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United States — Ohio
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Reviewed 15 September 2013 E-mail: Administrator@LawSource.com

Ohio Court Decisions

A diagram of the state court system (called a “Court Structure Chart” and including a summary of each court’s jurisdiction) is available on the web site of the National Center for State Courts.

     About PACER
    The option for “All Ohio State Courts” references trial courts (such as courts of common pleas) and special tribunals (such as the board of commissioners on the unauthorized practice of law) as well as appellate courts. Decision documents for Ohio state courts are in Adobe Acrobat files.

    Additional Resources
    ¶ Supreme Court — Opinion Summaries and News … Obtain opinion summaries and news from the Ohio Supreme Court using the free “RSS” (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) application, which can be used either through a free desktop reader or through a web browser. Instructions are provided for configuring a web browser to work through the Google site or the Yahoo site.
    ¶ Courts of Appeals — Decisions

    These are alternative sources for decisions of the listed courts.


Ohio Constitution and Legislation

See also a database of statewide ballot measures maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  1. Constitution (Ohio Const.)

  2. Bills
    See also the Ohio General Assembly web site.

  3. Session Laws (Ohio Laws)
    Ohio session laws are not available on-line. For links to enrolled acts, see Additional Resources, below.

  4. Ohio Revised Code (Ohio Rev. Code)
    See also uniform laws.

    Additional Resources
    Ohio Constitution — Law and History … [Steven Steinglass, LL.B., and Sue Altmeyer, J.D., M.L.S. (Cleveland-Marshall Coll. of Law)] — “On this website: Find new and older versions of the Ohio Constitution, information on proposed amendments, both current and throughout history, both successful and unsuccessful, recent and upcoming Ohio Supreme Court cases dealing with the Ohio Constitution, a bibliography for further reading, and more.”
    ¶ Enrolled Acts  
    Enrolled acts are bills passed in identical versions by both houses of the legislature, which are then presented to the governor for signature (to become session laws) or veto. The secretary of state’s web site provides lists of enrolled acts that were signed (starting with the 124th General Assembly). Keyword searching for a particular enrolled act can be done only in the database for bills (see above), and unfortunately that database does not enable distinguishing an enrolled act from any other bill.


Ohio Rules of Procedure and Practice
See links to all statewide Ohio Rules of Court on the Ohio Supreme Court web site.

  1. Supreme Court Rules • Court of Appeals Rules • Court of Claims Rules • Miscellaneous Rules
  2. Rules of Procedure
  3. Rules of Courts of Common Pleas … For a county not listed here, try the court’s web site or the clerk’s web site: see links below.
    1. General Division Rules (C.P. R.)
    2. Domestic Relations Rules (Dom. Rel. R.)
    3. Juvenile Rules (Juv. R.)
    4. Family Court Rules (Fam. Ct. R.)
      In some counties a “family court” exercises the jurisdictions of the domestic relations division and the juvenile division of the court of common pleas.
    5. Probate Rules (Prob. R.)

  4. Rules of County Courts (County Ct. R.) and Municipal Courts (Mun. Ct. R.)

    In some counties there is a “municipal” court with county-wide jurisdiction.
  5. Federal Court Rules

    Note: JavaScript must be enabled in order to get access to documents containing local rules for the U.S. district and bankruptcy courts for the Northern District of Ohio.
  6. Rules of Practice • Judicial Rules
  7. Additional Resources


Ohio Administrative Law Sources

See also a page of links to sources of rules, maintained by the Administrative Codes and Registers Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
  1. Regulations
  2. Ohio Administrative Code (Ohio Admin. Code)
  3. Ohio Monthly Record (Ohio Monthly Rec.)
  4. Register of Ohio (Ohio Reg.)
  5. Opinions • Decisions • Orders • Rulings
  6. Agency Rules of Procedure and Practice
  7. Board of Tax Appeals Rules
  8. Additional Resources
    ¶ Civil Rights Commission — Administrative Law Judge Reports … These are reports and recommendations in specific cases, which the ALJs have sent to the commission.
    ¶ Ethics Commission — Digest of Opinions … Briefly stated conclusions of ethics opinions (starting with the 1974 opinions). The commission’s mandate is to promote ethics in public service for all officials and employees at the state and local levels of government, except legislators, judges, and their staffs.


Ohio Ordinances and Home-Rule Charters

Ordinances are local laws, commonly organized into codes, that have been enacted by municipalities — cities, towns, etc. — and counties. Charters are organic laws (similar in function to a constitution) of those local government entities for which “home rule” is authorized by state law. For local laws not found through the links given here, try the county web sites and municipality web sites at “State and Local Government on the Net” by Piper Resources, or a publisher’s web site:
  • American Legal Publishing Corp.
  • Conway Greene Co.
  • Municipal Code Corp.
    1. Charters
      Note that a charter could be included in a collection of ordinances (see below) instead of being separately accessible.
    2. Ordinances
      For a county or municipality not listed here (or if a link here is broken), check a publisher’s web site linked at the end of this list.


    Ohio Law-Related Periodicals

    Periodicals providing on-line articles are linked here. See also links to all Ohio law-review web sites as well as links to web sites of all U.S.-published law reviews and periodicals.
    1. Akron Law Review (Akron L. Rev.)
    2. Akron Tax Journal (Akron Tax J.)
    3. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law (Case W. Res. J. Int’l L.)
    4. Case Western Reserve Law Review (Case W. Res. L. Rev.)
    5. Fine Print … [Ohio State Bar Ass’n] — “A quarterly newsletter written by lawyers to provide basic legal information to the small business community … .”
    6. Journal of Law and Health (J.L. & Health) … [Cleveland State Univ., Cleveland-Marshall Coll. of Law]
    7. Ohio State Law Journal (Ohio St. L.J.)
    8. University of Cincinnati Law Review (U. Cin. L. Rev.)


    Other Ohio Commentary

    1. Legal Basics for Small Business … A handbook “designed especially for small business owners in Ohio who are looking for basic legal information. Presented in an easy-to-read question-answer format, this handbook is a compilation of individual articles written and edited by more than 45 Ohio lawyers who volunteered their time and effort.”

    2. Legal Handbook for Ohio Journalists … “This handbook provides general legal information updated for 2007, as well as information about media issues directly affecting Ohio’s journalists.”

  • A Guide to Doing Business in Ohio. Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP. … [Lex Mundi]


    Ohio Law-Related Topical Web Sites


    Ohio Court Information

    See also “The Ohio Judicial System” (an Adobe Acrobat file), as well as a diagram of the Ohio courts; and see links to state court web sites, maintained by the National Center for State Courts. Additionally, the Ballotpedia.org web site presents information about courts and judges in the state, covering both state courts and federal courts, in a Wikipedia-style format.
    1. On-line Court Records

      These links provide access to on-line searching for court records (documents filed in cases).
    2. Court Web Sites

      1. Appellate Courts
      2. Courts of Common Pleas

        A link here points to either a unified site for all divisions of the court or a site (or page) for the general division. See also separate web sites (or pages), linked below, for divisions of common pleas courts. (In some counties a “family court” may exercise the jurisdictions of the juvenile division and the domestic relations division. In some counties, one judge could sit in two divisions, such as the juvenile division and the probate division.) Some of the linked sites or pages contain only minimal information such as the judge’s name and the court’s address and telephone number. Additional information about a court or divisions might be available on the web site of the county clerk of courts (see below). See also a page of links maintained by the Ohio Supreme Court.
      3. Domestic Relations Division: 
        Juvenile Division: 
        Family Court: 
        Probate Division: 

      4. County Clerks of Courts
      5. County Courts • Municipal Courts

        In some counties there is a “municipal” court with county-wide jurisdiction. For a court not listed here, try the Cleveland Law Library page of links to county and municipal court web sites (organized by county).
      6. U.S. Courts

    3. Addresses • Names • Numbers
    4. Additional Resources
      Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline … The board (1) issues final recommendations to the Supreme Court on formal disciplinary charges against Ohio’s lawyers and judges, (2) monitors and assists the certified grievance committees in the regulation of the legal profession, and (3) issues advisory ethics opinions.


    Ohio Forms

    1. State Court Forms
      Appellate Court Forms: 
      Common Pleas Court Forms: 
      Domestic Relations Court Forms: 
      Juvenile Court Forms: 
      Probate Court Forms: 
      County & Municipal Court Forms: 

    2. U.S. Court Forms
    3. State Agency Forms
    4. Civil Rights Commission — Charge [of Discrimination] Forms
    5. Taxation Department — Tax Forms
    6. Securities Division — Registration, Licensing, and Enforcement Forms
    7. Business Entity Forms …[Paracorp, Inc. (Cal.)] — Convenient interface to view and print in-blank official state forms (in PDF files) for filing by business entities. A JavaScript-enabled browser is required.


    Other Ohio Resources

    1. Government-Related Web Sites

      See also the Piper Resources list of sites.
    2. Additional Resources
      ¶ Vital Records — Contact Information … [Elizabeth Orsay (Ind.)]
      ¶ Workers’ Compensation — Agency Contact Information … [Robert W. McDowell / N.C. Indus. Comm’n]

    3. Bar Associations • Law-Related Organizations

      See the National Federation of Paralegal Associations for links to websites of member organizations.
    4. Law Schools • Admission to Practice • Continuing Legal Education
    5. Consulate General of Canada in Detroit … Canadian consular services for Ohio residents.


    Legal Research and Assistance

    1. Law Libraries
      See also a directory of Ohio county law libraries.

      See also links to web sites of public law libraries and catalogs of academic law libraries, maintained by the library at Washburn University School of Law; and the LibrarySites.Info database of library web sites (“Libcat”).
    2. Ohio State Bar Association
      1. The Law and You … From the introduction: “This book was written to help fill the need for a survey of law for the non-lawyer. It is written in non-technical terms and it avoids detail in favor of main principles. It makes a determined attempt to aid understanding of legal principles by explaining, where appropriate, what the law is and how it got that way. Many illustrations are used to explain the operation of the law in commonplace terms. The basic subjects covered are the sources of law, organization and operation of the courts, legal procedure, criminal law, torts, contracts, business transactions and corporations, property law, probate law, family law, workplace law, school law and cyberlaw. A glossary explains many technical terms with which the layperson is likely to come in contact.”
      2. Law You Can Use… These are articles that were originally published in a weekly consumer legal information column provided as a public service of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Foundation.
      3. LawFacts” Pamphlets … These pamphlets provide general information about commonly encountered legal issues.

      4. Bankruptcy Law and Procedures for Ohio Residents … [Calicchia & Kinast LLP (Ohio)] — This web site, presented by a Cleveland bankruptcy law firm, covers basic information about the bankruptcy process, describes debt consolidation and credit counseling as alternatives to bankruptcy, lists the property that an individual is allowed to keep (with citations to governing provisions of Ohio law), and gives information about the bankruptcy courts and how to contact bankruptcy attorneys in Ohio.

      5. Low-Cost Legal Aid … See also the web site for LawHelp.org and the web site for SelfHelpSupport.org.
        1. Ohio Legal Help for the Poor … [Am. Bar Ass’n] — Contact information for statewide and local legal-aid programs, from the ABA’s Directory of Pro Bono Programs. The ABA also provides a page of links to pro bono programs’ web sites.
        2. WomensLaw.org — Sources of Legal Help … [WomensLaw.org (N.Y.)] — Sources of legal help (not limited to legal help for women) include statewide domestic-violence resources, local domestic-violence resources listed by city or town, free or low-cost legal services, and lawyer referral services.



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