Ohio’s Court of Claims was created for a specific function, to hear civil actions filed against the state and any of its affiliates. This court also handles appeals from the Attorney General for claims related to the Victims of Crime Act.
If someone has a claim against the state of Ohio, they bring that grievance to the Court of Claims. The types of cases brought to Court of Claims are discrimination, wrongful imprisonment, immunity of state officers and employees, personal injury cases, property damage lawsuits, contract disputes and other issues where the state or an agency of the state is at fault.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court assigns cases to the Court of Claims. Most of these cases will use a single judge, but occasionally, the Chief Justice will assign a three-member panel of judges to hear it. This happens most often when the case is complicated or sensitive.
The Court Clerk or Deputy Clerk can make an administrative decision for civil complaints of $2,500 or less. Those decisions may be appealed to a judge in the Court of Claims, but the judge’s decision is not subject to further appeal, the decision is final.
In instances where the case involved crime victims, the Court of Claims assigns a panel of three commissioners to review. The Supreme Court appoints commissioners for six-year terms. If the party wants to appeal, a judge with the Court of Claims may review the file, but his or her decision is final, no further reviews are available.
Ohio’s Court of Claims has its own website separate from the judicial branch website for the state. The site is very user-friendly to guide patrons through the Court of Claims system. They also offer e-filing and a case search feature.