Criminal Info

Scope of rules; applicability; citation
Case Management in Criminal Cases
Trial by jury or by the court
Sentence, pre-sentence investigation, probation
Bail, bond forfeiture, payments
Service and filing of papers
Effective date

WCH CRIM R 1.1 Scope of rules; applicability; citation

These rules govern practice and procedure in the Criminal Division of the Washington Court House Municipal Court. They are adopted pursuant to the inherent authority as reserved in Rule 57 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure and establish, pursuant to Sup R 5, a system for criminal case management which will achieve the prompt and fair disposal of criminal cases. These rules shall be construed and applied to eliminate unnecessary delay and expense for all parties involved in the court justice system.

These rules shall be known as the Local Criminal Rules of the Washington Court House Municipal Court and shall be cited as "WCH CRIM R ." Where possible, they have been numbered to correspond with the numbering of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure.

All rules set forth in Addendum "A" with reference to civil proceedings shall, where applicable, be enforced in criminal proceedings before this court.

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WCH CRIM R 3.1 Complaint

(A) Criminal Action - filing. The Clerk of Court and all Deputy Clerks shall refuse to accept criminal filings from any person except a duly authorized law enforcement officer having jurisdiction within the territorial jurisdiction of this Court or any representative of the County, City or Village prosecutor or solicitor within territorial jurisdiction of this Court. Only the original of said complaint shall be accepted for filing.

All complaints shall contain the date of service and be signed by the issuing or charging law enforcement officer. The Court has no authority to accept for filing a traffic ticket or criminal complaint after the arraignment date specified in the ticket or complaint has elapsed. For the case to be considered, the officer must issue a new complaint and re-serve the amended complaint on the defendant, issue a new court date, and file it properly with the court.

The court procedures to obtain arrest warrants are as stated in Addendum "H" to these rules.

(B) Preparation of Private Criminal Complaints (Misdemeanors). All private criminal complaints are to be prepared under the direction and control of the City or Village Prosecutor. A law enforcement officer, in his professional discretion, may prepare and file a private criminal complaint if the complainant's person or property is in immediate danger of safety or if the complainant has visible injuries which are readily apparent to the law enforcement officer. The law enforcement officer must use his own discretion in determining whether the complainant can wait to meet with the appropriate prosecutor.

All complainants must appear at all criminal proceedings. Failure to appear, without prior consent of the court, may result in appropriate contempt sanctions unless otherwise ordered by the court in the interest of justice.

(C) Criminal Cross-Complaints. No criminal complaints will be filed by a defendant in a criminal case against the complainant and/or prosecuting witness until the defendant's case is disposed of unless the Statutes of Limitations will run or expire. This rule applies only to offenses arising out of the same fact situation or occurrence within the same time proximity.

This section will not apply if there are separate prosecuting attorneys for each case and separate trials.

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WCH CRIM R 3.2 Case Management in Criminal Cases

Scheduling of Events. The scheduling begins after arraignment. With the exception of minor misdemeanor cases, a defendant will have two (2) weeks from the date of their arrest or service of summons to hire an attorney or apply for a court-appointed attorney. If an attorney has not filed an appearance of record in writing on a case within two (2) weeks of a defendant's arrest date or service of summons, the case will be set for trial, and unless for good cause shown, no continuance of that trial date will be granted. If an attorney is retained subsequent to a case being assigned a court date, then the attorney is accepting the case conditionally and under the assumption that he can be present for that scheduled appearance date. Thereafter, the case is managed in six (6) judicial steps.

(A)Pre-trials: After arraignment, and upon motion of a party, the assignment commissioner shall set all cases for pre-trial within thirty (30) days of said motion, or if no pre-trial is requested, cases shall be set for trial unless the judge orders a pre-trial in said case.

When a pre-trial conference is ordered, the following persons are required to attend: the prosecutor, trial counsel, the defendant, and the arresting officer and/or complainant. Prior to the pre-trial and if the arresting officer is unable to attend, he/she may submit to the prosecutor a pre-trial questionnaire on a form as provided by the court. It is the duty of the trial counsel to enforce the appearance of the defendant.

The Judge shall be available on the day assigned for the pre-trial conference for a change of plea or a dismissal of the case.

The parties are ordered at the pre-trial hearing to provide discovery to each other as provided in Crim R 16 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure and are to complete a Report of Informal Pre-Trial Conference to be filed in the case setting forth any matters agreed upon. The pre-trial shall be conducted in accordance with Crim R 17.1. Any attorney who fails to appear for pre-trial without just cause being shown may be punished for contempt of court.

If the parties cannot resolve the case, then the case will be set for trial to the court unless a jury is demanded in writing or required by law. Within two (2) weeks of the filing of the pre-trial report, the assignment commissioner shall issue to the attorneys of record, the complainant and the defendant, notice of the next hearing or trial date.

(B)Pre-Jury Trial Hearings: When a jury demand has been timely filed or when a jury is required by law, the case shall be set for a pre-jury trial hearing no less than two (2) weeks prior to the scheduled trial date. This hearing shall be conducted in open court for the benefit of the presiding judge and for the purpose of updating discovery, narrowing of issues, considering prospective jury charges, and any other evidentuary issues. The following individuals shall be required to attend: prosecuting attorney, defense counsel, complainant and/or arresting officer and defendant.

(C)Motions: All motions shall comply with WCH CRIM R 47.1 as provided herein and any other applicable rule of criminal procedure.

(D)Trials: Each case not resolved at pre-trial shall be set for trial to the court. If a jury demand is timely filed or a jury trial is required by law, then the case will be moved to the jury trial schedule in accordance with this section and WCH CRIM R 23.1.

(E)Continuances: Continuances in criminal proceedings shall comply with WCH LOCAL R 41.1 and Sup R 41.

(F)Sentencing: Sentencing shall be in accordance with WCH CRIM R. 32.4.

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WCH CRIM R 10.1 Arraignment

(A)Arraignment procedure. Arraignments shall be conducted in accordance with Crim R 10 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure on the dates and times established by the Court.

(B)Presence of defendant. Unless otherwise directed by the Judge, the defendant, if incarcerated at the time of his/her scheduled arraignment, shall be deemed present for arraignment if he appears on closed circuit television as transmitted by video phone or such other electronic means provided by the Court.

(C)Explanation of rights. Prior to being called upon to enter a plea, the defendant shall be informed of his/her rights by video tape and in written form.

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WCH CRIM R 23.1 Trial by jury or by the court

Demand for a jury trial must be filed at least ten (10) days prior to the trial date, or on or before the third day following receipt of notice of the date set for trial, whichever is later. Failure to demand a jury trial as provided in this section is a complete waiver of the right thereof.

Unless otherwise directed by the presiding judge, the incurred costs of the jury shall be assessed to the case if the jury is waived after the date indicated in the notice of the jury trial. No deposit for a criminal jury trial is required.

Upon demand for a jury trial, the Clerk will summon, fourteen (14) days prior to the jury trial date, fifty (50) prospective jurors to appear for jury duty on such date assigned. If the trial is cancelled after the jury has been summoned, it may be the responsibility of the attorneys to notify the prospective jurors of such cancellation. All attorneys shall notify the court no later than 3:00 p.m. on the day before the trial is scheduled as to whether the trial will proceed or incurred jury costs will be attached to their case.

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WCH CRIM R 32.4 Sentence, pre-sentence investigation, probation

(A) Sentencing. Sentencing shall be imposed immediately following conviction unless a pre-sentence investigation is requested or otherwise ordered by the court. If a pre-sentence investigation is requested, the court will set the hearing for sentencing within fifteen (15) days after the court receives the report from the probation department.

(B) Probation - Community Service Work. Defendants admitted to probation as part of a suspended sentence or other sanction imposed by the Court, will be subject to the general and specific conditions of probation as set forth in Addendum "D" to these rules and as otherwise directed by the Court. Pursuant to Section 2951.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, any defendant who agrees to perform, or is ordered to perform, community service work shall pay to the Clerk of this Court, as a part of court costs, a fee as established by the court. Defendants submitted to public service work shall follow the guidelines as established by the court and as set forth in Addendum "E" to these rules.

(C) Occupational Driving Permits. Unless ordered otherwise, occupational driving permits shall be issued according to law and the guidelines and rules of the Court then in effect. Before being issued a driving permit, a defendant must complete a petition for driving rights and shall pay a fee established by the court. General conditions for limited and/or occupational driving rights are as set forth in Addendum "F" and are subject to additional or specific conditions as required by law or the court.

(D) Work Release Program. A work release program may be made available to those defendants that qualify under the conditions and requirements set for in Addendum "G", subject to supervision by the Washington Court House Probation Department, and as directed by the court.

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WCH CRIM R 46.1 Bail, bond forfeiture, payments

(A) Bond Forfeiture. Where bond or bail has been posted and the defendant fails to appear as scheduled, the court may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant and bond shall be forfeited. The forfeiture may be set aside with or without costs, as the court deems proper if the defendant, in such case, appears and shows good cause for the earlier non-appearance.

(B) Release on Bail. Officers in charge shall release any person arrested and charged with any offense who gives bail, or executes bond according to law, which is satisfactory to the Clerk and is in the amount indicated in the Bail and Bond Schedule of the Washington Court House Municipal Court. These persons shall be given an arraignment date in accordance with the normal procedures where an arrest is not made.

The arresting officer or any command officer may release misdemeanor defendants on their own recognizance if it appears that they will appear as directed. This does not apply to persons charged with a felony or those defendants arrested subsequent to being placed on probation to this court. With the exception of an arrest for a minor traffic misdemeanor, those individuals on probation shall be held without bond until the next available session of court unless waived by a probation officer of this court.

Any person who is found by any law enforcement officer to be in violation of a condition of "home arrest" with electronic monitoring device, commonly known as an "ankle bracelet", shall be incarcerated and held without bond until the next session of court.

Any person released on bond for a domestic violence charge or a menacing by stalking charge shall stay completely away from the complainant and/or alleged victim until further order of the court. Notation of this added condition of release must be affixed to any document given to the defendant scheduling his/her next court appearance. No exceptions to this period of isolation from the complainant and/or victim will be allowed without written order of the court. Specific conditions of release of individuals charged with violating a civil protection order, stalking protection order or temporary protection order shall be as stated in the bond schedule of this court.

The Clerk is authorized to accept, where applicable in minor traffic cases only, the person's driver's license when the bond does not exceed $100.00; American Automobile Association cards or any other nationally recognized travel club that the Clerk deems appropriate when the bond does not exceed $200.00. The Clerk of Court shall not accept any personal checks.

(C) Failure to appear or pay fine and costs. Whenever a defendant has been charged with a traffic offense under either the Ohio Revised Code or Ordinance of any village or municipality, and fails to appear for court or fails to pay the fine when due, then said defendant's operator's license and/or right to drive in the State of Ohio will be ordered cancelled and the proper judgment shall be forwarded to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of the State of Ohio pursuant to law.

According to law, warrant blocks will be placed through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles against the renewal of the operator's license and/or license plates and registration of any defendant who fails to timely pay any fines and costs assessed in any criminal or traffic case in this Court, against any defendant who fails to appear as ordered, or against any defendant who fails to make a scheduled payment for a period of 90 days. Removal of said warrant block may only be accomplished upon payment in full of the amount owed and any additional fees assessed by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

(D) Policy of scheduled payments. Upon approval of the court, a defendant may execute a "cost sheet" agreeing to pay all fines and court costs within thirty (30) days. An extended period of time to pay may be permitted upon completion and approval of an Affidavit of Indigency. Unless otherwise directed by the Court, the following policies shall apply: 1) Only a minimum monthly payment of $25.00 shall be accepted in any traffic or criminal case; 2) First payment must be received within 30 days of conviction; 3) Minimum payment must be received every 30 days in traffic cases or a declaration of forfeiture of operator's license will be mailed to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles; 4) Notice of failure to pay as scheduled will be mailed monthly; 5) Public service work may be offered to those unable to pay fines; 6) Failure to comply with payment schedule for two (2) months, may result in bench warrant for arrest; 7) If all alternative methods of payment have failed, defendant must serve fine in jail; 8) If unpaid for period of two (2) years and all attempts to locate defendant have failed, the court will terminate all fines, court costs and jail, unless mandatory in nature and until the defendant is relocated; 8) Court-ordered restitution must be made in monthly payments of no less than $25.00 and shall be paid in full within six (6) months, unless otherwise directed by the Court.

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WCH CRIM R 47.1 Motions

All motions shall be made in writing and accompanied by a written memorandum containing the arguments of counsel. All motions shall set forth clearly and specifically the grounds for such motions, along with supporting case citations (copies of foreign and federal decisions to be attached).

Motions to suppress shall contain the specific legal grounds therefore and be accompanied by memorandum containing the specific factual basis in support of the motion. Such motions shall be filed within two weeks following completion of any pre-trial conference held in the case. Unless the defendant, by law, has the burden of proof, if specifics are not detailed in both the motion and supporting memorandum, the hearing will either be denied or the defendant will have the burden of going forward.

All motions must be filed within the time limits established by the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure unless leave is granted by the Court. All properly filed motions shall be set for oral hearing. Such oral hearings shall be set within thirty (30) days of the date such filing is made and it shall be the responsibility of each party to secure the attendance of all witnesses necessary to establish their position. To expedite its business, the court will consider the submission and determination of motions without oral hearing upon brief written statements of reasons in support and opposition.

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WCH CRIM R 48.1 Dismissal

All recommendations for withdrawal, reduction, amendment, or dismissal of charges and the reasons therefore shall be made in open court by the prosecuting attorney, and/or shall be specifically set forth in writing upon the case file. Any written agreed entry of dismissal shall be filed within two (2) weeks of any oral agreement of the parties or the matter shall be scheduled for trial. No reduction or amendment will be allowed unless for good cause shown.

Upon agreement of the parties and approval of the court, a case may be dismissed upon payment of court costs. Unless otherwise directed by the court, such costs shall be paid within one week of the filing of entry setting forth the agreement. Failure to pay within the time established may result in continued prosecution of the case.

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WCH CRIM R 49.1 Service and filing of papers

Service of pleadings shall be accomplished by following the applicable Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure. No pleadings shall be deemed served by leaving a copy with the Clerk or any court personnel. Neither the Clerk nor any other personnel of the court have an obligation to forward pleadings left by counsel to the opposing party.

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WCH CRIM R 59.1 Effective date

These rules shall take effect on January 1, 2002, except for rules or portions of rules for which a later date is specified, which shall take effect on such later date. They govern all proceedings in actions brought after they take effect, and also all further proceedings in actions then pending, except to the extent that their application in a particular action pending when the rules take effect would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the former procedure applies.

Amendments shall take effect as adopted after the court provides appropriate notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. If the court determines that there is an immediate need for the rule, the court may adopt the rule without prior notice and opportunity for comment, but promptly shall afford notice and opportunity for comment.

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