Local Rules of the Court


The rules are revised: March 1, 2012

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Assignment of Cases

Rule 2

(A) Assignment of Judge

All cases filed on or after 12/19/2011 shall be assigned to a Judge through a process, either manual or electronic, which insures a random selection of the Judge and preserves the identity of the Judge until selected.

Where multiple parties have filed an application/case on the same matter, the Court on its own motion or on the motion of a party shall consolidate the cases. The matter shall proceed under the case number of the application/case filed first. Any orders issued prior to consolidation shall remain in full force and effect.

(B) Reassignment of Judge

Where there is a prior pending case or a previously dismissed case within one year of its dismissal, any newly filed case involving the same parties, which has not yet been heard by the newly assigned Judge, shall be reassigned to the prior Judge.

When it is necessary for a case already assigned to a Judge to be reassigned, a Judgment Entry shall be sent to the other Judge requesting the reassignment and stating the reason for the reassignment. The case shall then be reassigned to the other Judge.

(C) Unavailability of Judge

In the event the assigned Judge is not available, all matters in the case may be handled by the other Judge, provided that, prior to taking any action, the assigned Judge issues an Order explaining the need for such action and includes the finding that the assigned Judge is unavailable and that a delay in ruling will be prejudicial to the parties.

In the event of the unanticipated absence of the assigned Judge, the other Judge shall be designated with such authority to handle all such matters for that Judge without a prior Court order from the assigned Judge.

HISTORY: (Effective 3-01-12)

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Court Appointments

Rule 8.1

Persons appointed by the Court to serve as appraisers, fiduciaries, attorneys, magistrates in Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment proceedings, investigators, guardians ad litem, and trustees for suit, shall be selected from lists maintained by the Court.

Appointments will be made from such lists taking into consideration the qualifications, skill, expertise and case load of the appointee in addition to the type, complexity and requirements of the case.

Court appointees will be paid a reasonable fee with consideration given to the factors contained in Rule 1.5 of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, the Ohio Revised Code and the Local Rules of Court relating to fees.

The Court shall review Court appointment lists at least twice annually to ensure the equitable distribution of appointments.

Effective September 20, 2010, no persons shall be added to the existing real estate appraiser list unless he or she is an appraiser certified by the State of Ohio (preferred); or at the very least is an Ohio licensed realtor, broker or agent.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 11-10-97; 9-20-10)

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Special Process Server

Rule 8.2

Persons appointed by the Court to serve as appraisers, fiduciaries, attorneys, magistrates in Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment proceedings, investigators, guardians ad litem, and trustees for suit, shall be selected from lists maintained by the Court.

(1) the name, address and telephone number of applicant;

(2) that the applicant is eighteen years of age or older;

(3) that the applicant agrees not to accept service of process in any case which the applicant is a party or counsel for a party;

(4) that the applicant agrees to follow the requirements of Civil Rules 4 through 4.6, and any applicable local rules, and specific instructions for service of process as ordered by the court in individual cases.

The applicant requesting the designation shall also submit a proposed order captioned “In Re The Appointment of (name of applicant) As Special Process Server,” and stating as follows: “It appearing to the Court that the following applicant has complied with the provisions of Local Rule 8.2, (name of applicant) is hereby designated as a Special Process Server authorized to make service of process and subpoenas in all cases filed with this Court, to serve for one year, such year beginning on January 1st of the year filed and ending on December 31st, of that year, or until further order of the Court.” The order shall be signed by the Presiding Judge of Probate Court. The Clerk of Courts shall record such appointment on the Court’s Special Docket, and shall retain the original applications and entries. In any case thereafter, the Clerk of Courts shall accept a time-stamped copy of such order as satisfying the requirements of Civil Rule 4.1(B) for designation by the Court of a person to make service of process. The cost for filing this application is $20.00.

HISTORY: (Effective 12-09-13)

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Security

Rule 9.1

As required by Rule 9 of the Rules of Superintendence for Courts of Common Pleas, the Probate Division has adopted and implemented a local Security Policy and Procedures Plan/Manual.

HISTORY: (Effective 7-1-95)

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Security Policy; Firearms and Dangerous Ordnance Prohibition

Rule 9.2

No person, including a judge of a court of record of this state, magistrate of a court of record of this state, employee of this court, bailiff or deputy bailiff of a court of record of this state, county prosecutor, assistant county prosecutor, or a secret service officer appointed by a county prosecutor shall knowingly possess, have under their control, convey, or attempt to convey a deadly weapon, firearm, or dangerous ordnance onto the premises of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse ("Court House").

Any person that possesses a valid license to carry a concealed firearm as issued under R.C. 2923.125 or the reciprocity provision contained in R.C. 109.69, and conveys or attempts to convey a firearm in the Court House, shall immediately inform the Cuyahoga County Sheriff ("Sheriff") of the individual's possession of a concealed firearm and shall be instructed by the Sheriff of the general prohibition against the possession of any deadly weapon, firearm, or dangerous ordnance within the Court House. The Sheriff shall not take possession of any firearm carried by a properly licensed person, but shall require that the licensee leave the Court House and further instruct the licensee to safely secure the firearm outside the Court House. Admittance of the licensee shall be permitted once the firearm has been safely secured outside the Court House and the licensee passes the security screening procedure as contained in the ;Security Policy and Procedures Manual/Plan as implemented by this court on June 29, 1995.

A peace officer or an officer of any law enforcement agency of the State of Ohio or another state, a peace officer or an officer of a political subdivision of the State of Ohio or another state, or an officer or agent of the United States of America, who is authorized to carry a deadly weapon, firearm, or dangerous ordnance, that possesses or has under that individual's control a deadly weapon, firearm, or ordnance, and who is acting within the scope of that individual's duties at the time of possession or control, shall immediately inform the Sheriff of the possession of the deadly weapon, firearm, or ordnance to the Sheriff prior to entering the Court House. The Sheriff shall secure the surrendered deadly weapon, firearm, or dangerous ordnance within the secured "gun lock boxes" located at the street level entrance and rear parking garage entrance to the Court House. The deadly weapon, firearm, or dangerous ordnance shall be returned to the individual upon leaving the Court House. This Local Rule of Court is not applicable to the Sheriff, Deputy Sheriffs, or a Cuyahoga County Central Services/Protective Services Officer while they are on official duty within the Court House.

The Sheriff shall post signs, at the street level entrance and the rear parking garage entrance to the Court House, which contain the following language: Unless otherwise authorized by law pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code and Local Rule of Court, no person shall knowingly possess, have under the person's control, convey, or attempt to convey a deadly weapon, firearm, or dangerous ordnance onto the premises of the Cuyahoga County Court House. THE CARRYING OF A CONCEALED FIREARM OR THE OPEN CARRY OF A FIREARM, WITHIN THE CUYAHOGA COUNTY COURT HOUSE, IS PROHIBITED BY LOCAL RULE OF COURT AS AUTHORIZED BY OHIO REVISED CODE 2923.123(C)(6).

HISTORY: (Effective 5-24-04)

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Recordings of Proceedings

Rule 11.1

(A) Any party or their representative may retain the service of a private reporter to keep a verbatim record of any scheduled hearing. The moving party in any adversary proceeding scheduled for trial before a Judge shall retain a private reporter; this requirement may be waived at the discretion of each Judge. Upon written motion made at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the taking of testimony at the hearing, a private reporter so retained shall be designated by the Court as the official court reporter for the purpose of recording the proceedings at such hearing. A private reporter also may be designated as the official reporter for a hearing by agreement of the parties. The requesting party shall pay the costs of the stenographic record.

(B) An audio digital recording may be made of hearings. If such recording is available, any interested person may request that an audio recording be transcribed by a stenographer selected from the Court's approved list. A transcript of the audio-electronic recording may be requested on Form A. The person making the request shall pay the costs of the transcription. The Court shall convey the recording to the appointed stenographer. Transcripts will be released upon payment of the transcription fee. Failure to timely pay the fee may result in sanctions being issued by the Court against the person who ordered the transcript. A transcript filed with the Court under this provision shall serve as the official record of the Court.

The original audio electronic recording of the proceedings will not be made available to the parties. An interested party will not be allowed to use the contents of a recording in subsequent pleadings filed with the Court or in argument before the Court unless a transcript of the entire hearing is filed with the Court as provided herein.

(C) Upon filing an Objection to a Magistrate's Decision or a Notice of Appeal, an objector or appellant who is required or desires to file a transcript of a hearing must request a stenographer from the Court's approved list. The objector/appellant must file the completed transcript in this Court within the time limits of the Local Rules of Court, Rules of Civil Procedure, or the Rules of Appellate Procedure. When the transcript is filed by an appellant, this Court will certify the transcript to the Court of Appeals.

(D) All audio recorded proceedings will be maintained by the Court for two (2) years from the date of the hearing. Upon the expiration of two (2) years from the date of the hearing, the Court will destroy the Court's original recordings. Any interested person desiring to preserve the record beyond that period must arrange to have the record transcribed as provided herein and file the transcript in the underlying case.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 7-1-95; 9-12-11)

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Mediation

Rule 16.1

(A) Introduction. The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, adopts Local Rule 16.1 effective September 1, 2011. Through 16.1, the Court incorporates by reference the Uniform Mediation Act (UMA) R.C. 2710 and Rule 16 of the Supreme Court of Ohio Rules of Superintendence.

By participating in mediation, a non-party participant, as defined by R.C. 2710.01(D), submits to the Court's jurisdiction to the extent necessary for enforcement of this rule. Any non-party shall have the rights and duties under this rule as parties, except that no evidence privilege applies.

Mediator means any individual who mediates cases pursuant to an order of this Court, regardless of whether that individual is a court employee, an independent contractor or a volunteer.

(B) Case Selection. After the filing of an estate, guardianship application, trust, or any other action, the Court may refer disputed issues to mediation pursuant to the Court's own order, a party's motion or by agreement of the parties. The mediation sessions may be held until all issues are resolved in a manner acceptable to the parties or until the mediator determines that continued mediation would not be productive.

The Court must approve all referrals to mediation. Referral to mediation by the Court shall be by an "Order and Notice of Mediation". The Court may order parties to participate in, or return to, mediation at any time.

Mediation is prohibited as an alternative to the prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence; in determining whether to grant, modify or terminate a protection order; in determining the terms and conditions of a protection order; and in determining the penalty for violation of a protection order.

(C) Selection of Mediator.

  1. The Court may appoint a Magistrate not previously referred the case.
  2. The Court may appoint a mediator from a list of qualified mediators maintained by the Court. The list will contain the names of attorneys who meet certain qualifications set by the Court. The Court will annually prepare and review this list. Attorneys requesting appointment shall send a letter to the Court listing their qualifications and their rate of compensation.
  3. The Court may make specific appointments taking into consideration the qualification, skills, and expertise of the mediator in addition to the type, complexity and requirements of the case.

To be accredited and appointed by the Court, a mediator shall possess the following qualifications:

  • Be an attorney in good standing with the Ohio Supreme Court;
  • Have a minimum of five (5) years of experience in handling the type of matter being mediated; and
  • Have completed 12 hours of basic mediation training or such other qualifications satisfactory to the Court.

In accordance with R.C. 2710.08 (A) and (B), the mediator shall disclose to the mediation participants any known possible conflicts that may affect the mediator's impartiality as soon as such conflict becomes known to the mediator. If a party or counsel requests that the assigned mediator withdraw because of the conflict, the parties shall notify the Judge who will then appoint another mediator. The parties shall be free to retain the mediator by submitting an informed, written waiver of the conflict of interest.

(D) Procedures. If a case is appropriate for mediation, the Mediator will set a time and date. 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 accordance with R.C. 2710.09 and Sup. R. 16, an attorney or other individual designated by a party may accompany the party to and participate in mediation.

The Court will generate an "Order and Notice of Mediation" that will be sent to all parties. This Order shall ensure that parties are aware of their right to participate in mediation and provide an initial screening for domestic violence.

The Mediator will send the parties an "Agreement to Mediate" form to complete. This form shall explain mediation and underscore the confidentiality of mediation.

The Mediator will require all parties to complete a "Mediation Intake Form" to screen for domestic violence and to ascertain the issues in the case.

(E) Mediation Privilege/Confidentiality. Statements made during a mediation session shall be considered compromise negotiations and are not admissible as evidence pursuant to Evidence Rule 408. Mediators will not be permitted to testify regarding the substance of the mediation, including but not limited to, cooperation or non-cooperation of the parties.

(F) Continuances. Continuances shall only be granted for good cause shown and after a mutually acceptable date has been determined.

If a case is continued, settled, or dismissed more than seven days prior to the scheduled mediation conference date, the qualified mediator shall not be entitled to compensation except in cases where the Court is not notified of the continuance, settlement, or dismissal by that date.

(G) Stay of Proceedings. All orders remain in effect during the mediation process unless the Court grants a stay or suspension by written court order.

(H) Termination. If the mediator determines that further mediation efforts would not be beneficial to the parties, the mediator shall terminate the mediation and inform all interested parties and the Court.

(I) Mediator's Duty. Upon reaching a settlement in mediation:

  • The mediator may immediately prepare a written memorandum memorializing the agreement reached by the parties. The parties and counsel shall sign the memorandum.
  • Counsel shall present a termination entry for approval within fourteen (14) days.

(J) Duties of Attorney/Parties. Trial counsel and all parties, all with authority to settle, shall personally attend all mediation sessions prepared to discuss all relevant issues, including settlement terms. A party other than a natural person must be represented by a person in addition to counsel.

If counsel or any mediation party becomes aware of the identity of a person or entity whose consent is required to resolve the dispute, but who has not been joined as a party in the pleadings, they shall promptly inform the mediator and the Judge of such fact.

If the opposing parties to any case have either resided in a common residence or are related by blood, adoption or marriage, and have known of alleged domestic abuse at any time prior to the mediation, then the parties or their counsel have a duty to disclose such information to the mediator. Such party shall also have a duty to participate in any screening required by the Supreme Court of Ohio Superintendence Rule 16 both prior to, and in the mediator's discretion, during the mediation sessions.

(K) Compensation. A mediation session is defined as a four-hour period. The Court will pay the mediator's fee for the first mediation session, up to a maximum of $700.00, unless otherwise ordered. The parties are equally responsible for paying 1/2 of the remaining mediator's fee for the first mediation session. If continued mediation sessions are necessary, the mediator's fee shall be borne equally by the parties, unless otherwise ordered by the court. The Court will determine the mediator's rate of compensation. The mediator's fee will be based upon the complexity of the issues in the matter being mediated. Any additional expenses associated with the mediation must also be approved by the Court. This provision shall govern all cases referred to mediation, including appropriation petitions, unless the latter are referred to mediation in accordance with O.R.C. 163.051 where that statute shall apply.

(L) Legal Advice. The efforts of the mediator shall not be construed as giving legal advice. The Court provides and prominently displays brochures for distribution to parties as appropriate. The Court authorizes the mediator to provide such resource information; however, such distribution shall not be construed as a recommendation of or referral to such resource. These materials will include (1) attorney referral information and (2) local domestic violence prevention, counseling, substance abuse and mental health services.

(M) Sanctions. If any individual ordered by the court to attend mediation fails to attend without good cause, the Court may impose sanctions, including contempt, the award of attorney's fees and other costs or other appropriate sanctions.

HISTORY: (Effective 9-1-11)

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Electronically Signed Documents

Rule 19

(A) "Electronic" and "Electronic Signature" have the same meaning as used in Section 1306.01 of the Ohio Revised Code.

(B) Electronic transmission of a document with an electronic signature by a Judge or Magistrate that is sent in compliance with procedures adopted by the Court shall, upon the complete receipt of the same by the Clerk of Court, constitute filing of the document for all purposes of the Ohio Civil Rules, Rules of Superintendence, and the Local Rules of this Court.

HISTORY: (Effective 3-01-12)

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Marriage Ceremonies

Rule 34.1

The Court will perform marriage ceremonies during normal business hours, by appointment, at the convenience of the Court. A fee of $75.00 shall be paid, in advance, for this service.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 2-17-10; 12-5-11)

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Hearing and Submission of Motions; Objections to Interrogatories

Rule 40.1

(A) Motions, in general, shall be submitted and determined upon the pleadings and motion papers. Oral arguments of motions may be permitted at the discretion of the Court.

(B) The moving party shall serve and file with the motion a brief written statement of reasons in support of the motion and a list of citations of authorities. If the motion requires consideration of facts not appearing of record, the movant shall serve and file copies of affidavits, depositions, photographs or documentary evidence which the movant relies upon in support of the motion.

(C) Each party opposing the motion, except a motion for summary judgment, shall serve and file within seven (7) days thereafter, a brief written statement of reasons in opposition to the motion and a list of citations of the authorities which are relied upon. If the motion requires the consideration of facts not appearing of record, the respondent shall also serve and file copies of all affidavits, depositions, photographs or documentary evidence which the respondent relies upon.

(D) Reply or additional briefs upon motions and submissions may be filed with leave of the Court only upon a showing of good cause.

(E) Objections to interrogatories shall include, immediately preceding any discussions and citation of authority, the interrogatory in full to which objection is made.

(F) Counsel are encouraged to participate in pretrial discovery conferences to reduce the filing of unnecessary discovery procedures. To curtail undue delay in the administration of justice, no discovery filed under Rule 26 through 37 of the Rules of Civil Procedure to which objection or opposition is made by the responding party shall be taken under consideration by the Court, unless the party seeking discovery shall first advise the Court in writing that after personal consultation and sincere attempts to resolve differences they are unable to reach an accord. This statement shall recite those matters which remain in dispute, and in addition, the date, time and place of such conference, and the names of all participating parties. It shall be the responsibility of counsel for the party seeking discovery to initiate such personal consultation.

(G) The presentation to the Court of unnecessary motions, and the unwarranted opposition of motions, which in either case unduly delay the course of an action through the Courts, subject an offender to appropriate sanctions including the imposition of costs.

(H) All pleadings and briefs containing references to statutes, or regulations, unpublished cases or cases from Courts outside of this state except U.S. Supreme Court decisions shall have attached a copy of the statute, regulation or case. A party who cites an unpublished opinion or case shall indicate any disposition by a superior appellate Court.

(I) Unless otherwise ordered by the Court:

(1) A party opposing a motion for summary judgment made pursuant to Civil Rule 56 may file a brief in opposition with accompanying evidentiary materials (as permitted by Civil Rule 56(c)) within 30 days of service of the motion. The movant may file a reply brief in support of the motion within ten (10) days of service of the brief in opposition. The movant's reply brief shall not refer to or include any additional evidentiary materials without agreement of the parties or leave of Court.

(2) Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, motions for summary judgment shall be heard on briefs and accompanying evidentiary materials (as permitted by Civil Rule 56(c)) without oral argument.

HISTORY: (Effective 6-01-05)

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Reproduction of Hospital Records

Rule 40.2

(A) Upon motion of any party showing good cause and upon notice to all other parties and the individual who is the subject of the reports, the judge may order any hospital by any agent competent to act in its behalf, to reproduce all or any portion of designated hospital records, not privileged, which constitute or contain evidence pertinent to an action pending in this Court. The order shall direct the hospital to describe by cover letter the portion or portions of the records reproduced and any omissions and specify the usual and reasonable charges. The order shall designate the person or persons to whom such reproductions shall be delivered or made available.

(B) Objections to the admissibility of such reproduced hospital records on the grounds of materiality or competency shall be deemed reserved for ruling at the time of trial without specific reservation in the order to reproduce. Reproductions made pursuant to this procedure may be admitted in evidence without further identification or authentication but subject to rulings or objections impliedly or specifically reserved unless the order expressly provides otherwise.

(C) Charges for reproduction of its records shall be paid directly to the hospital by the movant or movants.

(D) Where original records are produced in Court and reproductions subsequently substituted by agreement of the parties or by order of the Court, the movant or movants shall be responsible for the cost. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, all original records shall be returned by the Court reporter to the hospital upon entry of judgment in this Court.

HISTORY: (Effective 6-01-05)

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Hours of the Court

Rule 53.1

The Probate Court and its offices shall be open for the transaction of business from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday except legal holidays. All pleadings requiring a new case number or the payment of Court costs shall be filed by 4:15 p.m.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 9-14-87; 9-1-11)

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Court Costs

Rule 58.1

Deposits in the amounts set forth below shall be required upon filing the following initial actions and proceedings:

INITIAL COURT COST DEPOSITS
Petitions for Adoptions (Cuyahoga County Home Study)
$325.00
Petitions for Adoptions (Out of-County Home Study)
$175.00
Petitions for Adoptions (Foreign Countries)
$175.00
Motions to Determine Suitability
$20.00
Petitions for Release of Identifying Information
$ 50.00
Adversary Cases
$250.00
Birth Record Corrections
$47.00
Birth Record Registrations
$47.00
Conservatorships
$175.00
Disinterment Applications
$40.00
Estates
$250.00
Guardianship of a Minor
$135.00
Guardianships
$175.00
Marriage Licenses
$50.00
Name Changes
$130.00
Pay or Deliver Applications $100.00
Release of Assets without Administration:
Without Will
$100.00
With Will
$130.00
Without Will; With Publication
$135.00
With Will; With Publication
$165.00
Supplemental Releases
$50.00
Settlement of Injury Claims
$100.00
Trusts
$150.00
Will Deposits
$5.00

Additional court costs for subsequent filing will be assessed in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 2101.16. Additional fee are located on the FAQs page.

Applications accompanied by an affidavit of the applicant of inability to prepay or give security for court costs shall be accepted without the necessity of such deposit as a condition for filing, provided that the applicant shall exert diligent efforts to make funds available for the security deposit and pay the deposit into court as soon as possible.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 2-22-85; 3-13-86; 1-1-90; 1-1-93; 2-1-95; 9-18-96; 5-4- 00; 10-1-05; 8-16-10; 4-9-13)

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Rules of the Probate Court of Cuyahoga County

Rule 58.2

It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that effective August 25, 2010, in accordance with Rule 5 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Probate Division of the Court of Common Pleas, the following shall constitute Rule 58.2 of the Local Rules of the Probate Court of Cuyahoga County, Ohio:

ADDITIONAL FEES

(A) In order to procure and maintain computerized legal research services as authorized by Ohio Revised Code 2101.162(A) a fee of Three Dollars ($3.00) is being collected as costs in each cause filed, including but not limited to, an estate, guardianship, trust, adoption, minor settlement, change of name, and civil action.

(B) In order to procure and maintain computer systems the Clerk of the Probate Court is charging an additional fee, as authorized by Ohio Revised Code 2101.162(B), of up to Ten Dollars ($10.00) in each cause filed, including but not limited to, an estate, guardianship, trust, adoption, minor settlement, change of name, and civil action.

(C) Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 2101.163(A) and for the purpose of implementing dispute resolution procedures, the Clerk of the Probate Court shallcharge, in addition to the fees and costs authorized under Section 2101.16 of the Ohio Revised Code, a reasonable fee, not to exceed Fifteen Dollars ($15.00), on the filing of each action or proceeding including, but not limited to, an estate, guardianship, trust, adoption, minor settlement, change of name, and civil action. (Effective 8-25-10).

(D) Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2303.201(E)(1) the Court of Common Pleas has determined that, for the efficient operation of the Court, additional funds are necessary to acquire and pay for special projects of the Court, including, but not limited to, the acquisition of additional facilities or the rehabilitation of existing facilities, the acquisition of equipment, the hiring and training of staff, community service programs, the employment of magistrates, the training and education of Judges and magistrates, and other related services. An additional fee of Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) shall be assessed for each action or proceeding, including but not limited to an estate, guardianship, trust, adoption, minor settlement, change of name, civil action, correction of birth record, registration of birth and marriage license application.

HISTORY: (Effective 8-25-10)

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Inventory

Rule 64.1

Pursuant to O.R.C. 2115.16 and Civil Rule 73(E)(7) unless notice is waived, upon filing of an inventory as required by R.C. 2115.02, the executor or administrator shall serve the notice of the hearing by ordinary mail upon the surviving spouse and all next of kin in an intestate estate and to all beneficiaries in a testate estate.

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Accounts

Rule 64.2

Pursuant to O.R.C. 2109.30, 2109.301-2109.303, 2109.32, 2109.33, and Civil Rule 73(E)(7) unless notice is waived, upon filing of final accounts, the fiduciary shall serve a copy of the account and the notice of the hearing by certified mail as follows:

Decedent's Estates - To the surviving spouse and all next of kin in an intestate estate and to all residual beneficiaries in a testate estate.

Guardianships - To all next of kin of the ward.

Trusts - To all beneficiaries.

Any person entitled to notice who is under 16 years of age shall be served in accordance with Civil Rule 4.2(B).

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 1-2-02)

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Rule 64.3

In accordance with O.R.C. 2109.301(A) vouchers or proof of disbursements shall not be required to be filed by executors or administrators unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

Original vouchers or receipts of disbursements must be filed with accounts of guardians, conservators or trustees.

HISTORY: (Amendment, Effective 1-3-00; 1-2-02)

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Rule 64.4

In accordance with O.R.C. 2109.301(B) the final account in estates shall be filed within six (6) months after appointment of the executor or administrator.

Upon motion of the fiduciary or counsel for the estate, the time for filing an account in an estate may be extended to thirteen (13) months from the date of appointment or other appropriate time for any of the reasons set forth in O.R.C. 2109.301(B).

HISTORY: (Effective 1-2-02)

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Biennial Report

Rule 66.1

Effective August 1, 1988 a Biennial Report of the mental and physical condition of the ward must be filed at the time of the filing of a partial account by the guardian of an incompetent person.

HISTORY: (Effective 8-1-88)

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Rule 66.2

Effective August 1, 1988 a Biennial Report of the mental and physical condition of an adult incompetent must be filed by the guardian of the person only.

HISTORY: (Effective 8-1-88)

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Guardians of Adult Wards

Rule 66.3

Guardians of adult wards shall deposit all wills of their wards, immediately following their appointment, with the Probate Court pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2107.07.

HISTORY: (Effective 1-1-90)

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Attorney Fees For Decedent's Estate

Rule 71.1

(A) Court's Authority to Determine Attorney Fees. Attorney fees for the administration of a decedent's estate shall be reasonable and beneficial to the decedent's estate. Attorney fees are governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Rules of Superintendence adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio. The Court has the ultimate responsibility and authority to determine attorney fees in a decedent's estate as required by such Rules.

(B) Ordinary Fees. Attorney fees for the administration of a decedent's estate computed in accordance with the schedule of compensation set forth below shall be approved without a hearing. Such schedule however, is not to be considered or represented to clients as a schedule of minimum or maximum attorney fees to be charged.

(1) Appraised value (when not sold) or gross proceeds (when sold) of personal property included on the inventory; gross proceeds of sale of real estate under power of sale in Will, purchased by election of surviving spouse at appraised value or sold by judicial proceedings and amount of estate income for which the fiduciary accounts:

(a) For the first $100,000 at a rate of 4%;

(b) From $100,001 to $400,000 at a rate of 3%;

(c) For $400,001 and above at a rate of 2%

(2) Appraised value of real estate transferred to heirs or devisees by affidavit or certificate of transfer when no sale is involved at a rate of 1%.

(3) Release of assets from administration, the greater of $500 or 1.5% of all such property.

(4) On all other property not included in this rule:

(a) If a federal estate tax return is not required, 1% of all such property.

(b) If a federal estate tax return is required, 2% of all such property.

(C) Extraordinary Fees. In addition to attorney fees for ordinary services, the attorney for the fiduciary upon application may be allowed further reasonable attorney fees for any extraordinary service. What is an extraordinary service may vary depending upon many factors including the size of the decedent's estate. Extraordinary services include but are not limited to:

(1) Involvement in a will contest, will construction, a proceeding for determination of beneficiaries, a contested claim, elective share proceeding, apportionment of estate taxes, or any other adversarial proceeding or litigation by or against the estate.

(2) Representation of the personal representative in audit or any proceeding for adjustment, determination or collection of taxes.

(3) Tax advice on post mortem tax planning.

(4) Purchase, sale, lease or encumbrance of real property by the fiduciary or involvement in zoning, land use, environmental or other similar matters.

(5) Representation regarding carrying on the decedent's business or conducting other commercial activity by the fiduciary.

(6) Fiduciary or attorney compensation disputes.

(7) Proceedings involving ancillary administration of assets not subject to administration in this state.

(D) Fixed or Contingency Fees. Except as otherwise required under Sup. R. 71, where the attorney on application to the court prior to or during administration requests a fixed or contingent fee, the court, if it deems appropriate and after notice to the interested parties, may fix a reasonable fixed fee for services beneficial to the administration of the estate or may approve a contingency fee under appropriate circumstances. Notice to the trustee of a testamentary or inter vivos trust shall be deemed notice to all beneficiaries of such trust. Nothing in this rule is intended to permit a contingency fee for estate administration services.

(E) When a Hearing on Attorney Fees is Not Necessary. Upon administration of a decedent's estate, a hearing on attorney fees is not required in any of the following cases:

(1) Payment of an attorney fee is included in an accounting filed by a fiduciary who is also a sole beneficiary of a solvent estate.

(2) If all of the interested parties whose share will be charged with the payment of any part of the fee, consent in writing to the specific dollar amount to be paid, and such consent instrument is filed with the account which claims credit for the fee paid; provided however, a guardian may consent for his ward; the fiduciary of a deceased beneficiary's estate may consent on behalf of the deceased beneficiary; and a testamentary trustee or inter vivos trustee may consent on behalf of all trust beneficiaries.

(3) Computation form for ordinary compensation contains a calculation which reflects that the attorney fees taken are within the guidelines contained in Local Rule 71.1(B) subject to the conditions therein. An itemized record of the attorney fees must accompany the computation form when filed without consents.

(F) Interested Party. For purposes of this rule, an interested party is one who has a direct pecuniary interest in the payment of an attorney fee charged for the administration of a decedent's estate.

(G) General Provisions. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, if by reason of the application or the percentages to values of assets, disparity or injustice results and whether or not consents have been submitted, filed, or are otherwise not necessary, such disparity or injustice may be reviewed and adjusted by the Court on the Court's own motion with respect to any account reflecting such compensation or upon exceptions to such an account filed by an interested party.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 6-1-90; 1-1-93; 3-1-11(effective for estates of decedents dying on or after March 1, 2011))

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Counsel Fees

In Connection with Settlement of Claims for Wrongful Death, Conscious Pain and Suffering, Claims for Personal Injuries to Persons under Guardianship, and Settlement of Personal Injuries to Minors under RC 2111.18

Rule 71.2

In cases where representation is on a contingent basis, counsel will be allowed fees on the amount obtained in accordance with the following schedule:

33 1/3% of the first $100,000.00;

30% of the amount over $100,000.00.

Upon written application additional compensation may be granted if the applicant demonstrates and the court is satisfied that extraordinary services have been rendered.

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Attorney Fees for Guardianship/Trust/Adoption

Rule 71.3

(A) The following provisions apply to attorney fees allowed as part of the expense for administering a guardianship or trust or in connection with an adoption proceeding:

(1) Attorney fees shall be based upon the actual services performed and the reasonable value of the services.

(2) All applications for attorney fees shall set forth an itemized statement of the services performed, the date services were performed, the time spent in rendering the services, and the rate charged per hour.

(3) In determining the reasonableness of the requested attorney fees, the court shall consider the following: The prior experience of the attorney, the complexity of the matter presented, any special problems that may have presented themselves during the representation, the time spent by the attorney, and, for guardianship and trust cases, the amount of assets and income available for the payment of attorney fees.

(4) Any services provided by "paralegals" must be performed under the supervision of a licensed attorney who must verify such supervision on the application.

(B) The following provisions shall apply wherein an attorney is serving as the guardian:

(1) Paragraphs (A)(1) through (4) of this rule shall apply.

(2) The attorney/guardian may seek guardian's compensation pursuant to Local Rule 73.1 or attorney fees in accordance with this section, but not both.

(3) In addition to the factors set forth in Paragraphs (A)(1) through (4) of this rule, the court shall also consider the amount of non-legal time expended by the attorney/guardian in managing the guardianship estate.

(History: Effective for applications filed on or after March 1, 2011)

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Guardian's Compensation

Rule 73.1

(A) Unless otherwise provided by law or ordered by the court, a guardian may charge for ordinary services an amount computed in accordance with the following schedule:

(1) During each accounting period required by statute:

(a) 3% of the total income; and 3% of the total expenditures.

(b) 10% of gross rental income from real estate.

(2) An annual fee of $2.50 per $1,000.00 of the fair market value of the principal.

(3) Minimum compensation of $500.00 per year.

(4) Compensation computed on income will not be allowed on balances carried forward from one accounting period to another; nor will an investment of funds of the final distribution of unexpended balances to award at the close of a guardianship be considered as an expenditure.

(B) For the purpose of computing a guardian's compensation as herein provided, the fair market value of the principal shall be determined by the guardian as of the appointment date and as of each anniversary thereafter. The compensation so determined may be charged during the ensuing year. The annual principal valuation shall be adjusted from time to time to reflect additions to and withdrawals from the principal of the estate, and the compensation for the remaining portion of the annual period shall be similarly adjusted to reflect such revised valuation.

(C) Additional compensation, reimbursement for expenses incurred, and fees of a guardian of the person only may be fixed by the court on application. The court may require that applications for fees or compensation be set for hearing and that written notice of the time and place of the hearing and the amount applied for be given to interested parties, as required by the court. A copy of the notice, with certified mail return receipt attached, together with an affidavit of the service of such notice, shall be filed prior to the hearing.

(D) The compensation of co-guardians in the aggregate shall not exceed the compensation which would have been payable if only one guardian had been acting.

(E) A separate schedule of the computation of the guardian's compensation shall be set forth in the guardian's account as a condition of its approval.

(F) Except for good cause shown, neither compensation for a guardian nor fees to the attorney representing the guardian, will be allowed when the guardian is delinquent in filing an account as required by RC 2109.30.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 4-3-06; 3-1-11(Effective for applications filed on or after March 1, 2011))

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Trustee's Compensation

Rule 74.1

(A) Except where the instrument creating the trust makes provision for compensation, a testamentary trustee may charge annually for ordinary services performed by the trustee in connection with the administration of each separate trust estate an amount to be computed on the fair market value of the principal of the trust property, in accordance with the following schedule, such compensation to be charged one-half to income and one-half to principal, unless otherwise provided in the instrument creating the trust:

$12.00 per $1,000.00 on the first $1,000,000.00 of the fair market value of the principal;

$7.50 per $1,000.00 on the next $2,000,000.00 of the fair market value of the principal;

$5.50 per $1,000.00 on the next $2,000,000.00 of the fair market value of the principal;

$4.50 per $1,000.00 on the balance of the fair market value of the principal.

The trustee may charge a minimum fee of $1,500.00.

There may be allowed an amount equal to 1% of the fair market value of any distribution or payment from the principal of the trust property. This amount shall be charged against and deducted from the distribution or payment.

A corporate trustee that proves a service which invests all available income and/or principal cash on a daily basis may be allowed an amount equal to one-half of one percent (0.5%), on an annual basis, of the amount invested, but not in excess of $100 per month.

(B) For the purpose of computing the trustee's compensation as herein provided, the fair market value of the principal of the trust property shall be determined by the trustee as of a date determined by the trustee, such date to commence during the month of the original receipt of trust property and each anniversary date thereafter. (At the option of the trustee, fee evaluations may be made on a quarterly basis, each evaluation to be coordinated with the original annual evaluation date as selected by the trustee--if this option is selected by the trustee, the trustee must continue to compute the fee on the quarterly valuation basis, unless upon application to the Probate Court, a change in fee valuation method is allowed.)

(C)Additional compensation for extraordinary services may be allowed upon application. The Court may require that the application be set for hearing and notice thereof be given to interested parties in accordance with Civil Rule 4.1. The notice shall contain a statement of amount of the compensation sought.

(D) The compensation of co-trustees in the aggregate shall not exceed the compensation which would have been payable if only one trustee had been acting, except in the following instances:

(1) Where the instrument under which the co-trustees are acting provides otherwise; or

(2) Where all the interested parties have consented in writing to the amount of the co-trustees' compensation, and the consent is endorsed on the trustees' account or evidenced by separate instrument filed therewith.

(E) A separate schedule of the computation of trustee's compensation shall be shown in the trustee's account as a condition of its approval.

(F) Except for good cause shown, neither compensation for a trustee nor fees to the counsel representing the trustee will be allowed while the trustee is delinquent in filing an account required by RC 2109.30.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 9-30-86; 3-1-88; 9-15-99; 4-3-06)

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Case Management

Rule 78.1

I. Supervision of estates, trusts and guardianships, adoption and psychiatric proceedings.

A. The Court shall keep an inventory of all pending cases.

B. Each successive month, the Court shall make a report:

1. listing all new cases filed.

2. removing all cases where a final account has been approved or final judgment has been rendered.

3. listing the status of each open case.

II. Civil Actions

A. The Court shall keep an inventory of all pending cases.

B. Each successive month, the Court shall make a report:

1. listing all new cases filed.

2. removing all cases where a final judgment has been rendered.

3. listing the status of each open case.

C. A pretrial conference shall be conducted in all cases prior to trial except in land sale proceedings.

D. Within 30 days after the answer date, the case shall be set by the Court for a pretrial conference.

E. Notice of the pretrial conference shall be given to all parties or their counsel of record by certified mail not less than 14 days prior to the conference. Applications for continuance of the conference shall be in writing and filed with the Court in a timely manner.

F. At the conclusion of the pretrial conference, the Court shall prepare a pretrial order setting forth:

1. discovery deadline date

2. exchange of witness list date

3. pleadings and briefing date

4 trial date

III. Land Sales

A. The Court shall keep an inventory of all pending cases.

B. All land sales which have not been concluded within one year from the date of filing shall be dismissed unless good cause is shown.

HISTORY: (Effective 7-1-91)

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Fiduciary's Affidavit of Notice of Admission of Will to Probate

Rule 78.2

Effective January 2, 2002, fiduciaries appointed to administer estates of decedents are required to file a Certificate of Notice of Admission of Will to Probate within sixty (60) days of their appointment or be subject to removal proceedings.

HISTORY: (Amended, Effective 8-1-90; 1-2-02)

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Jury Management Plan

Rule 78.3

As required by Rule 9(C) of the Rules of Superintendence for Courts of Common Pleas, the Probate Division has adopted and implemented a Jury Management Plan which has been filed with the Supreme Court of Ohio.

HISTORY: (Effective 9-1-95)

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The rules are revised: March 1, 2012

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