Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure Take Effect

A series of rule changes regarding practice and procedure in Ohio’s courts took effect July 1, according to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The amendments alter several rules governing civil, criminal, and juvenile proceedings, and rules of evidence. The amendments were submitted to the Supreme Court by its Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure and incorporate two rounds of public comment. Specifically:

  • Amendments to Civ.R. 4.2 allow for service to be made with the secretary of state on behalf of “program participants” as defined by the recently enacted R.C. 111.41. Program participants include victims of domestic violence and other persons who would be at risk of harm should their address be disclosed.
  • Changes to Civ.R. 19.1 include adding adult emancipated children making claims for loss of consortium with an injured parent to compulsory joinder list.
  • Amendments to Civ.R. 30(C) clarify that any party at a deposition may examine the deponent, regardless of who called the deposition.
  • Amendments to Civ.R. 33, 34, and 36 disallow the service of written discovery requests contemporaneous with service of the initial complaint. The rules now require that the initial complaint be served before any written discovery requests could be initiated.
  • Amendments to Civ.R. 62 provide that a court may issue a stay of judgment – or stay of proceedings to enforce that judgment – upon a party’s motion any time after the judgment was issued. Under the previous rule, a judgment could not be stayed until a party files a motion for a new trial, judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or relief from judgment under Civ.R. 60(B).
  • Crim.R. 5 is now clear that, in cases that are bound over from municipal court to common pleas court, a verbatim written record of any proceedings is not required to be transmitted.
  • Amendments to Crim.R. 32.2 allow the waiver of a presentence investigation upon the agreement of the defendant and the prosecutor before the imposition of community-control sanctions.
  • The creation of Crim.R. 42 establishes a new procedure for appointment of experts for indigent capital cases, as well as new standards for discovery in post-conviction relief in such cases.
  • Modifications to App.R. 11.1 and 19 eliminate page limits in appeals of post-conviction review decisions for indigent capital cases and also allow for an expedited appeal of a decision on appointment of experts in such cases.
  • Changes to Evid.R. 103 make explicitly clear that, once a court has ruled on an objection, on the record either before or after trial, there is no need to renew the objection for purposes of appeal.

The commission conducts an annual review of the Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules of Appellate Procedure, Rules of Juvenile Procedure, and Rules of Evidence and each fall recommends amendments to the Court. The proposals are published to obtain and consider public comment.

In addition, according to the Ohio Constitution, the amendments must be submitted to the General Assembly by Jan. 15, and the Court had until April 30 to make any revisions and file the amendments. Unless the General Assembly adopts a concurrent resolution of disapproval before July 1, the amendments take effect on that date.