Rules of Court
Rule No. 3 - Administrative Judge
Rule No. 4 - Dockets and Records
Rule No. 5 - Journal Entries
Rule No. 6 - Satisfactions
Rule No. 7 - Fees and Costs
Rule No. 8 - Pleadings and Motions
Rule No. 9 - Leaves To Move or Plead
Rule No. 10 - Briefs Other Than Trial Briefs
Rule No. 11 - Hearing and Submission of Motions: Objections to Interrogatories
Rule No. 12 - Dismissals
Rule No. 13 - Term
Rule No. 14 - Journal Entries
Rule No. 15 - Court Files and Papers
Rule No. 16 - Pretrial Procedure
Rule No. 17 - Trial Procedures
Rule No. 18 - Jury Trials
Rule No. 19 - Discovery
Rule No. 20 - Continuances in Civil and Criminal Cases
Rule No. 21 - Proceedings in Aid
Rule No. 22 - Entries, Etc.. Part of Regular File
Rule No. 23 - Appointment of Jury Commission
Rule No. 24 - Trusteeships
Rule No. 25 - Automatic Bankruptcy Stay
Rule No. 26 - Notification Prior to Default Judgment for Appearing Parties
Rule No. 27 - Appearances and Withdrawal of Counsel
Rule No. 28 - Non Appearance of Counsel at Pre-Trial
It is ordered that on and after July 1, 1991 the following be, and the same is hereby adopted as the Rules of The Court of Lorain Municipal Court, regulating the practice and procedure of the Court until otherwise ordered. All other rules previously established are expressly revoked.
The Rules of the Superintendence of the Ohio Supreme Court and the Ohio Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure, under which these local rules are promulgated shall also govern the practices and procedures of the Court. Nothing in these rules shall be interpreted to conflict with such Rules of the Superintendance.
Lorain Municipal Court Judges: Honorable Mark Mihok and Honorable Thomas Elwell
The session of the Lorain Municipal Court shall be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. The office of the Clerk of Court shall be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. All times mentioned herein shall be the time in effect by Municipal authority.
In Lorain Municipal Court the Administrative Judge shall be governed by Rule 2 of the Rules of Superintendence.
The Clerk shall prepare and keep all dockets, books and public records as required by law.
(A) Every final order made by a judge shall be evidenced by a journal entry, which journal entry shall be signed by the Judge. The journal entry may be by separate instrument, the journal card or by entry on the jacket, in accordance with the practice in the Municipal Court. The Journal Entry in all civil cases shall be by separate instrument.
(B) Counsel for the party in whose favor, or on whose request, any order, judgment or decree is rendered, shall at request of the Judge, within three (3) days thereafter, unless the time be extended by the Judge, prepare the Journal Entry and submit it to counsel for the opposite party or parties, if any, who shall approve or reject it within twenty-four (24) hours after such presentation. If rejected, counsel so rejecting shall, within twenty-four (24) hours after rejection, prepare an Entry.Both Entries shall be presented to the Judge forthwith. The Judge will thereupon approve one of the said tendered entries, or prepare an entry to the Court's satisfaction, duly noting exceptions, and file the same with the Journal Clerk.
(C) In any case not tried to a jury, any party may request a separate finding of law and fact any time before the decision of the Court is announced.
Satisfactions in whole or part of the Judgment may be entered on the docket by the attorney of record, attesting to by the Clerk or Deputy Clerk, or by Journal Entry signed by the party or the attorney of record and approved by the Judge.
(A) No action or proceeding shall be accepted for filing by the Clerk of this Court unless there first shall be deposited the filing fee required by the Court in its latest revised schedule of costs, except that upon a representation of indigency, the Clerk shall investigate the accuracy of such presentation and upon finding that such indigency does exist, the security for costs shall be waived. The Court shall maintain a current schedule of fees for distribution to the public, not inconsistent with those of the Revised Code and the Court of Common Pleas.
(B) Deposits and advance payments of fees and costs shall be returned only by order of the Court and only when the same have been paid by the party against whom they are assessed by the Court.
(C) When a jury trial in a civil case is demanded, the party demanding same shall be forthwith required to make an advance deposit as security for costs in such sum as the Clerk determines to be reasonable. The cost of summoning jurors and the fees of jurors shall be apportioned to the respective proceeding and shall be taxed as part of the Court costs. The minimum deposit for jury trial shall be $350.00.
(A) Civil Rules 7 through 15 shall govern the form and manner of pleading.
(B) All pleadings, orders and entries must be presented and time stamped at the Clerk's office.
(C) No pleadings after being presented to the Clerk's office shall be amended or altered without consent of the Court. (Subject to Ohio Rules of Civil on Amendment to Pleadings.)
(D) The original copy of all pleadings shall be the Court's copy, possession of which shall not leave the Court's premise.
(E) Only copies or certified copies of the files shall be taken from the Court.
(F) Sufficient additional copies of all pleadings must be filed with the Clerk's Office to secure adequate coverage of all necessary parties.
(G) All requests shall be in writing or by written precipe signed by the requesting party in interest or their Attorney.
(H) Attorneys must subscribe legibly all pleadings, entries and motions or in the alternative print the spelling of their name beneath the signature. The address, telephone number, and Supreme Court Number of the respective trial counsel shall be placed on the pleading of the first instance.
(I) Where an assignment is part of a case and is expected to be offered in evidence, a true copy of the entire assignment in unconditional form shall be attached to the complaint. The assignment shall not be used as a ruse to prevent the action from being brought by the real party in interest. The assignment must be absolute and unconditional, in order to prevent duplicity of payment.
(J) In attachment and garnishment proceedings, a true copy of the affidavit shall be served with the summons and order of attachment and garnishment.
(K) In the action on an account, the account must show the name of the party charged and contain the following:
1. A beginning balance (zero, or a sum that can qualify as an account stated, or some other provable sum).
2. Listed items (or an item, dated and identifiable by number or otherwise, representing charges, of debits and credits).
3. Summarization by means of a running or developing balance, or an arrangement of beginning balance and items which permits the calculation of the amount claimed to be due.
(L) In actions on an account, interest shall be at the highest legal rate permitted upon the balance of the account as of the date of the last debit entry, unless otherwise pleaded.
(M) The filing of a Motion or Pleading subsequent to the complaint shall be accompanied by proof of service signed and dated. The copy served upon the opposite party or his attorney shall be signed and dated.
(N) All motions shall be accompanied by a brief or memorandum of authorities in support of said motion. In default thereof, such motions may be stricken from the files. Opposing counsel shall have seven (7) days to file an Answer Brief.
(O) Motions to advance cases out of numerical order must be accompanied by affidavit showing meritorious grounds for such advancement.
(P) All motions for continuance shall be made in writing and proof of service upon opposing counsel of a copy of such motion shall be filed not less than fourteen(14) days before trial date.
(Q) The grounds for continuance must be stated in such motion. Such motion may be set for hearing before the trial date and the Court shall give opposing counsel notice of the time of such hearing. No case will be continued on the trial date, except for good cause shown, which was not known to counsel prior to the date of trial and provided counsel had used due diligence to be ready for trial and has notified and made diligent effort to notify his opponent as soon as he became aware of his necessity to ask for a continuance. All continuances shall be to a date certain.
(R) The court shall give all parties not less than fourteen (14) days advance notice of any trial date, unless all parties waive such advance notice.
(A) Except in actions for forcible entry and detainer or in replevin, when a party in any case is not prepared to move or plead by answer day ONE extension of time may be had upon application to the Court and without notice for a period of not exceeding thirty (30) days. Consent of counsel may be filed as a journal entry in the case and shall be evidence of "good cause shown" for the first leave only. Any leave to move or plead thereafter may be had only with approval of the Court and upon application to the Court, with notice to the opposite party or counsel, and for good cause shown, consent of opposing party or counsel shall not in and of itself constitute good cause.
(B) Default Judgments shall be governed by Civil Rule 55.
(A) Counsel filing any motion or exception shall file therewith a memorandum containing a short, concise statement of the points relied upon and the authorities supporting such contentions and a true copy of it shall be served forthwith upon each opposing counsel and each party not represented by counsel.
(B) Unless the time be extended by the court, a motion directed to any pleading shall be filed within the time allowed by the Rules of Civil Procedure for a responsive pleading.
(C) Any motion or exception to be heard upon evidence shall so state and shall be accompanied by requisite affidavits.
(D) Opposing counsel may, within fourteen (14) days after receiving a copy of such motion or exception, file an answer brief or memorandum of like character. Copies thereof, shall be furnished and delivered as provided in paragraph (A) of this rule.
(A) Motions, in general, shall be submitted and determined upon the motion papers hereinafter referred to. Oral arguments of motions will be permitted on written request and proper showing, or by mutual written request of the parties.
(B) The moving party shall serve and file with his motion a brief written statement of reasons in support of the motion with supporting citations of the authorities on which he relies. If the motion requires the consideration of facts not appearing of record, he shall also serve and file copies of all affidavits, depositions, photographs or documentary evidence he desires to present in support of the motion.
(C) Each party opposing the motion may serve and file within fourteen (14) days after filing of the motion, a brief written statement of reasons in opposition to the motion with supporting citations of the authorities on which he relies. If the motion requires the consideration of facts not appearing of record, he shall also serve and file copies of all affidavits, depositions, photographs or documentary evidence he desires to present in opposition of the motion.
(D) Reply or additional briefs upon motions and submissions may be filed with leave of the court only upon showing of the necessity thereof.
(E) Objections o interrogatories. Objection to interrogatories shall include, immediately preceding any discussions and citation of authority, the interrogatory in full to which objection is made.
(F) All pleadings and briefs containing references to statutes or regulations shall have attached thereto a copy of the statute or regulation.
(A) All cases pending for a period of sixty (60) days in the docket of this Municipal Court in which service of summons or service by publication has not been made shall be dismissed by the Court unless good cause is shown to the contrary.
(B) If a party fails to comply with and order or decision of the Court, said case may be dismissed, or judgment may be rendered as upon default as the case requires.
(C) Cases assigned for trial upon which no appearance is made on trial date shall be dismissed for want of prosecution, or otherwise disposed of by the judge.
(D) In forcible entry cases, if plaintiff fails to appear at the time set for hearing, the cause shall be dismissed at the Plaintiff's cost.
There shall be no term in this Municipal Court, but for the purpose of computing time, ninety (90) days following judgment shall be considered within term and time thereafter shall be considered after term.
(A) When ordered or directed by he court, counsel for the party in whose favor an entry, order, judgment or decree is entered in civil cause shall, within ten (10) days thereafter unless the time be extended by the court, prepare a proper journal entry and submit same to counsel for the opposite party who shall approve or reject the same within three (3) days after its receipt by him and may, in case of rejection, file objections thereto in writing with the court.
The judgment entry specified in Ohio Civil Rule 58 shall be journalized within thirty (30) days of the verdict, decree or decision. If such entry is not prepared and presented for journalization by counsel, then it shall be prepared and journalized by the court.
(B) REQUEST FOR FINDINGS BY THE COURT
When a request for finding of fact and conclusion of law is made, the judge shall direct the party making the written request to prepare, within five (5) days, proposed finding of fact and conclusion of law and submit them to opposing counsel. Within ten (10) days after its receipt by opposing counsel, the proposed findings shall be submitted to the Court with objections and counter proposals, if any, in writing; however, only those findings of fact and conclusions of law made by the Court shall form part of the record.
AMENDMENT Upon motion of a party within ten (10) days after the filing of the findings, the Court may amend the findings, make additional findings and may amend the judgment accordingly. The motion may be made with a motion for new trial. When findings of fact are made in actions tried by the court without a jury, the question of the sufficiency of the evidence to support the findings may thereafter be raised whether or not the party raising the question has made in the trial court an objection to such findings or has made a motion to amend or a motion for judgment.
No person (except a judge of the court) without counsel of the Clerk of Courts shall remove any court papers, files of the court or parts thereof from custody of the Clerk.
For purpose of insuring the readiness of cases for pretrial and trial the following procedure shall be in effect.
A pretrial conference shall be conducted in all contested civil cases prior to being scheduled for trial. In addition, the judge assigned the case may for good cause shown waive the pretrial requirements stated herein.
(A) For the purpose of this rule, "pretrial" shall mean a court supervised conference chiefly designated to produce an amicable settlement. The term "party" or "parties" used hereinafter shall mean the party or parties to the action, and/or his or their attorney or attorneys of record.
(B) Notice of the pretrial conference shall be given to all counsel of record by mail and/or telephone not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the conference. Any application for continuance of the conference shall be addressed the judge to whom the case has been assigned.
(C) Attendance Required: The following are required to attend all pre-trial conferences unless excused by the judge to whom the case is assigned after prior notice to opposing counsel:
1. All parties in interest unless the claim for relief against the party is fully covered by insurance;
2. An insurance company representative in all cases in which the claim for relief is covered in whole or in part by insurance;
3. The attorney must have full authority to present and conclude all matters involved in the case.
(D) The primary purpose of the pretrial; conference shall be to achieve an amicable settlement of the controversy in suit. If the court concludes that the prospect of settlement does not warrant further court supervised negotiations, then the court shall act on any other matters which come before it at that time and efforts shall be made to narrow legal issues, to reach stipulations as to facts in controversy and, in general, to shorten the time and expense of trial. The court may enter a pretrial order to become part of the record of the case embracing all stipulations, admissions and other matters which have come before it. The court shall at that time determine whether or not trial briefs should be submitted and shall fix a date when they are to be filed. Subject to the provisions for arbitration hereinafter provided, the court shall also stipulate in writing whether the case shall be referred to arbitration.
(E) After the pretrial conference, counsel may engage in further discovery proceedings, provided they do not result in delay of trial of the case. In the event counsel request discovery proceedings that would cause a delay of trial, the right to such discovery shall be determined by the court. The court, however, reserves the right to set the case for trial before the completion of any further discovery and without additional pretrials.
(G) Any judge presiding at a pretrial conference shall have the authority:
1. To dismiss an action for want of prosecution on motion of defendant upon failure of plaintiff or his counsel to appear in person at any pretrial conference.
2. Upon failure of defendant or his counsel to appear at any pretrial conference, to order the plaintiff to proceed with the case and to the extent permitted by law to decide and determine all matters ex parte.
(A) Subject to Ohio Supreme Court Rules of Superintendence the court may promote the use of any device or procedure which would tend to facilitate the earlier disposition of cases.
(B) The court may provide for the selection of the petit jury outside the courtroom and establish the procedure for the examination of the prospective jurors.
(C) On the trial of an issue of fact, only one attorney for each party shall examine or cross-examine any witness, unless otherwise permitted by the court.
All cases shall be tried by the court unless a jury trial has been demanded in writing pursuant to the appropriate statutes and Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure.
In all civil cases said demand shall be accompanied by a deposit of $350.00 for all cases. This rule shall be subject to the Statutes regarding indigents.
(A) In General: Discovery shall be conducted in accordance with Civil Rules 26 through 37.
(B) Pre-Trial Objectives:
(1) Settlement of the case;
(2) Agreement upon and simplification of the issues;
(3) Obtaining admission and stipulations of fact and making them part of the record;
(4) The exchange, if necessary, of
(a) The names and address of witnesses;
(b) The names, addresses and specialties of expert witnesses;
(c) Reports of expert witnesses;
(d) Medical reports and hospital records.
(5) Itemization of special damages and expenses;
(6) Determination of the number of witnesses and exhibits to be introduced at trial and the probable length of trial;
(7) Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the case.
(C) Further Assignments: At the pre-trial conference, if no settlement has been reached, the judge may, by journal entry, assign further a pre-trial date or a firm trial date and shall give a copy of the entry to each attorney and party without counsel. Delivery of such copy shall constitute sufficient notice so that further notice under local Rule 8 shall be unnecessary.
(A) Continuances of Civil and Criminal cases shall be in accordance withSuperintendence Rules.
(B) Requests for Continuances: All requests for the continuance of a trial must be by written motion which complies with the Civil Rules. Continuances shall be granted only by the judge to whom the case is assigned.
(C) Appearing at Trial Unprepared: If a party or counsel appears for a trial but shows good cause as to why he is not ready for trial, the court shall make such order or orders as it deems proper. If a party or counsel appears for trial but indicates that he is not ready for trial without showing good cause for his unreadiness, the court, if such party is one seeking affirmative relief, shall enter an order dismissing the claim for want of prosecution, or if a party defending a claim, shall order the party seeking relief to proceed with the case and shall determine all matters ex parte.
(D) Failure to Appear at Trial: If a party seeking affirmative relief, either in person or by counsel, fails to appear for trial, the court shall enter an order dismissing the claim for want of prosecution. If a party defending a claim, either in person or by counsel, fails to appear for trial and the party seeking affirmative relief does appear, the court shall order such party to proceed with the case and shall determine all matters ex parte.
(E) Settlements Prior to Trial: If a case set for trial is settled, the trial counsel shall immediately notify the court and thereafter, as provided by these rules, file a stipulation of dismissal or other proper entry.
(A) When utilizing foreign forms provided by the Court for purpose of Proceedings in Aid, unless the foreign forms are neatly and appropriately altered to indicate to the Garnishee the required mandate and order, said foreign forms will be returned to counsel by the Clerk with a copy of this Court rule.
(B) All personal examinations shall be before the Court or Referee. In the latter instance, the Referee shall see that examinations are held in a relevant legal manner and procedure.
(D) Unless a certified return receipt, United States Post Office form PS 3811 is received, or a properly completed and stamped certificate of mailing is received, together with a copy of the fifteen (15) day demand and a draft for $1.00 payable to the Garnishee, the Proceedings in Aid shall be returned to the party filing the same.
Stipulations, final entries, and other similar documents filed with the Clerk must be entered upon the regular docket as filed and become part of the regular files of the case.
Jurors in this Municipal Court shall be chosen and summoned as follows
The Clerk shall provide a jury wheel and shall be the custodian thereof, similar to that in use for drawing jurors to serve in Common Pleas Court of Lorain County. The Presiding Judge of the Lorain Municipal Court shall, on or before the fifth day after receipt of the list of freehold electors, appoint two (2) freehold electors of the territorial jurisdiction of the Court neither of whom shall be an attorney at law, and who shall not be of the same political party, to serve as jury commissioners for the ensuing year. Before entering upon their duties said commissioners shall be duly sworn.
Court Selects Key
When ordered by the Court, the Jury Commissioners shall meet in the Court room or at such place as the judge shall designate, and shall select such number of judicious and discreet persons, having the qualifications of electors of the territorial jurisdiction of the Court, as the Court may direct, by the key number system, the key number to be fixed by the Court. When it shall become necessary, thereafter, the commissioners shall meet at such time and place as the Judge may appoint, and in like manner there select such additional number of persons as the Court, by its order entered on the journal, may direct. The names of all such persons selected shall be written and deposited in such jury wheel and a list thereof certified to the Clerk.
Replacement of Commissioner
If either of the jury commissioners is sick or absent from the city, the Presiding Judge may appoint a judicious and disinterested person to take the place of such commissioner to perform the duties herein provided for, also the Presiding Judge may by appointment, fill any vacancy that occurs in said commission caused by death, resignation or otherwise.The person so appointed shall be of the same political party as the commissioner whose place is to be filled.
Clerk Draws Names
The names of persons who are to serve as jurors shall be drawn from the jury wheel by the Clerk of Courts in the presence of the Judge, but need not be drawn in the presence of said jury commissions, or either of them.
Fees of Jurors
The fees to be paid to jurors shall be the same rate as paid by the Common Pleas Court of Lorain County.
Procedure of Clerk
When, by order of the Court or a Judge thereof, the Clerk is directed to cause the summoning of persons to serve as jurors he shall, in presence of the Judge, turn the jury wheel several times until the pieces of paper therein are thoroughly mixed, then draw from it the number of names specified in the order, and unless otherwise therein directed forthwith shall issue a venire facias to the bailiff commanding him to summon the persons whose names are drawn, to attend as jurors at the time and place in the order stated. Except as otherwise provided, all jurors shall be impaneled from persons so selected and summoned.
Number of Jurors Drawn
When a jury of six (6) is demanded, not less than fifteen (15) names shall be ordered drawn and when a jury of eight (8) is demanded, not less than twenty (20) names shall be ordered drawn.
If by challenge or otherwise, there shall not be left upon said venire a sufficient number of persons to make up the panel, or if the array be challenged and set aside, the Court shall order additional names to be drawn from the jury wheel as above provided or the Court may order the Bailiff to serve the desired panel from bystanders on the street.
An application by a debtor for a trusteeship under Section 2329.70 of the Ohio Revised Code must contain a full and complete statement, under oath, setting forth:
1. The names of the secured and unsecured creditors with the liquidated claims, their complete address, account numbers and amount due and owing to each. If account is being administered by someone other than the creditor list their name and complete address.
2. The disposable amount of money earned in a thirty (30) day period by the applicant, as set forth in Section 2329.62 of the Ohio Revised Code, the usual day or days applicant receives his pay, his place of residence, the number of dependents, their ages and relation to the applicant.
3. The name of the person who made a demand upon him or her in accordance with Section 1911.40 of the Ohio Revised Code and date of such demand.
An order shall be prepared appointing the Clerk of Court to act as Trustee and shall be approved by the Judge.
The applicant shall furnish a notice of appointment for each creditor showing the amount owed said creditor and the amount of the total indebtedness, together with addressed, stamped envelope. Notice to be mailed by the trustee with notice for the creditor to answer within ten (10) days of mailing, or they will be included in the Trusteeship in the amount stated.
If a debtor fails, through mistake or otherwise, to list a creditor, said creditor or debtor, upon motion to the Court, with notice to the other party, may be listed in the trusteeship. A creditor who becomes a creditor after the appointment of a trustee, shall participate in any distribution made by the trustee after the next ensuing distribution.
Upon filing of an application for trusteeship, no action to subject the personal earnings of the debtor shall be brought or maintained by any creditor listed.
Any trusteeship that is is arrears for payment for sixty (60) days shall be dismissed. Any trusteeship that is inactive for six (6) months shall be dismissed.
Attorney Fees Listed
The attorney representing an applicant for trusteeship shall be permitted to include his claim for such service in the trusteeship and said claim for attorney fees shall be given priority over other creditors in the amount not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00). Upon the first distribution of funds to creditors, the claim of such attorney shall be paid in accordance with this priority and shall not exceed an amount of two hundred dollars ($200.00).
Section 2329.62 thru 2329.69 of the Ohio Revised Code provide for exemptions and are based upon disposable earnings. The trustee is hereby authorized to require proof of disposable earnings and eligibility for exemption of payment by affidavit or otherwise and at such times as he shall deem necessary.
Upon written notification to the Court of any pending bankruptcy proceeding and the bankruptcy case number effecting any litigant in this Court, there shall be a journal entry as follows:
"Defendant having filed a Petition in the U. S. Bankruptcy Court, The Bankruptcy Act establishes an automatic stay of proceedings against the debtor, in 11 U.S.C. 362(a). It is hereby ordered that the commencement or continuation of any action to obtain or enforce any judgment against the Defendant/Debtor or his property is hereby stayed until the bankruptcy case is closed, dismissed, or a discharge granted or denied, or until; Defendant/Debtor's property is no longer property of the bankruptcy estate or until the Bankruptcy Court grants relief from its stay. Clerk to send copy to counsel of record.
Unless motion to the contrary is filed, the pending action will be dismissed after one hundred eighty (180) days.
Each party shall be charged with the responsibility of maintaining a correct mailing address. In the event a forcible entry and detainer entry is issued causing the defendant to be removed from their residence, it will be deemed sufficient service and adequate notice for the Clerk to mail, by regular mail to the defendant, date of hearing to last known address not withstanding the fact that said litigant does not reside at that address.
An Attorney, having entered an appearance or being of record in a case, shall be deemed responsible to appear in all hearings pursuant to notices or calls thereof, unless a court entry of withdrawal is timely filed and approved by the Judge of the Court. If the subject case and time has been assigned for hearings, that fact and the hearing date shall be set forth in the entry. Proof of service on the client and opposing counsel shall be indicated on such entry when submitted to the court.
In addition to Rule 13.05, counsel must provide substitute counsel as provided in M. C. Rule 16(c), if client appears and trial is set at a later time.
All video tapes of proceedings, trials, and hearings in the Court shall remain in the exclusive care and control of the Judges and Referee of this Court. A transcript of the video tape recording may be obtained by a certified court reporter obtaining permission of the Court to transcribe the video tape recording into typewritten transcript. video transcription of original tape shall not be permitted without court approval.
These Rules of Court for the Lorain Municipal Court are effective, as amended, June 28, 1991.