Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Court Seeks Public Comment on Pre-Trial Release in Criminal Cases

The Ohio Supreme Court will accept public comment on amendments for the annual update to the Rules of Practice and Procedure, including those concerning waiver of service and pre-trial release in criminal cases.

The Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure recommends this series of amendments in order to implement a waiver of service provision, like the one used in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Under this arrangement, defendants who voluntarily waive service will be given an extended time to file an answer.

Other proposed amendments to Ohio Criminal Rule 46, related to bond and bail, include:

  • Requirements that a court utilize the least restrictive bond conditions and least amount of monetary bail to secure the defendant’s appearance and an expanded non-exclusive list of bond conditions
  • The use of an objective risk assessment tool – but only if that tool is deemed credible by the court or by statute and is also reasonably available to the court
  • If the risk assessment tool is utilized, it shall not cause “unreasonable delay” to the court’s bail determination
  • Requirements that a bond schedule is to be used for the sole purpose of securing a release before an initial appearance, and is not to be considered by a trial court during a bond hearing

The annual rules update also includes proposed amendments to the rules of appellate procedure, juvenile procedure, and evidence.

According to the Ohio Constitution, an initial draft of proposed amendments to rules of procedure must be filed with the General Assembly by Jan. 15, 2019.  A final draft must be filed by May 1, 2019 in order for the amendments to take effect on July 1, 2019. The Court will accept a second round of public comment after the Jan. 15 filing date.

Publication of these proposed amendments for public comment at this time does not imply that the Supreme Court endorses or will approve for filing with the General Assembly any or all of the proposed amendments.

Public comment should be submitted in writing or via email by Sept. 26 to:

Jesse Mosser, policy counsel
Ohio Supreme Court
65 South Front St., Seventh Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

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