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) 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.

(C) 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.

(D) If any defendant defaults on payments which have been ordered by the court, plaintiff may file garnishment or executions.

(E) Transfer – Cross-claims or counterclaims exceeding $6000.00 shall be transferred to the regular docket. Motions to transfer a small claims case to the regular docket in the amount of $6000.00 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.

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