FAQ’s August 2014

AUGUST, 2014

  • ACTING JUDGE PAY – Does anyone know if & when the Acting Judges will begin receiving the State payments again? I know there has been discussion of paying them same as Assigned Judges again.
  • HB 261 became effective 7-10-14. Includes state to reimburse for acting
  • CIVIL MOTIONS AND THEIR COURT COST(S) – Does your civil division charge for a cost for any motions? If so, do you also charge for motions for default judgments and motions to continue? And what is the charge?
  • All motions are $15 except for Motion for Default Judgment ($35), Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings ($35), Motion for Relief from Judgment ($35 plus $15 for each add’l defendant), Motion to Revive Dormant Judgment ($55 plus $25 for each add’l defendant), Motion to Stay ($35 plus $15 for each add’l defendant), Motion for Summary Judgment ($35), and Motion to Vacate ($35 plus $15 for each add’l defendant).
  • We do not charge a cost
  • We charge a flat fee for most civil filings. The only additional costs usually involve service
  • Motion to reopen is the only one and that is $35.00
  • Our court only charges for a few Motions and I assume most courts charge for these motions as well.Motion to Vacate…..$40.00  Motion to Revive…..$40.00  Motion to Transfer to Regular Docket…..$50.00
  • WE CHARGE $15.00 FOR MOTIONS
  • We charge $25 for:   Motion to Vacate  b.  Motion for Summary Judgment  c.  Motion for Default Judgment  d.  Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings e.  Motion for Dismissal (except for eviction cases) f.  Any other Civil Motion which would terminate the action
  • Mansfield Municipal Court – We charge for most Motions: Default/Summary/Pleadings Motion -$30;    Vacate/Revive/Modify/Correct-$40, Compel-$30; Continuance-$25
  • METAL DETECTOR – We currently use CEIA for our metal detector. What vendors do other courts use?
  • We purchased a Garrett portable metal detector last year for $3,600.
  • We are getting ready to replace ours with CEIA – Current quote on replacement is $5525.00
  • Bellefontaine has a Garrett 5500 and we’ve had it for several years
  • Elyria Municipal Court is currently using a CEIA metal detector, more bells and whistles than the Garrett we had
  • FINE MONEY DISTRIBUTION – Anyone know where to send fine money for a violation of 4517.02 filed by Ohio Department of Public Safety/BMV?
  • I don’t even have that code set up in my system.  My guess would be state regular fines?
  • We send ours to the County under “Motor Vehicle”
  • SPEED IN CONSTRUCTION ZONES…ETC: Recently there was a question about construction zones.  I know ORC specifically addresses fines being doubled for speeding in a construction zone.  Is there a list available for other codes that are doubled?   Is speeding the only one?
  • We only double speeds if the officer makes the notes that workers are present
  • (2) I have attached two sections of the ORC for which is referenced in the attached document.  This protocol is followed at the approval of our legal counsel.  This is not intended to give you advice but to share what our office does.  It is a prudent business practice to seek your own legal advice CONSTRUCTION ZONE VIOLATIONS LICKING COUNTY – protocol
  • (2) Fairborn Municipal Court- We are the same as Licking County.  We double the fine on speeding violations ONLY and ONLY if the officer has the box indicating a construction zone.  If the officer does not check that box we do not double the fine even if we know it is a construction zone.
  • 213 Approaching stationary public safety vheicle with caution. Fine doubled
  • Vandalia also collects double fine on 4511.213 (but always, not just in construction zone).
  • We only double the fines in a construction if the officer notes that “workers are present”
  • Oberlin Muni only doubles the fine if the officer marks construction zone and writes “workers present”.  Per RC  4511.98 The increased penalties shall be effective only when signs are erected in accordance with the guidelines and when a violation occurs during hours of actual work within the construction zone
  • I believe 4511.98 indicates that BOTH “construction zone” and “workers present” are the prerequisites for doubling a fine, although the UTT only provides a box for construction zone.  Chillicothe requires the officer to write in that workers are present, based on the highlighted sentence below.

4511.98 Signs as to increased penalties in construction zones.  The director of transportation may establish speed limits within construction zones that vary based on the type of work being conducted, the time of day, or any other criteria the director may consider appropriate. The director, board of county commissioners, or board of township trustees shall cause signs to be erected advising motorists that increased penalties apply for certain traffic violations occurring on streets or highways in a construction zone. The increased penalties shall be effective only when signs are erected in accordance with the guidelines and design specifications established by the director under section 5501.27 of the Revised Code, and when a violation occurs during hours of actual work within the construction zone.

  • SUPREME COURT REPORTING ON DIVERSIONS – On the Supreme Court Report for Common Pleas there is a line for diversion/arbitration, that is not on the Municipal What line are you reporting prohibition cases where there’s a finding of guilty, they go through the diversion program and the case is later dismissed?  I have two judges that vacate the original finding and we reopen the case and dismiss it.  I have another judge that will not vacate and wants us to just dismiss the case.  So I thought on his we would reopen and dismiss the guilty plea.  The clerks feel that they MUST have a vacate order but I don’t see why when the order states to dismiss the case.  I would think we should report these as other terminations, then reopen and dismiss after the completion of the diversion program
  • We accept a plea of no contest when a defendant is given the opportunity to enter our diversion program with no finding until the final diversion hearing. Upon approved completion of the program, the case is dismissed and the case may be sealed.  If the program is not completed as prescribed, the defendant my be given additional time or he/she may be found guilty and sentenced accordingly.
  • The Upper Sandusky Municipal Court requires a plea of guilty when the defendant enters our diversion program. The plea is accepted and deferred pending compliance w/our requirements of the program.  Upon completion, case is dismissed
  • PROCEDURES FOR APPEALS – Does anyone have written procedures for preparing a notice of appeal (three day requirement) and the actual indexing of case to file with Court of Appeals (40 day requirement).

NO RESPONSE

  • ATTORNEY GENERAL COLLECTION PROGRAM – Are any of the Municipal Court Clerks participating in the Attorney General Collection Program?  We are working on compiling our list of debtors and signing a contract.  Before we go any further was wondering about other courts who have taken advantage of this collection service.  Is it worth the extra effort and work?
  • The Attorney General’s Office Collection Program is excellent. Our Court switched from Capital Recovery to AGO the first part of this year because Capital Recovery was not doing a very good job of collecting fines and costs. In the 4 years our Court was with them they only collected $16,000 out of $586,000 sent to them to collect.  The AGO collection program is very professional and since April of this year they have collected over $10,000 in just 4 months.  They are very easy to work with and respond quickly when there is a question.  This was a very good move for our Court.  Candace K. Page, Clerk of Court, East Liverpool Municipal Court
  • SICK LEAVE INCENTIVE PROGRAMS – Good morning.  I remember being at a Supreme Court roundtable a year ago or so and having a discussion that some courts offer an incentive program to encourage employees to use less sick leave.  As I remember, if an employee uses less than 3-5 days of sick leave a year, then they could apply to have 5 days of sick leave paid out (an extra week of pay for not abusing sick leave). Do you do this or have you done this and would share how your program works(ed)?
  • The City of Eaton has a policy for pay incentive if you don’t use sick leave.  It is $50.00 per quarter and then an addition $100.00 if no sick leave is used for the year.  Of course they take taxes out and some of the people think it’s a joke not to use the sick leave for that little.
  • In Mansfield we award a $500.00 bonus if no sick leave is used in a calendar year.  Some make it some don’t.  We allow them to use vacation time instead of sick time if they need to.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY REQUEST – Does anyone have a Social Media policy they can share with me? I am looking for policy language that speaks to Court employees about using discretion when posting to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

NO RESPONSE

  • CIVIL SCANNING – To the courts that are scanning – exactly what do you scan on a civil case (or small claims)?
  • In Auglaize County we scan everything.  This is our archival record also
  • We are scanning everything that would be in the case jacket.  (Civil and Small Claims)
  • Initial complaint, amended complaint, judgment
  • we scan everything that would have been in the paper file (complaint, motions, entries, proof of service, etc)
  • We scan the entire case file for ALL our case types. This is our official case record.
  • We scan everything as well
  • Vermilion Municipal Court scans almost everything.  However, the images are not available online
  • At Painesville we scan everything for new filings only
  • Maumee Municipal Court scans everything that comes in and is file stamped. The only things we do not scan are Depositions and mediation information.Pretty much everything is scanned. Is there a particular document that is being questioned as to whether or not it should be scanned?   None of our scanned documents show up online

         All complaints (Civil, Small Claim, Landlord’s complaint, 12 Point appeal, App. for limited driving privileges (FRA suspension, etc. – the LEADS printout goes to the shredder & is NOT scanned)

         Certificates of mailing, Certified mail that is returned unclaimed/refused or failure of service.

         Motions

         Judgments

         Garnishment orders/responses/interim reports

         SS#’s – redacted

  • SCANNING OF SEALED RECORDS – I would like to know how court’s that are scanning handle a case that ends up being sealed.  We delete all docket entries at the time the sealing is granted; the problem being, that the scans of the case are attached to those docket entries.  We use Henschen and they stated they could create a separate menu that the entire case could be transferred to; and then the one that is for public view would show it was sealed.   I wanted to know what other methods are being utilized in other courts.
  • (2) In Licking County we have CMI as our software vendor.  We also use the Docuscan software from CMI.  We have been scanning cases since 2012 and have recently started an in house “back scanning” project that will take forever!  As a case is sealed, we immediately pull the case and process the hard copy by placing the file in a sealed envelope and stored in a room we have just for sealed and expunged case files.  The case file maintained in our software system is then moved to a “cabinet or file” created for sealed or expunged cases only.  Limited access is granted to only certain Deputy Clerks/Chief Deputy Clerk and Clerk to retrieve records from either of the filing methods.  We do not display a case has been sealed in the case look up, because for all intent and purposes, from my perspective, the case has gone away, unless ordered by the court to open.  No one should have access to or look up capability in the outside, and internal controls in place to protect the files.
  • Within our case management system (CourtView) we simply hit a button and the case, in its entirety, images and all, moves to a hidden section of the system that only designated users can access. Everything remains as it was before the “sealing” button is hit.  And, by the way, if the case is ordered unsealed for any reason, we can simply undo the “sealing” button and all is as it was…viewable to all.
  • ACTING JUDGES AND HB 261 – Does anyone have any information regarding the HB 261 that went into effect 7-10-14.  This includes the State to now reimburse Acting Judges.  Any information would be great.
  • We talked about this at our last roundtable.  The section code is 1901.123.  We have always had our acting judges signed up as an “employee” of our city, therefore they are paid by our city payroll.  But our city then bills the county for their portion and the state’s portion for reimbursement. The County then bills the state quarterly for the state reimbursement.   We pay our acting judges the same salary as our judge (except we pay them hourly).  So 40% of the city portion of the salary is paid by the county and the state pays for the entire state portion
  • I spoke with Diane Hayes from the Supreme Court.  She stated that the Supreme Court will be putting together information regarding the reimbursement for Acting Judges and sending it to Clerks and the County Treasurers closer to the end of September.  The information should include the information and format they would like for the requests for reimbursement.
  • DRIVING PRIVILEGES – -Can/Does a Magistrate Sign the Order? – We just had a question arise and the judge asked me to inquire:  Do Magistrates in other courts sign driving privileges on a court ordered suspension? And if so, is it a Magistrate’s Order or a Judgment Order?
  • Magistrates do not in Willoughby
  • Our Magistrates have been doing driving privileges for a long time
  • Our Magistrate is the only one who does driving permits here and it is a Magistrate’s Order.
  • LICENSE FORFEITURES AND AG COLLECTIONS SUBMISSIONS – For all Courts that are already sending things to the AG’s office, what is everyone doing about the License Forfeitures that go down with them. We were always told you could only do LF’s on traffic or drug related cases. Are you sending them down for other CRB’s??

NO RESPONSE

  • CRIMINAL RULE 5 – What are we to do with the misdemeanor when the defendant is indicted on the felony and the prosecutor dismisses our felony case?  Nothing is transcribed over.  What happens to our misdemeanor then?  Can we do an entry saying the defendant was indicted and our misdemeanor should be a part of the felony case and then transcribe it over?  Our prosecutor will NOT be presenting our misdemeanors to the Grand Jury for indictment – they do not like this new rule.
  • We have two prosecutors, one that handles felony cases and the other handles misdemeanors.  Our Common Pleas Judge does not want misdemeanors so our misdemeanor prosecutor will choose to either prosecute it or dismiss it based on what happens with the felony.  It drags out the misdemeanor cases.  Most of the time, the misdemeanor is filed first and then the felony goes through grand jury so we have to be detectives ourselves to even figure out we have related cases.
  • COLLECTION FEE PAYMENT ASSIGNMENT – How do other courts handle the processing of collection fee?  If it is assessed on the case, what is the assigned pecking order?  Per R.C.2949.111 Assigning payment toward satisfaction of costs, restitution, fine, or supervision fees, would the collection fee be considered court costs or reimbursement?  Our collection agencies demand their portion on every payment-full or partial; by doing so, does it violate any provision of R.C. 2949.111?

2949.111 Assigning payment toward satisfaction of costs, restitution, fine, or supervision fees.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) “Court costs” means any assessment that the court requires an offender to pay to defray the costs of operating the court.

(2) “State fines or costs” means any costs imposed or forfeited bail collected by the court under section 2743.70 of the Revised Code for deposit into the reparations fund or under section 2949.091 of the Revised Code for deposit into the indigent defense support fund established under section 120.08 of the Revised Code and all fines, penalties, and forfeited bail collected by the court and paid to a law library association under section 307.515 of the Revised Code.

(3) “Reimbursement” means any reimbursement for the costs of confinement that the court orders an offender to pay pursuant to section 2929.28 of the Revised Code, any supervision fee, any fee for the costs of house arrest with electronic monitoring that an offender agrees to pay, any reimbursement for the costs of an investigation or prosecution that the court orders an offender to pay pursuant to section 2929.71 of the Revised Code, or any other costs that the court orders an offender to pay.

(4)”Supervision fees” means any fees that a court, pursuant to sections 2929.18 , 2929.28 , and 2951.021 of the Revised Code, requires an offender who is under a community control sanction to pay for supervision services.

(5) “Community control sanction” has the same meaning as in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) Unless the court, in accordance with division (C) of this section, enters in the record of the case a different method of assigning payments, if a person who is charged with a misdemeanor is convicted of or pleads guilty to the offense, if the court orders the offender to pay any combination of court costs, state fines or costs, restitution, a conventional fine, or any reimbursement, and if the offender makes any payment of any of them to a clerk of court, the clerk shall assign the offender’s payment in the following manner:

(1) If the court ordered the offender to pay any court costs, the offender’s payment shall be assigned toward the satisfaction of those court costs until they have been entirely paid.

(2) If the court ordered the offender to pay any state fines or costs and if all of the court costs that the court ordered the offender to pay have been paid, the remainder of the offender’s payment shall be assigned on a pro rata basis toward the satisfaction of the state fines or costs until they have been entirely paid.

(3) If the court ordered the offender to pay any restitution and if all of the court costs and state fines or costs that the court ordered the offender to pay have been paid, the remainder of the offender’s payment shall be assigned toward the satisfaction of the restitution until it has been entirely paid.

(4) If the court ordered the offender to pay any fine and if all of the court costs, state fines or costs, and restitution that the court ordered the offender to pay have been paid, the remainder of the offender’s payment shall be assigned toward the satisfaction of the fine until it has been entirely paid.

(5) If the court ordered the offender to pay any reimbursement and if all of the court costs, state fines or costs, restitution, and fines that the court ordered the offender to pay have been paid, the remainder of the offender’s payment shall be assigned toward the satisfaction of the reimbursements until they have been entirely paid.

(C) If a person who is charged with a misdemeanor is convicted of or pleads guilty to the offense and if the court orders the offender to pay any combination of court costs, state fines or costs, restitution, fines, or reimbursements, the court, at the time it orders the offender to make those payments, may prescribe an order of payments that differs from the order set forth in division (B) of this section by entering in the record of the case the order so prescribed. If a different order is entered in the record, on receipt of any payment, the clerk of the court shall assign the payment in the manner prescribed by the court.

Cite as R.C. § 2949.111History. Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §110.10, eff. 1/1/2010. Effective Date: 01-01-2004; 2008 HB280 01-01-2010.  This version is effective 01-01-2010

  • (4) We use Capital Recovery Systems and their fee are paid last
  • (2) We assign the 30% collection fee that Capital Recovery charges to the case and in our miscellaneous fee screen we have it marked to pay last. So, CRS gets their fee at the end when everything is paid off. I think some of it depends on your computer vendor and the process used to send things to collection. With our vendor, CMI, we transmit it and the last step requires us to tell the system to add the collection fee to the cases and the system does that. We then add it to the case jacket as due and the total due is then increases by their 30% collection fee.
  • Our Court uses the State’s Attorney General’s Office for collection and they take out their payment with each payment made and deposit our share into our checking account all done electronically.
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