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Ohio Court System

Ohio Court System

The state's Court of Common Pleas is further divided into divisions to handle things like domestic relations, juvenile issues, and probate matters. The state also has Municipal & County Courts and then Mayor’s Courts as well.

Supreme Court
Court of Appeals
Court of Common Pleas
Municipal Court
County Court
Court of Claims
Mayor's Court

OH Records That are not Open to the Public

The United States Freedom of Information Act ensures that most court records within the state will be available for public access. Most cases heard in Courts of Common Pleas will be available online or in person at the courthouses. However, there are strict federal laws that prohibit specific, personal information from being made available to the general public. Things like tax IDs, bank account information, social security numbers, family members' names, home and business addresses, trade secrets and other sensitive data will be removed from the files before they are made public. Patrons can always ask the clerk of courts for information on what is and is not available.

OH Court Case Filing Information

Filing Information

The Supreme Court judicial branch website (ohio.gov) includes an e-Filing Portal for all types of trial courts and the Court of Claims. They instituted this service in April of 2017. They do however have an extensive list on their website of every court location along with the rules, presiding judge, courthouse address and other contact information. Patrons of the OH court system can use this information to file paperwork they need to in any of the trial courts. They can also contact the clerk of courts office by phone or email to ask further questions about filing a case in this state, local rules or questions regarding judicial actions.

Search Court Records Online

Infotracer is the best option for finding public records quickly and easily. Access thousands of court cases from all over the state, including Cuyahoga County, Franklin County, Hamilton County, and Summit County. Thanks to OH Open Records Law OH Rev. Code sec. 149.43 et seq., companies like Infotracer can offer public records on demand for case information, case numbers, criminal records, dockets, civil cases, court filings, business information, docket entries, property records, family and probate court issues, bankruptcies, and more!

Anyone can perform a records search privately without obtaining any special permission. The person does not even need a reason. These records are publicly available except for things like juvenile court records which are sealed by law.

Enjoy instant free access to OH records from various courts in the state. Performing a state records search by name is the best way to lookup cases online from the state courts of common pleas, municipal & county courts, mayor’s courts, and the court of claims.

Ohio Court Statistics

In 2012, the Ohio courts received 3,435,430 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 9.9% and counted 3,094,586 filings and had 3,115,187 outgoing cases

Total State Caseloads

YearTotal Caseload
20123,435,430
20133,409,281
20143,316,362
20153,168,126
20163,094,586

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court TypeIncoming Caseloads
Civil17%
Criminal25%
Domestic Relations7%
Traffic52%

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Ohio at year end of 2016 has decreased by 12.3% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 233,957 but are higher than in 2015.

YearDomestic Relations CaseloadTotal Statewide Caseload
2012233,9573,435,430
2013227,0763,409,281
2014218,9143,316,362
2015210,8783,168,126
2016205,2933,094,586

Ohio Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Ohio courts counts to 766,771, with 167,621 felony cases and 599,150 misdemeanors accordingly.

YearCriminal CaseloadMisdemeanor CaseloadFelony Caseload
2012825,416659,105166,311
2013824,342661,332163,010
2014813,238648,677164,561
2015763,578603,987159,591
2016766,771599,150167,621

Court of Common Pleas

The state of Ohio’s Courts of Common Pleas are the general jurisdiction courts for the state, and they hear most civil and criminal actions. The OH Constitution created this court. These courts hold jury trials most often. Eighty-eight counties in the state have one of these courts. Some are separated into divisions to handle things like domestic issues, juvenile delinquency, probate matters, and a general division for legal actions. These judges must be an attorney for six years before being elected into office for a six-year term. These courts resolve felonies, civil actions, domestic cases, real property issues of $15,000 or more, and appeals from lower courts. This is also the small claims court and domestic relations division.

Municipal & County Courts

The General Assembly created Municipal and County Courts in 1901 and 1907. In some counties, Municipal Courts have countywide jurisdiction and therefore don’t need one of these courts. If there is no Municipal Court to serve a county, then the county will create a County courthouse. These are limited jurisdiction courts that hold preliminary hearings for felonies, hear cases of traffic and non-traffic misdemeanors. Some civil actions are heard in these courts where the amount does not exceed $15,000. These local judges can also perform wedding ceremonies.

Mayor’s Courts

OH Mayor’s Courts are not explicitly part of the regular judicial branch structure, they are more stand-alone courts, but they do report to the Supreme Court. These are special courts which deal with issues like alcohol and drug-related cases where traffic or other types of offenses have been committed. Along with Louisiana, this state is the only other state that allows a mayor to preside over a court in the state. If a town in this state has more than 200 residents and no Municipal Court, then the mayor will hear local traffic and ordinance violations in place of a regular court. Not all mayors are attorneys, and they are not required to be to officiate over a courtroom here.

Court of Claims

OH Court of Claims was explicitly created to handle all civil matters filed against the state or a related agency. According to the Victims of Crime Act, this court also hears appeals from the Attorney General’s office. The types of cases heard in the Court of Claims are contract disputes, personal injury, property damage, immunity of state officers and employees and other discriminatory and wrongful imprisonment type cases. The Supreme Court assigns cases to the Court of Claims, and generally, a single judge will hear the case. In some instances, a panel of three judges will sit to hear a Court of Claims case.

Ohio Court Records Search