A. Any Wood County resident who is 18 years of age or older may obtain an application for notary public by contacting the Court Administration Office.
B. The court shall conduct an examination of each applicant’s qualifications, approve or disapprove each application, investigate complaints against notaries public in Wood County, and promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of R.C. Chapter 147.
C. Any person commissioned as a notary public may seek renewal of his or her commission without examination so long as the commission has not expired, or, if expired, has not been expired for more than six months.
D. An applicant who does not successfully complete the examination may immediately apply for re-examination. After a second unsuccessful examination, an applicant must wait until 60 days after the date of the first examination to file an application for re-examination.
A default judgment against an individual may not be granted except upon the receipt of the following:
A. A motion for default judgment conforming to Rule 55 of the Ohio Rules for Civil Procedure.
B. An affidavit confirming that the defendant is not a minor or incompetent person, and the moving party complied with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. 3901 et seq. The affidavit requirements may be satisfied if the same information is contained in a verified pleading.
C. Any additional information or evidence required by the Court to enable the Court to enter judgment.
A. No judgment on a warrant to confess judgment shall be granted until the answering and confessing attorney has informed the court in
1. The warrant of attorney to confess judgment and the instrument to which it pertains appear in all respects on their face to be valid and in compliance with Revised Code Section 2323.13;
2. He or she has personally reviewed the documents on which the Complaint and Answer and confession of judgment
are based and is satisfied that there are no matters reflected in these documents or of which the attorney is aware which give rise to any defense on behalf of the defendant;
3. He or she has reviewed all records of payments and all calculations and finds the amount prayed for to be accurate; and
4. He or she is not associated in the practice of law with the attorney who filed the complaint.
B. Counsel shall provide the court with the notice required by Revised Code Section 2323.13(C) and a properly addressed, prepaid certified mail envelope, return receipt requested.
Guardian Ad Litem
Except as provided in Local Rule 6.12, no person other than an attorney at law, admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, shall be appointed guardian ad litem in this Court.
A. Attorney fees relative to all matters shall be governed by the
B. In any case where attorney fees are to be awarded, counsel shall provide to the Court an itemized statement showing the hours worked and a detailed accounting of expenses.
C. An indigent's Counsel in a Criminal case shall be paid at the rate adopted by the Wood County Commis¬sioners.
D. Attorneys requesting fees in a partition action are not required to provide an itemized statement as set forth in (B) above if the amounts fall within the following guidelines:
The total requested fees are no more than:
a. 8% on the first $5,000.00 of the sale price;
b. 3% on the next $10,000.00;
c. 2% on the balance;
2. The minimum fee shall be $500.00.
3. The fees shall be distributed pursuant to R.C. 5307.25.
4. No other fees are requested unless extraordinary circumstances exist. Other fees may be permitted by leave of court only under extraordinary circumstances.
Forclosure, Quiet Title, Partition and Judicial Sale
A. PROPERTY DESCRIPTION APPROVAL FORM AND JUDICIAL REPORTS.
1. In cases to quiet title, for partition, and for the marshalling and foreclosure of liens on real property, counsel for plaintiff shall file with the clerk at the time of the filing of the original complaint or petition a property description approval form as contained in Appendix R, and an original legal description stamped “reviewed” by the Wood County Engineer’s Office.
2. With the exception of in rem tax foreclosure actions brought by the prosecuting attorney under R.C. 5721.18(C), counsel for plaintiff must file with the clerk at the time of the filing of the original complaint or petition a statement of owners and lienholders, or a preliminary judicial report, including the names of the owners of the property and a reference to the volume and page and date of recording of the next preceding recorded instrument by or through which the owners claim title. Any preliminary judicial report shall be prepared and extended by a responsible title company not more than 30 days prior to the filing of the complaint.
3. After all defendants have been served with the complaint, counsel for the plaintiff shall obtain and file an updated title report establishing that all lienholders have been made parties and served with the complaint.
B. APPRAISER’S FEES AND ACCESS
1. Each appraiser shall be paid for real estate appraisals a standard fee of $75.00 for each parcel as offered for sale.
2. Each appraiser shall be paid for personal property appraisals at the rate of $25.00 for the first hour of time spent on inspection of the property and preparation of the final appraisal, and $15.00 for each additional hour of time necessary to competently complete the appraisal.
3. Appraisers shall be granted access to real property for the purpose of appraising the premises to be sold at Sheriff’s sale. If a landowner or occupier of the premises to be sold does not permit the appraiser to enter the premises, the Sheriff may aid the appraiser in gaining access without further order of the Court.
4. The Clerk of Courts shall use a portion of the deposit amount to pay each appraiser at the time he or she submits an invoice for his or her services. The Clerk of Courts shall not wait until the conclusion of a case to pay an appraiser who submits his or her invoice prior to the case's conclusion.
C. ORDER OF SALE.
No order of sale shall be approved unless counsel has warranted to the Court that all lienholders who appear of record have been notified of the application for order of sale.
D. BID AND DEPOSIT.
1. In every Sheriff’s sale of real property, upon acceptance of a bid, the successful bidder shall deposit at the time of sale five percent (5%) of the amount of the appraised value of the subject property; however, no such deposit shall be less than One Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($1,000.00), with the balance due within 30 days of the date of confirmation.
2. If the property has not been appraised, the successful bidder shall deposit at the time of sale ten percent (10%) of the starting bid; however, no such deposit shall be less than One Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($1,000.00) with the balance due within thirty (30) days of the date of confirmation.
3. If the successful bidder is the first lienholder, in lieu of the above deposit requirements, said bidder may opt to deposit One Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($1,000.00) plus the amount of real estate taxes due at the time of sale, with the balance due within thirty (30) days of the date of confirmation. If this option is exercised, it is the responsibility of the bidderto use the form provided by the Wood County Treasurer to obtain acceptable documentation evidencing the amount of real estate taxes due at the time of sale.
4. Advertisements for any judicially ordered sale shall state the above deposit requirements.
E. SHERIFF’S RETURN OF SALE.
The Sheriff shall make the return of sale to the court showing the name and address of the purchasers and the amount of the bid on the purchaser information form in Appendix S, as prescribed by R.C. 2329.26, .27, and .271.
F. CONFIRMATION OF SALE.
Counsel for plaintiff shall prepare and submit to the court an order of confirmation of sale, in accordance with Local Rule 4.05, no later than 30 days from the date of the return of the writ. Upon the filing of the confirmation of sale, counsel for plaintiff shall provide to the sheriff, within seven calendar days:
1. A time-stamped copy of the filed confirmation of sale;
2. A completed Sheriff’s deed;
3. A completed Conveyance form.
The sheriff shall review and approve or reject the deed and conveyance form. The approved deed shall be recorded by the sheriff within 14 business days of payment of the purchase price. The sheriff shall charge a fee of $50 for deed review and a fee of $75 for administrative costs to process the conveyance form and to record the deed.
A. No attorney or officer or employee of the Court shall discuss matters with the media that might interfere with a fair trial or otherwise prejudice the administration of justice.
B. Where deemed appropriate, the Court may issue a special order governing:
1. Extra-judicial statements by counsel or others;
2. Spectators at trial;
3. Sequestration of witnesses and jurors; and
4. Any other matters the Court may deem necessary.
Broadcasting, Recording and Photographing During Court Sessions
A. Broadcasting, televising, recording and photographing during court sessions shall be permitted only under the following conditions:
1. Requests for permission of media to participate under this rule shall be made in writing to the Judge to whom the case was assigned no later than five (5) days prior to the session involved. The Judge involved with the particular session may waive the advance notice requirement for good cause.
2. The Court shall grant the request in writing or by order consistent with Canon 1 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Sup.R. 12, and these rules
if the Judge determines that to do so would not distract the participants, impair the dignity of the proceedings or otherwise materially interfere with the achievement of a fair trial or hearing. The written permission shall be made a part of the record in the case.
3. In the event of a continuance of the court proceeding for which media permission has been granted for a period of more than thirty (30) days, a new media request shall be required.
4. All media representatives interested in recording courtroom proceedings shall do so through the pooling of their respective resources. Such ar-rangements shall be made prior to reopening of the court session and without imposing on the trial judge or court personnel. In the event disputes arise over the arrangements between or among media representatives, the Judge shall exclude all contesting representatives from the proceeding.
5. The Judge shall specify the location in the courtroom where the operators and equipment are to be positioned. Media representatives shall be afforded a clear view of the proceedings in the courtroom. Any equipment shall be ready for operation prior to commencement of court sessions. No persons will be permitted to bring equipment into or remove equipment from the courtroom or move about during times when court is in session.
6. No interview shall be conducted inside the courtroom during any time that court is in session.
7. Only one video camera shall be permitted in the courtroom operated by no more than one person.
8. No artificial lighting shall be used other than normal courtroom lighting.
9. Only one still photographer shall be permitted in the courtroom.
10. Only one audio system for radio broadcast shall be permitted in the courtroom.
11. Audio tape recording equipment may only be used with permission of the judge involved.
12. Media pooling equipment shall be located outside the courtroom.
13. Changes of tape or reloading audio and video equipment is not permitted inside the courtroom during proceedings.
14. No equipment shall be used inside the courtroom that produces distracting sounds as determined by the judge involved.
15. There shall be no audio pick up or broadcast of conferences conducted between attorneys and clients, co-counsel, opposing counsel, or trial judge and counsel at bench conferences.
16. There shall be no video, film, audio, or still photo of victims, or witnesses who object thereto.
17. There shall be no video, film, audio, or still photo of jurors.
18. Media is not permitted access to proceedings neither in the Judge's chambers nor in jury deliberation room.
19. Media is not permitted to record in any manner any document or exhibit used at the session except those audio-visual aids used during the session that are clearly perceived by the gallery at large unless permission to do so is granted by the Court.
20. Proper courtroom decorum shall be maintained by all media representatives, i.e. proper attire and demeanor.
B. The following special provisions shall apply to Courtroom #4:
1. If the conference room adjacent to the courtroom with window accessibility is available to the media, all broadcasting, televising, recording and photography shall be done from that room and media representatives need not pool their respective resources unless the conference room is not large enough or the sound outlets adequate to provide access to all media requesting access. If pooling is then required, those media representatives requesting access later in time shall be required to pool their resources.
2. No interviewing, broadcasting, televising, recording or photography shall be conducted anywhere within the Court or public areas on the fourth floor of the County Office Building at any time, prior to, during or after court sessions without prior permission of court personnel. When space is available for these purposes within the court facilities, the court will attempt to make it available for such purposes.
A. When a foreign judgment is presented to the Clerk of Courts for the purpose of a proceeding in aid of execution, the Clerk shall assign a case number and assign a judge as in all other civil cases.
B. The proponent submitting the foreign judgment must provide two judgment entries with original certifications of authenticity from the foreign jurisdiction and one copy for the judge's file. One judgment entry shall remain with the case file and the other shall be provided to the Sheriff along with the praecipe for a writ of execution.
Out of State Subpoenas to be Served in Wood County
A. When a request is presented from an out-of-state litigant to have subpoenas served upon Wood County residents, the Clerk shall assign a case number to such action and assign such action to a judge.
B. The Clerk of Court shall secure a deposit for costs before processing and serving the subpoenas as requested by the out of state litigant.
Mediation in Civil Cases (Non-Domestic Relations)
A. SCOPE The court may, at any time, refer any case to mediation in accordance with these rules.
B. CASE SELECTION
1. The court, on its own motion, on a party’s request, or by agreement of the parties may refer disputed issues to mediation in whole or in part. Promptly after receiving referral, the court mediator shall send all parties a mediation notice that shall, at a minimum, indicate the date, time, place of the mediation, and the contact information of the court mediator. All parties and counsel shall advise the assigned judge 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 order but before conclusion of all mediation proceedings, which allegations involve any two or more persons whose attendance is required by the referral order.
2. The court mediator will determine the eligibility and appropriateness of each referral prior to the commencement of the mediation process and may decline any referral deemed inappropriate.
In accordance with all applicable provisions of this rule, if a case is deemed appropriate by the court mediator, mediation will be scheduled. A mediator may meet with the parties individually prior to bringing the parties together for any reason including, but not limited to, further screening. A mediator may schedule multiple mediation sessions, if necessary and mutually acceptable for the resolution of the issues in part or in their entirety.
1. The court shall use procedures for all cases that will:
a. Ensure that parties are allowed to participate in mediation, and if the parties wish, that their attorneys and other individuals they designate are allowed to accompany them and participate in mediation.
b. Screen for domestic violence both before and during mediation.
c. Encourage appropriate referrals to legal counsel and other support services for all parties, including victims of and suspected victims of domestic violence.
d. Objections to any arbitrator must be raised by written motion filed no later than 10 days from the mailing of notice of assignment of the arbitrators to a case.
a. All conflicts of interest must be moni¬tored by the attorneys. No arbitrator shall have an interest in the case or a relationship with any party or any attorney in the case which would in any way interfere with an impartial consideration of the case.
b. Prohibit the use of mediation in any of the following:
i. As an alternative to the prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence;
ii. In determining whether to grant, modify or terminate a protection order;
iii. In determining the terms and conditions of a protection order; and
iv. In determining the penalty for violation of a protection order.
2. Party Participation
All parties and their counsel shall attend scheduled mediation sessions unless excused by the court mediator.
3. Mediator Conflicts of Interest
In accordance with R.C. 2710.08(A) and (B), the court mediator assigned by the court to conduct a mediation shall disclose to the mediation parties, counsel, if applicable, and any nonparty participants any known possible conflicts that may affect the court mediator’s impartiality as soon as such conflicts become known to the court mediator. If counsel or a mediation party requests that the court mediator withdraw because of the facts so disclosed, the assigned court mediator should withdraw and request that the assigned judge appoint another court mediator.
If the mediator determines that further mediation efforts would be of no benefit to the parties, he or she shall inform all interested parties and the court that the mediation is terminated.
5. Stay of
Proceedings All remaining court orders shall continue in effect. No order is stayed or suspended during the mediation process except by written court order. Mediation shall not stay discovery or the court’s consideration of pending motions, which may continue through the mediation process in accordance with applicable rules, unless agreed upon by the parties and approved by the judge assigned to the case.
It is the policy of this court to determine matters in a timely manner. Continuances of scheduled mediations shall be granted only for good cause shown.
7. Mediator’s report
At the conclusion of the mediation and in compliance with R.C. 2710.06, the court mediator shall prepare and file a mediation report.
D. FEES AND COSTS
All costs shall be determined by the court, if applicable. The court may require appropriate deposits to cover the costs prior to mediation.
If any individual ordered by the court to attend mediation fails to attend mediation without good cause, the court may impose sanctions which may include, but are not limited to, the award of attorney fees and other costs, contempt or other appropriate sanctions at the discretion of the assigned judge.
Certificate of Qualification For Employment
A. This rule defines the specific local court requirements and processes that support a petitioner’s application for a certificate of qualification for employment (“CQE”) as set forth in R.C. 2953.25 and Ohio Adm.Code 5120-15-01.
B. To request a CQE, the petitioner must first complete the electronic petition for certificate of qualification for employment online through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (“ODRC”) website. After the ODRC reviews the electronic petition and approves it for filing, the petitioner may file the petition with the Wood County Clerk of Courts. Filing in this court is initiated using the cover sheet in Appendix T. The petition must include the assigned ODRC electronic petition identification number on the cover sheet and a printed copy of the fully completed electronic petition as submitted to the ODRC.
C. Before any action is required to be taken on the petition, the petitioner must pay a deposit in the amount established by Local Rule 3.03.
D. All social security numbers and other information that must be excluded from public record shall be redacted in accordance with the rules of this court and the Rules of Superintendence. Records or information received by a court to assist the court with making its decision under R.C. 2953.25, including information included on a petition, shall retain their character as public or non-public records, as otherwise provided in law.
E. Upon receipt of a notice of petition and the required deposit, the clerk of courts shall assign the petition a miscellaneous civil case number and randomly assign the matter to a judge. For good cause shown, and with the approval of the administrative judge, a petition may be transferred to another judge of this court who agrees to such transfer due to the originally assigned judge’s familiarity with the petitioner gained through past civil or criminal proceedings.
F. The court shall obtain a criminal history for the petitioner, either through the probation department’s investigation ordered in support of the petition or otherwise.
G. The court shall attempt to determine all other courts in the state in which the petitioner has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense through review of the petitioner’s criminal history or other investigation. Following such determination, the court shall notify the clerk of courts, who shall send a notice to court regarding petition for certificate of qualification for employment and a response to request form to each court so identified. Such notice shall be sent via ordinary U.S. mail or by electronic means, as the clerk deems appropriate.
H. The clerk of courts shall also send a notice to prosecutor regarding petition for certificate of qualification for employment and response to request form to the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the petition was filed. Such notice shall be sent via ordinary U.S. mail or by electronic means, as the clerk deems appropriate.
I. The judge or magistrate may order any report, investigation, or disclosure by the petitioner that it believes is necessary to reach a decision.
J. Following completion of its investigation, the probation department shall deliver to the assigned judge an information packet, consisting of a copy of the petition, the petitioner’s criminal history, and other information obtained by the probation department in accordance with R.C. 2953.25 and Ohio Adm.Code 5120-15-01. The packet submitted to the judge is not a public record and shall not be made part of the clerk’s file
K. Once all information requested has been received, the judge shall decide whether to grant or deny the petition within 60 days, unless petitioner requests and is granted an extension of time. The decision to grant or deny a petition may be referred to a magistrate, and then sent to the judge for a final judgment entry and order. All notice and objection periods regarding a magistrate’s decision apply as set forth in the civil rules.
L. The clerk shall notify the petitioner and the ODRC of the court’s decision by uploading the judgment entry electronically through the court’s ODRC electronic user account. If the petition is denied, the clerk shall provide written notice to the petitioner of the court’s denial. The notice shall include conditions, if any, placed on subsequent filings and language that a final appealable order has been filed.
M. Requests for information regarding an individual who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense in this court and has filed a CQE petition in another county shall be directed to the clerk, who shall forward such requests to the probation department and the judge of this court on whose docket petitioner’s most recent conviction appears. Where multiple judges of this court have heard cases with a specific petitioner, only the judge having the most recent case number is obligated to respond. To assist with timely response to other courts, unless the judge deems it unnecessary, the probation department shall summarize for the responding judge past convictions of petitioner in this court and any significant facts readily observed from past presentence investigation reports, community-based correctional facility screenings, or reports of compliance or noncompliance with the terms of probation. Each judge retains the ability to agree, disagree, or provide no comment regarding CQE requests from another Ohio court.
Court Records Management and Retention
The Wood County Court of Common Pleas does hereby adopt the standards for the maintenance, preservation, and destruction of records as provided in Sup.R. 26 through 26.05 as its records retention schedule. In addition, and pursuant to Sup.R. 26(G), the court establishes the following retention schedule for the adult probation department’s records:
RECORD TITLE AND DESCRIPTION RETENTION PERIOD
Presentence Investigations Permanent
Pretrial Files 10 years after last contact
Probation Case Files 10 years after probation terminated
Electronic Monitoring Program 10 years
Intensive Supervision Probation 10 years
Master Index to Cases Permanent
Probation Records (Lists probationer’s name, Permanent
case number, date probation was terminated,
and reason for termination)
Work Release Files 10 years