magistrate as needed. Also, status conferences will be scheduled at the request of the parties.
Motions / Briefs
The magistrate will adhere to the civil rules of procedure and local rules of court. If a motion is filed before a scheduled court date and the opposing counsel has not had an opportunity under the civil rules to reply to that motion, the attorneys/litigants are expected to be present on the designated date to address the motion on the record.
Continuances are granted by the court and not by the agreement of the parties. Continuances will be granted upon the approval of the judge assigned to the case.
Amendment to Case Scheduling Order
Reasonable requests will be granted upon approval of the judge assigned to the case.
If there is an adequate remedy at law (i.e. money damages), then a request for a preliminary injunction is not appropriate. Counsel should be prepared to demonstrate proof of service of the complaint and proof of service of the motion for preliminary injunction, as ordered by the Court, per Civil and Local Rules.
Please be prepared to have a witness present testimony and evidentiary documents to justify your request for damages. Please remember that you must meet the burden of proof even if you were granted a default judgment. If you are requesting attorney fees as part of your damages request, please itemize and document the amount and be prepared to demonstrate to the court whether the request for attorney fees emanates from a contract or a specific statute.
Please be prepared to have a witness present testimony and evidentiary documents to meet your burden of proof if you are the plaintiff, and to defend against the claims asserted against you if you are the defendant.
Mediation / Settlement
Mediation statements are not required, but if they are submitted they will be reviewed by the magistrate prior to the mediation. If the case involves an insurance claims adjustor or a corporate client, those representatives must be present with authority to settle. Participation via telephone will be granted only under exigent circumstances with prior approval of opposing counsel and the court.
Stenographic & Recording Equipment
Varies by availability and assigned courtroom. The evidence cart must be requested in advance. If you plan to show a video deposition as part of your case, you must arrange for the video equipment and the videographer.
Objections to Magistrate's Decision
Objections to the magistrate's decision are governed by Civil Rule 53 and Local Rule 99 (PDF).
Attorneys and litigants are required to present deposition objections to the magistrate prior to trial so that they may be ruled upon and not interrupt the flow of the trial. Also, if there are objections in depositions that will be presented via video testimony, those objections will need to be ruled upon by the court prior to the start of the trial and redacted if necessary.
If the matter is a bench trial, the magistrate formulates her own findings of fact and conclusions of law. However, attorneys and litigants will be required to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. All conclusions of law must be supported by legal authority.
Final Pre-Trial Conferences / Final Pre-Trial Orders
A pre-trial order will be issued for each scheduled jury trial. The parties may request a pre-trial conference. Proposed jury instructions should be submitted to the court electronically pursuant to the pre-trial order.
Every effort should be made to have agreed or joint exhibits at trial. Please make sure that opposing counsel has a copy of all the exhibits you intend to proffer to the court prior to trial. Plaintiff should use a letter designation of all exhibits and defendant should use a number designation on all exhibits.
The magistrate rules upon the admission of each individual exhibit at the conclusion of all the witness testimony once the defendant rests. The attorneys will have an opportunity at the conclusion of all witness testimony, and outside the presence of the jury, to place their objections to any exhibits on the record. Counsel is responsible for electronically filing proposed exhibits prior to trial and/or admitted exhibits following the trial.
Stipulations are encouraged and make a trial more efficient.
Use of Videotapes
Any mechanical needs should be addressed with the Court before the trial date. At least 3 days advance notice is required for an evidence cart, subject to availability.
Videotapes cannot be edited by the Court and must be edited by the parties in advance of trial. Attorneys and litigants are required to present deposition objections to the Magistrate prior to trial so that they may be ruled upon and not interrupt the flow of the trial. Also, if there are objections in depositions that will be presented via video testimony, those objections will need to be ruled upon by the Court prior to the start of trial and redacted by the parties if necessary.
Motions in Limine
Motions in limine should be in writing, filed with the clerk of courts and brought to the court's attention by dropping off a copy to the magistrate. They will be ruled upon by the court contemporaneously with the trial prior to voir dire.
Method for Voir Dire
The court will ask the statutory questions as set forth is R.C. 2313.42 and present a brief description of the case. The attorneys will have a reasonable amount of time to conduct voir dire. Attorneys will voir dire the entire panel of eighteen jurors.
The attorneys will be able to exercise their challenges outside the presence of the jury panel.