Supreme Court Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule Changes
The Ohio Supreme Court will accept public comments until October 15 on amendments to the annual update to the Rules of Practice and Procedure.
The proposed amendments to the Rules of Practice and Procedure concern changes to the rules of appellate procedure, civil procedure, and juvenile procedure. Many of the proposed changes would make simple clarifications, target inconsistencies, or account for renumbering of rules. There are, however, a few substantive changes to existing rules and two new rules.
- New rules (Civ.R. 43 and Juv.R. 41) would allow live open court testimony from a location outside the courtroom. The new civil rule relates to amendments to two Ohio Revised Code statutes in 2011. Those amendments required a court to permit a parent on active duty in the Armed Forces to participate in custody or visitation proceedings and to present evidence electronically. Similar to Civ.R. 43, the new juvenile rule avoids conflict with the Confrontation Clause because it does not allow the remote contemporaneous testimony in adjudicatory hearings in delinquent, unruly, and juvenile traffic cases and adult criminal trials.
- Proposed amendments to App.R. 3, App.R. 9, and App.R. 11.2 address expedited appeals. App.R. 3 provides notification currently lacking in some appellate districts to alert the court that there needs to be a priority disposition in a case. App.R. 9 recognizes that in an expedited judicial bypass appeal from the juvenile court, there is no requirement of a written transcript if an audio recording is available. App.R. 11.2 adds prosecutorial appeals from suppression orders under criminal and juvenile rules to the list of expedited appeals.
- Proposed amendments to App.R. 26 would clarify that a majority of an en banc court must participate in the initial determination to resolve conflicts of law that arise within a district when different panels of judges consider the same legal issue, but reach different results. A 2013 Ohio Supreme Court case found that the original three-judge panel could make the determination as well as the full complement of the appeals court’s judges.
According to the Ohio Constitution, proposed amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure must be filed with the General Assembly by Jan. 15, 2015. The Supreme Court can revise and file the amendments with the General Assembly before May 1, 2015. The amendments would take effect on July 1, 2015, unless before that date the General Assembly adopts a concurrent resolution of disapproval.
Publication of the proposed amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure for public comment at this time does not imply that the Supreme Court endorses or will approve for filing with the General Assembly any or all of the proposed amendments.
Access the text of the proposed Rules of Practice and Procedure amendments. Comments should be submitted in writing to:
Jo Ellen Cline, Government Relations Counsel
65 S. Front St., Seventh Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
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