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New Rules of Practice and Procedure To Take Effect July 1

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

The amendments alter several rules governing civil, criminal, appellate, 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.

Among the changes to Criminal Rule 46, which governs bail, bond, and pre-trial release in a criminal case, are:

  • 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
  • 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 amendments also focus on Civil Rules 16 and 26, which govern pre-trial discovery in civil matters. The change aligns the Ohio rules with the federal rules in regard to various discovery matters. Other changes include a new waiver of service in civil rules for cases filed with a Court of Common Pleas.

The annual rules update also includes amendments to the Rules of Juvenile Procedure to address guardians ad litem and the process for a minor to seek a marriage license.

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.