Washington Court House
Municipal Court

Rules of Court

WCH LOCAL R 1.1 Applicability; authority; citation
A. Applicability
Except where otherwise provided, these rules are applicable to all proceedings in the Washington Court House Municipal Court.
B. Authority
They are adopted pursuant to the Rules of the Superintendent of the Supreme Court of Ohio and the inherent authority as reserved in Rule 83 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 57 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure.
C. Citation
These rules shall be known as the Local Rules of the Washington Court House Municipal Court and shall be cited as "WCH Local R____." They have been numbered to correspond with the numbering of the Superintendence Rule they are intended to supplement in accordance with Sup R 75.
WCH LOCAL R 5.1 Local Rules
A. Officers or employees of this court shall not prepare or help to prepare any pleading, affidavit, complaint, entry or order in any civil or criminal matter, except as provided under Section 1925.04 of the Ohio Revised Code.
No fee shall be charged by any officer or employee of this court for notarizing affidavits or any other matter pertinent to the civil business of this court.
No court employee shall knowingly be involved in any manner with a court proceeding which involves a relative by either blood or marriage unless authorized in advance by the court.
No employee, attorney, officer, or attache' of the court, nor any member of his or her immediate family, shall furnish bail or surety for any person who is a party to any type action filed in this court.
All court employees should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all their activities concerning the court.
B. Civil and criminal case management plans have been adopted and included as Addendums "A" and "B" respectively to this set of local rules pursuant to Sup R 5(B)(1).
C. Pursuant to Sup R 5(B)(2), a jury management plan has been adopted and included as Addendum "C" to this set for local rules to address the provisions of the Ohio Trial Court Jury Use and Management Standards adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio on August 16, 1993.
WCH LOCAL R 8.1 Court appointments
Pursuant to Sup R 8 (B), the following local rules shall govern the most common appointments made by this court:
A. Appraisers. Whenever an appraiser is to be appointed by the court, the appraiser shall be selected from the current list of appraisers maintained by the Fayette County Common Pleas Court, Probate Division. The appraiser chosen shall be based upon the qualifications of the appraiser and the type of property to be appraised. The appraiser chosen must be disinterested in the cause of action. The appointment shall be in sequential order based upon qualifications. Reasonable fees shall be paid upon approval of the court.
B. Interpreters. Foreign language interpreter appointments shall be based upon sequential order and qualifications from a list maintained by the court. Any person who is qualified may be added to the list upon application. Reasonable fees shall be paid upon court approval and shall be assessed as witness fees. Interpreter services for the hearing impaired or legally blind shall be paid by the court with appointments made from qualified agencies or individuals with expertise in such field of impairment.
C. Attorneys. Any attorney appointed, other than the public defender, shall be a member of the Fayette County Bar Association and shall be from a list of attorneys who have made application to be included on such list. Appointments shall be by sequential order when possible. Reasonable fees shall be paid upon approval of the court.
WCH LOCAL R 9.1 Security plans; confidentiality
Pursuant to Sup R 9, a court security policy and procedure plan has been adopted and filed with the administrative director of the Supreme Court and is not a public record. The Court Bailiff is the Chief Security Officer of the Court and is charged with the management and implementation of the Plan.
WCH LOCAL R 11.1 Recording of proceedings
Pursuant to Rule 11 (A) of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio, the official method for recording court proceedings shall be by audio-electronic recording devices, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
Any party requesting a transcript of any recorded hearing shall bear the cost of said transcript, except as otherwise ordered by the court, and shall be required to file a deposit for preparation of said transcript as determined by the clerk.
WCH LOCAL R 12.1 Conditions for broadcasting and photographing court proceedings
The use of electronic or photographic equipment which produces distracting sound or light is prohibited. The use of artificial lights is prohibited.
Photographers, television, and radio representatives are not permitted to move about the courtroom during court proceedings from the places where they have been positioned.
Only one portable camera (television, viodeotape, or movie) with one operator is allowed. Only one still photographer is permitted to photograph trial proceedings. The changing of film or recording tape in the courtroom during court proceedings is prohibited. For radio broadcast purposes, only one audio system shall be permitted in the courtroom. No talking shall be permitted while court is in session other than by those that are a party to the court proceeding.
All equipment shall be in position thirty (30) minutes prior to the opening of court, and the court will supervise the placement of the equipment.
All other conditions specified in Sup R 12 shall be applicable at the discretion of the presiding judge.
WCH LOCAL R 17.1 Assignment of judges-municipal and county courts
An Acting Judge shall only hear cases assigned to them by the Administrative Judge, with the exception of prisoners awaiting arraignment. No continuances shall be granted on any cases so assigned unless in the interest of justice and in accordance with Sup R 41 and WCH Local R 41.1.
No Acting Judge has the authority to reduce, minimize, or change the bond set on bench warrants in any manner without first consulting the Administrative Judge of the court.
WCH LOCAL R 18.1 Minor misdemeanors; violations bureau
Pursuant to Rule 13 of the Ohio Traffic Rules and Sup R 18, a Violations Bureau is hereby established for the acceptance of pleas of guilty in those cases not prohibited by said Ohio Traffic Rules. The Clerk of the Court is appointed Violations Clerk of said Bureau. The fines and costs to be accepted by the Violations Clerk of said Violations Bureau shall be in accordance with the printed schedule which shall at all times be posted in the office of the Clerk of Court. All Deputy Clerks shall be appointed Deputy Violations Clerks with privileges and rights of a Violations Clerk.
Fines and costs may be paid through the Violations Bureau prior to the commencement of trial and upon paying the proper fine and all accrued court costs. Waivers will be accepted after the seven (7) day period as stated in Traffic Rule 13 (D) with consent of the court.
Further, in accordance with Crim R 4.1 and Sup R 18, a Misdemeanant Violations Bureau is hereby established. The Clerk of the Court is appointed Violations Clerk of said Bureau and all Deputy Clerks shall be appointed Deputy Violations Clerks with privileges and rights of a Violations Clerk. Fines and costs for persons entering their pleas of guilty to the respective offense shall be in accordance with the printed schedule which shall at all times be posted in the office of the Clerk of Court.
Payment of fines and costs shall be made by cash, certified check or money order unless otherwise approved by the Clerk of Court.
WCH LOCAL R 26.1 Court records management and retention
The Clerk shall maintain such dockets, books of record, and indices as are required by law or practical necessity as public record.
Except as otherwise provided, the Clerk shall permit any person to make a copy of any papers filed. No court employee shall release to any person any information concerning a criminal or civil complaint until the complaint has been served upon the defendant. All original papers filed in any case shall not be removed from the office without prior authority of the Clerk. Pre-sentence reports, psychiatric reports, alcohol treatment program reports, or criminal history reports shall not be copied for any person or viewed by anyone other than court personnel.
WCH LOCAL R 26.051 Municipal courts - records retention schedule
Except where Sup R 26.05 provides for a longer retention period for certain court records, all civil, traffic and criminal case files shall be retained for a period of fifteen (15) years, unless the Clerk determines the shorter period established in Sup R 26.05 (G) to be more appropriate due to storage capacity.
WCH LOCAL R 27.1 (Reserved for standards relative to the use of electronc documents and records)
These standards, once approved and adopted, shall be included in Addendum "A", under WCH CIV R 5.1.
WCH LOCAL R 36.1 Designation of trial attorney; assignment system
A. All documents filed on behalf of one or more parties represented by counsel shall be signed by one attorney in his individual name as trial attorney. All notices and communications from the court and all documents required to be served will be sent to the designated trial attorney. No attorney who has entered his or her appearance in a case may withdraw as trial attorney except upon written motion for good cause shown and after notice to the client. An attorney desiring to represent an individual must enter their appearance in writing and in accordance with Sup R. 6.
If a designated trial attorney has such a number of cases assigned for trial in courts of this state so as to cause undue delay in the disposition of such cases, the court may require the trial attorney to provide a substitute trial attorney. If the trial attorney was appointed by the court, the court shall appoint a substitute trial attorney.
B. If any attorney anticipates that he or she or a member of the attorney's firm may be required to testify as a witness under circumstances which would not require disqualification as counsel under applicable rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility, such attorney shall immediately notify the court and opposing counsel in writing and set forth the following:
1. The issues on which the attorney or member of the attorney's firm may be required to testify; and
2. A general plan for handling the testimony.
C. At the trial or hearing of an issue of fact, only one attorney for each party shall examine or cross-examine any witness, unless otherwise permitted by the court.
WCH LOCAL R 38.1 Annual physical case inventory; new judge inventory
A physical case inventory may be conducted during the months of January and July each calendar year by the Clerk of Court on behalf of the Judge. If the Clerk determines the established local schedule to no longer be practical, said physical case inventory shall be conducted annually on or before the first day of October as provided in Sup R 38.
WCH LOCAL R 39.1 Case time limits
Case time limitations for disposition of civil and criminal cases shall be as set forth in Supreme Court Rule 39. Provided the defendant is available, sentencing shall be imposed immediately following conviction unless a pre-sentence report is requested or unless otherwise ordered by the court. If a pre-sentence report is requested, the court will set the sentencing hearing within fifteen (15) days after the court receives the report from the probation department.
WCH LOCAL R 41.1 Conflict of trial court assignment dates, continuances and engaged counsel
No party shall be granted a continuance of a trial or hearing without a written motion from the party or his counsel stating the reason for the continuance. The motion shall set forth the date from which a continuance is requested and if submitted by an attorney, the motion shall be accompanied with an entry providing blanks for the new trial or hearing time and date.
A motion for the continuance of a case, if made after assignment of the case for trial, will not be granted if the reason upon which such motion is based is within the knowledge of the party or his attorney when the case was so assigned. At pre-trial, the clerk or assignment commissioner shall issue to the attorney of record, or the parties if not represented by an attorney, notice of the trial so there are no other conflicts with other courts. Sup R 41 is controlling and it applies to all trial courts in all cases. Proof of service shall be included on all judgments granting the continuance except if notice is provided by the court, a carbon copy notation (cc) on the entry with notice by ordinary mail shall suffice. It shall be the responsibility of the attorneys to notify their respective clients.
Unless just cause is shown to the satisfaction of the court, no continuance shall be granted for a case which was set for jury trial once the summons have been mailed to the prospective jurors. All continuances are within the sound discretion of the court. After summons have been sent to the prospective jurors, no withdrawal of the jury trial will be accepted by the court unless all parties have given their written consent thereto.
When a continuance is requested for the reason that counsel is scheduled to appear in another case assigned for trial on the same date in the same or another trial court of this state, the case which was first set for trial shall have priority and shall be tried on the date assigned. Criminal cases assigned for trial have priority over civil cases assigned for trial. The granting of any other request for continuance of a scheduled trial is a matter within the sound discretion of the trial court.
In all cases, unless the court decides otherwise, only one notice of hearing on the trial date will be given by the court. It shall be the responsibility of the parties involved in the case to notify the court of their most current mailing address while the case is pending.
An attorney requesting a continuance is expected to clear any continuance with the opposing counsel after first securing a date from the court.
WCH LOCAL R 53.1 Hours of the court
The hours for Court sessions are nine o'clock a.m. until twelve o'clock noon and from one o'clock p.m. until four o'clock p.m., unless otherwise ordered by the Judge presiding at the session.
Sessions will be held on Monday through Friday, except on any day designated by law or proclamation of the President of the United States or Governor of this State as a national or state holiday, on which holidays the court will be closed. The court will also close at such other times and on such other dates as may be prescribed by the Presiding Judge.
The office of the Clerk shall be open for the transaction of business from eight o'clock a.m. until four o'clock p.m., Monday through Friday, except on such days as the court is closed as provided by this rule.
WCH LOCAL R 54.1 Conduct in the court
No food or drinks shall be permitted in the courtroom unless expressly permitted by the Presiding Judge. All persons entering the courtroom must be properly attired. All electronic communication devices must be turned off upon entering the courtroom or placed in a noiseless mode. Such devices may be ordered confiscated and held at the discretion of the Presiding Judge if they disrupt courtroom proceedings. All persons entering the court facility are subject to search. Any person creating any distraction or disturbance in the court facility, at any time, may be asked to leave the facility or be escorted out of the facility by any means necessary. No person is permitted to tamper with any court equipment, furnishings or public restroom facilities.
No person, except court personnel, law enforcement officers or attorneys, may approach any prisoner within five (5) feet of the courtroom railing nor shall any such person give to any prisoner any objects, notes or papers of any type, unless expressly permitted by the Presiding Judge.
WCH LOCAL R 57.1 Filings and judgment entries
All papers offered for filing with the court shall be typewritten or legibly printed in ink on eight and one-half by eleven inch paper. Original documents attached or offered as exhibits and official court forms supplied by the Clerk are exempt from the requirements of this rule. The Clerk shall accept only legible copies of documents attached to pleadings or motions.
If unreported opinions are cited, copies of the opinions shall be attached to the briefs or memoranda and shall be furnished to opposing counsel. Failure to do so may be grounds for striking the pleading.
Counsel for the party in whose favor an order or judgment is rendered shall prepare the proposed judgement entry and submit the original to the court with a copy to counsel for the opposing party in accordance with Sup R 57 (F).
All criminal and traffic judgments and orders of this court shall be entered on the journals of the court as of the date the said judgments were announced by the court.
WCH LOCAL R 58.1 Deposit for court costs
Fees and costs shall be as prescribed by the court by court order. All costs and deposits shall be delivered to and disbursed by the Clerk.
On motion of the opposing party or at the request of the officer of the court, and if satisfied that the deposit specified is insufficient, the court may require said deposit to be increased from time to time so as to secure all costs that may accrue in the cause. If such security is not given after reasonable notice, the court shall dismiss the action if before judgment, or shall dismiss the proceeding if after judgment.
WCH LOCAL R 99.1 Effective date
Except as otherwise provided, these Local Rules shall take effect on January 1, 2002, and shall govern all proceedings in actions brought on or after the effective date and to further proceedings in actions then pending, except to the extent that application in a particular pending action would not be feasible or would work and injustice, in which case 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.