Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Supreme Court Seeks Second Round of Comments on Proposed Rule Changes

The Ohio Supreme Court will accept a second round of public comments until March 5 on proposed amendments to the Rules of Practice and Procedure.

The proposed amendments are part of an annual update and concern changes to the rules of appellate procedure, civil procedure, criminal 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.

  • Proposed amendments to Crim.R. 41 address issuing and executing tracking-device search warrants. According to Jo Ellen Cline, Supreme Court government relations counsel, law enforcement officers currently have three days to complete a search with no differentiation made between a search warrant for property and the installation of a tracking device. The ability to install a tracking device within the time limit often proves difficult if no opportunities arise for law enforcement to do it safely and secretly. The proposed amendments are designed to give law enforcement greater flexibility while protecting individuals’ rights, Cline said.
  • Proposed amendments to Civ.R. 41 address the timing of voluntary dismissals in civil cases. Under current law, a plaintiff is allowed to dismiss a case, without a court order, up to the commencement of the trial. Under the proposed amendments, such voluntary dismissals would need to be filed before the court’s announcement on the record of, or the filing of, an order granting summary judgment or no less than 10 days before trial. If necessary, however, the plaintiff still has the option of asking the court for an order dismissing a claim.

According to the Ohio Constitution, proposed amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure must be filed with the General Assembly. The Supreme Court can revise and file the amendments with the General Assembly before May 1, 2014. The amendments would take effect on July 1, 2014, 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 amendments.

Comments should be submitted in writing to:

Jo Ellen Cline
65 South Front Street, Seventh Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

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