July 8, 2011
Amendments to Practice, Procedure Rules
The Supreme Court of Ohio has adopted amendments to the rules of evidence, appellate procedure, civil procedure, criminal procedure, and juvenile procedure.
Initially published for comment on Oct. 4, 2010, the amendments were revised by the Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure and filed by the Supreme Court with the Ohio General Assembly in January. The commission and the Court considered all comments received during a second round of public comment that ended Feb. 23, revised the proposed amendments, and filed the revisions with the General Assembly on April 21. The amendments take effect today.
Among the amendments:
- App. R. 4 clarifies the finality of a judgment in a dental, medical, optometric, or chiropractic claim when there has been a motion for attorney’s fees. The amendments also clarify the procedure to be followed when a notice of appeal is filed before the disposition of all post-trial motions.
- App. R. 9 requires that a written transcript be the official record on appeal and that any electronic recording must be transcribed by a court-appointed reporter. Revisions emphasize that the trial court has the discretion to use anyone to transcribe the proceedings but continues to note that a stenographic reporter who was present for the proceedings is always acceptable.
- App. R. 21 sets oral arguments in appeals courts automatically for most cases unless a local rule requires a party to request it.
- App. R. 25 requires that a motion to certify an inter-district conflict is due within 10 days of the clerk’s service of the judgment or order first creating the conflict. Amendments also clarify that any subsequent appeal lies in the Supreme Court and that a motion to certify a conflict does not extend the time to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
- App. R. 26 specifically acknowledges that an appeals court can sua sponte order en banc consideration, which occurs when all the sitting judges of the district consider a matter that was heard by a three-judge panel.
In addition, there are several amendments on similar issues that cross different sections of rules, including:
- Civil, criminal and juvenile rules regarding magistrates that require them to be engaged in the practice of law for at least four years and be in good standing before appointment, in accordance with Rule 19 of the Rules of Superintendence.
- Civil and criminal rules that provide a “safe haven” for litigants when using forms adopted by the Supreme Court. The rules clarify that any form adopted by the Supreme Court as part of the Appendix of Forms attached to each set of rules shall be accepted as sufficient by local courts.
- Non-substantive changes to criminal rules and evidence rules that correct cross-reference to the new open discovery rules (Crim. R. 16, effective July 1).