Stow Municipal Court Rules
RULE No. 1
CITATIONS OF RULES
These rules shall be known as the Stow Municipal Court Rules of Practice and may be cited as SMCR No._____. In the event of a conflict with the Rules of Superintendence, the Civil Rules, the Criminal Rules, or the Traffic Rules, these rules shall be subservient.
RULE No. 2
HOURS OF SESSION
The hours for holding the regular sessions of the Court shall be from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday each week, except on those days designated by law as legal holidays, City of Stow holiday or by entry. A judge may extend the hours to include evening, Saturday and holiday sessions when deemed necessary and each judge may establish different hours for his or her Court. The schedule of the Court sessions is set forth in Appendix “A” at the end of these Rules.
RULE No. 3
DECORUM AND CONDUCT
(A) Courtroom Conduct.
Upon the opening of any Court session, all persons in the courtroom shall stand. All persons in the courtroom shall conduct themselves with decorum and in such a manner so as not to interfere with or obstruct judicial activities or proceedings. All persons appearing before the Court shall, as far as practicable, appear in appropriate dress.
(B) Food and Drink.
Smoking, eating, or drinking is not permitted in the courtroom, nor shall anyone bring food or drink into the courtroom.
No person shall loiter or conduct themselves in an unseemly or disorderly manner in the courtroom or in any halls, entryways or stairways leading thereto or otherwise interfere with or obstruct judicial activities or proceedings.
(D) Electronic Devices
All electronic devices, including but not limited to cellular telephones, pagers, computers, radios and compact disc players shall be turned off before a person enters a courtroom.
Small children are not permitted in the courtroom if their behavior or condition causes a disturbance of proceedings.
(F) Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with any aspect of this rule may result in sanctions, including continuance or dismissal of the matter before the Court, confiscation of the offending object(s), or a charge of contempt of Court.
(G)Attention to Rule.
The Court expects that counsel shall call this rule to the attention of clients and witnesses.
RULE No. 4
APPEARANCE OF PERSONS
Traffic Rule 8(C) is clarified and limited to require a defendant charged with a traffic violation, except for minor misdemeanors, to be present at the arraignment and all subsequent appearances. Defendants in criminal cases shall be present at all stages of the proceedings. All traffic defendants shall be present at all stages of the proceedings, except for an arraignment where the court may permit a “not guilty” plea in writing.
RULE No. 5
(A)Requests for permission to broadcast, record, photograph or televise in the courtroom shall be in writing on a form prescribed by this Court to the Judge to whom the case is assigned as far in advance as reasonably practical, but in no event later than one-half (1/2) hour prior to the courtroom session to be broadcast or photographed unless otherwise permitted by the Judge. Permission shall be granted in accordance with Rule 12 of Ohio Rules of Superintendence and upon such terms as the Court may dictate.
(B) Media representatives are responsible for pooling without involving the court in any way, except to notify it of pooling arrangements. Television stations and radio stations must decide which of them shall cover the proceedings, and only one of each may then cover any one proceeding. The newsprint media must decide which of them shall cover the proceedings for photographic coverage, and only one photographer may then be allowed in the courtroom at any one time. If a dispute arises among or between the media representatives during any proceeding, the judge shall exclude contesting representatives from the remaining case proceedings.
(C) Media representatives must be in designated areas before court convenes and may leave only during a recess, lunch break, or afternoon adjournment. They are responsible for providing their own equipment, including sufficient equipment leads to ensure they are able to be stationed in the designated location. Only existing lighting within the courtroom may be used. No flash lighting is permitted. Media representatives must wear appropriate attire when on courtroom assignment.
(1) No media recording of proceedings in a judge’s chambers or access to the same shall be permitted.
(2) There shall be no audio pickup or broadcast of conferences conducted in court between attorneys and clients or co-counsel or of conferences conducted at the bench between counsel and the judge.
(3)No media recording shall be permitted in the jury deliberation room at any time during the course of the trial or after the case has been submitted to the jury. No pictures of jurors shall be permitted at any time.
(4) The judge shall inform victims and witnesses of their right to object to being filmed, videotaped, recorded or photographed. Recording and/or broadcasting of victims of sexual assaults, informants and undercover police officers shall not be permitted.
(5) No media recording shall be made of any document or exhibit before or after it is admitted into evidence, except those which are clearly visible to spectators (e.g. maps, charts, blackboards, etc.)
(E)Revocation of permission:
Upon the failure of any media representative to comply with the conditions prescribed by this rule, or the judge, or of Rule 12 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio, or these Local Rules, the judge may revoke the permission to record and/or broadcast the proceedings.
RULE No. 6
OFFICIAL NOTICE OF CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
The Akron Legal News is the official daily journal of the Stow Municipal Court as authorized by O.R.C. 2701.09. Publication in The Akron Legal News shall be deemed official and complete notification to all local counsel of any assignment of any case for any purpose whatever and it shall be the duty of such counsel to ascertain such notice from The Akron Legal News. Non-local counsel and parties representing themselves shall be notified by mail. Notwithstanding provisions of any rule to the contrary, any mail notification provided shall be sufficient. The Court also has a website located at www.stowmunicourt.com containing a docket of the proceedings before the Court. Any party or counsel receiving a notice of hearing or trial while at the Court will receive no further notice.
RULE No. 7
(A) The provisions of this local rule are adopted under Civ.R. 5(E), Civ.R. 73(J), and Crim.R.12(B).Pleadings and other papers may be filed with the clerk by facsimile transmission as provided in this rule.
As used in these rules:
(1) “Facsimile transmission” means the transmission of a source document by a facsimile machine that encodes a document into optical or electrical signals, transmits and reconstructs the signals to print a duplicate of the source document at the receiving end. “Facsimile transmission” does not include transmission by electronic mail (e-mail).
(2) “Facsimile machine” means a machine that can send and receive a facsimile transmission.
(3) “Fax” is an abbreviation for “facsimile” and refers, as indicated by the context, to facsimile transmission or to a document so transmitted.
(4)A “facsimile transmission” does not include a document attached to or included in an e-mail communication.
(1) This rule applies to civil, criminal, small claims, and traffic proceedings in this Court.
(2) The following documents will not be accepted for fax filing:
(a)any pleading of filing requiring a filing fee;
(b)any document in whole or part under seal;
(c) any document in excess of ten (10) pages (including attachments, but excluding cover sheet).No document shall contain print less that that 12 point print;
(d)pleas in criminal cases;
(e)pleas in traffic cases that do not comply with Traffic Rule 8( C) or have the prosecutor’s approval.
(D) ORIGINAL FILING
(1) A document filed by fax at (330)564-4114 shall be accepted as the effective original filing. The person filing a document by fax is not required to file any source document with the clerk. The person filing the document shall maintain in his or her 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, and the source copy of the facsimile cover sheet used for the subject filing.
(2) 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.
(E) COVER PAGE
(1) The person filing a document by fax shall also include a cover page containing all of the following information:
(a) the name of the Court;
(b) the title of the case;
(c) the case number;
(d) the assigned judge;
(e) title of the document being filed;
(f) the date of transmission;
(g) the transmitting fax number;
(h) an indication of the number of pages included in the transmission, including the cover page;
(i) if a judge or case number has not been assigned, state that fact on the cover page;
(j) the name, address, telephone number, fax number, Supreme Court registration number, if applicable, and e-mail address of the person filing the fax document if available;
(k) if applicable, a statement explaining how costs are being submitted. [See Appendix “F” for Sample Facsimile Filing Cover Page].
(F) FAILURE TO INCLUDE COVER SHEET
If a document is sent by fax to the clerk without the cover page information listed above, the clerk shall deposit the document in a file of failed faxed documents with a notation of the reason for the failure.In this instance, the document shall not be considered filed with the clerk.
(G) All responsibility for assuring and confirming that a facsimile filing has been received and accepted shall fall on the party submitting the filing.
(H) The Clerk may inform the sending party of a failed fax filing.
(1) A party who wishes to file a signed source document by fax shall do either of the following:
(a) fax a copy of the signed source document;
(b) fax a copy of the document without the signature but with the notation “/s/” followed by the name of the signing person where the signature appears in the signed source document.
(2) A party who files a signed document by fax represents that the physically signed source document is in his or her possession or control.
(1) Each exhibit to a facsimile produced document that cannot be accurately transmitted via facsimile transmission for any reason shall be replaced by an insert page describing the exhibit and why it is missing. Unless the court otherwise orders, the missing exhibit shall be filed with the court, as a separate document, not later than five (5) court days following the filing of the facsimile document. The Court may strike any document or exhibit, or both, if missing exhibits are not filed as required by this section.
(2)Any exhibit filed pursuant to Section 6.01 shall include a cover sheet containing the caption of the case that sets forth the name of the court, title of the case, the case number, name of the judge and the title of the exhibit being filed (e.g., Plaintiff’s Notice of Filing Exhibit “X” to Plaintiff’s Response to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss). The exhibit and cover sheet shall be signed and served in conformance with the rules governing the signing and service of pleadings in this Court. [See Appendix “G” for Sample Notice of Filing an Exhibit].
(K) TIME OF FILING
(1) Subject to the provisions of these rules, all documents sent by fax and accepted by the clerk shall be considered filed with the clerk as of the date and time the clerk time-stamps the document received, as opposed to the date and time of the fax transmission. The office of the clerk will be open to receive facsimile transmission of documents on the same days and at the same time the court is regularly open for business.If a fax is transmitted and received after the close of the Clerk’s office, it will be filed the next day the Clerk’s office is open.
(2) Fax filings may not be sent directly to the court for filing but may only be transmitted only through the facsimile equipment operated by the clerk of courts.
(3) The clerk may, but is not required to, acknowledge receipt of a facsimile transmission.
(4) The risks of transmitting a document by fax to the clerk of courts shall be borne entirely by the sending party.The sending party is urged to verify receipt by the clerk of a fax filing through whatever technological means are available.
RULE No. 8
ASSIGNMENT OF CASES TO JUDGES
Where an answer or a motion is filed in a civil case, other than a motion for default judgment, or in a criminal or trafficcase a motion or “not guilty” plea is entered, the same shall be assigned immediately, by Case Management, by lot, to a judge, which judge shall be responsible for the determination of every issue and proceeding in the case until its termination or reassignment.
RULE No. 9
CASES THAT HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED
The judge assigned to a case shall be responsible for the determination of every issue and proceeding in that case until its termination. Emergency orders and orders as of right, including requests for continuance, shall be submitted to the judge to whom the case is assigned. If the assigned judge is unavailable, the matter may be submitted to and determined by the Presiding Judge, if in the opinion of the Presiding Judge undue prejudice would be caused by not considering the matter.
RULE No. 10
REASSIGNMENT OF CASES
(A) Related Case.
If a case assigned under SMCR No. 8.1 is found to be related to another case(s), or if there is a companion case(s) which presents substantially the same issues for determination, such fact shall be called to the attention of the Presiding Judge by submitting a related case transfer entry, signed by the transferring judge and the transferee judge. If the related case transfer entry has been approved by the transferor and the transferee judge, the Presiding Judge shall approve the same and reassign such case(s) to the transferee judge. The Presiding Judge may transfer the case without the approval of the transferee judge when he finds such transfer appropriate.
If, for any reason, a judge is disqualified to hear an assigned case, that judge shall sign and submit a case transfer entry to the Presiding Judge. If approved by the Presiding Judge, a new lot shall be drawn and that case(s) shall be assigned to another judge. The transferring judge shall then receive the next case that would have been assigned by lot to the transferee judge.
(C) Illness or Absence.
In the event of the protracted illness of a judge, or the unduly prolonged time for trial of a case(s) assigned to a judge, the Presiding Judge may order the reassignment of cases assigned to that judge to another judge or to a visiting judge, as the Presiding Judge may determine.
The Presiding Judge may reassign any case in the furtherance of justice. A judge appointed or elected to succeed another shall have the cases assigned to his predecessor. When there is a transfer of a case, the case file and the other records shall be changed to reflect the reassignment to the transferee judge.
RULE No. 11
CIVIL PLEADINGS AND OTHER PAPERS
All papers filed with the Clerk shall be filed under the style and number of the cause, and shall include: the name of the judge assigned the case, if any; a notation as to the type of case; a short description of the pleading or motion being filed; and any other information required by Civ.R. 10. All papers shall remain in the office of the Clerk of Courts except when required by the Court.
The caption on all pleadings shall provide a blank space of approximately three inches (3″) in diameter on the upper right portion of the pleading for the Clerk’s time-stamp imprint.
All pleadings, motions and other papers filed in an action shall bear the case number and the name, address and telephone number of the attorney together with the Registration Number of the attorney provided by the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio, or other person filing the same.
(D) Certificate of Service.
Other than the original complaint, every pleading, motion or other paper filed with the Clerk shall contain a certification of notice to the other parties to the action. In every proceeding where there is an attorney of record, the service shall be made upon such attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the Court. [Civ.R. 5(B)]
All pleadings and other papers shall be typewritten or printed on 8-1/2 x 11 inch bond paper only. They shall be offered without backing, suitable for a flat filing system. Original documents attached or offered as exhibits are exempt from this requirement, provided that all exhibits shall be neatly bound.
RULE No. 12
CIVIL COURT COSTS
No civil action or proceeding shall be accepted for filing by the Clerk unless a filing fee is deposited as shown on Appendix B at the end of these Rules, unless exempted by law or otherwise ordered by the Presiding Judge. Such prescribed fees may be amended from time to time by order of the Court. All entries or other dismissals terminating any case shall indicate the party having responsibility for payment of the court costs.
RULE No. 13
DISMISSALS ON FAILURE OF SERVICE
A civil case pending for six (6) months or longer in which service of process of the complaint has not been made shall be dismissed after notice to the plaintiff, unless, for good cause, the presiding judge otherwise directs. [M.C.Sup.R. 6(A)]
RULE No. 14
CIVIL LEAVES TO MOVE OR PLEAD
In all civil cases, a party may obtain one automatic leave to move or plead by certifying to the Clerk or by motion and order, stating that he or she has had no previous leave in that case. Such leave may not exceed twenty-one (21) days.
One additional leave to move or plead may be obtained at the discretion of the assigned judge. The request for such leave shall be made in writing, with notice to other parties, stating the reason for requesting such leave and setting forth the particulars of the prior leave. Such additional leave shall not exceed twenty-one (21) days. A judge, for good cause, may waive any requirement in this paragraph.
RULE No. 15
Motions required to be made during a hearing or trial may be made orally or in writing to the judge or magistrate presiding. All other motions shall be made in writing, unless waived by the judge. Motions for a definite statement pursuant to Civ.R. 12(E) and motions to strike pursuant to Civ.R. 12(F) shall set forth the language sought to be stricken or claimed to be indefinite.
Motions will not be set for hearing except as the Court, in its discretion, orders. A party desiring a hearing shall request the same on the face of the motion. When a motion is set for hearing, the Court shall notify the parties to the action of the date and time of the hearing
Parties shall have ten (10) calendar days to respond to a motion.
The Court in its discretion may extend the time for filing and answering motions, unless prohibited by statute or the civil and criminal rules.
To the extent that this rule may conflict with SMCR No. 14 or 17, the latter rules shall prevail.
RULE No. 16
NOTIFICATION OF DISMISSALS
(A) In cases of settlement or voluntary dismissal, the court will accept notice of the same by telephone from the person pursuing each claim. The plaintiff must submit an entry within ten (10) days of such telephone notification, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(B) It shall be the responsibility of the plaintiff to notify the opposing party of the cancellation of any scheduled hearing due to voluntary dismissal unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(C) If no entry is received within the time allowed, the court will issue an entry of dismissal at the cost of the plaintiff or other party notifying the court of the dismissal.
RULE No. 16.1
A pretrial conference will be held in every civil case filed, unless otherwise ordered by a judge or magistrate. A judge or magistrate may permit an agreed statement of counsel in lieu of said pretrial conference. In the event of an agreed statement in lieu thereof, provision shall be made for scheduling the case for trial.
The attorneys who will actually handle the trial of a case shall attend all pretrial conferences unless excused by the judge or magistrate presiding. Continuances may be granted only by the judge or magistrate scheduled to preside at the pretrial conference. No continuance will be granted on the grounds that the trial attorney is not prepared to go forward if he has failed to attend the pretrial conference.
(C) Parties To Be Present.
All parties in interest must be present at the pretrial conference, unless excused by the judge or magistrate presiding. If any claim for relief by any party is covered in whole or in part by insurance, a representative of the insurance company or carrier, authorized to handle the claim(s) for relief in controversy must be present at the pretrial conference, unless otherwise ordered by the judge or magistrate. If a claim for relief against any party is fully covered by insurance, that party’s presence at the pretrial conference is not required unless otherwise ordered by the Court.
(D) Attorney Preparation.
At pretrial conferences, attorneys for all parties should be prepared to:
(1)Freely discuss the factual and legal theories of the case;
(2)Discuss the necessity or desirability of amendments to any pleadings, or the filing of any additional pleadings;
(3)Discuss simplification of the issues;
(4)Make admissions as to the facts and the genuineness of documents and other exhibits which are not in dispute;
(5)Eliminate parties unnecessary to the case;
(6)Give the names of witnesses whom they intend to call and state the general nature of their testimony. If the court so orders, counsel shall not be permitted to call additional witnesses at the trial, except rebuttal witnesses, unless the names and addresses of said witnesses and the general nature of their testimony are furnished in writing to other counsel of record at least two (2) days before trial, or upon leave of court at the trial for good cause shown;
(7)Give the number and nature of exhibits to be introduced and, if required by the court, produce the exhibits for examination by the court or parties;
(8)Furnish an itemized list of special damages and expenses, and a full description of the nature of any injuries for which compensation is claimed;
(9)Give the names, addresses and specialties of any anticipated expert witnesses;
(10)Exchange reports of any expert witnesses expected to be called by the parties;
(11)Exchange medical reports and hospital records;
(12)Discuss limitations on the number of expert witnesses;
(13)Produce information relative to insurance agreements, in accordance with Civ. R. 26(B)(2);
(14)Discuss the necessity of supplementing interrogatory answers or other previous discovery;
(15)Discuss procedures and time limitations for the completion of any further anticipated discovery;
(16)Discuss whether a view of the premises is appropriate or necessary;
(17)Discuss the possibility of consolidation of cases for trial;
(18)Consider the possibility of separation of issues (if any) for determination by or to the court, or to the jury, and separate determination of the issues of liability and damages;
(19)Submit and consider authorities on unique or controverted issues, or guarantee their submittal at least two (2) working days prior to trial;
(20)Fully explore and be authorized to conclude settlement;
(21)Discuss any other matters that may expedite the trial or disposition of the case.
(E) Pre-Trial Statements.
All parties, prior to a scheduled pre-trial, shall file a pre-trial statement with the Court containing:
(1) a brief statement of the facts;
(2) issues of fact;
(3) issues of law;
(4) a list of witnesses;
(5) a list of exhibits;
(6) possible stipulations; and
(7) the status of discovery.
The court may decide or take under consideration for decision, any motions ending the case at the time of the pretrial conference.
(G) Sanctions for failure to appear.
Provided that notice has been given, either by reference to this rule in the notice of pretrial conference or otherwise, the Judge or Magistrate may:
i) upon failure of plaintiff and counsel to appear in person at pretrial, dismiss the claim for want of prosecution;
ii) upon failure of defendant and counsel to appear in person, allow plaintiff to proceed with the case on the merits ex parte; and
iii) strike, as waived, a jury demand filed by a non-appearing party.
(H) Pretrial Discovery.
The parties shall make reasonable efforts to complete documentary discovery by the time of the first pretrial conference. The court may disallow further discovery at the pretrial conference or set the case for trial without an additional pretrial conference although further discovery may be permitted.
(I) Failure to Comply.
Failure of an attorney to be prepared for the pretrial conference, failure of an attorney or party to appear, or to cooperate in good faith in the conduct of the pretrial conference, shall subject said attorney or party, in the discretion of the judge or magistrate, to sanctions as provided by Rule 37 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, including an award of expenses and/or attorney fees to any party prejudiced by said failure. In addition, the Court shall have the authority to dismiss an action for failure on the part of the plaintiff or plaintiff’s counsel to comply with this rule and shall have the authority to proceed with all or any portion of the case and to decide and determine any or all matters ex parte upon failure of the defendant to appear in person or by counsel at pretrial conference in accordance herewith.
RULE No. 17
The Court may, in its discretion, hear oral argument on any motion or conduct a pretrial conference or other hearing by speaker or regular telephone conference, provided that every statement is audible to all persons. Upon request of any party, such oral argument, conference, or hearing may be recorded under such conditions as the Court shall deem practicable. The Court may direct which party shall pay the cost of long distance or conference telephone calls. The requesting party shall set up such conference call with all counsel, parties and the Court unless otherwise directed by the Court or magistrate.
RULE No. 18
SUBPOENAS FOR WITNESSES
(A) Witnesses may be subpoenaed by filing a praecipe with the Clerk or by a person designated by an order of the Court as provided in Civ.R. 45(C).
(B) Any praecipe for subpoena or order designating a person to serve a subpoena shall be filed with and time stamped by the clerk at least five (5) business days before the scheduled date of trial. If a witness fails to appear at trial and the filing for such service was made sooner than five (5) business days before trial, or service cannot be made due to the late filing of the praecipe or order, then such nonappearance by the witness shall not constitute grounds for a continuance.
(C) In any case, service of subpoena may be made by an attorney-at-law or by any person designated by the court pursuant to Rule 45 (B) of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure or Rule 17(D) of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure. In civil cases, service of subpoena may be made by the bailiff’s office.
RULE No. 19
A demand for trial by jury shall be made in accordance with Civ.R. 38. To obtain a jury in a civil case, a written jury demand shall be filed with the Clerk, together with the jury deposit set forth in Appendix B hereto. If no number is specified on the jury demand, the number of jurors shall be eight (8). To be effective, a jury demand requires both a written request and the deposit set forth in Appendix B hereto. The deposit may be waived upon determination by the assigned judge that the party making the jury demand is indigent. The non-prevailing side shall be responsible for jury costs unless the Court otherwise directs.
Where there is a right of jury trial, the jury demand shall be made in accordance with Crim.R. 23. In criminal and traffic cases, the defendant, if found guilty, shall be responsible for the jury costs.
In all civil, criminal, and traffic cases, when a jury is requested and not used, the jury costs shall be assessed against the party making the demand, unless the demand is withdrawn in writing by 9:00 a.m. of the last working day before the date set for trial.
RULE No. 19.1
JURY MANAGEMENT PLAN
(A) Jury Eligibility and Procedure for Jury Selection.
Juror eligibility shall be determined and prospective jurors shall be selected by the jury commission of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas in accordance with its policies and procedures for potential service with the Stow Municipal Court.
(B) Summoning of Prospective Jurors.
Prospective jurors shall be summoned only on the filing of a written jury demand and pursuant to SMCR No. 19.Every effort shall be made to resolve cases prior to summoning juries. A jury panel shall not be summoned unless it appears that there is a substantial likelihood of trial.
(C) Examination of Prospective Jurors.
Examination of prospective jurors shall be limited to matters relevant to the matter before the Court and to determine the juror’s fairness and impartiality.
All prospective jurors shall be placed under oath in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code. The Court may conduct a preliminary voir dire examination concerning basic and relevant matters and counsel shall be permitted a reasonable period of time to question panel members thereafter. Counsel or parties shall conform their voir dire questioning to the following rules:
1.The case may not be argued in any way while questioning the jurors.
2.Counsel may not engage in efforts to indoctrinate jurors.
3.Jurors may not be questioned concerning anticipated instructions or theories of law. This does not prevent general questions concerning the validity and philosophy of reasonable doubt or the presumption of innocence.
4.Jurors may not be asked what kind of verdict they might return under any circumstance.
5.Questions are to be asked collectively of the entire panel whenever possible.
In the event there exists a potential for sensitive or potentially invasive questions, the Court or the parties may request a hearing preceding voir dire to consider these questions.
In all cases, voir dire may be held on the record and may be conducted outside the presence of other jurors in order to protect juror privacy or to avoid juror embarrassment.
If it is determined by the Court during the voir dire process that an individual is unable or unwilling to sit in a particular case fairly and impartially, the individual may be removed from the panel for cause. Such motion for removal for cause may be made by counsel, a party if unrepresented, of upon the motion of the Court. Further, Ohio Revised Code, Section 2313.42 and the Ohio Criminal Rule of Procedure 24(B) set forth additional cause challenges which may be made against potential jurors.
Peremptory challenges shall be exercised alternately as presently established by Revised Code Section 2945.23, Civil Rule 47 and Criminal Rule 24, unless prior to trial the parties agree on the record to another method. Unless otherwise agreed, all challenges shall be made outside the hearing of the prospective jurors. The number shall be limited to the number established by the Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure.
In criminal cases, the jury shall consist of eight regular jurors and possibly one alternate juror. In civil cases, the jury shall consist of eight regular jurors and possibly one alternate juror, unless by agreement, the parties stipulate to a lesser number. In special circumstances, additional alternate jurors may be selected.
(D) Jury Orientation.
Upon appearance for jury service, all prospective jurors shall be placed under the supervision of assigned personnel and shall direct any questions or communications to such court personnel for appropriate action. An explanatory video of jury service will be presented to all prospective jurors prior to their entering the courtroom. Counsel for the parties may request to view this video before its use.
The Court may give preliminary instructions to all prospective jurors, as well as additional instructions following the impaneling of the jury to explain the jury’s role, trial procedures of the court, along with other basic and relevant legal principles as the Court deems necessary and appropriate.
Upon the completion of the case and prior to jury deliberations, the Court shall instruct the jury on the law and the appropriate procedures to be followed during the course of deliberations. In accordance with the Civil and Criminal Rules of Procedure, the Parties or their counsel may request that special instructions be given to the jury.
A final jury charge may in the discretion of the judge be committed to writing, and may be provided to the jury for its use during deliberation.
All communications between the judge and the members of the jury panel, from the time of reporting to the court through dismissal, shall be committed to writing or placed on the record in open court. Counsel for each party shall be informed of any communication and shall be given the opportunity to be heard as to such communication. Under no circumstances shall counsel, a party, or other witnesses, have any contact with jurors.
All jury deliberations shall be conducted in the jury deliberation room. Jury deliberation rooms shall include space, furnishings and facilities conductive to reaching a fair verdict. Court personnel shall endeavor to secure the safety of all prospective jurors and shall arrange and conduct all activities so as to minimize contact between jurors, parties, counsel and the public. Upon the commencement of deliberations, all jurors shall remain in the care of court personnel and shall not be permitted to leave the court without permission.
Deliberations shall not continue after a reasonable hour, unless the trial judge determines that evening or weekend deliberations would not impose an undue hardship upon the jurors and are required in the interest of justice. Jurors may be consulted prior to any decision.
If jury deliberations are halted, jurors shall be permitted to be separated, unless for good cause shown, the Court finds that sequestration is necessary. If a jury is sequestered, the Court shall undertake the responsibility to oversee the conditions of sequestration and transportation of all jurors.
Upon reaching a verdict, all jurors shall return to the courtroom where the verdict or verdicts shall be read in open court. Upon the reading of the verdict, in criminal cases, either party may request that the jury be polled.
PRE-TRIAL DUTIES ON CIVIL JURY TRIAL
At least two weeks before a jury trial, the parties shall exchange witness lists, copies of all exhibits and proposed jury instructions, and file copies of same with the Court. Failure to disclose a witness or an exhibit may result in a witness’s testimony or an exhibit being excluded at trial. Failure to comply with this rule may result in sanctions to the defaulting party, up to and including the dismissal of claims.
RULE No. 20
CIVIL TRIAL DATE ASSIGNED
When a civil case is assigned a date for trial, the case shall proceed to trial on that date, unless the Court directs otherwise. If plaintiff is not willing to proceed, the Court may dismiss the case with or without prejudice.
If a civil case set for trial is settled, the attorneys assigned to that case shall immediately notify the Court and shall promptly submit an agreed entry dismissing all claims.
The Court may order an appropriate judgment entry or stipulation to be filed in accordance with SMCR No. 21.
RULE No. 21
Whenever a judgment or dismissal entry is required in any case, the Court may prepare it or order that counsel prepare the same. The entry shall be filed within ten (10) days. If such entry was to be prepared and presented by counsel, the Court shall prepare and file same when it is not timely presented to the Court. [M.C.Sup.R.7]
RULE No. 22
(A) Written Request.
No party shall be granted a continuance of a trial or hearing without first submitting a written request to the assigned judge stating the reason for such request. No court shall grant a continuance to any party at any time without first setting a new date for the trial or hearing. [M.C.Sup.R.16(A) and (B)]
(B) Scheduling Conflict.
Any request to withdraw must be in writing and be filed with the court at least seven (7) calendar days before the next scheduled hearing and shall contain:
(1) the reasons for the motion;
(2) a certificate of service to opposing counsel and the client;
(3) the date and time of the next court appearance;
(4) a statement from counsel that if the motion is granted, a copy will be mailed by counsel to the clients at their last known address, including a conformation of previously scheduled court hearing(s)..
(C) Designated Trial Attorney.
Each party represented by counsel shall have one attorney designated as trial attorney. All notices and communications from the Court and all documents required to be served will be sent to the designated trial attorney.
Stipulated continuances shall not be granted as a matter of course.
A judge, for good cause, may waive any requirement in this Rule.
RULE No. 23
DUTIES OF ATTORNEYS
(A) Withdrawal or Change of Counsel.
It shall be the duty of any attorney in any proceeding to promptly notify in writing the assigned judge or magistrate and the Clerk when a withdrawal or change of counsel occurs, with proof of service on all parties, including the affected client.
(B) Permission to Withdraw.
Notwithstanding subdivision (A) of this rule, an attorney cannot withdraw from any criminal or traffic case unless he or she first requests the Court’s permission for such withdrawal in writing and obtains the written approval of the assigned judge or magistrate. Any request to withdraw must be in writing and be filed with the court at least seven (7) calendar days before the next scheduled hearing and shall contain:
(1) the reasons for the motion;
(2) a certificate of service to opposing counsel and the client;
(3) the date and time of the next court appearance;
(4) a statement from counsel that if the motion is granted, a copy will be mailed by counsel to the clients at their last known address, including a conformation of previously scheduled court hearing(s)..
(C) Designated Trial Attorney.
Each party represented by counsel shall have one attorney designated as trial attorney. All notices and communications from the Court and all documents required to be served will be sent to the designated trial attorney.
RULE No. 24
TRANSFER OF CASES TO ANOTHER COURT
(A) Monetary Jurisdiction.
The party filing a counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim exceeding the monetary jurisdiction of the Court, which is transferred to the Court of Common Pleas, shall pay the required costs for such transfer to the Clerk of the Court and to the Clerk of the Common Pleas Court.
The plaintiff in a case that is ordered transferred because of improper venue or other reason shall pay the required costs for such transfer to the Clerk of this Court and to the Clerk of the transferee court.
(C) Failure to Comply.
Failure to comply with subdivision (A) or (B) of this rule within fourteen (14) days shall be deemed to be a failure to prosecute under Civ. R. 41(B)(1). A Court, in its discretion, may grant additional time, but failure to comply within that extended period shall also be deemed to be a failure to prosecute under Civ. R. 41(B)(1).
RULE No. 25
There is no official court reporter for the Stow Municipal Court. The responsibility of arranging for the attendance of a court reporter shall rest with the attorney and/or party desiring the same. An audio record of all proceedings required by law and made by the court shall be made available to any person so requesting and may be transcribed and if approved by the court, such transcription shall serve as the official record of the proceedings.
RULE No. 26
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
A written request for the recording of any proceeding must be made not later than 4:00 P.M. on the day prior to trial in cases where a recording is not required by law, and directed to the courtroom bailiff.
RULE No. 27
(A) RETENTION AND DESTRUCTION
Upon order of the Court, any civil action filed in the Stow Municipal Court may be submitted to mediation as provided in this rule. By participating in mediation, a non-party participant, as defined by Ohio Revised Code Section 2710.01(D), submits to the Court’s jurisdiction to the extent necessary for enforcement of this rule. Any non-party participant shall have the rights and duties under this rule as are attributed to parties, except that no evidence privilege shall be expanded.
Mediator is defined to mean any individual who mediates cases pursuant to an order or appointment by this Court, regardless of whether that individual is an employee, independent contractor or volunteer.
(B) SELECTION AND TIMING FOR MEDIATION
Any civil case may be referred to mediation by a Judge or the Chief Magistrate.
A party opposed to either the referral or the appointed mediator must file a written objection with the Court within seven (7) days of receiving the notice of the mediation and explain the reasons for any opposition.
A mediation may be scheduled for further sessions if deemed appropriate by the Mediator.
Continuances shall be granted only for good cause shown and after a mutually acceptable future date has been determined. No continuance will be granted if the mediation cannot be scheduled prior to the established trial date. All continuance requests must be made at least one week before the scheduled mediation.
(D) NO STAY OF PROCEEDINGS
All remaining court orders and deadlines shall remain in effect if a case is referred to mediation. No order is stayed or suspended during the mediation process.
(E) MEDIATION PRIVILEGE AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Mediation communications are privileged and/or confidential as described in Ohio Revised Code 2710.03-2710.10, the Rules of Evidence and any other pertinent judicial rule(s).
(F) CLIENT DEFINED CONFIDENTIALITY
If the parties wish mediation communication to be confidential they will effect and file with the Court a written confidentiality agreement prior to the scheduled mediation.
(G) MEDIATORS DUTY AND REPORT
At the conclusion of the mediation and in compliance with R.C. 2710.06 the Court shall be informed of the status of the mediation including, but not limited to, all of the following:
• Whether the mediation occurred or was terminated;
• Whether a settlement was reached on some, all or none of the issues; and
• Attendance of the parties.
• Future mediation session(s), including the date and time.
No other information shall be directly or indirectly communicated by the mediator to the Court, unless all who hold a mediation privilege, including the mediator, have consented to such disclosure. The mediator shall keep mediation communications confidential, unless all who hold a mediation privilege, including the mediator, have consented to such disclosure.
(H) DUTIES OF ATTORNEYS/PARTIES
Trial counsel, all parties and, if applicable, the principal insurance adjuster(s), all with authority to settle, shall personally attend all mediation sessions and be prepared to discuss all relevant issues, including settlement terms. Any business entity must have a representative present other than counsel.
If counsel or any mediation party becomes aware of the identity of a person or entity whose consent is required to resolve the dispute, but who has not yet been joined as a party in the pleadings, they shall promptly inform the mediator and the assigned Judge or Magistrate.
If the opposing parties to any case have either resided in a common residence or are related by blood, adoption, or marriage, and have known or alleged domestic abuse at any time prior to the mediation, then the parties or their counsel have a duty to disclose such information to the mediation staff. Such party shall have a duty to participate in any screening required by the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Rules of Superintendence Rule 16 both prior to, and, in the mediator’s discretion, during the mediation session(s).
If any of the individuals identified in the above-paragraph fail to attend mediation without good cause, the Court may impose sanctions, including the award of attorney’s fees and other costs, contempt or other appropriate sanctions including default judgment or the dismissal of their claims
(J) NO ADVICE
The efforts of the mediator shall not be construed as giving legal advice. The Court may have materials for legal or other support services available in the community. The mediator is authorized to provide such resource information; however, such distribution shall not be construed as a recommendation of or referral to such resource. The recipient of that information is charged with the duty to evaluate those resources independently.
(K) MEDIATION MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
The assigned mediator, parties or counsel, if applicable, as agreed by the parties, may immediately prepare a written memorandum memorializing the agreement reached by the parties. The “Mediation Memorandum of Agreement” may be signed by the parties and counsel (if the “Mediation Memorandum” is signed it will not be privileged pursuant to R.C. 2710.05(A)(1)). The written “Mediation Memorandum of Agreement” may become an order of the court after review and approval by the parties, their attorneys (if applicable) and the assigned Judge or Chief Magistrate. No oral agreement by counsel or with parties or an officer of the court will be regarded unless made in open court.
(L) ADMINISTRATIVE DISMISSAL
If the parties fail to dismiss a settled case within the later of thirty (30) days or the time noted in the entry that gave the Court notice of the settlement or Mediation Memorandum of Agreement, then the Court may dismiss the case administratively. Upon such administrative dismissal, court costs shall be paid from the funds deposited. If court costs exceed the funds deposited, each party shall bear their own costs.
(M) COSTS OF MEDIATION
A court cost, as set for the in the Schedule of Court Costs, shall be assessed in any case referred to mediation.
RULE No. 28
RETENTION OF ELECTRONIC RECORDINGS
Electronic recordings shall be retained for six (6) months after a scheduled and recorded hearing.
RULE No. 29
DISPOSITION OF FILES, RECORDS RETENTION, DESTRUCTION AND FILE MAINTENANCE
(A) RETENTION AND DESTRUCTION
The Clerk of the Stow Municipal Court shall use the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio and the Ohio Revised Code as guidelines for all record retention and destruction limitations.
(B) COURT FILES
Court files may be examined at the office of the Clerk of Courts under the supervision of the clerk or deputy clerk. Upon request, copies of documents will be provided at a cost per a schedule to be established by the Clerk of Courts.
(C) DOCUMENT REMOVAL
No document may be removed from a court file.
(D) FILE REMOVAL
No file may be removed from the clerk’s office without the consent of the judge or clerk. Files must be promptly returned to the clerk’s office and may not be removed from the court building.
RULE No. 30
(A) The Court shall employ one or more magistrates who may hear the following cases unless otherwise ordered:
(1)Small Claims case proceedings under R.C. 1925;
(2)Forcible Entry and Detainer proceedings under R.C. 1923;
(3)Traffic misdemeanor arraignments, and dispose of such cases when there is a “guilty” or “no contest” plea;
(4)Traffic misdemeanors when the defendant waives a trial by a judge;
(6) Administrative and noncompliance license suspension hearings;
(7)Default proceedings under Civ. R. 55 where a hearing is required;
(9)Replevin, prejudgment attachment, etc.;
(10) Preliminary hearings;
(11) Miscellaneous civil matters relating to garnishments, replevins and other attachments;
(12)Rent escrow proceedings;
(13)Minor misdemeanor traffic trials;
(14)Minor misdemeanor criminal trials;
(16)Such other appropriate matters as referred by the presiding/administrative judge.
(B) The Magistrate presiding in Traffic Court is designated an officer of the Court and is authorized to issue warrants and summons.
(C)All pre-trial orders of the Magistrate entered pursuant to Civ. R. 53 and all decisions of the Magistrate shall be prepared, signed and filed with the Clerk who shall serve copies on all parties or their counsel.
RULE No. 31
COMPLAINT IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER
A complaint in Forcible Entry and Detainer shall be filed in accordance with SMCR No. 11 and shall contain a reason for the eviction, a copy of the notice given under R.C. 1923.04 and a copy of the written instrument upon which the claim is founded. When the plaintiff is not an individual, the complaint must be signed by an attorney and the party must appear with counsel. Noncompliance with this rule may result in dismissal of the complaint.
RULE No. 32
TRIAL IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER
There shall be no “Answer Day” or “Call Day” as the term is used in other civil cases, and the trial date shall be set forth in the summons. Defendant shall be served at least seven (7) days prior to the date set for trial. Motions shall be heard at the trial, unless the assigned judge or magistrate directs otherwise. A continuance may be granted as provided R.C. 1923.08.
RULE No. 33
JURY TRIAL IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER
A demand for jury trial shall be made in accordance with SMCR No.19(A), except that it shall not be made fewer than three (3) days prior to the trial date. SMCR No. 19(C) is applicable.
RULE No. 34
WRITS OF RESTITUTION
The Clerk shall not issue a Writ of Restitution or an Alias Writ of Restitution after sixty (60) days from the date a Court ordered restitution of the premises, unless authorized by the Presiding Judge.
RULE No. 35
SMALL CLAIMS DIVISION
(A) These Rules are suspended to the extent that they are inconsistent with the practice and procedure for Small Claims set forth in R.C. 1925.
(B) All corporations, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships are required to have counsel.
(C) The Small Claims magistrate will conduct all proceedings in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1925. The Ohio Rules of Evidence do not apply but certain rules of civil procedure do apply (Ohio Revised Code, Section 1925.16). No depositions or interrogatories shall be taken in Small Claims cases except by leave of the court, and all relevant evidence shall be admitted at the discretion of the magistrate.
(D) In all contested matters, the magistrate shall prepare, sign, and file a magistrate’s decision with the clerk who shall serve copies on all the parties or their attorneys. If any party makes a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law under Civil Rule 52, the magistrate’s decision shall include proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. Within 14 days of filing of a magistrate’s decision, a party may file written objections to the magistrate’s decision. If any party timely files objections any other party may also file objections not later than 10 days after the first objections are filed. If a party makes a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law under Civil Rule 52, the time for filing objections begins to run when the magistrate files a decision including findings of fact and conclusions of law. Following the 14-day objection period, the magistrate’s decision together with any motions and objections submitted by any party will be submitted to the duty judge who will then adopt, reject, or modify the magistrate’s decision, hear additional evidence, recommit the matter to the magistrate with instructions, or hear the matter. If the judge orders a new hearing or if there are any post-judgment motions, those matters shall be referred to the judge who ruled on the magistrate’s recommendations.
(E) If any defendant defaults on payments which have been ordered by the court, plaintiff may file garnishment or executions.
(F) Transfer – Cross-claims or counterclaims exceeding $3000.00 shall be transferred to the regular docket. Motions to transfer a small claims case to the regular docket in the amount of $3000.00 or less shall be referred to the administrative judge for ruling. Where cases have been transferred to the regular civil docket, the party causing the transfer shall be required to pay the appropriate filing fee to the clerk within 10 days of the granting of the motion. Failure to pay the fee on time will cause the case to be assigned a new hearing date on the Small Claims docket.
RULE No. 36
SMALL CLAIMS TRIALS
A memorandum of the time and place set for trial shall be given to the person signing the claim. The time set for such trial shall not be less than fifteen (15) nor more than forty (40) days after commencement of the action. Notice shall be served on the defendant pursuant to R.C. 1925.04.
All parties shall be prepared to present their case or defense in a concise and organized manner.
A continuance may be granted as provided in SMCR No.22, except the number of days in SMCR No. 22(C) shall be three (3) days.
RULE No. 37
The Stow Municipal Court is charged with dispensing justice, resolving disputes and protecting the constitutional rights of those who appear before the court and recognizes that appropriate levels of security must exist in the Court for the safety of those who visit the court and those who work therein. No weapons are permitted to be carried into the courthouse by any person not actively engaged in performing their duties as a law enforcement officer. By entering the court, all persons consent to a search of their person and items in their possession. All visitors and employees of the court shall follow the directives of court security personnel at all times. Failure to do so may result in charges of contempt.
RULE No. 38
APPOINTMENT OF A FOREIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER OR SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER.
(A) When appointment of a foreign language interpreter is required.
The court will appoint a foreign language interpreter, in a case or court function, in either of the following situations:
(1) A party or witness who is limited English proficient or non-English speaking requests a foreign language interpreter and the court determines the services of the interpreter are necessary for the meaningful participation of the party or witness;
(2) Absent a request from a party or witness for a foreign language interpreter, the court concludes the party or witness is limited English proficient or non-English speaking and determines the services of the interpreter are necessary for the meaningful participation of the party or witness.
(C) When appointment of a sign language interpreter is required.
(1)The court will appoint a sign language interpreter in a case or court function in either of the following situations:
(a) A party, witness, or juror who is deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf blind requests a sign language interpreter.
(b) Absent a request from a party, witness, or juror for a sign language interpreter, the court concludes the party, witness, or juror is deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf blind and determines the services of the interpreter are necessary for the meaningful participation of the party, witness, or juror.
(2) When appointing a sign language interpreter pursuant to division (B)(1) of this rule, the court shall give primary consideration to the method of interpretation chosen by the party, witness, or juror, in accordance with division (b)(2) of part 35.160 of title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as amended.
(3) No deposit, fee or cost shall be charged to a party for the appointment of, or services provided by, a sign language interpreter.
RULE No. 39
INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS OF FINES AND COSTS
In any criminal or traffic matter, the fines and costs may only be paid in installments when the assigned judge or magistrate has given the defendant time to pay such fines and costs. Installment payments shall not be received beyond the date set for payment unless authorized by the assigned judge or magistrate.
RULE No. 40
MISDEMEANANTS HELD IN LIEU OF FINES
Misdemeanants shall be held in Jail when they fail to pay the fines imposed and have been found to have the ability to pay, unless the sentencing judge or magistrate otherwise directs and persons so held shall receive credit at the rate of $50.00 per day toward such fines. If the unpaid fine is less than $50.00, such person shall be imprisoned for one (1) day.
RULE No. 41
RULE No. 42
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM
A community service program is established as a sentencing alternative. The sentencing judge or magistrate may allow a person convicted of a misdemeanor who qualifies for the community service program to elect to perform community service work. The community control department shall establish the guidelines for the qualification and administration of the community service program.
The community service work may be performed for the following:
(A) As a condition of suspended confinement;
(B) In lieu of confinement; and/or
(C) In lieu of payment of fines and/or court costs;
(D) As punishment.
Community service work may be ordered by the Court and approved by the community control department. Credit for same shall be given upon verification by the community control department and at the Court’s discretion. When a misdemeanant performs community service as a condition of a suspended sentence or in lieu of confinement, then an eight-hour day of work shall be equal to one day’s confinement.
When a misdemeanant is unable to pay fines imposed, the Court may refer him to the community service program. He shall be credited an amount equal to the then established hourly minimum wage for each hour worked or greater amount as determined by the Court.
Any violation of the community service program by a misdemeanant, including the requirements established by the Community Control Department or the sentencing judge or magistrate, is a violation of a court order and subjects that misdemeanant to sanctions provided by law.
A misdemeanant herein is defined as provided in R.C. 2951.02.(A),(B), and (F).
RULE No. 43
(A) Establishment of Mental Health Docket
The Court established a mental health specialized docket known as Successful Treatment Results in Developing Excellence (“STRIDE”) effective February 16, 2010, which is now governed under Superintendence Rule 36.20 through 36.29 for Specialized Dockets. It is the goal of STRIDE to reduce recidivism among individuals with severe and persistent mental illness in the criminal justice system; to reduce periods of incarceration by individuals with severe and persistent mental illness; and to successfully graduate participants from STRIDE by effectively managing the risks associated with persons who have severe and persistent mental illness by providing mental health intervention that integrates community treatment options with judicial supervision. The opportunity for successful outcome is afforded through regular appearance before the judiciary, supervised treatment, and the use of graduated sanctions and other rehabilitative services.
(B) Placement on STRIDE Docket
In order for a criminal case to be placed on the STRIDE docket, a criminal defendant must first make a Request for Admission to the Mental Health Program as set forth as an exhibit in the program description. Program participants are selected from new cases that have not pleaded or have not been sentenced.
To qualify for admission, a criminal defendant must meet the following legal criteria:
- be a resident of Summit County;
- be charged with at least a misdemeanor of the first, second or third degree, but not including a violation of O.R.C. 4511.19 or a similar local codified ordinance, a sex crime, a weapons violation, or an offense involving a child victim;
- the mental illness must be a contributing factor to the defendant being charged;
- must have a severe and persistent mental illness with an Axis I diagnosis which would benefit from court monitored treatment;
- must be stable enough to understand and comply with program requirements and competency issues must be resolved before entering in the program;
- cannot have a criminal history of violence that might pose a risk to the public, staff and/or the agencies involved in treatment;
- having pending charges and/or presently on community control in other courts for felony or misdemeanor charges may make the defendant ineligible for this program;
- if the offense involves a victim of a physical injury, the victim must agree to the defendant entering into the program; and
- the defendant must voluntarily enter into the STRIDE program.
Referrals to the program can be made by, but not limited to, law enforcement, family/friends of the defendant, victim, defense counsel, prosecutor, community control, a judge or the defendant. Request for Admission to STRIDE shall be subject to initial approval by the defendant or defense counsel after consultation with the defendant and the prosecutor assigned to the criminal case subject to approval by the judge assigned to the criminal case, and initial assessment by the probation officer assigned to STRIDE according to the criteria adopted by the Court. Upon initial acceptance into the STRIDE program, the criminal defendant is referred for diagnostic evaluation to confirm that he/she meets clinical criteria. Clinical criteria includes: an “Axis I” diagnosis that is consistent with a severe and persistent mental illness; sufficient stability to understand and comply with program requirements; and the criminal defendant must not pose an unacceptable risk to program staff, family or community. The diagnostic evaluation along with the “treatment team” as set forth in the program description and participant handbook, and approval of the judge presiding over STRIDE; will determine if the defendant qualifies for the STRIDE program.
(C) Case Assignment
A Request for Admission to STRIDE does not automatically transfer the criminal case to the docket of the judge presiding over STRIDE. If the criminal defendant does not enter STRIDE for whatever reason, then the case remains on the original criminal docket. If the criminal defendant is accepted into STRIDE and wants to voluntarily enter the program, then the case is transferred to the STRIDE docket where the criminal defendant shall enter a plea of guilty and be sentenced to the STRIDE program. The judge presiding over the STRIDE docket shall have the primary responsibility for case management. In the event the criminal defendant is unsuccessfully terminated from STRIDE under the termination criteria as set forth in the program description and participant handbook, the case shall remain on the docket of the judge presiding over STRIDE for sentencing according to the criminal sentencing laws as set forth in the Ohio Revised Code or local codified ordinances.
(D) STRIDE Docket Case Management
Criminal defendants accepted into STRIDE will participate in mental health treatment, comply with medication as prescribed, counseling for mental health (individual and/or group sessions) and for substance abuse, if appropriate. The treatment plan may also include obtaining stable housing and reliable transportation, completing high school or obtaining a GED, participating in vocational assessment and entering appropriate training, obtaining and maintaining employment (either part or full time), attending other necessary counseling such as parenting classes, marital counseling, and volunteering or community service as set forth in the program description and participant handbook.
(E) Termination from STRIDE
Upon successful completion of the Treatment Plan, the criminal defendant is graduated from STRIDE. If the criminal defendant is unsuccessful in completing STRIDE, the judge presiding over the STRIDE court will conduct a community control violation hearing. If the terms of community control are found to be violated, then the remaining balance of the sentence may be imposed. A criminal defendant may also be neutrally discharged if they are no longer capable of completing STRIDE.
(F) Presiding on the STRIDE Docket
The judges of the court shall annually select a judge to preside over the specialized mental health court docket. Such judge shall serve for a period of one year, beginning on the first day of January.
RULE No. 44
REPRESENTATION OF INDIGENTS
The Summit County Legal Defender Office (Legal Defender) is designated to provide the legal representation for an indigent charged with a misdemeanor and payment for such services shall be from the County of Summit and/or other governmental bodies contracting with it. Any person charged with a criminal or traffic misdemeanor, other than a minor misdemeanor, found by the Court to be in need of an attorney, indigent, and entitled to such services may be considered for an appointment of the Legal Defender. When a felony is reduced to a misdemeanor, a practicing attorney may continue with such representation. Further, when exceptional circumstances exist and for good cause the Presiding Judge may appoint a practicing attorney in a misdemeanor case.
Persons charged with a felony and found to be indigent, in need of an attorney, and entitled to the same, shall be appointed a practicing attorney or the Legal Defender. Appointments to practicing attorneys will be made on a rotating basis, when practicable, from the appointed counsel list compiled by the Akron Bar Association, with consideration given to the attorney’s expertise, experience and current caseload. The Court may make changes to and vary from the appointed counsel list based upon its current needs and an attorney’s credentials, experience, expertise and standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio.
No attorney, including the Legal Defender, appointed to represent an indigent, shall receive any fees for services relative to that appointment. Before the appointed attorney shall receive any money from or on behalf of an indigent defendant for services in such representation, the Court shall immediately be notified and give written approval to withdraw to the attorney withdrawing with waiver of any fees from public funds.
The Court shall have discretion to order a Defendant to reimburse the governmental body responsible for payment of his appointed counsel fees, or the Legal Defenders Office, for all or part of the sums expended for representation.
SMCR No.23 shall apply to all appointed counsel.
RULE No. 45
When a private citizen or attorney files a criminal or traffic affidavit without authorization from a prosecutor, law enforcement officer, or judge, the Clerk shall number, index and docket that affidavit separate from other filings. Such affidavit shall be assigned as provided in SMCR No. 8, and the assigned judge shall schedule a date for a probable cause hearing.
If the judge finds no probable cause for the affidavit, it shall be ordered dismissed, an Stow Municipal Court Rules
RULE No. 46
CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN
(A) A judge or magistrate may refer any case to and alternative dispute resolution program.
(B) Civil Cases.
(1) Pretrial conferences will be held in accordance with Rule 16.1.
(2) A judge or magistrate may hold a case management conference for the purpose of setting time limits to join parties, amend pleadings, file motions, and perform discovery.
(C) Criminal Cases
A judge may schedule any criminal case for a pretrial conference. During the pretrial conference the court may establish a binding case management schedule.
RULE No. 47
USE OF ELECTRONICALLY PRODUCED TICKETS
The use and filing of a ticket that is produced by a computer or other electronic means is hereby authorized in the Stow Municipal Court. The electronically produced ticket shall conform in all substantive respects to the Ohio Uniform Traffic Ticket. If an electronically produced ticket is issued at the scene of an alleged offense, the issuing officer shall provide the defendant with a paper copy of the ticket.