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Seeking Public Comment: Specialized Dockets, Domestic Relations Forms

The Ohio Supreme Court will accept public comment on proposed amendments for the annual update to the Rules of Practice and Procedure, including those concerning domestic relations cases.

The Court seeks comment on proposed changes to Civil Rule 75, which governs matters relating to the termination of marriages and the custody of children. These proposals include:

  • Conforming the rule to current law, as amended by HB 595 in 2019
  • Requiring that notices of hearing be sent to all parties, instead of only those unrepresented
  • The use of plain language to assist unrepresented parties in a divorce, dissolution, or custody matter.

The Court also will accept comment on changes to Appellate Rule 21, which would require the recording of all oral arguments by audio or video and that all such recordings be available to the public.

The Court also seeks public comment on changes to the Criminal Rules making it clear that plea hearings and applications for search warrants can be conducted using remote technology.

Another proposed change to the Criminal Rules would allow magistrates to preside over specialized dockets on a temporary basis, in accordance with the Ohio Rules of Superintendence. A corresponding change to the Rules of Superintendence is also out for public comment at this time.

Finally, the Court seeks comment on the recently overhauled Uniform Domestic Relations and Juvenile Forms. These new forms were recently enacted to comply with new statutes, but the Court still seeks public comment.

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, 2021. A final draft must be filed by May 1, 2021, in order for the amendments to take effect on July 1, 2021.

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 Feb. 27, 2021 to: Jesse Mosser Legislative Counsel Supreme Court of Ohio 65 S. Front St., Seventh Floor Columbus, OH 43215 or ruleamendments@sc.ohio.gov.