Rules of Local Practice

For the

Court of Common Pleas of Coshocton County Ohio

General and Domestic Relations Divisions

(AS AMENDED February 4, 2015 with the addition of Rule 22 – Specialized Docket)

RULE 1

SCOPE, APPLICABILITY AND PURPOSE

1.1 

The following rules are adopted pursuant to Rule 5 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio and Civ.R. 83.  The purpose of the rules of local practice is to facilitate the expeditious disposition of cases.  The rules apply to the general and domestic relations divisions of this court.

 

1.2 

The rules are effective July 16, 2012. All previous local rules are hereby rescinded.

RULE 2

TIME

2.1 

The time allowed or permitted for the performance or completion of any act in handling matters before this Court shall be as established by the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure, and the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio.  If a particular matter is not covered by the aforesaid rules, such time shall be established herein or by Court Order.  For further explanation on civil matters, please reference the “Time Table Under the Civil Rules” as included in the Rules Governing the Courts of Ohio, published by the Anderson Publishing Company.

RULE 3

TERMS OF COURT AND HOURS OF COURT SESSIONS

3.1

Pursuant to Revised Code Section 2301.05, there shall be one term of court consisting of one calendar year.  In accordance with Revised Code Section 2301.11, this Court shall hold not less than 240 days of open session during each judicial year, unless all business is disposed of in less than such period.

3.2 

The business hours of the Court shall be Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., unless otherwise required.

RULE 4

FILING PLEADINGS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS

4.1

Pleadings or other papers shall be type-written or printed on 8 1/2  X 11 inch paper, and shall be offered for filing to the Clerk of Courts without folding, suitable for a flat filing system.  If the document appears unsuitable for filing for any reason, the Clerk may reject the document, or submit the document to the Judge of the General Division for review to determine if the document may be accepted for filing.  Original documents attached or offered as exhibits thereto are exempted from this requirement.  All pleadings and other papers shall be identified by a case caption.  (See, Appendix of Official Forms, Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure)

4.2

A case designation form must be completed for all appropriate filings.  Initial pleadings and other relevant documents not accompanied by a completed case designation form will be rejected and not made part of the docket.

4.3

All papers shall have a blank space of at least two and one-half  (2-1/2) inches at the top of the first page for file marks by the Clerk of Court.

4.4

A transcript of the proceedings which has been filed with the Clerk of Courts, or exhibits in any pending case, shall not be taken from the custody of the Clerk of Courts or the official shorthand reporter, without written consent of the Court.

4.5

Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, all exhibits offered and admitted into evidence in the trial of a cause shall be kept in the custody of the official shorthand reporter for six months after the making of the final order in such cause.  If no appeal has been taken within such time, the official shorthand reporter shall notify the trial attorney offering such exhibits to present an entry authorizing the withdrawal of them.  If no such entry is presented, the official shorthand reporter, with the consent of the Court, may make such disposition of exhibits in her possession, as is warranted.  If a final order ahs been made on appeal, and no further proceedings have been had within six months form the date of such final order, the Clerk of Courts with the consent of the trial judge, may make such disposition of exhibits as is ordered by the Court.

RULE 5

DEPOSIT OF SECURITY FOR COSTS

AND

SPECIAL PROJECT FEES

5.1

The Court has determined that for purposes of efficient operation additional funds are necessary to acquire and pay for special projects of the Court.  Therefore, pursuant to R.C. 2303.201(E)(1), the Court will charge a $100.00 special projects fee for all new civil filings, except for divorces and dissolutions which shall be subject to a $25.00 special projects fee.  Any post-decree or post-judgment motion shall be subject to a $25.00 special projects fee.

  The Clerks schedule of deposits shall be amended by Judgment Entry and conspicuously posted in the Clerk of Courts office, and made available for inspection by internet access.

  The schedule of deposits and special projects fees shall be amended from time to time by Judgment Entry as deemed necessary by the Court.

  A general schedule of deposits and special projects fees, effective as of June 1, 2011, is set forth below:

Type    Special Projects Fee  Deposit

Criminal  $25.00  $ 0.00

Civil Complaint  $100.00  $200.00

Foreclosure  $100.00  $400.00

Divorce  $25.00  $175.00

Dissolution  $25.00  $150.00

Post-Decree (DR)  $25.00  $ 85.00

Post-Judgment (Gen)  $25.00  $ 85.00

Counterclaim  $100.00  $150.00

Third Party Complaint  $100.00  $150.00

Administrative Appeal  $100.00  $200.00

Debtor’s Examination  $ 25.00  $100.00

Garnishment  $25.00  $100.00

A complete list of security deposits and may be obtained from the Clerk of Court.  (See, Appendix A.)

5.2

The Clerk of Courts may require additional deposits if it is deemed that any deposit may be insufficient to secure costs.  The additional deposit may be ordered, sua sponte, by the Court.

5.3

If property is sold at a sheriff’s sale, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, costs shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale and the security deposit shall be reimbursed to the depositor upon journalization of a decree of confirmation.  Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, if property is not sold at Sheriff’s sale, the security deposit shall be applied toward any accrued costs.  Any excess security deposit remaining shall be reimbursed to the depositor.  Any excess deposit to be reimbursed shall be disbursed upon journalization of an entry terminating or canceling a Sheriff’s sale.

5.4

In foreclosure actions, appraisers shall be paid from the costs on deposit at the time the appraisal is filed with the Clerk of Courts.

RULE 6

SHERIFF’S SALES

6.1

In every Sheriff’s sale of real property, the successful bidder as purchaser, shall be required to deposit by 12:00 o’clock noon on the day of the sale, by cashier’s check or certified check payable to the Sheriff, not less than one percent (1%) of the amount of such bid but in no event shall a deposit be less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500).  The unpaid balance of the purchase price shall be due and payable to the Sheriff within thirty (30) days from the date of the sale.

6.2

In the event a purchaser fails to pay the balance due on the purchase price, and the real estate taxes due and payable, within thirty (30) days after the date of sale, the purchaser shall be in contempt of this Court and any attorney of record in the case, including the prosecuting attorney, may forthwith cause a citation to issue commanding such a defaulting purchaser to appear before the Judge of the Court and show cause why the purchaser should not be punished.  Upon a finding of guilty of contempt, the Court shall proceed in accordance with Revised Code Section 2329.04.  The thirty (30) day deadline may be extended at the request of the Sheriff.

6.3

In addition to the remedy cited in the above paragraph, any purchaser who has not paid the balance of the purchase price within thirty (30) days from the date of the sale is prohibited, either personally, or through any other legal entity, from participating in, bidding on, or acquiring property in subsequent sheriff’s sales of real property until the unpaid balance is paid in full.

6.4

Failure to pay the one percent (1%) down by noon the day of the sale in accordance with Rule 6.0 may result in suspension, upon motion to the Court, from further participation in sheriff’s sales for a period of up to (6) months.

6.5

Appraisal fees shall be paid at the flat rate of $75.00 per appraisal.

RULE 7

JUDICIAL TITLE REPORTS

7.1

Judicial title reports shall be filed in accordance with Revised Code Section 2329.191.  Judicial title reports are not necessary for declaratory actions involving leases for mineral rights.  In such cases, a one-owner title search shall be considered sufficient to meet judicial certificate of title requirements.

RULE 8

ENTRY OF APPEARANCE AND WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL

8.1

In civil cases, entry of appearance of counsel may be effectuated by signature of counsel on a pleading or motion.

8.2

In criminal cases, entry of appearance of counsel shall be accomplished through a formal notice of appearance filed with the Clerk and served upon the Prosecuting Attorney.

8.3

Counsel for any party shall be permitted to withdraw from an action;

(A)  Upon motion with consent of the client and a substitution of counsel, or

(B)  At the discretion of the Court upon motion that contains notice to the client of the time, date, and location of the trial or hearing and a showing of good cause.  A proposed entry must be submitted.

8.4

The Court may at its discretion schedule a hearing on a motion to withdraw.

RULE 9

JUDGMENT ENTRIES

9.1

Unless the Court otherwise directs, counsel for the party in whose favor a judgment is rendered, shall within five days thereafter submit the journal entry to opposing counsel.  Opposing counsel shall approve or reject the entry within three days after receipt.

When counsel approves the entry, it shall be signed and presented to the Court for approval with the appropriate copies for distribution.

9.2

The final entry shall designate how court costs are to be paid.

9.3

If counsel fails to present any entry within twenty days after the judgment is rendered, the Court may cause the proper entry to be prepared and filed without submission or notice to counsel or take such other actions as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

9.4

Counsel shall promptly submit any settlement entry to the Court.  In the event that counsel fails to present the entry to the Court within twenty days after counsel has informed the Court that the case is settled, the Court, after providing notice to counsel may order the case dismissed pursuant to Civil Rule 41.

9.5

The County Prosecuting Attorney shall prepare all judgment entries in criminal cases as directed by the court.

RULE 10

MOTIONS, MEMORANDA, AND PROCEDURE THEREON

10.1  MOTIONS

All motions shall be accompanied with a memorandum in support stating the grounds and citing applicable authorities.  The non-moving party shall serve any responsive pleading on or before the fourteenth day after the date of service.  The moving party shall serve any reply on or before the seventh day after the date of service.  On the twenty-eighth day after the motion is filed, the motion shall be deemed submitted to the Court for ruling.  Motions for summary judgment taken pursuant to Civil Rule 56 will be heard according to a schedule ordered by the Court.  This rule shall also not apply to motions for default judgment, which may be ruled upon the same date the motion for default judgment is filed, at the discretion of the Court.

ORAL HEARINGS WILL BE CONSIDERED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT UPON REQUEST BY ANY PARTY.  IF A PARTY FINDS IT NECESSARY TO PRESENT EVIDENCE AT A HEARING, THEN THE PARTY SHOULD NOTIFY THE COURT THAT AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING IS REQUESTED, WITH AN ESTIMATE OF THE TIME NEEDED FOR THE HEARING.  IF NEITHER PARTY REQUESTS ORAL HEARING OR EVIDENTIARY HEARING, THE COURT WILL TAKE THE MATTER UNDER ADVISEMENT FOR NON-ORAL HEARING ACCORDING TO THE SCHEDULE NOTED ABOVE.

10.2 CIVIL CASE DISCOVERY

Counsel are encouraged to participate in pretrial discovery conferences to reduce, in every way possible, the filing of unnecessary discovery procedures.  To curtail undue delay in the administration of justice, no discovery procedure filed under Rules 26 through 37 of the Rules of Civil Procedure to which objections or opposition is made by the responding party shall be taken under consideration by the Court unless counsel state in writing that after personal consultation and sincere attempts to resolve differences they are unable to reach an accord.  This statement shall recite those matters which remain in dispute, and in addition, the date, time and place of such conference, and the names of all parties participating therein.  It shall be the responsibility of counsel for the party seeking discovery to initiate such personal consultation.

10.3 SANCTIONS

The presentation to the Court of unnecessary motions, and the unwarranted opposition of motions, which in either case unduly delay the course of an action through the Courts, subject an offender to appropriate discipline including the imposition of costs and fees.

RULE 11

FILING PLEADINGS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS BY ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

11.1 AUTHORITY

The provisions of this rule are adopted pursuant to the Facsimile Filing Standards for Ohio Courts as set forth in Appendix E of the Rules of Superintendence, and pursuant to Civ.R. 5(E), Civ.R. 73(J), Crim.R. 12(B), Juv.R. 8, App. R. 13(A).  There is no mandate that requires a court to accept fax filings.  Therefore, if the practical application of the rule is unsatisfactory, the Court may rescind the rule at any time.

E-MAILING IS NOT CONSIDERED PART OF FACSIMILE FILING, AND WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  THE COURT MAY ADOPT ADDITIONAL ELECTRONIC FILING STANDARDS AT A LATER DATE.

11.2  DEFINITIONS

“Facsimile Transmission” means the transmission of a source document by a facsimile machine that encodes a document into signals, transmits, and reconstructs the signals to print a duplicate of the source document at the receiving end.

“Facsimile Machine” means a machine that can send and receive a facsimile transmission either as a stand alone device or as part of a computer system.

“Fax” is an abbreviation for “facsimile” and refers, as indicated by the context, to facsiile transmission or to a document so transmitted

“Source Document” means the document transmitted to the court by facsimile machine/system.

“Effective original document” means the facsimile copy of the source document received by the Clerk of Court and maintained as the original document in the court’s file.

“Effective date and time of filing” means the date and time that a facsimile filing is accepted by the Clerk of Court for filing.

11.3  FAX FILING AND EXCEPTIONS

Pleadings and other papers may be filed with the Clerk of Courts by facsimile transmission to (740- 623-6522) subject to the following exceptions.

The following documents will not be accepted for fax filing:

·  Original complaint and accompanying paperwork for new domestic or civil case action

·  Cognovit promissory notes

·  Post decree motions

·  Answer with cross complaint requiring service

·  Debtors exam

·  Writ of possession

·  Garnishment

·  Order in aid

·  Service by publication and/or precipe for order of sale

·  Liens

·  Registration of a notary

·  Evidentiary materials that are attached to motions that are not on 8 ½ X 11 paper

·  Making and/or filing and/or releasing of a certificate of judgment

·  Request for execution by the Sheriff

·  Filing of an appeal from trial court (See local rules of practice for the 5th District Ct. of Appeals)

·  Original appeal from an administrative agency

·  Motion or application for sealing/expunging of criminal record

·  Any document required to be certified or authenticated

·  Any document in whole or in part under seal

·  Written pleas of not guilty

·  Written pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity

·  Any pleading or filing that requires a deposit for costs or witness fees (No additional fee shall be assessed for fax filing)

·  Any document that requires the Clerk of Courts to provide service

ANY DOCUMENT THAT MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION COVERED BY THE HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY ACCOUNTING ACT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO BE FILED WITH THE CLERK OF COURTS BY FACSIMILE FIING.

11.4  EFFECTIVE ORIGINAL FILING

A document filed by fax shall be accepted as the effective original filing.  The person making the fax filing need not file any source document with the Clerk of Court, but must, however, maintain in her other records and have available for production on request by the Court the source document filed by fax, with original signatures as otherwise required under the applicable rules, together with the source copy of the facsimile cover sheet used for the subject filing.

11.5  TIME OF FILING

The date and time of receipt of any document is the date and time imprinted on the document by the facsimile machine receiving the transmission.  The Court will maintain for the benefit of the Clerk of Court, a facsimile machine with a dedicated telephone line that is available to receive facsimile transmissions on the basis of 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 

The facsimile copy of a document shall be filed when received.  However, if any facsimile copy is received by the Clerk after 4:00 P.M. on a regular business day, weekend, or holiday, the facsimile copy may be filed on the next regular business day by the Clerk.

Documents received after 4:00 P.M. will be queued in order of their receipt as documented by the date and time imprinted by the receiving facsimile machine.

Fax filings may NOT be sent directly to the court for filing but may only be transmitted directly through the facsimile equipment operated by the Clerk of Courts.

11.6  MAINTAINING THE SOURCE DOCUMENT

The source document filed by fax shall be maintained by the person making the filing until the case is closed and all opportunities for post judgment relief are exhausted.  The source document must be made available for inspection by the court upon request.

11.7  COVER PAGE REQUIREMENTS

Any facsimile copy filed pursuant to this rule shall conform to the requirements of Civil Rules 10 and 11 and shall include a cover page which contains the following information:

·  The name of the court

·  The caption of the case

·  The case number

·  The assigned judge if other than the sitting judge

·  The title of the document being filed (e.g. “Motion for Default Judgement”)

·  The date of transmission

·  The transmitting fax number

·  An indication of the number of pages included in the transmission, including the cover page

·  The name, address, telephone number, fax number, Supreme Court registration number, and email address of the person filing the fax document if available.

·  If a judge or case number has not been assigned, state that fact on the cover page.

If a document is sent by fax to the Clerk of Court without the cover page information listed above, the Clerk may

  • Enter the document in the Case Docket and file the document; or
  • Deposit the document in a file of failed faxed documents with a notation of the reason for the failure.  The document will not be considered filed with the Clerk of Court.

11.8  NOTIFICATION

The Clerk of Court will make a reasonable effort to notify senders of documents that were rejected because they did not contain the required information, or because they were incomplete.  Documents that are rejected by the Clerk of Courts will not be considered as received for purposes of filing.

11.9  EXHIBITS

Exhibits that cannot be transmitted accurately or are lengthy may be replaced by an insert page describing the exhibit.  The original exhibit must be filed within seven (7) days of the fax filing.  The Court will not consider exhibits filed outside the time frame established by this rule.

11.10  SIGNATURE

Documents shall be filed with a signature or notation “/s/” followed by the name of the person signing the source document.  The person transmitting the document represents that the signed source document is in her possession.

11.11  WARNING

The electronic transmission of legal documents is inherently unreliable.  The risks of transmitting important legal documents by fax to the Clerk of Courts shall be borne entirely by the sending party.  Anyone using facsimile filing is urged to verify receipt of such filing by the Clerk of Court through whatever means are available.  The burden of validating or confirming the receipt of the complete fax transmission is on the sending party.  Sending parties are advised to use fax machines that report to the sending party a validation of transmission or a “failed transmission” report.

11.12  LENGTH OF FILING

Facsimile filings shall not exceed twenty (20) pages in length, not including the cover sheet.  Any document exceeding twenty pages in length must be filed over the counter with the Clerk of Courts.

RULE 12

REPRODUCTION OF HOSPITAL RECORDS

12.1

Upon motion of any party showing good cause therefore and upon notice to all other parties, the Court may order any hospital in the county, by any agent thereof competent to act in its behalf, to reproduce by photocopy or other recognized method of facsimile reproduction, all of or any portion of designated hospital records or X-rays, not privileged, which constitute or contain evidence pertinent to an action pending in this Court. Such order shall direct the hospital to describe by cover-letter, the portion or portions of the records reproduced and any omissions therefrom, and to specify the usual and reasonable charges therefore, and such order shall designate the person or persons to whom such reproductions shall be delivered or made available.

12.2

Objections to the admissibility of such reproduced hospital records on the grounds of materiality or competency shall be deemed reserved for ruling at the time of trial without specific reservation in the order to reproduce.  Reproductions made pursuant to this procedure may be admitted in evidence without further identification or authentication but subject to rulings on objections implied or specifically reserved unless the order otherwise expressly provides.

12.3

Charges for reproductions of records shall be paid directly to the hospital concerned by the Movant or Movants.

12.4

Where original records are produced in Court and reproductions subsequently substituted by agreement of the parties or by order of the Court, the Movants shall be responsible for the cost thereof.  Unless otherwise ordered, all original records shall be returned by the Court Reporter to the hospital upon entry of judgment.

RULE 13

CIVIL CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN

13.1

The purpose of this rule is to ensure the efficient and comprehensive management of civil cases filed in this Court.

13.2

Once per month, the Judge shall cause a general docket call to be conducted by reviewing the active docket generated by the Court’s current case management system.  Civil cases that have been pending for at least sixty (60) days, and contain evidence of service and responsive pleadings such as an answer, shall be scheduled for a case management conference.

13.3

The purpose of the case management conference is to select pretrial and trial dates, set discovery deadlines, motion deadlines, and determine if the case is suitable for mediation.  Counsel must be present and have calendars available.  Trial attorneys appearing in the action are expected to be present at the case management conference, fully authorized to act and negotiate on behalf of the parties that they represent. Representatives of sureties, indemnitors or insurers, must be available by telephone with full authority to settle.  If settlement cannot be reached, the case will be set for pretrial and trial. 

13.4

Case management conferences will be conducted by telephone for Workers Compensation cases only.  Plaintiff’s counsel must initiate the telephone conference.

13.5

At least two days prior to the case management conference, lead trial counsel shall file with the court, and serve upon all other trial attorneys appearing in the action a “Pretrial Statement”:

(2)  advising the Court in detail of the factual and legal issues which the case presents;

(3)  setting forth the party’s position on legal issues, including any significant evidentiary questions, with a citation of authorities in support thereof;

(4)  as to a plaintiff or plaintiffs, attaching an itemized list of special damages and expenses, if applicable;

(5)  attaching copies of available opinions of all persons who may be called as expert witnesses, including physicians, which shall not constitute a waiver of privileges granted under Revised Code Section 2317.02, and as set forth in Civil Rule 16;

(6)  a list of all exhibits expected to be introduced at trial;

(7)  a list of all witnesses intended to be called at trial, and

(8)  whether the case is suitable for mediation.

The Court recognizes that this initial “Pretrial Statement” may be limited in scope at the time of the Case Management Conference.  However, counsel are urged to provide as much information as is reasonably possible to educate the Court as to the facts, issues, law and evidence that may come before the Court at trial.  A second “Pretrial Statement” will be required for the final pretrial conference.

13.6

Upon the failure of a party or his trial attorney either to serve and file with the Court the Pretrial Statement required under this Rule or to attend the Case Management Conference, the Court may impose sanctions as authorized by Civil Rule 37.

13.7

The Court will prepare a written Order which recites the action taken at the Case Management Conference, and which may contain discovery deadlines, dispositive motion deadlines, and deadlines for the disclosure of all witnesses that may be called at trial.  In addition, counsel will be ordered to submit proposed jury instructions to the Court via email, at least two weeks prior to trial.  The Order will be entered and served upon counsel or record.

RULE 14

PRETRIAL CONFERENCES

14.1

A final pretrial conference will be scheduled approximately 30 days prior to the trial date.  All trial counsel and parties must appear at the final pretrial conference.  Cases involving insurance require the presence of an insurance company representative will full authority to settle.  The Court may, prior to the pretrial conference, excuse the presence of such representative upon providing notice to opposing counsel, and only if the insurance representative can be available by telephone with full authority to settle.  A “Pretrial Statement” as set forth in Local Rule 13.5 is required.  The final pretrial conference will involve a detailed discussion concerning the conduct of the trial and any anticipated motions that have not yet been heard by the Court.  At the conclusion of the pretrial conference, the Court will prepare a written Order which recites the action taken.

RULE 15

TRIAL BRIEFS

15.1

Not later than ten (10) days prior to the trial date in a civil case, trial counsel shall file with the Court and serve upon opposing counsel a trial brief delineating the factual questions involved in the case and the legal issues and the authorities which counsel relies upon to support the case.

RULE 16

MEDIATION

16.1

The Court of Common Pleas, General Division, incorporates by reference, R.C. 2710 “Uniform Mediation Act” and Rule 16 of the Rules of Superintendence.

16.2

The Court may order mediation on its own motion, or at the request of a party.  Mediation will be ordered in foreclosure cases at the request of a defendant.  Mediation will be conducted by a certified mediator selected by the Court.  However, the parties may choose a certified mediator as agreed upon.  The court, upon ordering mediation, will submit an order setting forth certain deadlines and requirements of the parties, who will also be responsible for paying the costs of mediation.

RULE 17

CRIMINAL CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN

17.1

This rule is merely procedural in nature and creates no substantive rights on behalf of any party.  Exceptions to this rule may be granted, if deemed appropriate by the Court.

17.2

At arraignment, the court shall establish a date for a scheduling conference at which a pretrial conference may be scheduled, or a trial date given, or both.  At the scheduling conference, which may be held with the magistrate if the judge is not available, the court will inquire whether the matter will be resolved by a plea of guilty or should be scheduled for trial and pretrial conference.  The defendant, if not incarcerated, shall attend the scheduling conference.  A failure to appear may result in bond revocation proceedings. Lead trial counsel for the defendant shall also be present, as well as the Prosecuting Attorney or an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.  If an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney attends the scheduling conference, the assistant must have full authority to compromise and negotiate plea arrangements.

17.3

If the Court is advised that the case will be resolved by a negotiated plea agreement, a change of plea hearing will be set and journalized.  If a negotiated plea arrangement is not confirmed at the scheduling conference, the Court will set the case for pretrial and trial.

17.4

Discovery shall be governed by Criminal Rule 16.  However, in an effort to regulate discovery consistent with Criminal Rule 16, the Court hereby establishes this rule concerning time.  After a written demand for discovery is made, the Prosecuting Attorney shall provide all discoverable material to defense counsel within twenty-one (21) days if the defendant is not incarcerated, or within ten (10) days if the defendant is incarcerated for the charge that is the subject of the discovery request.  A certification to the Court that discovery has been provided should be filed.  The filing of the certification prompts the timing of reciprocal discovery by the defendant.  Reciprocal discovery from the defendant shall be provided within fourteen (14) days after the Prosecuting Attorney’s certification has been filed.  Both sides are under a continuing duty to disclose discoverable materials. Discoverable material not provided in accordance with this rule, or Criminal Rule 16, may be excluded from admission at trial.

17.5

Motions, other than motions made during trial or hearing, shall be in writing unless the court permits them to be made orally.  A motion shall state with particularity the grounds upon which it is made and shall set forth the relief or order sought.  Motions shall be supported by a memorandum containing citations of authority and may also be supported by an affidavit.

17.6

The court may, in its discretion, schedule one or more pretrial conferences as the demands of a particular case necessitate.  At the conclusion of the pretrial conference, a memorandum shall be prepared of the matters discussed and agreed upon.

Normally pretrial conferences shall be scheduled only after discovery and reciprocal discovery deadlines have passed.  A representative of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney who has full authority to compromise and negotiate plea arrangements and defenses counsel shall attend the pretrial conference.  Defendant shall attend the pretrial conference as a term and condition of bond.  Defense counsel’s responsibility to notify the defendant of the necessity to attend the pretrial conference is non-delegable.

17.7

Failure by a party or counsel to comply with the provisions of this rule or any order made pursuant to this rule may result in the granting of a continuance or the prohibition of a party from introducing material in evidence not disclosed pursuant to this rule.  Additionally, the offending party or counsel may be required to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt of court.  If the offending party is the State of Ohio, an order of dismissal with or without prejudice may be entered, or the court may make any such other order and impose such sanction as it deems just under the circumstances.

17.8

In order to assist the court in meeting its responsibilities to provide all defendants “a speedy and public trial” under the statutes of the State of Ohio and the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Ohio, the Prosecuting Attorney shall prepare and provide to the court a monthly case status sheet.  The case status sheet shall be provided to the Court no later than the 14th day of each month, and shall show a summary of each case as follows:

-  case number

-  name of defendant

-  charges

-  bond

-  arrest date

-  arraignment date

-  scheduling conference date

-  pretrial date

-  trial date

-  speedy trial deadline

-  name of defense counsel.

RULE 18

TRANSCRIPT PROCEDURES

The Clerk shall not permit any party or any person to make a copy of or remove trial transcripts from a file.  Attorneys, parties to the action, or other interested parties shall be referred to the Court Reporter of the Court in which the case is pending or in which the case was tried.  (See, Appendix B.)

RULE 19

NOTARIES PUBLIC:  EXAMINATION AND APPOINTMENT

19.1

This Court shall not issue or approve the certificate of qualifications required by Revised Code Section 147.01 in connection with applications for appointment as Notaries Public unless the applicant is a resident of Coshocton County, Ohio who has passed the examination hereinafter prescribed or is admitted to the practice of law in the Sate of Ohio.

19.2

The Coshocton County Bar Association shall have a committee consisting of two attorneys in good standing who shall administer the procedures set forth in this rule and perform such duties as may be prescribed by the Court.  The committee shall receive applications and conduct examinations of persons applying for appointment to the office of Notary Public for the State of Ohio.  The committee shall establish rules for the conduct of examinations.  The committee shall investigate the applicants’ moral character, qualifications and ability to discharge the duties of the office of Notary Public.  The foregoing shall be accomplished primarily by a review of the applicants’ answers to written questions prescribed by the committee and any other information which comes to the attention of the committee. The questions shall inquire of applicants as to residence, purpose of desiring to be a Notary Public, personal history of being a Notary Public, whether a commission as a Notary Public has ever been revoked, conviction of a crime, whether the applicant has been removed from any office by reasons involving moral turpitude, and whether the applicant has had a business or professional license revoked.  Information from the foregoing which reflects negatively on the applicant shall be conveyed to the Court.

19.3

Any person applying for a commission as a notary public, who is not admitted to the practice of law in the State of Ohio, including  any person presently serving as a notary public applying for a renewal of his commission, shall be required to take the examination referred to herein.

19.4

All fees collected by the committee members, as herein set forth, shall be turned over to the Coshocton County Bar Association, to be used by said association to defray the costs of brochures, expenses of conducting examinations and for such other purposes as the Coshocton County Bar Association may determine.

19.5

The fee schedule is as follows:

State fee……………………………as prescribed by law,

Examination………………………..$30.00

Clerk of Courts……………………..$5.00

Attorney Application ………………$20.00

RULE 20

PROCEDURE IN DOMESTIC RELATIONS PROCEEDINGS

(A)  IN GENERAL.

Except as clearly inapplicable or as otherwise specified in this Rule, procedure in domestic relations proceedings shall be in conformity with the other Rules of this Court.

(B)  DEPOSIT FOR COSTS.

In all actions filed in this Court seeking divorce, spousal support or annulment, the filing party shall make a security deposit with the Clerk in the amount of $175.00.

In all actions seeking dissolution of marriage the filing party shall make a security deposit with the Clerk in the amount of $150.00.

(C)  PROCEDURE ON MOTIONS:

(1)  Orders Pendente Lite.  After any temporary alimony or child custody and support order is granted pendent elite in accordance with Civil Rule 75(M), any written request for oral hearing to modify such temporary order pursuant to Civil Rule 75(M) must be filed with the Clerk of the Court after service of copy on opposing party or counsel.  A request for oral hearing shall not suspend or delay the commencement of support payments previously ordered or change the custody of children until the order is modified by Journal Entry after the oral hearing.  The written request for oral hearing shall be heard within twenty-eight (28) days.

(2)  Statement in Pendente Lite Hearing.  At the time of any pendente lite hearing relative to temporary support, each party shall submit to the Court and to opposing counsel, a Pendente Lite Hearing Statement, which Statement shall include the income and expenses of the parties and other matters relative to such hearing.  Upon failure of either party to submit such statement, the Court will render its decision on the evidence presented.

(3)  Other Orders.  Other than motions for spousal support, child support and custody pendente lite and motions to advance, all cases shall proceed as follows:

A motion setting forth the relief sought and the grounds for relief sought and the grounds for relief shall be filed and served upon the opposing party together with a notice of the time and place set for hearing if an oral hearing has been set by the Court.

The proceedings on such motions shall then be in accordance with Rule 10 of this Court.

(D)  PROPERTY DISPOSITION IN HEARING ON MERITS.

In a hearing on the merits before the Court the Property Statement must be filed by the plaintiff and objections or exceptions, if any, filed by the defendant prior to such hearing.

(E)  DEFAULT PROCEEDINGS.

In cases of default, plaintiff must serve a copy of an entry of Dismissal or Judgment of Divorce, Alimony, Annulment or other final entry on Defendant by regular mail addressed to defendant's last known address.

(F)  APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL, IN SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' CIVIL RELIEF ACT ACTIONS.

In any action or proceeding commenced in this Court governed by the Soldiers' & Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, as amended, the Court may appoint an attorney to represent the defendant and protect his interests, and may set a fee to be taxed in the costs.

(G)  INVESTIGATIONS AND POST DECREE MOTIONS.

In actions for divorce or alimony, investigations are not required prior to a hearing on Motion for Custody pendent elite.  After a pendente lite hearing on custody and prior to a final order, and in post decree change of custody proceedings, an investigation may be ordered on written request filed by either party.  The Court also may sua sponte require an investigation.

(H)  TIME STANDARDS.

No trial or hearing in a domestic relations matter shall be continued beyond the mandatory time standards imposed by the Ohio Revised Code or rule of court.

RULE 20(I)

PARENTING/VISITATION TIME

This Court ordered Parenting/Visitation Plan is designed to insure that child(ren) will have frequent and consistent contact with both parents.

PLEASE NOTE:  Summer vacations shall take precedence over the holiday schedule and the holiday schedule shall take precedence over the normal weekly schedule.  The child's Birthday, Religious & Ethnic Holidays, Mother's Day and Father's Day shall take precedence over all other days not listed below.

(A)  Weekend and Midweek Companionship

(1)  For children from birth through age 13.  Every other weekend from Friday after school (as soon as the non-residential parent can pick up the child) until Sunday at 6:00 p.m. plus one evening a week, as the parties can agree.  If the parties cannot agree, the midweek will be Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and weekends from 6:00 p.m. Friday until Sunday at 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

(2)  For a child age 14 and older.  Visitation is expected to take place weekly, with the days and times to be agreed upon between the child and the non-residential parent.  If the child and non-residential parent cannot agree upon weekly visitation, upon the filing of a motion the matter will be set for hearing.

(B)  Summer Vacation – 4 Weeks Commencing at Age 18 Months.

(1)  For children from ages 18 months up to 5 years vacation shall be taken in no longer than one or two week segments.  For children ages 5 and older vacation may be taken in one, two, three, or four-week periods.

(2)  During any vacation when the children are in the vicinity, the residential parent shall have the same mid-week visitation as the non-residential parent.

(3)  Each party must provide the other party with his/her vacation destination and telephone number, where he/she can be reached, times of arrival and departure, and method of travel.

(4)  Non-residential parent’s schedule shall have priority over the residential parent’s schedule, unless residential parent’s vacation time is mandated by provisions of his/her employment (such as annual plant shut-down).  The parties shall give written notice to the other as the vacation schedule at least 60 days in advance.

(C)  Holiday Parenting/Visitation, Commencing at 18 months.

HOLIDAY  EVEN #'D  ODD #'D      DAYS & TIMES

    YEARS  YEARS

Martin Luther King Day    residential  non-residential    9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

President's Day  non-residentialresidential  9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Easter Sunday  residential  non-residential  9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Spring Break  residential  non-residential  5:30 p.m. day school

  ends to 7:00 p.m. day

  before school resumes

Memorial Day  non-residentialresidential  5:30 p.m. Fri.

  Preceding to Mon.

  At 7:00 p.m.

Fourth of July  residential  non-residential  5:30 p.m. day

  Preceding to 11:00    p.m. on the 4th

Labor Day  non-residentialresidential  5:30 p.m. Fri    preceding to Mon. at

  7:00 p.m.

Halloween  residential  non-residential  4 hours on "trick or

  treat" day/night

Thanksgiving  residential  non-residential  5:30 p.m. Wed. before

  Holiday to Fri. at

  7:00 p.m.

  non-residentialresidential  7:00 p.m. Fri. to Sun.

  at 7:00 p.m.

Christmas Eve  residential  non-residential  9:00 a.m. 12/24 to

  10:00 p.m.

Christmas Day  non-residentialresidential  10:00 p.m. 12/24 to

  7:00 p.m. 12/25

New Year's Holiday  residential  non-residential  5:30 p.m. 12/31 to

  7:00 p.m. 1/1*

Holiday Break  divide equally (or as the parties may otherwise agree in writing)

  *New Year's Holiday shall be based upon the 12/31 calendar year.

(D)  Days of Special Meaning, Commencing at age 18 months, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

(1)  Religious or ethnic holidays, Mother's and Father's Day-alternate between the parties yearly.

(2)  Children's birthdays with residential parent in even-numbered years and non-residential parent in odd-numbered years.  All siblings to attend.

(E)  Make-up Days

Make-up days shall be given if, due to an emergency, the child or non-residential parent cannot visit at the schedule time, or if the residential parent denies visitation time with just cause.  All make-up days shall be rescheduled and exercised within 30 days.

(F)  Extracurricular Activities

Regardless of where the children are living, their participation in existing and

renewed extracurricular activities, school related or otherwise, shall continue

uninterrupted.  The party with the child at the time of the activity shall provide the

transportation to these activities.  Notice of all extracurricular activities, school related, or otherwise, in which the children participate, schedules of all extracurricular activities (handwritten, if no formal schedule is provided by the activity) and the name of the activity leader (including address and telephone number if reasonably available) shall be exchanged between the parties.

(G)  Change of Residence within Ohio

If the residential parent intends to move his or her residence, the residential parent shall immediately file a written notice with the Clerk of Courts.  The written notice shall include the following.

(a)  The case number under which the original visitation order was issued;

(b)  The residential parent’s name, old address and new address; and

(c)  The non-residential parent’s name and present address.

Upon receipt of this notice, the Clerk shall file the original and send the non-custodian a copy of the notice unless the custodian has filed with the notice a motion requesting a hearing pursuant to O.R.C. 3109.051(G)

(H)  Removal from Ohio

The residential parent shall not remove the child(ren)'s residence from the State of Ohio without first obtaining either written consent of the non-residential parent in a Judgment Entry providing for a modified visitation schedule or an order of this Court.

(I)  Access to Records, Day Care and Activities.

Each party is entitled, under the same terms and conditions under which access is provided to the custodian, to access:

(1)  any school, health, or agency records or reports that are related to the child(ren);

(2)  any child day care center which the child attends; and

(3)  any student activity in which the child(ren) participated.  O.R.C. 3109.051(H),(I),(J).

(4)  each party shall provide the name and contact information of all providers to the other party.

(J)  Transportation

Unless the parties agree otherwise, the non-residential parent has the responsibility for obtaining the children at the beginning of a visitation period, and the residential parent has the responsibility for picking up the children after their visit.  The child(ren) and the residential parent have no duty to wait for the non-residential parent to arrive for more than 30 minutes.  The non-residential parent who is more than 30 minutes late for a particular companionship period shall forfeit that visitation.  If a party is unavailable to pick up the child(ren), an adult licensed driver who is well-known to the children may substitute for the party.  All child restraint laws must be complied with by any person driving with the child(ren).  No person transporting the child(ren) may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

(K)  Telephone Calls

Each party shall talk over the telephone with the child(ren) as often as the parties agree.  If the parties cannot agree, the non-custodian shall have telephone privileges at least twice per week.  In addition, a party may call a child once during a scheduled or agreed visitation period that is missed.  Also, each party shall have the right to call a child who is on vacation with the other party as often as the parties agree; absent agreement, each party may call the child at least twice per week.  Phone calls shall be during the normal hours a child is awake; and if the child is unavailable for conversation, each party shall be responsible to see that the child timely returns the call.

(L)  Mediation/Illness

  If the child(ren) is taking medication (prescription or non-prescription) upon the advice of a physician, the residential parent shall send with the child(ren) sufficient medication to last the entire visitation period; written instructions for the administration of the medication to the child(ren); and the name and telephone number of the physician.  If visitation time is cancelled due to the child(ren)'s illness or injury, then the time shall be made up within sixty (60) days at a time of the non-residential parent’s choosing.

 

RULE 20(J)

GUARDIAN AD LITEM

(A)  Applicability

This rule shall apply in all domestic relations cases where the court appoints a guardian ad litem to protect and act in the best interest of a child.

(B)  Definitions

For purposes of this rule:

  (1)  “Guardian ad litem” means an individual appointed to assist a court in its determination of a child’s best interest.

  (2)  “Child” means:

  (a)  A person under eighteen years of age, or

  (b)  A person who is older than eighteen years of age who is deemed a child until the person attains twenty-one years of age under section 2151.011(B)(5) or section 2152.02(C) of the Revised Code.

  (c)  A child under R.C. 3109.04 or a disabled child under R.C. 3119.86 who falls under the jurisdiction of this court.

(C)  Eligibility and Training Requirements

  The Court will maintain a list of attorneys who have completed the required training and are eligible to serve as guardians ad litem

  In order to serve as a guardian ad litem, an applicant shall have, at a minimum, the following training:

  (1)  Successful completion of a pre-service training course to qualify for appointment and thereafter, successful completion of continuing education training in each succeeding calendar year to qualify for continued appointment.

  (2)  The pre-service training course must be the six hour guardian ad litem pre-service course provided by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio CASA/GAL Association’s pre-service training program, or, with prior approval of the judge of this court, a course at least six hours in length that covers the topic arrears in division (3), below.

  (3)  To meet the requirements of this rule, the pre-service course shall include training on all the following topics:

(a)  Human needs and child development including, but not limited to,

stages of child development;

(b)  Communication and diversity including, but not limited to,

communication skills with children and adults, interviewing skills, methods of

critical questioning, use of open-ended questions, understanding the perspective

of the child, sensitivity, building trust, multicultural awareness, and

confidentiality;

(c)  Preventing child abuse and neglect including, but not limited to, assessing

risk and safety;

(d)  Family and child issues including, but not limited to, family dynamics,

substance abuse and its effects, basic psychopathology for adults and children,

domestic violence and its effects;

(e)  Legal framework including, but not limited to, records checks, accessing, assessing and appropriate protocol, a guardian ad litem’s role in court, local resources and service practice, report content, mediation and other types of dispute resolution.

  (4)  Additionally, a guardian ad litem shall annually complete a three hour continuing education course provided by the Supreme Court of Ohio or by the Ohio CASA/GAL Association, or, with prior approval of the judge of this court, a training that complies with division (5) of this rule.

  (5)  To meet the requirements of this rule, the three hour continuing education course shall:

(a)  Be specifically designed for continuing education of guardians ad litem and not pre-service education; and

(b)  Consist of advanced education related to topics identified in division (C)(3)(a) through (e) of this rule.

  (6)  Guardians ad litem may be removed from the court appointment list by the judge of the Coshocton County Common Pleas Court, General Division.  If a guardian ad litem fails to complete a three hour continuing education course within any calendar year, that person shall not be eligible to serve as a guardian ad litem until this continuing education requirement is satisfied.  If the person’s gap in continuing education is three calendar years or less, the person shall qualify to serve after completing a three hour continuing education course offered under this rule.  If the gap in continuing education is more than three calendar years that person must complete a six hour pre-service education course to qualify to serve.  Additionally, after losing eligibility for any reason, a guardian ad litem may not seek reinstatement of eligibility for six months.

  (7)  An individual who is currently serving as a guardian ad litem on March 1, 2009, shall have one year from March 1, 2009, to obtain the required six hour pre-service training in order to avoid removal from the court’s list of approved guardians ad litem.

  (8)  Attendance at an Ohio Guardian ad litem training program approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio or at an Ohio CASA/Guardian Association pre-service training program at any time prior to March 1, 2009, shall be deemed compliance with the pre-service training requirement.

(D)  Application

  Upon completion of the required pre-service training, an attorney seeking to serve as a guardian ad litem shall submit an application to the court.  The application shall be on the form prescribed by this rule, which is attached hereto as “Exhibit A” and incorporated herein.  The application shall be accompanied by a resume stating the applicant’s training, experience and expertise demonstrating the applicant’s ability to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of the guardian ad litem, a copy of the applicant’s criminal background check, and the applicant’s background disclosure statement or a copy of the applicant’s social security background check.

  In sending this application and supporting documents requesting placement on the list of eligible attorneys, the attorney is indicating a commitment to the acceptance of an appointment for at least once a year.

  Eligible attorneys shall notify the court of changes in their status, address or telephone number.

(E)  Appointment

  In order to superintend the best interest of minor children in any action over which this court has jurisdiction, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem upon its own motion or the motion of either party.  When necessary, the court may also appoint an attorney to represent the child, or may appoint an attorney in the duel capacity of attorney and guardian ad litem for the child, so long as those roles do not conflict.  Said appointment shall be made by the required entry attached hereto as “Exhibit B” and incorporated herein.

  It shall be the responsibility of counsel in the case to copy the guardian ad litem with all pleadings, notices of hearings and depositions, entries and any other necessary documents.  Any additional expense incurred by the guardian ad litem as a result of counsel’s failure to notify, including the costs of transcripts, shall be charged to the party (ies) responsible for such failure.

(F)  Fees/Deposit to Secure Fees

  When an attorney guardian ad litem requires fee arrangements inconsistent with those set forth in the required entry, he/she shall so notify the court prior to accepting an appointment.

  The court shall require the parties to post a deposit to secure the fees of the guardian ad litem and shall apportion additional fees incurred for the services of the guardian ad litem between the respective parties.  The total deposit shall be $500.00 unless otherwise ordered.  If any party has filed an affidavit of indigency, the court may, in its discretion, not require that party to pay an initial deposit.  The court shall retain jurisdiction to reallocate the guardian ad litem’s fees along with all costs of the proceedings, at the conclusion of the case.

No later than seven (7) days after final hearing in the matter on which the guardian ad litem has been appointed, the attorney/guardian ad litem shall submit an affidavit of fees to the court.  Nothing herein shall delay the filing of said entries, and they shall be filed in accordance with the Rules of the Supreme Court as to Civil Procedure and Superintendence.  In order to protect the fee for the services of the attorney/guardian ad litem, the court may require additional deposits, and shall have the discretion to issue a lump sum judgment against the party or parties for the attorney fees due and owing at the time of the final adjudication.

(G) Responsibilities and Duties of the guardian ad litem

  In order to provide the court with relevant information and an informed recommendation regarding the child’s best interest, a guardian ad litem shall perform, at a minimum, the responsibilities stated in this division, unless impracticable or inadvisable to do so.

  (1)  A guardian ad litem shall represent the best interest of the child for whom the guardian is appointed.  Representation of best interest may be inconsistent with the wishes of the child whose interest the guardian ad litem represents.

  The guardian ad litem shall be cognizant that the duty of an attorney to his/her client and the duty of a guardian ad litem to his/her ward are not always identical and, in fact, may conflict.  The role of the guardian ad litem is to investigate the child’s situation and then to ask the court to do what the guardian ad litem feels is in the child’s best interest.  The role of the attorney is to zealously represent his/her client within the bounds of the law.  The first and highest duty of an attorney appointed in a dual capacity is to zealously represent his client within the bounds of the law and to champion his client’s cause.  When appointed in the dual capacity of attorney and guardian ad litem for the child, or solely as guardian ad litem for the child, notify the court and counsel when a conflict arises.

  (2)  A guardian ad litem shall maintain independence, objectivity and fairness as well as the appearance of fairness in dealings with parties and professionals, both in and out of the courtroom and shall have no ex parte communications with the court regarding the merits of the case.

  (3)  A guardian ad litem is an officer of the court and shall act with respect and courtesy to the parties at all times.

  (4)  A guardian ad litem shall appear and participate in any hearings for which the duties of a guardian ad litem or any issues substantially within a guardian ad litem’s duties and scope of appointment are to be addressed.

  (5)  A guardian ad litem who is an attorney may file pleadings, motions and other documents as appropriate under the applicable rules of procedure.

  (6)  When a court appoints an attorney to serve as both the guardian ad litem and attorney for a child, the attorney shall advocate for the child’s best interest and the child’s wishes in accord with the Rules of Professional Conduct.  Attorneys who are to serve as both guardian ad litem and attorney should be aware of Rule 3.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct and act accordingly.

  (7)  When a guardian ad litem determines that a conflict exists between the child’s best interest and the child’s wishes, the guardian ad litem shall, at the earliest practical time, request in writing that the court promptly resolve the conflict by entering appropriate orders.

  (8)  A guardian ad litem shall avoid any actual or apparent conflict of interest arising from any relationship or activity including, but not limited to, those of employment or business or from professional or personal contacts with parties or others involved in the case.  A guardian ad litem shall avoid self-dealing or associations from which the guardian ad litem might benefit, directly or indirectly, except from compensation for services as a guardian ad litem.

  (9)  Upon becoming aware of any actual or apparent conflict of interest, a guardian ad litem shall immediately take action to resolve the conflict, shall advise the court and the parties of the action taken and may resign from the matter with leave of court, or seek court direction as necessary.  Because a conflict of interest may arise at any time, a guardian ad litem has an ongoing duty to comply with this division.

  (10)  Unless excepted by statute, a guardian ad litem shall meet the qualifications and satisfy all training and continuing education requirements under this rule.  A guardian ad litem shall meet the qualifications for guardians ad litem and shall promptly advise the court of any grounds for disqualification or unavailability to serve.

  (11)  A guardian ad litem shall be responsible for providing the administrative domestic magistrate with a statement indicating compliance with all initial and continuing educational and training requirements.  The compliance statement shall include information detailing the date, location, contents and credit hours received for any relevant training course.

  (12)  A guardian ad litem shall make reasonable efforts to become informed about the facts of the case and to contact all parties.  In order to provide the court with relevant information and an informed recommendation as to the child’s best interest, a guardian ad litem shall, at a minimum, do the following, unless impracticable or inadvisable because of the age of the child or the specific circumstances of a particular case:

(a)  Meet with and interview the child and observe the child with each parent, foster parent, guardian or physical custodian and conduct at least one interview with the child where none of these individuals is present;

(b)  Visit the child at his or her residence in accordance with any standards established by the court;

(c)  Ascertain the wishes of the child;

(d)  Meet with and interview the parties, foster parents and other significant individuals who may have relevant knowledge regarding the issues of the case;

(e)  Review pleadings and other relevant court documents in the case in which the guardian ad litem is appointed;

(f)  Review criminal, civil, educational and administrative records pertaining to the child and, if appropriate, to the child’s family or to other parties in the case;

(g)  Interview school personnel, medical and mental health providers, child protective services workers and relevant court personnel and obtain copies of relevant records;

(h)  Recommend that the court order psychological evaluations, mental health and/or substance abuse assessments, or other evaluations or tests of the parties as the guardian ad litem deems necessary or helpful to the court; and

(i)  Perform any other investigation necessary to make an informed recommendation regarding the best interest of the child.

(j)  Attend all depositions concerning the best interest of the child(ren).

  (13)  A guardian ad litem shall immediately identify himself or herself as a guardian ad litem when contacting individuals in the course of a particular case and shall inform these individuals about the guardian ad litem’s role and that documents and information obtained may become part of court proceedings.

  (14)  As an officer of the court, a guardian ad litem shall make no disclosures about the case or the investigation except in reports to the court or as necessary to perform the duties of a guardian ad litem.  A guardian ad litem shall maintain the confidential nature of personal identifiers, as defined in Ohio Rule of Superintendence 44, or addresses where there are allegations of domestic violence or risk to a party’s or child’s safety.  A guardian ad litem may recommend that the court restrict access to the report or a portion of the report, after trial, to preserve the privacy, confidentiality, or safety of the parties or the person for whom the guardian ad litem was appointed in accordance with Ohio Rule of Superintendence 45.  The court may, upon application, and under such conditions as may be necessary to protect the witnesses from potential harm, order disclosure or access of the information that addresses the need to challenge the truth of the information received from the confidential source.

  (15)  A guardian ad litem shall perform responsibilities in a prompt and timely manner, and, if necessary, an attorney guardian ad litem may request timely court reviews and judicial intervention in writing with notice to parties or affected agencies.

  (16)  A guardian ad litem who is to be paid by the court or a party, shall keep accurate records of the time spent, services rendered, and expenses incurred in each case and file an itemized statement and accounting with the court and provide a copy to each party or other entity responsible for payment.

(H)  Powers

  The powers of the attorney/guardian ad litem shall be wide-ranging, including but not limited to, the right to file motions and to review all confidential records involving the child(ren) by request through deposition, and by subpoena.

(I)  Reports and Court Appearances

  The guardian ad litem may prepare and file written interim reports detailing observations and recommendations, but in all cases shall be present at all hearings pertaining to the children.  The attorney/guardian ad litem may subpoena and examine independent witnesses.

  The guardian ad litem has a duty to notify the court and counsel if the child’s wishes are in opposition to the guardian ad litem’s recommendation.

A guardian ad litem shall prepare a written final report, including recommendations to the court, with the times set forth in this division.  The report shall detail the activities performed, hearings attended, persons interviewed, documents reviewed, experts consulted and all other relevant information considered by the guardian ad litem in reaching the guardian ad litem’s recommendations and in accomplishing the duties required by statute, by court rule, and in the court’s Order of Appointment.  In addition, the following shall apply to guardian ad litem:

  (1)  In domestic relations proceedings involving the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, the final report shall be filed with the court and made available to the parties for inspection no less than seven days before the final hearing unless the due date is extended by the court.  Written reports may be accessed in person or by phone by the parties or their legal representatives.  A copy of the final report shall be provided to the court at the hearing.  The court shall consider the recommendation of the guardian ad litem in determining the best interest of the child only when the report or a portion of the report has been admitted as an exhibit.

(J)  Filing Fees and Court Costs

  All filing fees and court costs are waived as to guardian ad litems.

(K)  Termination of Appointment

  The guardian ad litem shall represent the best interest of the minor child(ren) until discharged by the court.  At the conclusion of the proceedings for which the appointment was made, the guardian ad litem shall submit a motion and entry for withdrawal as the guardian ad litem, and dismissing the child(ren) as party(ies) to the case, to the judge.

  However, whenever feasible, the same guardian ad litem shall be appointed for a specific child in any subsequent case relating to the best interest of the child.

(L)  Complaints Regarding Guardians ad litem; Motions to Remove Guardian ad litem

  (1)  Comments or complaints regarding the performance of a guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to this rule shall be in writing and shall be directed to the judge of the Coshocton County Common Pleas Court, General Division.

  A copy of comments and complaints submitted to the court shall be provided to the guardian ad litem who is the subject of the complaint or comment.  The judge of the Coshocton County Common Pleas Court, General Division, shall consider the comments and complaints for appropriate action, if any.  The judge shall maintain a written record in the guardian ad litem’s file regarding the nature and disposition of any comment or complaint and shall notify the person making the comment or complaint and the subject guardian ad litem of the disposition.

  (2)  Motions to remove a guardian ad litem shall be scheduled for hearing before the judge or magistrate.

(M)  Annual Certification

The court shall annually conduct a review of its list to determine that all individuals are in compliance with the training and education requirements of this rule, that they have performed satisfactorily on all assigned cases during the preceding calendar year and are otherwise qualified to serve.

All individuals on the guardian ad litem list shall certify annually they are unaware of any circumstances that would disqualify them from serving, and shall report the training they have attended to comply with division © of this rule.

 

RULE 21

JURY MANAGEMENT PLAN

21.1  An Opportunity for Public Service

 

The opportunity for jury service shall not be denied or limited on the basis of race, national origin, gender, age, religious belief, income, occupation, disability, or any other factor that discriminates against a cognizable group located in Coshocton County, Ohio.

Jury service is an obligation of all qualified citizens.  Our system of justice is based upon the right to trial by jury.  Failure to attend when summoned to jury duty is a violation of law and subject to a contempt citation.

21.2  Jury Source List

The names of potential jurors shall be drawn from a jury source list compiled from one or more regularly maintained lists of persons residing in Coshocton County, Ohio, and maintained pursuant to law.  The jury source list shall be representative and shall be as inclusive of the adult population in Coshocton County, Ohio as is feasible.  The court shall periodically review the jury source list for its representativeness and inclusiveness of the adult population in Coshocton County, Ohio as is feasible.  Should the Court determine that improvement is needed in the representativeness or inclusiveness of the jury source list, appropriate corrective action shall be taken.

21.3 Random Selection Procedures

Random selection procedures shall be used throughout the juror selection process.  Any method may be used, manual or automated, that provides each eligible and available person with an equal probability of selection.  These methods shall be documented by the jury commissioners and the court bailiff.

  Random selection procedures shall be employed in:

(a)  Selecting persons to be summoned for jury service;

(b)  Assigning prospective jurors to panels; and

(c)  Calling prospective jurors for voir dire.

Departures from the principle of random selection are appropriate:

(a)  To exclude persons ineligible for service;

(b)  To excuse or defer prospective jurors;

(c)  To remove prospective jurors for cause or if challenged peremptorily; and

(d)  To provide all prospective jurors with an opportunity to be called for jury service and to be assigned to a panel.

21.4  Eligibility for Jury Service

All persons shall be eligible for jury service except those who:

(a)  Are less than eighteen years of age;

(b)  Are not citizens of the United States;

(c)  Are not residents of Coshocton County, Ohio;

(d)  Are not able to communicate in the English language; or

(e)  Have been convicted of a felony and have not had their civil rights restored.

21.5 Term of and Availability of Jury Service

The time that persons are called upon to perform jury service and to be available should be the shortest period consistent with the needs of justice.  Jury venires shall be summoned for a term of service of one (1) day unless otherwise ordered by the Court.  Persons shall not be required to maintain a status of availability for jury service for longer than two (2) weeks.

21.6  Exemption, Excuse and Deferral

All automatic excuses or exemptions from jury service, with the exception of any statutory exemptions, are hereby abolished.  Eligible persons who are summoned for jury service may be excused from service only if:

(a)  Their ability to receive and evaluate information is so impaired that they are unable to perform their duties as jurors and they are excused for this reason by a judge; or

(b)  They request to be excused because their service would be a continuing hardship to them or tot members of the public and they are excused by the bailiff.

Deferrals for jury service for a reasonably short period of time may be permitted by the judge or bailiff.  Requests for excuses and deferrals and their dispositions shall be made in writing or otherwise recorded.

21.7  Voir Dire

Voir Dire examination shall be limited to matters relevant to determining whether to remove a juror for cause and to determine the juror’s fairness and impartiality.

To reduce the time required for Voir Dire, basic background information regarding panel members shall be made available to each counsel in writing for each party approximately one week prior to the day on which jury selection is to begin.  Trial counsel of record may request a copy of the juror questionnaires, which will be provided and mailed to out-of-town counsel upon request.  Anyone obtaining copies of juror questionnaires must destroy the questionnaires upon the conclusion of the case.

The trial judge shall conduct a preliminary voir dire examination.  Counsel shall then be permitted to question panel members for a reasonable period of time.  The trial judge shall ensure that the privacy of prospective jurors is reasonably protected, and that the questioning is consistent with the purpose of the voir dire process.

In criminal cases, the voir dire process shall be held on the record.  In civil cases, the voir dire process shall be held on the record unless waived by the parties.

21.8  Removal From the Jury Panel for Cause

If the trial judge determines during the voir dire process that any individual is unable or unwilling to hear the particular case at issue fairly and impartially, that individual shall be removed from the panel.  Such determination may be made on motion of counsel or by the trial judge.

21.9  Peremptory Challenges

The exercise of peremptory challenges shall be governed by the Ohio Rules of Civil and Criminal procedure.

21.10  Administration of the Jury System

The responsibility for administration of the jury system shall be vested exclusively in the Coshocton County Court of Common Pleas.  All procedures concerning jury selection and service shall be governed by the Ohio Rules of Court and any applicable statutes.

Responsibility for administering the jury system shall be vested in the bailiff of the Court under the supervision of the Judge of the Court.

21.11  Notification and Summoning Procedures

The notice summoning a person to jury service and the questionnaire eliciting essential information regarding that person shall be combined in a single document, delivered by ordinary mail, and phrased so as to be readily understood by an individual unfamiliar with the legal jury system.

The summons shall clearly explain how and when the recipient must respond and the consequences of a failure to respond.

The questionnaire shall be phrased and organized so as to facilitate quick and accurate screening and should request only that information essential for:

(b)  Determining whether a person meets the criteria for eligibility;

(c)  Providing basic background information ordinarily sought during voir dire examination;

(d)  Efficiently managing the jury system;

The bailiff shall bring to Judge’s attention those persons who failed to respond to a summons.  The Judge may then Order an investigation with the possibility of a contempt citation.

21.12  Monitoring the Jury System

The Court will collect and analyze the information regarding the performance of the jury system on a regular basis in order to evaluate:

(b)  The representativeness and inclusiveness of the jury source list;

(c)  The effectiveness of qualification and summoning procedures;

(d)  The responsiveness of individual citizens to jury duty summonses;

(e)  The efficient use of jurors; and

(f)  The cost effectiveness of the jury management system

21.13  Juror Use

The Court shall employ the services of prospective jurors so as to achieve optimum use with a minimum on inconvenience to jurors, and coordinate calendar management and jury management accordingly.  The Court shall also determine the minimally sufficient number of jurors to accommodate trial activity.  This information and appropriate management techniques shall be used to adjust both the number of individuals summoned for jury duty and the number assigned to jury panels.

21.14  Jury Facilities

The Court shall provide an adequate and suitable environment for jurors.

The entrance and registration area for jurors shall be clearly identified and appropriately designed to accommodate the flow of jurors into the courthouse.

The jurors shall be accommodated in pleasant waiting facilities furnished with suitable amenities.

The jury deliberation room shall include space, furnishings and facilities conducive to reaching a fair verdict.  The safety and security of the deliberation rooms shall be ensured.

To the extent feasible, juror facilities shall be arranged to minimize contact between jurors, parties, counsel and the public.

21.15  Juror Compensation

Persons called for jury service shall receive a reasonable fee for their service and expenses, and such fees shall be paid promptly.  Juror compensation shall be $20.00 per day unless otherwise modified by the Board of County Commissioners.

Employers are hereby prohibited from discharging, laying-off, denying advancement opportunities to, or otherwise penalizing employees who miss work because of jury service.

21.16  Juror Orientation and Instruction

The Court shall maintain an orientation program designed to increase prospective jurors understanding of the judicial system and prepare them to serve competently as jurors.  The orientation program shall be presented in a uniform and efficient manner using a combination of written, oral and audiovisual materials.  The orientation and instructions shall be composed of the following:

(a)  Written information upon initial contact prior to service;

(b)  Oral, written, and audiovisual information provided in the prospective jury staging area prior to entrance into the court room;

(c)  Oral preliminary instructions upon reporting to the courtroom for voire dire, as noted below.

The trial judge shall give preliminary instructions, instructions after the empanelment of the jury, and instructions during trial and prior to the commencement of deliberations, pursuant to law.

All communications between the judge and the members of the jury panel from the time of reporting to the court, through voir dire and until dismissal, shall be in writing, on the record, and performed in open court.  Counsel for each party shall be informed of such communication and given the opportunity to be heard.

21.17  Jury Size and Unanimity of Verdict

Jury size and unanimity of verdict in civil and criminal cases shall be according to Ohio law.

21.18  Jury Deliberations

Jury deliberations shall take place under conditions and pursuant to procedures that are designed to ensure impartiality and enhance rational decision making.

The trial judge shall instruct the jury concerning appropriate procedures to be followed during deliberations.

The deliberation room shall conform to this rule.

The jury shall not be required to deliberate after a reasonable hour unless the trial judge determines that evening or weekend deliberations would not impose an undue hardship upon jurors and are required in the interest of justice.

Training shall be provided to personnel who escort and assist jurors during deliberations.

21.19  Sequestration of Jurors

A jury shall be sequestered only for good cause, including but not limited to insulating its members from improper information or influences.

In capital cases, jurors shall be sequestered during deliberations in the guilt phase and penalty phase.

The trial judge shall have the discretion to sequester a jury on motion of counsel or on the judge’s initiative and shall have the responsibility to oversee the conditions of sequestration.

Training shall be provided to personnel who escort and assist jurors during the sequestration.

RULE NUMBER 22

CREATION OF THE COSHOCTON COUNTY RECOVERY COURT

Creation of Specialized Recovery Court Docket

  Recognizing that the drug and alcohol dependent offender poses special challenges to the criminal justice system, the Court has created the Coshocton County Recovery Court with the intent of protecting the citizens of Coshocton County by reducing the recidivism of drug and alcohol dependent offenders, and by improving and expediting the delivery of services to the addicted criminal defendants through intense supervision and treatment.

Eligibility for Admission to the Recovery Docket

  The Recovery Docket is a program for individuals who have been granted Intervention in Lieu of Conviction, or have been convicted of a felony offense and have been placed on Community Control, and who have been determined to be drug or alcohol dependent and who are amenable to treatment.

  Individuals must meet the following criteria to be admitted to the docket:

1.  Clinical Eligibility Criteria

A)  The Participant must be diagnosed as substance dependent, and have completed drug/alcohol assessments by a certified licensed provider.

B)  The Participant must be able to understand and comply with program requirements.

C)  The Participant must comply with such other criteria as more specifically set forth in the Program Description.

2.  Other Eligibility Criteria

A)  The Participant must have no physical or mental health issues which might hinder participation in the program. (This will be reviewed on a case by case basis).

B)  The Participant must score 15 or higher on the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) as a result of the Presentence Investigation, unless otherwise approved by the Court.

C)  The Participant must be a resident of Coshocton County, unless otherwise approved by the Court.

D)  The Participant must be receptive to receiving treatment.

E)  The Participant must understand that the Judge has the sole discretion in the admissibility to Recovery Docket.

3.  Legal Criteria:  The participant

  A)  Has been granted Intervention in Lieu of Conviction, or

B)  Is charged with a pending felony offense less serious than a felony of the second degree which must not be a drug trafficking offense, felony OVI and/or a sentence in which prison is mandatory, unless specifically allowed by the Treatment Team and Judge; or

C)  Is on Community Control; or

D)  Is sentenced, upon the request of the Participant, to Recovery Docket as part of Community Control placement and/or through Judicial Release.

  The victim notification provision of Revised Code Chapter 2930 shall be followed where applicable.