Rules of Court


IT IS HEREBY ordered that the following be and the same are adopted as the rules for the docketing of causes and regulations of practice and procedure of this Court in civil, criminal, and traffic causes until otherwise ordered. These rules and order shall be recorded by the court in the Volume of the journal reserved for that purpose. The Rules of Court as presented herein are hereby in effect until otherwise ordered.

G E N E R A L

1. AGREEMENTS: -
A
greements of Counsel with each other or with a party or with an officer of the court shall be filed in the case.

2. HOURS: -
The Municipal Court shall be open for the transaction of business at 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday of each week, and such other hours as the Judge shall specify.

2.2 HOLIDAYS-- When the day on which an act is required to be performed falls on a legal holiday or on a day the Court is not in session, then said act shall be performed on the next proceeding day the court is in session.

2.3 TIME-- The time within which an act is required to be done shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last; except when the last day falls on a Sunday, or a holiday, it shall be excluded and the next day counted.

3. DOCKETS: -

3.1 CIVIL-- All civil actions shall be numbered consecutively as filed, and shall be entered upon the dockets in the same order. The case number, and execution number, if any, must be given when any paper is filed or attention is called to any case. The Clerk of Court shall maintain a civil docket as required by law. This civil docket shall contain the civil cases; together with all proceedings had therein, properly dated. This docket together with the file folder is the final and complete record of each case, except as hereinafter provided.

3.2 CRIMINAL-- All criminal actions shall be numbered consecutively as filed, and shall be entered upon the dockets in the same order. This docket together with the file folder is the final and complete record of such case, except as hereinafter provided.

3.3 TRAFFIC-- All traffic actions shall be numbered consecutively as filed, and shall be entered upon the dockets in the same order. This docket together with the file folder is the final and complete record of such case, except as hereinafter provided.

4. RECORDS: - The Court shall make a copy of any pleading, or deposition for any person requesting same or shall permit such person to copy such record. However, original papers shall not be removed from the file except with the consent of the court and a written receipt given thereof.

5. RELEASE & ASSIGNMENTS: -

The assignment, cancellation or release of judgment shall be in writing and filed as other papers in the case.

6. PREPARATION OF PAPERS: -

Officers or employees of the Court shall not prepare or help to prepare any pleading, affidavit, entry or order in any civil, criminal, or traffic matter (except as provided in Small Claims).

7. PRACTICE OF LAW: -

Nothing contained in any of these rules (civil, criminal, or traffic) shall permit the practice of law by one not duly licensed as an attorney at law in the State of Ohio (particularly in Small Claims Division).

8. JURY TRIALS:

8.1 In the event a jury trial is to be cancelled, the same must be done no later than Friday, by 2:00 o'clock p.m. for a Wednesday trial and no later than Monday, by 2:00 o'clock p.m. for a Friday trial by all attorneys representing the parties to such action or by the parties if they are not represented by counsel, by any of the following methods:

1. By telephone
2. In writing
3. In person

8.2 Failure to advise the court as above directed shall result in jury costs being taxed to the parties.

8.3 In all civil matters, complete jury instructions are required from the parties and shall be filed with the court no later than seven (7) days prior to trial date set for trial. Failure to provide same will result in pretrial conference with the court two days prior to trial date at 4:30 p.m. The attorneys and their clients are required to be present.

8.4 In all civil matter where a jury demand is filed, the party making such demand shall make a deposit of $360.00 with the pleading or demand to cover the costs of such jury.

In the event the matter is settled prior to trial but after a jury panel has been called, said deposit shall be applied to the jury costs.

8.5 It is within the discretion of the court to have jury questionnaires prepared and to make such questionnaires available to counsel.

If jury questionnaires are to be used, the following procedure shall apply: -

Prior to trial, the Court Administrator shall provide counsel for the parties, copies of jury questionnaires, which have been previously completed by prospective jurors under the Court's direction.

During voir dire, counsel may not inquire of jurors as to matters satisfactorily and completely answered in the questionnaires.

Counsel may not copy the jury questionnaires furnished to them, and must return the jury questionnaires to the Court Administrator promptly after voire dire.

8.6 VIEWS OF SCENE:

All requests for views of the scene by either party shall be in writing and filed with the court fourteen (14) days prior to trial with notice to the adverse party with a list of details to be pointed out to the jury by the Bailiff. The requesting party shall deposit, in advance, fifty dollars ($50.00) with the Clerk of Court, which will be applied to transportation costs.

9. SMALL CLAIMS DIVISION (Chapter 1925. R.C.)

The small claims division, having a separate docket, has jurisdiction in civil actions for the recovery of money only (other than libel, slander, malicious prosecution and abuse of process) for amounts not exceeding Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) exclusive of interest or costs.

9.1 The plaintiff, or his attorney, shall provide the court with the name and address of the plaintiff and defendant, the military status of the defendant and the nature and amount of the claim by submitting in writing, in concise, non-technical form to the Court. Such writing shall be signed by the plaintiff or his Attorney, under oath. The Court shall provide the forms required to file a small claims action.

9.2 Filing fee of $ 44.00 for one defendant and $ 6.00 for each additional defendant at commencement of action.

9.3 Trial shall be set not less than fourteen (14) days nor more than forty (40) days after commencement of the action. If service upon the defendant is not perfected within six months, the action will be dismissed.

9.4 The court may approve an agreement payment plan when the defendant admits the claim but requests time in which to pay.

9.5 No more than twenty-four (24) claims may be filed in the small claims division by a single person, firm or corporation within a one (1) year period.

9.6 It is required that the plaintiff appears at the first hearing date. Should the plaintiff fail to appear without leave of court, the matter shall be dismissed at Plaintiff's costs.

9.7 When both parties appear and a hearing is requested, the matter shall proceed to trial immediately.

10. CIVIL COMPLAINTS

10.1 Contents required by Common Pleas Rules; the name of the Court, the title of the action, the case number, and a designation as required in Rules of Superintendent.

10.2 A complaint (and exhibits) must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope, if file-stamped copy is desired.

11. PROCESS: SUMMONS.

11.1 Shall be issued and served according to Civil Procedure Rules 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, and 4.6.

11.2 Upon filing of a complaint, service of summons on defendant and the 28-day period allowed for defendant to answer:

(a) If defendant fails to answer, judgment by default will be granted on motion of same and affidavit of account filed by plaintiff;

(b) If defendant files an answer and is unrepresented by counsel, the matter will be placed on the court's calendar for trial within thirty days of the answer;

(c) If the parties are represented by counsel, fourteen days after answer is filed, the matter will be scheduled for pre-trial. The pre-trial will be held within sixty days. At pre-trial, all discovery should be exchanged and any motions will be schedules for hearing. The parties will be given a trial date at the pre-trial. Such trial date will not be subject to change unless for good cause. Motion hearing date and trial date shall be scheduled with agreement of all parties.

11.3 Civil matters in which service is not perfected within one year, the matter will be dismissed by the court.

12. PLEADINGS:- Service and filing of pleadings and other papers subsequent to the original complaint shall be in accordance with the Ohio Civil Rules of Procedure.

13. EXTENSION OF TIME :-

Shall be governed by the rules established by the Common Pleas Court, but in no event shall more than one extension be granted.

14. DEFAULT JUDGMENTS:-

14.1 When a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plea or otherwise defend, the clerk shall by regular U.S. mail notify the party entitled to the judgment by default by proof of loss or damage must be submitted to the court on or before the second Friday after the mailing of such notice with a motion for default judgment and affidavit of real party in interest or the case will be dismissed without prejudice at plaintiff's costs.

14.2 Proof of loss or damage may be by affidavit or direct testimony (preferably with receipts).

15. FORCIBLE ENTRY & DETAINER:-

15.1 The plaintiff must appear.

15.2 In the absence of the defendant and if the defendant has been properly served with summons, the action will be heard the same as if the defendant were present.

15.3 The hearing date will be scheduled at the earliest regular hearing date possible.

15.4 In the event the action involves a claim for rent and/or damages, the same shall be treated as any other money claim, i.e. the defendant has the usual time to answer or otherwise plead.

15.5 The Court will no longer provide labor for eviction of tenants. Upon plaintiff securing a writ of restitution from the court and posting the $60.00 bond, the bailiff will advise the plaintiff and defendant, in writing, the date he will perform the eviction. Plaintiff must provide the necessary laborers, etc. to effect the eviction.

16. COGNOVIT JUDGMENT:-

16.1 Costs deposit of $75.00 required includes fee taxed for defendant's attorney.

16.2 Plaintiff must furnish clerk with filing, a pre-addressed envelope to the defendant, or each defendant, postage prepaid, and affixed for certified mail. The clerk will mail a copy of the judgment entry or equivalent notice in such envelope incompliance with Section 2323.13 R.C.

16.3 A certificate of judgment SHALL BE ISSUED AND FILED for each cognovit judgment taken in the Municipal Court.

17. CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT FROM ANOTHER COURT OF RECORD:-

When filed in the Municipal Court shall be docketed as a separate case and treated the same as though issued by this Court per Section 2329.02 R.C.

18. EXECUTION:- Whenever a precipe for execution is filed with the Clerk on a judgment of the Municipal Court, there shall also be filed therewith an information sheet wherein the party issuing the execution shall provide such additional information he may have in order to facilitate such execution. Such information shall be on the form provided by the Clerk for this purpose.

19. PROCEEDINGS IN AID OF EXECUTION & GARNISHMENT:-

19.1 Orders in Aid of Execution shall be served and scheduled in the same manner as appearance cases and heard at the end of the regular call. In proceedings in aid of execution where judgment debtor is not ordered to appear for examination, the clerk shall serve him by ordinary mail with a copy of the entry.

19.2 The court shall not accept such orders unless one copy is furnished for each party to be served.

19.3 In the event the plaintiff or his attorney fails to appear for the examination of a debtor, fifteen minutes after time scheduled for appearance, the presence of the party shall be noted on the file and the party excused.

20. SALE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY – NOTICE:-

A copy of the notice of the sale of personal property shall be mailed by the Bailiff or Deputy Clerk to the parties and to attorneys of record in the case. However, failure to mail such notice shall not invalidate the sale.

21. COSTS REQUIRED BEFORE SUIT:-

When a case in this Court is dismissed for want of prosecution, for failure to comply with an order of the court, or by plaintiff without prejudice before judgment, all of the proceedings by the plaintiff in the same case or in any subsequent suit upon the same cause of action shall be stayed until the costs in the former action are paid, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

22. SUBPOENAED WITNESSES IN TRAFFIC, CRIMINAL & CIVIL MATTERS: -

In all matters, which are settled prior to trial, it shall be the responsibility of the attorney to notify all witnesses subpoenaed by him. Failure to do will result in witness fees being taxed to such attorney.

 

Effective January 9, 2014, Norwalk Municipal Court filing fees:

FILING FEES IN ADVANCE

22.1 Complaint in Forcible Detention $ 101.00
  $6.00 for each additional defendant  
     
22.2 Civil complaint $ 81.00
  $6.00 for each additional defendant  
     
22.3 Personal or residence service, additional fee required $ 10.00
     
22.4 Execution of property $ 100.00
     
22.5 Proceedings in Aid (non-wage) $ 30.00
  (Plus $1.00 fee made out to Garnishee)  
     
22.6 Garnishment personal earnings $ 85.00
     
22.7 Debtor’s Exam $ 25.00
     
22.8 Writ of Restitution (you supply own movers) $ 60.00
     
22.9 Cognovit Judgment $ 91.00
     
22.10 Certificate of Judgments $ 5.00
     
22.11 Certificate of Judgment for transfer to our court $ 81.00
     
22.12 Publication service $ 150.00
     
22.13 Precipe for subpoenas must be accompanied by fees for one day's attendance plus mileage (Each witness--$12.00 plus mileage)  
     
22.14 Jury Fees Deposit $ 360.00
     
22.15 The Clerk shall refuse to file and act on any matter requiring a deposit of costs unless and until the deposit has been made. Each execution, proceedings in aid, garnishment, or like proceeding shall require a deposit of costs according to the above schedule.  
     
22.16 Small Claims filing fee (one deft) $ 44.00
  (each additional defendant is $ 6.00)  
     
22.17 Small Claims debtor's exam $7.50
     
22.18 Court of Appeals $175.00
  ($150.00 Court of Appeals & $25.00 Court)  

 

 

TRUSTEESHIPS:

23.1 The Clerk shall be the trustee in each Trusteeship.

23.2 Disbursement of funds in each trusteeship shall be made a minimum of one every three (3) months.

23.3 As a matter of practice of trusteeships, the Court may first pay off in full, the smallest of the accounts in disbursing the monies as provided by law.

23.4 All debtors for whom a trustee has heretofore been appointed, in trusteeships now pending, or for whom a trustee is hereafter appointed and acting, pursuant to R.C. 2329.70 shall pay to the trustee the portion of personal earnings not exempt from proceedings in aid of execution within two days after receipt of the wages or personal earning at each pay day for each pay period, and the payment for each pay period shall be accompanied by a pay check stub, or other written memorandum issued by the employer, or by an officer or office manager of a corporate employer, stating the gross earnings or wages, wage rate, and hours worked, if the wage rate is on an hourly basis, of the debtor for the pay period reported. The foregoing pay period report of wages may be made directly by the employer to the trustee in lieu of the pay check sub or other written report filed by the debtor as described above, and if required orally or in writing by the Clerk of Court of the Norwalk Municipal Court, any employer may be required to furnish in writing to the Trustee a pay period report or reports of wages of any debtor for any pay period subsequent to the appointment of a trustee. Upon loss of employment by the debtor resulting in no further payment of wages or earnings, the employer or debtor shall immediately notify in writing, the Trustee, of the loss of employment and the date the last pay period check will be or has been received, and subject to the requirements of Rule 23, herein.

23.5 Upon failure of a debtor in trusteeship to make any one pay period payment to the trustee, or upon failure of the debtor to make, or to have his employer make, any one of the reports required under any other paragraph of Rule 23,such failure will thereupon be deemed a failure to make payment of non-exempt personal earnings under R.C. 2329.70,in accordance with the rules established by this court and, immediately thereupon the clerk shall notify the debtor of a hearing for termination of the trusteeship and dismissal for non-payment; such notice shall be mailed to the debtor and his last know employer, and all privileges in favor of the debtor under trusteeship shall thereupon cease as provided in R.C. 2329.70.

23.6 If a trusteeship is terminated and dismissed for nonpayment pursuant to R.C. 2329.70, and the rules of this court, the trusteeship shall not be reinstated and the debtor shall not be permitted to file a new trusteeship for a period of six (6) months from the date of dismissal of the trusteeship, unless a motion is filed in this court by the debtor supported by an affidavit stating that failure to maintain the trusteeship agreement was not due to willful neglect, and the Municipal Court will not order a re-instatement of a trusteeship, or permit filing or creating a new trusteeship, upon such motion and affidavit until after a hearing set for a definite time and date, for taking of further proof on the question of whether the failure of the debtor to maintain the trusteeship agreement was not due to willful neglect, and on such issue all the evidence submitted must prove to the satisfaction of the Court that the failure of the debtor as described herein was not due to willful neglect before the trusteeship will be reinstated or before a new trusteeship may be filed and ordered within a period of six (6) months after the dismissal and termination of the earlier trusteeship.

23.8 A copy of Rule 23, as supplemented herein, shall immediately be mailed by the attorney for the debtor to each creditor in Trusteeship and to his last known employer, together with a notice of filing for such trusteeship. The application for trusteeship, filed by the attorney for the debtor shall list the full name and address of the debtor's employer.

23.9 Participation by a secured creditor in the trusteeship with a separate written agreement between the debtor and creditor requires presentation of the proposed agreement for execution by the parties in open court and upon approval of the court. (Revised Code 2329.71)

23.10 Whenever any reference is made to the office of "Trustee" in Rule 23, it shall be deemed interchangeable with the office of Clerk of Court of Norwalk Municipal Court", and vice versa.

24. BONDS:- No attorney, officer or attaché of the Court, nor any member of his or her immediate family on his or her behalf shall furnish bail or surety, or be received such bail or surety in any civil or criminal matter.

25. JURY :- Juror shall be chosen as generally provided for in the Revised Code.

TRAFFIC/CRIMINAL PROCEDURES

 26. HEARINGS:

 26.1 All cases shall be disposed of on the date set for hearing as provided hereafter.

26.2 The court is opposed to needless delay in the handling of its criminal matters. In cases where a continuance is necessary, the limit of time allowed will be one (1) week unless for good cause shown, a longer time is deemed advisable, or pursuant to Revised Code 1911.72, 1911.74 and 1911.75. The date of continuance and for whom granted shall be noted by the court.

26.3 Each defendant, upon hearing the charges against him, must enter a plea of Guilty; Not Guilty; No Contest, or Double Jeopardy.

26.4 Upon a plea of Not Guilty or No Contest where it is considered necessary and desirable to have the arresting officer and/or other witnesses present, the case shall be continued to facilitate such arrangements being made.

26.5 Upon initial appearance and plea of not guilty by defendant: -
(A) If not represented by counsel, the matter will be immediately placed on the court's docket for trial within two weeks, unless time is waived;
(B) If represented by counsel, the matter will immediately be scheduled for pre-trial within two weeks;

26.6 At pre-trial, discovery will be delivered to defendant's counsel; a trial date will be set within six weeks of pre-trial date, during which time all motions will be filed and heard.

26.7 In all cases, all traffic and criminal matters shall be heard within the time limits provided by Criminal Rules.

26.8 ALL FELONY matters shall be heard within the time limits provided by the Criminal Rules, unless a waiver of time is filed with the Court.

26.9 Any ticket produced by computer or electronic means may be filed by electronic means. If an electronic or computer generated ticket is issued at the scene of an alleged offense, the issuing officer shall provide the defendant with a paper copy of the ticket. A law enforcement officer who files a ticket electronically shall be considered to have certified the ticket and shall have the same rights, responsibilities, and liabilities as with all other tickets issued.

27. WITHDRAWAL OF CHARGES:

All recommendations for withdrawal or dismissal of a case and the reason therefore shall be made in open court.

28. BONDS AND WAIVERS:-

28.1 Only cash or equivalent may be accepted for fines, costs, waivers or bonds (except bonds or waivers may be as specified in R.C. 2937.281)

28.2 When the defendant fails to appear at the appointed hour and place for hearing, any bond or bail posted by such defendant shall then and there be forfeited.

28.3 Where bond or bail has been declared forfeited by the Court, the forfeiture may be set aside with or without costs, as the court deems proper, if the defendant in such cases appears before adjournment of court or shows good cause for non-appearance.

29. PAYMENT FOR ASSIGNED COUNSEL

29.1 All assigned counsel shall submit their statement for representation of indigent defendants to the court within sixty (60) days of completion of the case. Failure to comply with this order will result in the court not approving that portion of fees, which are normally reimbursed by the Office of the Ohio Public Defender.

29.2 The court fee for filing of Affidavit of Indigency is $25.00 per application to be paid at time of filing. (HB66, Effective 9/29/05)

Effective January 9, 2014 the new waiver and bond schedule for the Norwalk Municipal Court is as follows:

WAIVER SCHEDULE

Offense Fine Costs TOTAL
Speed - 1st offense $3.00/mile over limit $65.00  
Speed - subsequent offense in one year $4.00/mile over limit $65.00  
Reckless Operation (willful) $150.00 $65.00 $215.00
Driver Seat Belt Violation $30.00 $36.00 $66.00
Passenger Seat Belt Violation $20.00 $36.00 $56.00
FTY to Public Safety Vehicle $100.00 $65.00 $165.00
Other traffic moving minor misdemeanors $30.00 $65.00 $95.00
Parking on Roadway $30.00 $26.00 $56.00
ON ALL MULTIPLE offenses,
the waiver on the associated offense
$ fine $26.00  
Disorderly Conduct MM $100.00 $55.00 $155.00
All other criminal misdemeanors $30.00 $55.00 $85.00

No other misdemeanors, traffic or criminal offense shall be disposed of or processed by the violations bureau.

 BOND SCHEDULE

 The following is not a waiver schedule, but is used to secure the appearance of the defendant in court. The arresting officer may allow release on defendant's own recognizance and should do so when dealing with local residents or those residing in adjacent counties who are not likely to flee: -

1st degree misdemeanor Full bond $ 5,000.00 or 10%
2nd degree misdemeanor Full bond $ 4,000.00 or 10%
3rd degree misdemeanor Full bond $ 3,000.00 or 10%
4th degree misdemeanor Full bond $ 2,000.00 or 10%
Possession of Marijuana Full bond $ 2,200.00 or 10%
Minor Misdemeanor Full bond $ 2,000.00 or 10%
Parking in Handicap Zone Full bond $ 500.00 - NO 10%
    -or- waiver amount,
whichever is higher.

Effective June 5, 1996, the court issued the following

Rule of Court as it applies to R.C. 4511.19, etc.

The Court will not continue the initial appearance date on charges involving driving under the influence, unless a medical excuse is filed with the Court.

Further, the Court will require a personal appearance, by either the defendant or his counsel, to address the five-day license suspension hearing.

RULE 30. COURT SECURITY:-

The Norwalk Municipal Court is charged with dispensing Justice, resolving disputes, and protecting the Constitutional rights of those who appear before the court.

Accordingly, appropriate levels of security should exist in the court to protect the integrity of the court procedures, protect the rights of individuals before it, sustain the decorum and dignity of the Court, and assure that Court facilities are secure for all those who visit and work there.

Therefore, pursuant to the Rules of Superintendence for Municipal Courts the Court establishes as follows: -

This Court, in conjunction with the Huron County Common Pleas Court, General Division, and in the Huron County Common Pleas Court, Probate and Juvenile Division, has appointed a local advisory committee consisting of representatives of each of the groups; -

Judges, Law Enforcement Officials responsible for court security, County Commissioners, City of Norwalk Safety Service Director, Court Office Holders with offices located in the Courthouse, Huron County Bar Association and Members of the Public.

The Court shall implement a local security policy and procedure plan by July 1, 1996, which shall address the Ohio Court Security Standards adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio on October 17, 1994.

The local court security advisory committee shall adopt a security operations manual, which shall establish written directives for the purpose of ensuring security within the court while maintaining accessibility to the community.

IN ADDITION TO THE LOCAL RULES OF COURT ESTABLISHED HEREIN, THIS COURT ADOPTS ALL RULES AND PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN THE OHIO REVISED CODE AND THE RULES OF SUPERINTENDENCE AS PROSCRIBED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO.