Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Supreme Court Adopts Specialized Docket Certification Procedures

The Ohio Supreme Court has adopted rule amendments that outline the procedures to receive Supreme Court certification for a specialized docket program.

Under the certification amendments, courts operating specialized dockets would be required to submit an application, undergo a site visit, and submit specific program materials to the Specialized Docket Section as part of the certification process.

“While the standards seek to create a minimum level of uniform practices for specialized dockets, they still allow local specialized dockets to innovate and tailor their specialized docket to respond to local needs and resources,” the rules state.

In addition, specialized dockets that comply with the initial stages of the certification process would be initially certified pending a final review. Specialized docket programs will be required to be initially certified by January 1, 2014.

The amendments also create a new Commission on Specialized Dockets and amend the definition of a specialized docket in the Code of Judicial Conduct. The new commission will be the body that applies the certification requirements and determines which programs are certified.

View the text of the amendments.

Since the establishment of the Hamilton County Drug Court in 1995, Ohio has been recognized as a national leader in the implementation of specialized dockets. In 2001, the Supreme Court created the Specialized Dockets Section to assist and support local courts in developing specialized programs uniquely tailored to helping specific populations within the court system. Today, there are more than 140 specialized dockets operating in Ohio including drug courts, mental health courts, re-entry courts, OVI courts, sex offender courts, felony non-support courts and domestic violence courts.

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