Wood County Law Library
Common Pleas Court of
Wood County Rules
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Chapter 4
Civil Case Administration
Rule 4.01
Case Management

A.         Case Termination Schedule
While there may be exceptions due to the peculiarities of a given case, it is the intent of the Court that cases of the following classification be terminated within the time frame set forth from the date of filing:
       
Habeas Corpus........................   60 days
Forcible Entry and Detainer..... 120 days
Foreclosure.............................  150 days
Administrative Appeals……....  180 days
Injunction................................   180 days
Declaratory Judgment ...........   210 days
Other Civil  ………………..….  240 days
Worker's Compensation.........  240 days
Personal Injury........................  360 days
Product Liability......................  360 days
Professional Torts..................  360 days
Other Torts.............................  360 days
Complex Litigation..................  720 days

B.         Incomplete Service
        1. If service is not completed or service by publication is not commenced on all parties within 60 days after filing of the complaint, counsel for plaintiff will be directed to complete service or the matter may be dismissed against unserved defendants.
        2. If 30 days after this notice is served service has not been obtained nor effort made to attempt service, then, unless the Court determines for good cause otherwise, the action may be dismissed with regard to unserved defendants.

C.         Scheduling Order
        Within 70 days after filing of complaint, an order including but not limited to a scheduling order will be prepared and filed by the Court setting the trial date, pretrial dates, timing of discovery, filing of motions, timing of Alternative Resolution Procedure, and preparation of the joint pretrial statement.

D.         Joint Pretrial Statement
        1. The pretrial order may provide for the filing of a joint pretrial statement.  If a joint pretrial statement is required, then it shall be as follows:
                a. Counsel shall prepare a joint pretrial statement which shall be delivered by the initiating party's counsel to the Court no later than one week prior to final pretrial conference.
                b. The joint pretrial statement shall not be filed with the Clerk.
        2. The joint pretrial statement shall contain the following:
                a. The concise statement of the general claims and defenses of the parties;
                b. Those facts established by admissions in the pleadings, admissions by discovery and stipulations by counsel;
                c. The contested issues of fact;
                d. The contested issues of law, together with counsels'  respective positions with regard to the applicable law, with citations of authority for counsel's position;
                e. The names and addresses of all witnesses, together with a brief statement of the subject matter and general import of each witness's expected testimony;
                f. The names, addresses and qualifications of the expert witnesses expected to testify, together with a brief statement of each expert witness's expected testimony;
                g. A list of exhibits each counsel intends to offer into evidence marked as follows:
                        (1) Joint exhibits with Roman numerals;
                        (2) Plaintiff's exhibits with Arabic numerals;
                        (3) Defendant's exhibits with letters;
                        (4) Third-party exhibits identified as such.
                h. Motions in limine not already filed;
                i. An itemization of all special damages being requested;
                j. Each counsel's expected time of trial needed to present its side of the case;
                k. The status of settlement negotiations including most recent specific demands and offers;
                l. Requested jury instructions (other than boilerplate);
                m. Certification that copies of all exhibits to be introduced have been provided to opposing counsel.
        3. The deadline for filing of the joint pretrial statement is firm and may be extended only by leave of Court for good cause shown.
        4. Failure to submit the joint pretrial statement in a timely manner may result in the imposition of appropriate sanctions, including exclusion of testimony or exhibits, denial of claims, directed verdicts, dismissal of the case or contempt of court.
        5. The court recognizes that preparation of the joint pretrial statement shall require considerable time and cooperation between counsel.  To ensure completion the first named plaintiff shall initiate a joint pretrial draft two weeks prior to the due date.  If such plaintiff has been dismissed or fails to initiate, first named defendant shall initiate.  Discussion and preliminary drafting begin several weeks before the due date.  Filing of an incomplete joint pretrial statement supplemented with later amendments thereto will not be considered compliance with this Rule.

E.         Dismissal Upon Settlement
        Upon report of settlement of case, the Court may at any time thereafter file an entry of dismissal and may assess costs, or may instruct counsel to prepare and present a termination entry for approval within 28 days.

F.         Continuances
        All applications for the continuance of any scheduled event must be in writing, and if the event to be continued is a trial, the application must be signed by counsel and his or her client.
        1. No event will be continued without contemporaneously reassigning a fixed date.
        2. All applications for continuances shall be submitted to the Court
at least 14 days prior to the scheduled date for the event sought to be continued, absent emergency or cause deemed sufficient by the Court.
        3. All applications shall set forth the reason for the request, the time and date of the current assignment, and a new date within 60 days which has been approved by the Court and opposing counsel, in the event the Court grants the application for continuance.
        4. If the reason is another case scheduled on the same date in another Court, the application shall include the name of the Court and assigned judge (with phone number), case caption, the date and time of the conflicting case and the date that the conflicting case was assigned for trial.

G.         Jury View
        Except as provided by law, and unless otherwise ordered,  a jury view shall be requested at least thirty (30) days before trial in accordance with Local Rule 3.03(B)(13).

H.         Referral to Mandatory Mediation
        The Court may order any case to mediation if it determines that the just and fair disposition of the case may be served.
Rule 4.02
Assignment of Civil Cases to Judges

A.        The Clerk shall use a system of random assignment of all civil and domestic relations cases whereby the cases shall be distributed equally among the judges over a fixed number of cases.
 
B.         All civil and domestic relations cases shall be assigned by lot pursuant to Local Rule 4.02(A), unless there is a prior related case.  A related civil case is a prior or pending case that involves one or more of the same parties and which arises out of the same acts, incident, occurrence or transaction.  If there is or has been a related case, the Clerk shall assign the case to the courtroom that handled or is handling the related case or whom may have considered a pre-case filing matter in the case to be assigned.  A related case to a domestic relations or domestic violence filing includes any prior or pending domestic violence or domestic relations case in which the petitioner to the new filing is or was a party.
 
C.        If a case, which has been assigned by random assignment, is transferred for good cause by the Administrative Judge after the original assignment of the case, the receiving and administrative judge shall transfer the next case assigned to the receiving judge, in the same Civil or Domestic Relations classification, to the transferring judge.

D.        If there is a motion to consolidate cases due to commonality of issues and/or parties, the Court may consolidate the cases into the first filed case.  Any filings thereafter filed bearing the caption of a case which has been consolidated into an earlier case shall be filed by the Clerk in the earlier case.  Upon the consolidation of cases, the Clerk shall also consolidate any deposits and costs.

E.         All matters, orders or judgments shall be considered by the assigned judge unless said judge is unavailable and prompt consideration is required, in which case, another Common Pleas judge may consider and rule on the matter.  Orders may be submitted for signature to another judge if the assigned judge is not available or as otherwise authorized by a filed Judgment Entry.

Rule 4.03
Review and Dismissal of Civil Cases

A.        Each Judge shall quarterly review or cause to be reviewed all cases assigned to the respective court.

B.        Cases which have been on the docket for six months without any pro-ceedings or activity taken therein shall be dismissed for lack of prosecution after notice to counsel of record or parties, unless good cause be shown to the contrary.

Rule 4.04
Motions

A.        Each motion must be submitted by separate pleading with representations of fact to support the motion and a memorandum of law containing citations to authority in support of the motion.   
 
B.         If the motion is one to continue a matter, to vacate a hearing or trial, or a similar motion where citations are not necessary, the memorandum must contain representations of fact verified by the attorney or an affidavit in support of the motion.  (See also Local Rule 4.01(F)).

C.        All motions must be accompanied by a separate proposed Order.        
 
D.        The following motions may be considered ex parte:
        1.      Confirmation of sale; granted immediately if approved by all parties, otherwise, granted five days after sale. 
        2.      Amend a pleading.
        3.      File a Third party complaint.
        4.      Withdraw as attorney of record; (as set forth in Local Rule 4.13) 
        5.      Enlarge time to move or plead;
        6.      Vacate a trial or hearing date;
        7.      Substitute parties;
        8.      Compel discovery;
        9.      Reconsider;
      10.      Dismiss by stipulation;
      11.      Temporary restraining order; (for domestic relation cases, see Local Rule 6.04)
      12.      To intervene;
      13.      For leave to answer or otherwise plead;
      14.      Motion in limine.
      15.      Motions for admission Pro Hac Vice.   
      16.      Any other motion, for good cause shown.
 
E.         For all motions not specified in (D) above, opposing counsel shall serve any desired response within 14 days after service of the initiating filing unless otherwise ordered.

F.         Motions for summary judgment shall be deemed submitted 28 days after the motion is filed.  Unless required by other Rule or requested by counsel, all other motions shall be considered submitted upon the written motion, affidavits, and memoranda.  If counsel requests a hearing, it must be endorsed upon the motion and included in the caption.
 
G.        Any motion to file an amended pleading shall have a copy of the proposed amended pleading attached thereto.


Rule 4.05
Orders and Judgments

A.        The court shall transmit, or direct the Clerk of Courts to transmit, copies of judgment entries or other orders to all counsel and unrepresented parties and represented parties if so ordered.
 
B.         Copies of a Judgment Entry, or an Order prepared by counsel, shall be in sufficient quantity so the Clerk of Courts may distribute one to each trial counsel and unrepresent¬ed parties.         
        1.         Judgment entries and orders of dismissal by compromise prepared by counsel shall be approved by all counsel of record, and submitted to the Court within (28) days after notice to the Court of settlement or as otherwise agreed by the Court.
        2.         Failure to submit the appropriate Judgment entry or order by counsel may result in the Court preparing and filing a dismissal or taking other appropriate action.
        3.         Any counsel who has been assigned the preparation of an entry or order shall provide a copy of the submitting cover letter to the ourt.
        4.         If counsel to whom the entry or order has been sent does not object, then he/she shall sign the entry and return it to the preparing counsel.  If counsel does not agree with the submitted entry or order, he/she shall prepare and submit to the original preparing counsel an entry with proposed modification and a copy of the responding cover letter to the court.
        5.         If no response is made to original preparing counsel within (14) days preparing counsel shall submit the entry or order to the court with the following certification:
 
"I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE FOREGOING ENTRY OR ORDER WAS (MAILED, DELIVERED, OR FAXED) TO ________, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/DEFENDANT, ON THE __________ DAY OF, 20_____   AND HAS NOT BEEN RETURNED, REVISED NOR OBJECTED TO."
 
        6.         If counsel cannot agree on an entry or order within 28 days of original submission then copies of both the original and response order or entry drafts shall be submitted to the Court and the Court may make its own entry.
 
C.        The court shall include the vehicle identification number (VIN) in every order directing the issuance of title to a motor vehicle.           
 
D.        All final appealable orders will be delivered to counsel and unrepresented parties and represented parties if so ordered by the Clerk by regular U.S. mail within three days of journalization.  If counsel desires the Clerk to provide an additional copy in their mailbox in the Clerk’s office, counsel will submit an additional copy to those required in Local Rule 3.01(D) noting thereon the special delivery requested.

Rule 4.06
Rule Days Not Fixed By Law

In all cases where the time for the filing and service of a notice or pleading is not otherwise fixed by law or applicable rule, a response to a pleading, motion, amended pleading, or other paper, shall be filed and served on or before the 14th day after the date of service of the pleading, motion, or other paper, requiring the response. Any reply to a response shall be filed and served on or before the seventh day after the date of service of the response.
Rule 4.07
Discovery

A.        Counsel shall participate in timely pretrial discovery in order to limit the issues in controversy.
 
B.         The report and all relevant documents of an expert witness shall be provided opposing counsel at least ten days prior to the taking of said expert's deposition.

Rule 4.08
Civil Pretrial

A.  At any civil pretrial conference set by the Court, counsel shall be prepared to discuss the following:       
        1.       Pleadings
        2.       Jurisdiction
        3.       Venue
        4.       Pending motions
        5.       Itemization of expenses and special damages
        6.       Possibility of settlement
        7.       Dates for completion of discovery and trial, unless prior order has determined such
        8.       Simplification of issues
        9.       Additional deposits as security for costs, including jury fees
      10.       Mediation
 
B.         At final pretrial conference counsel may be directed to submit to the Court all written stipulations of fact and anything required by Local Rule 4.01(D) that had not been earlier submitted.    
 
C.        At the conclusion of the pretrial conference an order will be prepared reciting the action taken and controlling the subsequent course of the action.  The Court may advise those parties present of the matters dealt with in the pretrial conference, on or off the record.
 
D.        Settlement pretrial conferences shall be attended by all parties, insurance adjusters, and their attorneys.  The Court may order all parties, insurance adjusters and their attorneys to be present for preliminary pretrial conferences, except scheduled telephone pretrial conferences.  All counsel shall be authorized and prepared to enter into such stipulations and agreements as may be appropriate.  Any additional persons necessary to enter into agreements shall be present or immediately available to the conference.           
 
E.         Failure of counsel or a party, if not represented, to appear at any scheduled pretrial conference or otherwise fail to comply with the pretrial order, may result in dismissal, default, or the imposition of sanctions as the Court may decide.

Rule 4.09
Notice of Hearings/Appearance of Counsel

A.        Unless oral notice is provided by the Court at a prior proceeding, the Court shall send written notice of all hearing dates to counsel and unrepresented parties and represented parties if so ordered.  Notice to counsel shall be at the address on pleadings or the mailbox in the Clerk of Courts office.  Notice to parties shall be mailed to the address on the pleadings or the Clerk's record of return of service.      
 
B.         When a party is dismissed or withdrawal or substitution of counsel is ordered, that party and/or counsel shall be shown as dismissed on the Clerk’s computerized records.

Rule 4.10
Trial and Hearing Rules

A.        Plaintiff shall occupy the table nearest the jury box and Defendant shall occupy the other table.

B.         Only one counsel for each adverse party will be permitted to speak on any interlocutory matter, or upon any question arising in the trial or proceeding, and but one counsel for each adverse party will be permitted to examine or cross-examine the same witness.  Exceptions by leave of court only.

C.        All counsel and parties shall remain seated except when addressing the Court, Jury or a witness.  A witness shall not be approached except when examined regarding an exhibit or as otherwise permitted by the Court.
 
D.        Only one person may speak at a time.              

E.         Counsel shall provide the names and addresses of all witnesses for the court reporter in writing in advance of their testimony together with spelling of any anticipated unusual or technical terms.                                             
 
F.         The party requiring special presentation equipment shall be responsible for providing the equipment for trial and the cost thereof.                            
 
G.        Except for court security or police officers present for security purposes, no personal communication equipment, i.e. pager, cellular phone, etc. shall be activated or used in the courtrooms.
 
H.        Counsel and parties are expected to appear timely in all matters.  Late appearances may be expected to generate financial sanctions reflective of extent of delay and number of those affected.               

Rule 4.11
Retention of Exhibits and Evidence

A.        The Official Court Reporter shall receive and hold all exhibits proffered or admitted into evidence during trial in any case.  Exhibits marked or used but not offered shall remain with the Court Reporter for purpose of any appeal.  The exhibits shall be secured until release is consented to, court ordered, or the documents and list of exhibits are filed with the Clerk of Courts as part of the transcript of an appeal.
 
B.         All evidence received pursuant to (A) shall be held until the appeal time has expired.  Evidence shall then be returned to the party submitting it unless otherwise disposed of pursuant to Court order.  Persons receiving such evidence must sign a receipt.   
 
C.        Evidence held by a law enforcement agency shall be controlled by R.C. Chapters 149 and 2981. 
 
D.        Exhibits that were not offered as evidence shall be returned by the court reporter to the owner at the end of the trial.  The owner of these exhibits shall execute a receipt for exhibits returned, but no court order shall be required.
 
E.         After all appeal time has expired the Clerk of Courts may dispose of any exhibits, depositions or transcripts remaining in the Clerk’s office.  The Clerk, after notice to the parties or their attorneys, shall dispose of these items unless application is made for their return within 60 days of the date of the notice.
 
F.         Exhibits in the custody of the Official Court Reporter or the Clerk of Courts may be returned to the offering party six months after the expiration of the appeal process by signing a receipt which indicates the exhibits to be returned.  If said exhibits are not obtained within six months of the expiration of the appeal process, after notice to the parties or their attorneys, the exhibits may be destroyed, except exhibits from criminal cases, which will be turned over to the Wood County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.
 
G.        Records in the custody of the Clerk of Courts and the shorthand notes of the Official Court Reporter may be destroyed ten years after a case is concluded and after compliance with R.C. 149.381, except the following:    
 
        1.  Murder and Aggravated Murder cases which shall be maintained permanently.
 
        2.  Case files of matters that resulted in a final judgment determining title or interest in real estate which shall be retained permanently.
 

Rule 4.12
Videotape Depositions

The taking and filing of video depositions shall conform to Sup. R. 13 and the following rules:
 
        A.        Objections must be made after the question or answer.  Counsel should state the basis for the objection on the record and may read citations into the record.
        B.         Any party filing a video deposition, that contains objections, shall file the video deposition at least 10 days before trial.  Within seven days of the filing of a video deposition either party may file a "Request for Hearing on Objections" prior to trial.  Upon the court's ruling on the objections, then the Court may order an edited copy be prepared.
        C.        The original and any edited version of the videotape shall be filed with the Clerk of Courts with each tape clearly identified.
        D.        With the court's approval videotape depositions may be made available for inspection or viewing after filing and prior to use at trial.  Upon court order, the officer before whom the video was made may use such videotape for purposes of making a copy for a party.
        E.         The party filing the video deposition other than in DVD format is responsible for checking with the Court to see if the necessary equipment is available.
        F.         The costs of trial depositions may be taxed as costs.

Rule 4.13
Substitution and Withdrawal of Counsel/Entry of Appearance

            A.        Any attorney filing a Complaint, Answer, Motion or Entry of Appearance shall be regarded by the Court as being the trial attorney and as having responsibility for the case until substitution of counsel or motion to withdraw is received and approved by the Court.
            B.         Substitution of counsel may be approved only upon entry of appearance by succeeding counsel or upon submission of the following to the Court:
                      1.         A certification from the attorney transferring the case stating:
                             a.         New counsel has been retained and the name of newly retained counsel.
                             b.         The newly retained counsel or the client has received the transferring attorney's entire file on the case, or that the client or the retained counsel has been given express written notice of where and when the entire file may be obtained. and
                             c.         A written notice containing all court dates and deadlines has been given to the newly retained counsel or to the client who wished to proceed pro se.
                      2.         A proposed entry of substitution.
             C.            Counsel accepting the substitution shall, upon acceptance, file with the Court a notice of substitution of counsel.
             D.        Generally, withdrawal of counsel may be permitted only after reasonable effort to obtain substitution has failed.  Withdrawal of counsel may be approved only upon compliance with the terms set forth in Prof.Cond.R 1.16, and upon submission of the following to the Court:
                       1.         A certification from the attorney seeking to withdraw from the case stating:
                             a.         The reason for the need to withdraw;
                             b.         That the client has received the withdrawing attorney's entire file on the case, or that the client has been given express written notice of where and when the entire file may be obtained.
                             c.         That a written notice containing all court dates and deadlines has been given to the client; and
                             d.         That the attorney has given the client an explanation of the case and the consequences of this action; including notice to the client that if they fail to appear personally, or through counsel, at any scheduled event in their case, the Court will probably enter a default judgment against the client.
                      2.         A proposed entry.

Rule 4.14
Implied Notice of All Matters Contained in the Clerk's File

            A.        All counsel or unrepresented parties shall be considered to have notice of all the filings in the Clerk's file.
            B.         This rule does not excuse a party from serving copies of filings to all appropriate parties, and the Court shall consider sanctions if copies are not properly served to all parties.

Rule 4.15
Magistrates in Civil Cases

The Court may by order of reference assign a magistrate to a case or motion or for a specified period of time pursuant to terms and limitations of Civ. R. 53.