Municipal Rule 9

Local Rule 9. MISCELLANEOUS RULES

9.01 THE DEPARTMENT OF PRETRIAL SERVICES

Pursuant to the Court’s entry of December 22, 1991, the Department of Pretrial Services is hereby established. All rules and procedures for the operating of the Department shall be a separate entry as adopted by the court and filed with the Clerk.

9.02  PRIVATE COMPLAINT MEDIATION SERVICE (PCMS)

1. General. Upon order of the court, an action may be submitted to the court’s Private Complaint Mediation Service for 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. In a criminal case, the persons injured or victimized by the alleged commission of the criminal act become non-party participants by participating in the mediation.

2. Civil Cases. All civil cases may be referred to mediation. Before the initial pre-trial conference in a case, counsel shall discuss the appropriateness of mediation in the litigation with their clients and with opposing counsel. At the initial pre-trial conference the parties and counsel shall advise the court of the results of their discussions concerning mediation. At that time and at subsequent conferences, if necessary, the court may explore with the parties and counsel the possibility of using mediation. A party opposed to the referral must file a written objection with the court within seven days of receiving notice of the referral and explain the reasons for any opposition. No mediation shall occur until the court rules on the objection.

3. Criminal Cases. A criminal case may be referred to mediation with the consent of the defendant, the prosecutor and the person(s) injured or victimized by the alleged commission of the criminal offense. Mediation shall not be used as an alternative to the prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence, to determine whether to grant, modify or terminate a protection order, to determine the terms and conditions of a protection order, or to determine the penalty for violation of a protection order.

4. Continuances. Continuances shall be granted only for good cause shown and after a mutually acceptable future date has been determined.

5. No Stay of Proceedings. All existing court orders shall remain in effect. No order is stayed or suspended because the case is in mediation. Mediation shall not stay discovery unless agreed upon by the parties and approved by the court.

6. Mediation Privilege. Mediation communications are privileged as described in Ohio Revised Code 2710.03-2710.05. If the parties wish mediation communication to be confidential they will effect a written confidentiality agreement prior to mediation.

7. Mediator’s Duty. The mediator shall inform the court who attended the mediation, whether the case settled, and whether efforts to settle the case through mediation are being continued or if the case is being returned to the court for further proceedings. 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.

8. Duties of Attorneys/Parties. In civil cases trial counsel, all parties and, if applicable, the principal insurance adjuster(s), all with authority to settle, shall personally attend all mediation sessions prepared to discuss all relevant issues, including settlement terms. 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 as well as the assigned judge of such fact. A party who is not a natural person must be represented by a person other than trial counsel. In criminal cases, the prosecutor and defense counsel may, but are not required, to attend and may designate a non-attorney to attend in their stead, unless the defendant executes a written waiver of counsel in which case neither the prosecutor nor any defense attorney will attend the mediation.

All parties and counsel shall advise the assigned judge or magistrate of any domestic violence which they have reason to believe has occurred, or of any domestic violence allegations known to them to exist or to have existed in the past, or which become known to them following entry of the mediation referral, involving any two or more opposing parties. If the mediation proceedings have begun, such parties and counsel shall also disclose such information to the mediation staff.

9. Sanctions. In civil cases, if any person required to attend mediation shall fail to do so without good cause, the court may impose sanctions, including the award of attorney’s fees and other costs, contempt or other appropriate sanctions.

10. 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.

11. Dismissal. If the parties fail to dismiss a settled civil case within the later of sixty (60) days or the time noted in the written communication that gave the court notice of the settlement, then the court may dismiss the case with prejudice, retaining jurisdiction to enforce the agreement reached by the parties. Upon such dismissal, court costs shall be paid from the funds deposited.

9.03  COURT ADMINISTRATOR

a.  DUTIES

The court may appoint a qualified court administrator who will function as the chief nonjudicial officer of the court. In addition to providing general supervision of the court’s case-flow, probation, jury, budgetary, and personnel systems, the court administrator will implement the administrative policy decisions of the court and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Joint Session and Presiding/Administrative Judge.

b.  SELECTION

The court administrator will be appointed and removed and his salary determined by a vote of the majority of the judges in the Municipal Court. If the Common Pleas Court and the Municipal Court agree, the same individual appointed as Common Pleas Court Administrator may also serve as administrator for the Municipal Court.

9.04  ASSIGNMENT COMMISSIONER PERSONNEL AS DEPUTY CLERKS

All personnel in the Assignment Commissioner’s Office shall be appointed Deputy Clerks by the Clerk of Courts of Hamilton County for the SOLE purpose of accepting and having filed motions and jury demands in criminal cases.

9.05  METHOD OF ASSIGNMENT AND NUMERICAL DESIGNATION OF JUDGES

All judges of the Court shall be assigned a number which shall be used as the basis for assigning individual cases pursuant to Sup. R. 36. Individual assignment may be made by manual or mechanical means as long as such means comply with Rules of Superintendence. Unless otherwise designated, the means used to assign cases in the Hamilton County Municipal Court shall be by a computer program method, or a Kelly Pool Shaker Method. This numerical designation will remain with the judge for as long as they serve on the bench of the Hamilton County Municipal Court.

9.06  ASSIGNMENT OF COURTROOM

Each judge of the Hamilton County Municipal Court shall have their own courtroom.
Permanent assignment of courtrooms shall be based on seniority.

9.07  SETTING OF TRIAL DATES

Criminal matters will be set for trial according to the direction given by each judge by the Assignment Commissioner’s Office. Civil cases will be set for trial by the judge according to their schedules. The judges will notify the Clerk of the Civil Division of civil case settings.

9.08  DOCUMENT SIZE

All filings with the Hamilton County Municipal Court will be on 8 1/2 x. 11" paper.

9.09  CHANGES IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE RULES

Any changes in the Administrative Rules of the Hamilton County Municipal Court will occur by amendment and revision by majority entry of the judges of the Court or by order of the Administrative/Presiding Judge.

The Rules may be periodically reprinted as needed, which shall include all changes adopted by the Court prior to reprinting. Any additions, amendments or deletions of the Rules shall comply with Crim. R. 57(A)(2).

9.10 COURT RECORD RETENTION PURSUANT TO SUP. R. 26

a.   The purpose of this rule is to establish a system for court records management and retention, to provide the minimum standards for production, maintenance, preservation and destruction of records within the courts and to authorize alternative electronic methods and techniques. The adoption of this rule is consistent with the Ohio Supreme Court’s Superintendence Rule 26 and the adoption thereof  by the Hamilton County Records Commission.

b.    In accordance with division (a) of this rule, the Hamilton County Municipal Court hereby adopts Sup. R. 26 in its entirety, and in special reference to the records of the Hamilton County Municipal Court, adopts Sup. R. 26.05, which governs the administration of the records, created by the Municipal Court.

9.11 CASE MANAGEMENT SUP R. 5

Criminal Cases

a.  The purpose of this rule is to establish, pursuant to Sup. R. 5, a system for criminal case management which will provide for the fair and impartial administration of criminal cases. These rules shall be construed and applied to eliminate unnecessary delay and expense for all parties involved in the court system.>/p>

b.  Scheduling of Events: The Scheduling begins with arraignment.

1. Arraignment: shall be scheduled on the first working day after a physical arrest and/or lock-up. Cited cases will be arraigned when scheduled by a citing agency.

2. Pretrials: After arraignment, a request for pretrial shall be set by the assignment commissioner within ten (10) days. All other cases shall be set for trial unless the judge orders a pretrial in said case within time limits set by law, but no sooner than seven (7) days after arraignment nor more than 45, unless otherwise ordered by court. Except in extraordinary cases, no case will be continued more than one time for arraignment. Any attorney who fails to appear for pretrial without just cause being shown may be punished for contempt of court.

3. Motions: All motions shall be made in writing and accompanied by a written memorandum containing the arguments of counsel. Motions must be filed within the time limits established by the
Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure. All motions shall be set for oral hearing.

4. Continuances: No continuance will be granted in the absence of written agreement by opposing counsel or without a hearing for continuance.

5. Trials: Each case not resolved at pretrial shall be set for trial by the Court. If a jury demand is timely filed, then the case shall be set for jury trial by direction of the court.

6. if no pre-sentence report is requested. In all cases, sentencing shall occur within 42 days.

7. The Statistical Unit of the Assignment Commissioner’s Office shall provide all necessary reports pursuant to the
Rules of Superintendence for Municipal Courts to the Judges. In addition, the Assignment Commissioner shall inform each Judge of those assigned cases subject to administrative time limits.

9.12  SEARCH WARRANTS

a.  Applicants for search warrants shall contact the Room A judge from 4:00p.m. Fridays to 8:00 a.m. Mondays on weekends. Applicants shall contact the Duty Judge from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

b.  Requests to seal the affidavit, warrant, and return must be made to the issuing judge at the time the warrant is presented for a review using a form prescribed by the court. The judge shall authorize sealing at the time the warrant is signed if sealing is appropriate.

c.  When a warrant and accompanying document are presented to the clerk for filing, the clerk shall do the following:

(1) Assign the warrant a number and enter that number in the log book.

(2) Note in the log book the date and time at which the warrant was executed, and identify in the log book the issuing judge.

(3) If the issuing judge has authorized the sealing of the warrant and accompanying documents. The fact of sealing shall also be noted in the log book.

Requests to unseal the warrant and accompanying documents shall be made by motion to the issuing judge. After notification to the appropriate prosecuting attorney, a hearing shall be held not sooner than 7 days and no later than 14 days from the date of application unless otherwise ordered by the court. The court, in making its determination, shall consider all relevant information as well as the provision of  R.C. 149.43. This remedy is separate from any discovery remedy available to the defendant pursuant to the criminal rules.e.  The Room A Judge shall be responsible for Search Warrants from 4 PM Friday through 8 AM the following Monday. The Duty Judge shall be responsible for Search Warrants from 8 AM Monday through 4 PM the following Friday.

9.13  MENTAL CAPACITY

If a person is found to be incompetent to stand trial under provisions of Revised Code (2945.38(C)), the Court Administrator will file an affidavit as a ministerial function in the Probate Court, certifying the appropriate finding or findings of this Court. In the absence of the Court Administrator, the Assistant Court Administrator or the Administrative Assistant may file the affidavit.

9.14  PROCEDURE ON NOT GUILTY PLEAS FROM AREA COURT

If a defendant arraigned in an area court pleads "not guilty" the case will be referred to the Assignment Commissioner’s Office for trial setting.

The defendant or his attorney will be given Form CR3 as appears in Appendix A, which advises when the Assignment Commissioner’s Office may be contacted for information relative to trial setting. The burden for ascertaining when and where a case is scheduled for trial is placed upon the defendant or the defendant’s attorney.

9.15  APPEALS/TRANSFERS FROM MAYOR’S COURTS

a.  In any case originating in a Mayor’s Court, transferred for trial where a right to a jury trial exists, or appeals from the Mayor’s Court to this Court pursuant to statute, or transferred pursuant to RC 1905.032, the municipal attorney shall be responsible for filing:

(1) A notice of appeal or transfer upon the form designated by this Court.
(2) The original traffic citation or criminal complaint and affidavit under which the defendant was charged.
(3) A docket statement upon the form designated by this Court, certified by the Mayor or the Mayor’s designated authority which shall serve as the certified transcript of the proceedings in such Mayor’s Court, and if any accrued costs and recognizance are given.
(4) A copy of the ordinance section including penalty section under which the defendant was charged.

All appeals or transfers shall be set upon the arraignment docket unless the counsel for the municipal corporation upon filing such transfer or appeal presents to the Clerk of Courts and Assignment Commissioner at the time of original filing a written plea of not guilty from the defendant in which case the matter shall be docketed, assigned a Municipal Court case number, and assigned to a Judge for proceedings thereon.c.  It shall be the responsibility of the municipal attorney to notify defense counsel or defendant of the arraignment or an assigned date if a written plea of not guilty is filed. Such notice should be in writing.d.  Mayor’s Court cases shall have an "M" as a case designator.e.  Time shall be computed pursuant to RC 2945.72(F), from arrest or summons to the date the Mayor’s Court certifies the case to Municipal Court.

9.16  Privacy [Effective 1/1/06]

In order to provide remote public access to Court records the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts publishes certain court records on the Clerk’s web site www.courtclerk.org.

1. The Clerk of Courts may provide remote public access over the Internet to the following classes and formats of court records:

a. Litigant/Party indexes to civil and criminal cases filed with the court searchable by party name, Judge, date filed or case number.

b. Register of actions or dockets showing a list of what  documents have been filed in a case.

c. Calendars of cases scheduled before the various Courts or Judges, searchable by case no., party, attorney, Judge or room and time.

d. Judgments, orders, or decrees in a case searchable by party or case number.

e. Liens affecting title to real estate.

f. Images of documents filed in a case not otherwise excluded from remote public access by this rule, court order, or upon request of the parties in accordance with paragraph 4 or 5 below.

2. The Clerk of Courts shall not provide remote public access over the Internet to the following classes and formats of court records:

a. Trial exhibits

b. Transcripts of court proceedings or Grand Jury proceedings

c. Jury venires, questionnaires, seating charts or verdict forms.

d. Any document routinely containing social security numbers including traffic tickets, criminal warrants, and police referral records.

e. Criminal bond records that contain personal and financial information regarding the surety.

f. Search warrants and Applications for telephone subscriber information and affidavits in support thereof.

Unless sealed in accordance with paragraph 5 below, such documents shall be available only at a Court facility or pursuant to paragraph 3 below.

3. As technology allows, the Clerk should provide secure remote access to Court Records that are otherwise available only at a Court facility pursuant to paragraph 4 below, over the Internet to Court authorized individuals, parties, counsel, Court officers and staff.  Unless sealed in accordance with paragraph 5 below, documents and records excluded from remote public access over the Internet shall be imaged and available on the Court Management System (CMS) and at the office of the clerk according to the access policies of the Clerk of Courts.

4. Upon motion of a party, a person with interest in the court record, or on the Court’s own motion, an assigned Judge may order that all or certain records pertaining to an assigned case shall not be published on or shall be removed from the official web site.  In limiting the remote public access to a record the court should use the least restrictive means that achieves the purposes of the access policy and the needs of the requester.  Unless such  record is subject to non-disclosure under some exception to the public record law or is sealed in accordance with paragraph 5 herein, there shall be an obvious notation on the official web site that said document or information has been withheld and is available in the official records of the Court.  In deciding such a motion the Court shall consider the following factors:

a. The need to maximize accessibility to court records.

b. Support for the role of the judiciary.

c. Promotion of governmental accountability.

d. Public safety.

e. Risk of injury to individuals.

f. Protection of individual privacy rights and interests.

g. Protection of proprietary business information.

h. Possible reluctance to use the Court to resolve disputes.

i. The most effective use of Court and Clerk of Court staff.

j. Service to the Community.

k. The possible burden on the ongoing business of the Judiciary.

A party may petition only once per case to remove information from the Clerk of Courts website. Any further request shall be stricken unless good cause is shown otherwise (Effective 8/15/16).

5. Any party may apply to the Court by a motion pursuant to Criminal Rule 16 or Civil Rule 26 or otherwise in accordance with common law for the sealing of all or any part of an official Court file.  Such request shall be by written motion.  Any order to seal all or part of a Court public record shall be by journal entry.  Such journal entry shall include in its caption either (1) Order to Seal Entire Record or (2) Order to Seal Document.  Where the journal entry directs the Clerk to seal a Court file the Clerk shall keep said records safely and allow no access to said records except by written Court order.  Where an entire file is sealed, the index and case number only shall be available on the Court Management System (CMS) and may be published for remote access and shall otherwise state that the record is held under seal pursuant to Court order with reference to this rule.  Otherwise, any file, record or document ordered sealed shall not be published by the Clerk on the Internet.  Nothing herein shall interfere with the Clerk’s appropriate expungement of records pursuant to Revised Code Section 2953.31 et seq. or 2953.51 et seq.

The Clerk of Courts does not review the contents of and is not responsible for the contents of any record or document filed in that office that is provided for remote public access over the Internet.  The Clerk of Courts is not responsible for the use, misuse or theft of any information that is provided for remote access over the Internet.

Parties and counsel should expect that documents or records filed with the Clerk of Courts and not excluded from remote public access in paragraph 2 above will be made available for remote public access over the Internet.  Parties and counsel are encouraged to avoid unnecessarily memorializing in court filings, social security numbers, full birth dates, bank or other financial account numbers, names of minor children, or other personal information which might contribute to identity theft.  If a date of birth or an account number must be referenced, it is ordinarily appropriate to use only the year, or the last four digits of the account.  If names of minor children must be referenced it is appropriate to use the child’s initials, or a generic abbreviation such as “CV” for “child victim”.

Where a party finds it necessary to file an otherwise proper document containing personal identifying information which may implicate privacy or security concerns the party should request limited access to that document or record pursuant to paragraph 4 or 5 above.

9.17 Regulation Of Bail Bondsmen  [Effective June 30,2010]

1. Specific Court Requirements

The court shall require that:

a. Each bail licensee register with the Clerk of Court a personal identification number consisting of his or her birth date, the last four (4) digits of his or her social security number, and the first and last initials of his or her name. The court may require disclosure of such number during any communication.

b. Each bail licensee shall annually renew his or her license by filing with the Clerk of Court a power of attorney for each surety insurer that employs him or her

c. Each bail licensee at the time of filing the power of attorney shall provide written documentation evidencing the name and address of each and every surety insurer that employs him or her. Such documentation shall be originally generated by the insurer.

d. Each bail licensee at the time of filing the power of attorney shall sign a statement agreeing to adhere to these local rules and to further be subject to disciplinary action for violation of such rules as provided herein.

2. License Requirement-General

a. An insurer shall not execute an undertaking of bail except by and through a person holding a bail license. A firm, partnership, association, or corporation, as such, may not be licensed.

b. A person shall not solicit or negotiate with respect to execution or delivery of an undertaking of bail or bail bond by an insurer, or execute or deliver such an undertaking of bail or bail bond unless licensed as provided in these local rules.

3.  License Requirement-Qualifications

An application for a license as a bail bondsman must be submitted on forms prescribed by the Department of Insurance and pursuant to the licensing requirements under Ohio Revised Code Section 3905.01 et seq.

4. Prohibitions

a. A person may not act in the capacity of a bail bondsman or perform any of the functions, duties, or powers prescribed for bail bondsman unless:

1.such person is licensed as provided herein
2.such person is employed by a surety insurer

b. No person who has been convicted of, or who has plead guilty or no contest to a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude or a crime punishable by imprisonment of on (1) year or more under the law of any state, territory or country, regardless of whether adjudication of guilt was withheld, shall be eligible to receive court privileges to participate in undertakings of bail or bond unless, as the date this local rule shall take effect, such person is already licensed as a bail bondsman in the State of Ohio.

c. A bail bondsman may not:

1. Participate in the capacity of an attorney at a trial or hearing of one on whose bond he or she is surety.

2. Make any statement or representation to the court unless such statement or representation is under oath. Such statement or representation may not be false, misleading, deceptive, or otherwise perjurious.

3. Make false, misleading, deceptive, or otherwise perjurious statements or representations to the Department of Insurance during the application process as provided for in these local rules.

4. Charge a fee to his principal for personal bonds received from the court.

5. Participate in any conduct or activity that impedes the Court’s efficient operation, including but not limited to solicitation on the grounds of the Hamilton County Courthouse or the Hamilton County Justice Center.

6. Violate any of the prohibitions contained in Ohio Revised Code Section 3905.932.

5. Penalties

Any bail licensee who violates the provisions of this local rule shall be in contempt of court and may be subject to suspension of his or her privileges to participate in any undertaking of bail or bail bond in this court. The court directs the Clerk of Courts to bring violations of this rule to the court’s attention.

6. Applicability of Rule

The provisions as set forth in this local rule shall he binding only in the Hamilton County Municipal Court. Nothing in this rule shall be read to exclude the requirements set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 3905.01 et seq. or any other governing law of the State.

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