Medina County Courthouse

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Supreme Court Submits Amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure

The Supreme Court of Ohio filed its annual update to the Rules of Practice and Procedure with the Ohio General Assembly earlier this month.

The proposed amendments concern changes to the rules of appellate procedure, civil procedure, criminal procedure, juvenile procedure, and the Ohio Rules of Evidence.

Initially published for comment on Oct. 4, the amendments were revised by the Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure and approved for filing by the Supreme Court. The commission and the Court will consider all comments received during a second round of public comment that will end Feb. 23. The Court can revise and file the amendments with the General Assembly prior to May 1. The amendments would take effect on July 1 unless prior to that date the General Assembly adopts a concurrent resolution of disapproval.

Among the proposed amendments:

App. R. 4 would clarify the finality of a judgment in a dental, medical, optometric, or chiropractic claim when there has been a motion for attorney’s fees. The proposed amendments also clarify the procedure to be followed when a notice of appeal is filed before the disposition of all post-trial motions.
App. R. 9 would require that a written transcript be the official record on appeal and that any electronic recording must be transcribed by a court appointed reporter. Revisions to the proposed amendments emphasize that the trial court has the discretion to utilize any person to transcribe the proceedings but continues to note that a stenographic reporter who was present for the proceedings is always acceptable.
App. R. 21 would set oral arguments in appeals courts automatically for most cases unless a local rule requires a party to request it.
App. R. 25 would require that a motion to certify an inter-district conflict is due within 10 days of the clerk’s service of the judgment or order first creating the conflict. Amendments would also clarify that any subsequent appeal lies in the Supreme Court and that a motion to certify a conflict does not extend the time to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
App. R. 26 would specifically acknowledge that an appeals court can sua sponte order en banc consideration, which occurs when all the sitting judges of the district consider a matter that was heard by a three-judge panel.
In addition, there are several proposed amendments on similar issues that cross different sections of rules, including:

Civil, criminal and juvenile rules regarding magistrates that would require them to be engaged in the practice of law for at least four years and be in good standing before appointment, in accordance with Rule 19 of the Rules of Superintendence.
Civil and criminal rules that would provide a “safe haven” for litigants when using forms adopted by the Supreme Court. The rules clarify that any form adopted by the Supreme Court as part of the Appendix of Forms attached to each set of rules shall be accepted as sufficient by local courts.

Non-substantive changes to criminal rules and evidence rules that correct cross-reference to the new open discovery rules (Crim. R. 16, effective July 1).

Comments should be submitted in writing to:

Jo Ellen Cline, Government Relations Counsel
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 S. Front St., Seventh Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

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