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LOCAL RULES OF THE COURT

RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

of the

MUNICIPAL COURT

 
of

AKRON, OHIO

[Originally Effective January 3, 1984]

 

RULE No. 1 CITATION OF RULES
RULE No. 2 HOURS OF SESSION
RULE No. 3 DECORUM AND CONDUCT
RULE No. 4 APPEARANCE OF PERSONS ARRESTED/NOT ARRESTED
RULE No. 5 BENCH WARRANTS AND BOND FORFEITURE PROCEDURE
RULE No. 6 OFFICIAL NOTICE OF CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
RULE No. 7 PRESIDING/ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE
RULE No. 8 ASSIGNMENT OF CASES TO JUDGES
RULE No. 9 CASES THAT HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED
RULE No. 10 REASSIGNMENT OF CASES
RULE No. 11 CIVIL PLEADINGS AND OTHER PAPERS
RULE No. 12 CIVIL COURT COSTS
RULE No. 13 DISMISSALS ON FAILURE OF SERVICE
RULE No. 14 CIVIL LEAVES TO MOVE OR PLEAD
RULE No. 15 MOTION PRACTICE
RULE No. 16 PRETRIAL CONFERENCES
RULE No. 17 TELEPHONE HEARINGS
RULE No. 18 SUBPOENAS FOR WITNESSES
RULE No. 19 JURY TRIALS
RULE No. 20 CIVIL TRIAL DATE ASSIGNED
RULE No. 21 JUDGMENT ENTRIES
RULE No. 22 CIVIL CONTINUANCES
RULE No. 23 DUTIES OF ATTORNEYS
RULE No. 24 TRANSFER OF CASE TO ANOTHER COURT
RULE No. 25 COURT REPORTERS
RULE No. 26 AUDIO TAPE OF COURT PROCEEDINGS
RULE No. 27 RETENTION OF RECORDED TAPES
RULE No. 28 DISPOSITION OF FILES
RULE No. 29 MAGISTRATES
RULE No. 30 COMPLAINT IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER
RULE No. 31 TRIAL IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER
RULE No. 32 JURY TRIAL IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER
RULE No. 33 WRITS OF RESTITUTION
RULE No. 34 SMALL CLAIMS DIVISION
RULE No. 35 SMALL CLAIMS TRIALS
RULE No. 36 SMALL CLAIMS MEDIATION
RULE No. 37 TRANSFER OF SMALL CLAIMS CASE
RULE No. 38 INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS OF FINES AND COSTS
RULE No. 39 COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM
RULE No. 40 CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC BOND SCHEDULE
RULE No. 41 REPRESENTATION OF INDIGENT
RULE No. 42 PROBABLE CAUSE
RULE No. 43 SPECIALIZED DOCKETS
  RULE No. 43.1 SPECIALIZED DOCKETS: DRUG COURT
  RULE No. 43.2 SPECIALIZED DOCKETS: FAMILY INTERVENTION COURT
  RULE No. 43.3 SPECIALIZED DOCKETS: MENTAL HEALTH COURT
  RULE No. 43.4 SPECIALIZED DOCKETS: OVI COURT

APPENDIX A SCHEDULE OF COURT SESSIONS
APPENDIX B COURT COSTS   CIVIL DIVISION   CRIMINAL DIVISION   TRAFFIC DIVISION
APPENDIX C BOND SCHEDULE
APPENDIX D JURY MANAGEMENT PLAN
APPENDIX E SECURITY PLAN

RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND RETENTION RULES



The following rules have been promulgated by the Akron Municipal Court, Summit County, Ohio, pursuant to Article IV, Section 5(B), of the Ohio Constitution and Rule 18 of Ohio Supreme Court Rules of Superintendence for Municipal Courts and County Courts. These rules were adopted to provide for the efficient and expeditious management of business before the Court. All former rules of this Court are hereby revoked.

As used in these rules, "Civ. R." is a reference to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure; "Crim. R." is a reference to the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure; "Sup.R." is a reference to the Rules of Superintendence for Municipal and County Courts; and "Traf. R." is a reference to the Ohio Rules of Practice and Procedure in Traffic Cases.

(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 1

CITATION OF RULES

These rules shall be known as the Akron Municipal Court Rules of Practice and may be cited as AMCR No. ____. In the event of a conflict with the Rules of Superintendence, the Civil Rules, the Criminal Rules, or the Traffic Rules, these rules shall be subservient.


RULE No. 2

HOURS OF SESSION

The hours for holding the regular sessions of the Court shall be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday of each week, except on those days designated by law as legal holidays, or by entry. A judge may extend the hours to include evening, Saturday, and holiday sessions when deemed necessary, and each judge may establish different hours for his or her Court, except the judge assigned to misdemeanor and felony arraignment hearings.

A schedule of Court sessions is set forth in Appendix A at the end of these Rules.

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RULE No. 3

DECORUM AND CONDUCT

(A) Courtroom Conduct.

Upon the opening of any Court sessions, all persons in the courtroom shall stand. All persons in the courtroom shall conduct themselves with decorum and in such a manner so as not to interfere with or obstruct judicial activities or proceedings. All persons appearing before the Court shall, as far as practicable, appear in appropriate dress.

(B) Food and Drink.

No smoking, eating, or drinking is permitted in the courtroom, nor shall anyone bring food or drink into the courtroom.

(C) Loitering.

No person shall loiter or behave in an unseemly or disorderly manner in the courtroom or in any halls, entryways, or stairways leading thereto, or otherwise interfere with or obstruct judicial activities or proceedings.

(D) Attention to Rule.

The Court expects that counsel shall call this rule to the attention of clients and witnesses.

(E) Broadcasting and Photographing Court Proceedings.

(1) Presiding Judge.

The judge presiding at the trial or hearing shall permit the broadcasting or recording by electronic means and the taking of photographs in court proceedings open to the public as provided in Canon 3A(7) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The judge, after consultation with the media, shall specify the place or places in the courtroom where the operators and equipment are to be positioned. Requests for permission for broadcasting, televising, recording or taking of photographs in the courtroom shall be in writing and the written permission of the judge required by Canon 3A(7) shall be made a part of the record of the proceedings.

(2) Permissible equipment and operators.

(a) Use of more than one portable camera (television, video tape or movie) with one operator shall be allowed only with the permission of the judge.

(b) Not more than one still photographer shall be permitted to photograph trial proceedings without permission of the judge.

(c) For radio broadcast purposes, the audio pickup shall be as inconspicuous as possible but must be visible.

(d) Visible audio recording equipment may be used by news media reporters with the prior permission of the judge.

(e) Arrangements between or among media for "pooling" of equipment shall be the responsibility of the media representatives authorized to cover the proceedings. Such arrangements are to be made outside the courtroom and without imposing on the judge or court personnel. In the event disputes arise over such arrangements between or among media representatives, the judge shall exclude all contesting representatives from the proceeding.

(f) The use of electronic or photographic equipment which produces distracting sound or light shall be prohibited by the judge. No artificial lighting other than that normally used in the courtroom shall be employed, provided that if the normal lighting in the courtroom can be improved without becoming obtrusive, the judge may permit modification.

(g) Still photographers, television and radio representatives shall be afforded a clear view but shall not be permitted to move about in the courtroom during court proceedings from the places where they have been positioned by the judge, except to leave or enter the courtroom.

(3) Limitations

(a) There shall be no audio pickup or broadcast of conferences conducted in a court facility between attorneys and clients of co-counsel, counsel, or of conferences conducted at the bench between counsel and the judge.

(b) The judge shall inform victims and witnesses of their right to object to being filmed, videotaped, recorded or photographed.

(c) This rule shall not be construed to grant media representatives any greater rights than permitted by law wherein public or media access or publication is prohibited, restricted or limited.

(d) Media representatives shall not be permitted to transmit or record anything other than the court proceedings from the courtroom while the court is in session.

(4) Revocation of Permission.

Upon the failure of any media representative to comply with the conditions prescribed by the judge, the superintendence rules of the Supreme Court, or by interrupting or interfering with court proceedings, the judge may revoke the permission to broadcast or photograph the trial or hearing.

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RULE No. 4

APPEARANCE OF PERSONS

ARRESTED/NOT ARRESTED

(A) Summoned.

Persons who are summoned to appear for arraignment as defendants in a criminal misdemeanor case shall report to Room 740, the Criminal Division of the Clerk's office, at the time designated on the summons.

(B) Released on Bail.

Persons charged with a criminal misdemeanor or felony offense, who are released on bail shall appear for arraignment at the time and place designated on their bond papers.

(C) Arrested.

Persons arrested and held in custody for misdemeanor or traffic offenses shall appear at the next session of Felony or Traffic Court. Prisoners shall be brought before the Court as soon as practical before the next session of the court.

Persons arrested and held in custody for felony offenses shall appear before a video camera at the Summit County Jail for arraignment, as soon as possible at the next session of Felony Court.

(D) Charged with Traffic Violation.

Persons charged with traffic violations, except for minor misdemeanors, must be present at the arraignment and all subsequent appearances. This paragraph is more restrictive than Traf.R. 8(C).

(E) Conducting Other Proceeding Through Video Transmissions.

At the Court's discretion it may hold bond hearings, preliminary hearings, misdemeanor arraignments or other court proceedings by means of closed circuit video transmission from the Summit County Jail or any other correctional facility where a defendant is being held.

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RULE No. 5

BENCH WARRANTS AND

BOND FORFEITURE PROCEDURE

When a bench warrant is ordered by the Court, the following procedure shall occur, unless otherwise ordered by the Court:

(A) Complaint Prepared.

A contempt complaint shall be prepared by the Clerk;

(B) Deposit Forfeited.

Any cash deposit for bond shall be forfeited;

(C) Complaint Issued.

The contempt complaint shall be signed by a judge and issued to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

The Clerk of Courts of the Akron Municipal Court, after business hours, may release the active bench warrant only after payment in full of all fines and costs.

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RULE No. 6

OFFICIAL NOTICE OF CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

The Akron Legal News is the official daily journal of the Municipal Courts of Summit County as authorized O.R.C. 2701.09. Publication in the Akron Legal News shall be deemed official and complete notification to all local counsel of any assignment of any case for any purpose, and it shall be the duty of counsel to ascertain such notice from The Akron Legal News. Non-local counsel and parties representing themselves shall be notified by mail. Notwithstanding provisions of any rule to the contrary, any mail notification provided shall be sufficient.


RULE No. 7

PRESIDING/ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE

The judges shall, by majority vote, elect one of their members to serve as the Presiding/ Administrative Judge, hereinafter referred to as the Presiding Judge. The Presiding Judge will call and chair at least one meeting each month. The Presiding Judge or his or her representative may represent the Court at all public or civic functions occurring during the Presiding Judge's term of office.

In the absence of the Presiding Judge, the currently active judge, who was the last Presiding Judge, and who is still an active judge, shall assume the role of Presiding Judge. (Sup.R. 3&4)

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 8

ASSIGNMENT OF CASES TO JUDGES

All cases shall be assigned to a judge by lot as provided in this Rule. The case file and lot card shall show the date the lot was assigned, the lot number, and who pulled the lot. The case file for each such case shall be brought to the assigned judge within twenty-four (24) hours of assignment, unless otherwise directed by the judge.

The Case Auditor's Office shall keep a record of all cases assigned to each judge and provide each with a current listing of those cases so assigned and pending three times a month. The cases so assigned shall include:

(A) Civil Cases.

Civil cases, in which an answer, other pleadings or motions other than for default judgment have been filed, except for those cases heard by a referee.

(B) Criminal Misdemeanor Cases.

Criminal misdemeanor cases, upon a "Not Guilty" plea, or upon the filing of a motion, except for cases which are companion cases of a felony.

(C) Traffic Misdemeanor Cases.

Traffic misdemeanor cases, other than minor misdemeanors, upon a "Not Guilty" plea, or upon the filing of a motion.

(D) Traffic Minor Misdemeanor Cases.

Traffic minor misdemeanor cases when the defendant has refused to allow a trial by a referee or when the referees are unavailable to hear the case.

(E) Felony Cases.

In Felony Court the judge assigned to that Court may retain, in his or her discretion, a case which is a companion to a felony case pending a preliminary hearing. If the judge finds probable cause as to the felony, then as provided in Crim. R. 8(A), the misdemeanor case may be transferred with the felony case.

(F) Multiple Offenses.

When a defendant is, or multiple defendants are, charged as a result of a single event or in cross-complaints, or with multiple offenses, then pursuant to Crim. R. 8 and 13 the case shall be assigned to one judge by one lot.

In the event new charges are filed against a defendant who has an active pending matter with the court, the new case or cases shall be assigned to the judge presiding over the pending case.

(G) Family Violence Court.

In the event a new charge of Violation of a Temporary Protection Order is filed against a defendant who has an active Family violence Court case, the new case shall be assigned to the judge currently presiding over Family Violence Court. The transferring judge shall then receive the next case that would have been assigned by lot to the Family Violence Court judge's regular docket.
(amended August 9, 2000 -- Journal Entry #3494)

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 9

CASES THAT HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED

The judge assigned to a case shall be responsible for the determination of every issue and proceeding in that case until its termination. Emergency orders and orders as of right, including requests for continuance, shall be submitted to the judge to whom the case is assigned. If the assigned judge is unavailable, the matter may be submitted to and determined by the Presiding Judge, if in the opinion of the Presiding Judge undue prejudice would be caused by not considering the matter.


RULE No. 10

REASSIGNMENT OF CASES

(A) Related Case.

If an assigned case under AMCR No. 8 is found to be related to another case or cases, or if there is a companion case which presents substantially the same issues for determination, such fact shall be called to the attention of the Presiding Judge by submitting a "Related Case Transfer Entry." signed by the transferring judge and the receiving judge. If the related case transfer entry has been approved by the transferring judge and the receiving judge, the Presiding Judge shall approve the same and reassign such case or cases to the receiving judge. The Presiding Judge may transfer the case without the approval of the receiving judge when he or she finds such transfer appropriate. As used herein, the receiving judge shall be the judge with the lowest lot number of the companion case(s) unless the affected judges otherwise agree.

(B) Disqualification.

If, for any reason, a judge is disqualified to hear an assigned case, that judge shall sign and submit a case transfer entry to the Presiding Judge. If approved by the Presiding Judge, a new lot shall be drawn and that case shall be assigned to another judge. The transferring judge shall then receive the next case that would have been assigned by lot to the receiving judge.

(C) Illness or Absence.

In the event of the protracted illness of a judge, or the unduly prolonged time for trial of a case assigned to a judge, the Presiding Judge may reassign cases assigned to that judge to another judge or to a visiting judge, as the Presiding Judge may determine.

(D) General.

The Presiding Judge may reassign any case in the furtherance of justice. A judge appointed or elected to succeed another shall handle the cases assigned to his or her predecessor. When there is a transfer of a case, the case file and the other records shall be changed to reflect the reassignment to the receiving judge.

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RULE No. 11

CIVIL PLEADINGS AND OTHER PAPERS

(A) Form.

All papers filed with the Clerk shall be filed under the style and number of the cause, and shall include:

(a) the case number, if any;

(b) the name of the judge assigned the case, if any;

(c) a notation as to the type of case;

(d) a short description of the pleading or motion being filed;

(e) any other information required by Civ.R. 10.

All papers shall remain in the Office of the Clerk of Courts except when required by the Court.

(B) Space for Time-Stamp.

The caption on all pleadings shall provide a blank space of approximately three inches (3") in diameter on the upper right portion of the pleadings for the Clerk's time-stamp imprint. The face sheet of all complaints filed in civil cases shall provide a two and one-half inch (2-1/2") type horizontal line approximately one-half inch (�") below and parallel to the line provided for the case number.

(C) Address of Attorney.

All pleadings, motions, and other papers filed in an action shall bear the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing the same. If an attorney is the person filing the document, the attorney registration number shall be included.

(D) Certificate of Service.

Other than the original complaint, every pleading, motion or other paper filed with the Clerk shall contain a certification of service to the other parties to the action. In every proceeding where there is an attorney of record, the service shall be made upon such attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the Court. [Civ.R.5(B)].

(E) Size of Paper.

All pleadings and other papers shall be typewritten or printed on short (8-1/2 x 11 inch) paper only. They shall be offered without backing, suitable for a flat filing system. Original documents attached or offered as exhibits are exempt from this requirement, provided that all exhibits shall be neatly bound.

(F) Electronically Transmitted Filings.

Pursuant to Rule 5(E) of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court will allow the filing by electronic transmission, through the Clerk of Court's Office, of complaints, motions, pleadings, letters, documents and all other matters, not longer than ten pages in length which may be filed in person or by mail with the following provisions:

(1) The Clerk shall maintain a dedicated phone line of (330) 375-2427 to accept electronically transmitted filings.

(2) An attorney must provide all required identification on the first page of transmission in the format prescribed in Rule 11(C). Transmissions without such information will not be accepted. A transmitted document must be no longer than ten pages and must pertain to only one case.

(3) The electronically transmitted document's filing date is determined by court hours. Any filings sent electronically and received by the Court after 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time will be file-stamped the next business day.

(4) All filings made by electronic transmission must be followed within three business days by an original filing on standard bond paper bearing original signatures. If an original is not received within the time period, the electronically transmitted filings will be considered null and void and discarded. The original filing received with the time period shall be file-stamped when received but effective the date and time of the electronically transmitted filing. Attorneys must indicate on the original filing the date and time the electronic transmission was sent.

Deposit for costs must accompany the complaint or other original document. If costs do not accompany the documents, it will not be accepted by the Clerk and the electronically transmitted filing will be discarded.

(5) Electronically transmitted filings must contain all information in an original filing in addition to the transmitting phone number of the responsible attorney and the date and time of the electronic transmission.

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RULE No. 12

CIVIL COURT COSTS

No civil action or proceeding shall be accepted for filing by the Clerk unless a filing fee is deposited as set forth on Appendix B at the end of these Rules, unless exempted by law or otherwise ordered by the Presiding Judge. Such prescribed fees may be amended from time to time by order of the Court. All entries or other dismissals terminating any case shall indicate the party having responsibility for payment of the court costs.


RULE No. 13

DISMISSALS ON FAILURE OF SERVICE

A civil case pending for six (6) months or longer in which service of process of the complaint has not been made shall be dismissed after notice to the plaintiff, unless, for good cause shown, the Presiding Judge otherwise directs. [Sup.R. 40]

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 14

CIVIL LEAVES TO MOVE OR PLEAD

In all civil cases a party may obtain one automatic leave to move or plead by certification to the Clerk or by motion and order, stating that no previous leaves have been taken in that case. Such leave may not exceed twenty-one (21) days.

Any additional leave to move or plead must be obtained from the assigned judge. The request for such leave shall be made in writing, with notice to other parties, stating the reason for requesting such leave and setting forth the particulars of the prior leave. Such additional leave shall not exceed twenty-one (21) days. A judge, for good cause, may waive requirement in this paragraph.

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 15

MOTION PRACTICE

Motions made during a hearing or trial may be made orally or in writing. All other motions shall be made in writing, unless waived by the judge.

Motions for a definite statement pursuant to Civ.R. 12(E) and motions to strike pursuant to Civ.R. 12(F) shall set forth the language sought to be stricken or claimed to be indefinite.

Motions will not be set for hearing except as the Court, in its discretions, orders. A party desiring a hearing should request one. When a motion is set for hearing, the Court shall notify the parties to the action of the date and time of the hearing.

The Court, in its discretion, may extend the time for filing and answering motions, unless prohibited by statute or the civil and criminal rules.

To the extent that this rule may conflict with AMCR No. 14 or 17, the latter rules shall prevail.

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RULE No. 16

PRETRIAL CONFERENCES

(A) Civil.

In any civil action the Court may, in its discretion, with or without request of a party, set the case for pretrial conference. All attorneys and a party without counsel shall be present for the pretrial conference; however, the judge may order all of the parties to be present.

At the pretrial conference, the parties and/or counsel shall be prepared as follows:

(1) Have completed the pleading and motion process unless the judge or the Civil Rules allow for a longer period;

(2) Have completed discovery unless the judge or the Civil Rules allow for a longer period;

(3) Be prepared for consideration of evidence questions, stipulations as to facts and law, and other issues;

(4) List and describe all exhibits intended to be offered at trial;

(5) Present the legal theory of the case;

(6) Be prepared to discuss the possibility of settlement. Furnish a list of all witnesses whom they intend to call along with a statement of the general nature of their testimony;

(7) Other matters as the Court may require.

(B) Criminal/Traffic.

In any criminal or traffic action the Court may in its discretion, with or without request of a party, assign such cause for pretrial conference. When a criminal or traffic case is assigned for a pretrial conference, the prosecutor assigned to the case, defendant's counsel and the defendant shall be present. If the defendant fails to appear at the pretrial conference, the judge may issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest.

The complaining witness and the arresting officer or other appropriate officer shall be notified of the pretrial conference. An officer involved in the case scheduled for pretrial conference may, with approval of the Court, make arrangements with the prosecutor prior to the pretrial conference so as to eliminate the necessity of his appearance. The Akron Police Department may designate one of more of its members as a liaison officer to represent the officer requested to appear at the pretrial conference.

The prosecutor shall bring to the pretrial conference the following information:

(1) Any written or recorded statement of the defendant or co-defendant, or a summary of any such oral statement;

(2) Criminal record of the defendant, as is available to the prosecutor, including the BMV printout in traffic cases;

(3) Reports of tests or examinations made in connection with the case, accident reports, and in DUI/BAC cases, calibration information and alcohol influence reports, or in the alternative, have this information available to the defendant's counsel within a reasonable time;

(4) A written list of the names and addresses of all known witnesses intended to be called at trial, together with any record or prior felony convictions of any such witnesses;

(5) Documents or tangible objects which may be material to the defense if used at the trial or which were obtained from or belong to the defendant;

(6) A written statement of all known evidence favorable to the defendant and material either to guilt or punishment.

The defendant's counsel shall bring to the pretrial conference the following information:

(1) Documents or other tangible objects which may be material to the case or used at the trial;

(2) Reports of tests or examinations made in connection with the case, including chemical tests in DUI cases;

(3) A written list of the names and addresses of all witnesses intended to be called at trial, together with any record of prior felony convictions of any such witnesses.

No provisions contained in this Rule shall be construed to limit or otherwise modify the requirements and procedures prescribed by Crim. R.16.

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RULE No. 17

TELEPHONE HEARINGS

The Court may, in its discretions, hear oral argument on any motion or conduct a pretrial conference or other hearing by speaker or regular telephone conference, provided that every statement is audible to all persons. Upon request of any party, such oral argument, conference, or hearing may be recorded under such conditions as the judge shall deem practicable. The Court may direct which party shall pay the cost of long distance telephone calls.


RULE No. 18

SUBPOENAS FOR WITNESSES

Witnesses may be served by filing a praecipe with the Clerk or by a person designated by any order of the Court as provided in Civ. R. 45(C). Any praecipe for subpoena or order designating a person to serve a subpoena should be filed with the Clerk at least seven (7) days before the date of trial.

If the subpoena is filed less than seven (7) days before trial, failure of service or nonappearance of a witness shall not constitute grounds for a continuance.

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RULE No. 19

JURY TRIALS

(A) Civil.

A demand for trial by jury shall be made in accordance with Civ. R. 38. To obtain a jury in a civil case, a written jury demand shall be filed with the Clerk, together with a jury deposit in the sum of $320.00 or other such sum as established by the Court. If no number is specified on the jury demand, the number of jurors shall be eight (8). To be effective, a jury demand requires both a written request and a $320.00 deposit. The jury deposit may be waived if the party files an affidavit of indigency and the assigned judge determines that the party making the jury demand is indigent. The nonprevailing side shall be responsible for jury costs unless the Court otherwise directs.

(B) Criminal/Traffic.

Where there is a right of jury trial, the jury demand shall be made in accordance with Crim. R. 23. In criminal and traffic cases, the defendant, if found guilty, shall be responsible for the jury costs.

 (C) General.

In all civil, criminal, and traffic cases, when a jury is requested and not used, the jury costs shall be assessed against the party making the demand, unless the demand is withdrawn in writing before the time set by the Summit County Jury Commissioner, but no later than the last working day before the date set for trial.

 (D) Jury Management Plan.

The jury management plan is contained in Appendix D of these Rules and is incorporated by reference.

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 20

CIVIL TRIAL DATE ASSIGNED

When a civil case is assigned a date for trial, the case shall proceed to trial on that date, unless the Court directs otherwise. If plaintiff is not willing to proceed, the court may dismiss the case with or without prejudice, pursuant to Civ.R. 47.

If a civil case set for trial is settled, the attorneys assigned to that case shall immediately notify the Court. The Court may order an appropriate judgment entry or stipulation to be filed in accordance with AMCR No. 21.


RULE No. 21

JUDGMENT ENTRIES

Whenever a judgment or dismissal entry is required in any case, the Court may prepare it or order that counsel prepare the same. The entry shall be filed within thirty (30) days. If such entry was to be prepared and presented by counsel, the Court may prepare and file the same when it is not timely presented to the Court. [Sup.R.7.]

Any judgment or dismissal entry prepared by counsel shall have the following language typed, rubber-stamped, or printed below the line prepared for the signature of the judge:

"Pursuant to Civ. R. 58(B) the Clerk of Courts shall serve upon all parties not in default for failure to appear notice of this judgment and its date of entry upon the journal."

"Judgment or dismissal entry" as used in this Rule includes all decrees and orders from which an appear lies as provided in R.C. 2505.02.

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 22

CIVIL CONTINUANCES

(A) Written Request.

No party shall be granted a continuance of a trial or hearing without first submitting a written request to the assigned judge stating the reason for such request.

(B) Scheduling Conflict.

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 court of this state, or a federal court of the Northern District of Ohio, 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 discretion of the trial court. [Sup. R.41]

(C) Stipulations.

Stipulated continuances shall not be granted as a matter of course.

(D) Waiver.

A judge, for good cause, may waive any requirement in this Rule.

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 23

DUTIES OF ATTORNEYS

(A) Withdrawal or Change of Counsel.

It shall be the duty of any attorney in any proceeding to promptly notify in writing the assigned judge or referee and the clerk when a withdrawal or change of counsel occurs, with proof of service on all parties, including the affected client.

(B) Permission to Withdraw.

Notwithstanding subdivision (A) of this rule, an attorney cannot withdraw from any case unless he or she first makes the request for such withdrawal in writing and obtains the written approval of the assigned judge or referee.

(C) Designated Trial Attorney.

Each party represented by counsel shall have one attorney designated 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.

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RULE No. 24

TRANSFER OF CASE TO ANOTHER COURT

(A) Monetary Jurisdiction.

The party filing a counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party claim exceeding the monetary jurisdiction of the court, which is transferred to the Court of Common Pleas, shall pay the required costs for such transfer to the Clerk and to the Clerk of the Common Pleas Court and physically transport the file to the office of the Clerk of Common Pleas.

(B) Venue.

The plaintiff in a case that is ordered transferred because of improper venue or other reason shall pay the required costs for such transfer to the Clerk and to the Clerk of the transferee court.

(C) Failure to Comply.

Failure to comply with subdivision (A) or (B) of this rule within fourteen (14) days shall be deemed to be a failure to prosecute under Civ. R. 41(B)(1). A Court, in its discretion, may grant additional time, but failure to comply within that extended period shall also be deemed to be a failure to prosecute under Civ.R.41(B)(1).

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RULE No. 25

COURT REPORTERS

The responsibility of arranging for the attendance of a court reporter shall rest with the attorney and/or party desiring the same.


RULE No. 26

AUDIO TAPE OF COURT PROCEEDINGS

The court has determined that audio electronic recording devices shall be used to record the official proceedings of the court. All requests for audio taped copies of court proceedings shall be made in writing and directed to the secretary/court records officer. Such requests may be made on the form provided by the secretary/court records officer.

The secretary/court records officer shall prepare a verbatim, audio tape copy of the court proceedings and provide same to any requesting party within 48 hours of said request. The requesting party shall pay the cost of the tapes at a rate of $2.50 per tape. The requesting party may then cause the tape to be transcribed in accordance with the rules of appellate procedure. (Sup. R. 11)

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 27

RETENTION OF RECORDED TAPES

Master audio tapes, except in Felony Court, shall be erased three (3) years after the last day recorded on that tape.

Master audio tapes from the Felony Court shall be erased after six (6) months from the last day recorded on the tape reel.


RULE No. 28

DISPOSITION OF FILES

The Clerk may destroy of otherwise dispose of case files which have been terminated by the Court on its computer records for a period of fifteen (15) years for civil and criminal cases and five (5) years for traffic cases, except as set forth in R.C. 1901.41.

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RULE No. 29

MAGISTRATES

The Court shall employ one or more magistrates who may hear the following unless otherwise ordered:

(A) Small Claims case proceedings under O.R.C. 1925;

(B) Forcible Entry and Detainer proceedings under O.R.C. 1923, including second causes of action for money damages;

(C) Traffic misdemeanor arraignments, and dispose of such cases when there is a "guilty" or "no contest" plea;

(D) Traffic minor misdemeanors when defendant waives trial by a judge;

(E) Mandatory orders;

(F) License suspension hearings under O.R.C. 4511.191 and O.R.C. 4507.02;

(G) Default proceedings under Civ.R. 53 where a hearing is required;

(H) Post judgment hearings;

(I) Replevin, prejudgment attachment, etc.;

(J) Other appropriate matters as referred by the Presiding/Administrative Judge.

The magistrate in Traffic Court is designated an officer of the Court and is authorized to issue warrants and summons. [Crim. R. 4(A)(1)]

Objections to magistrate's report shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Civ. R. 53(E). In considering objections to magistrate's reports the Court shall only review evidence that was presented at the hearing before the magistrate. After considering the report the Court may adopt the report, sustain the objection, conduct an evidentiary hearing or remand the case to the magistrate for further fact finding.

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 30

COMPLAINT IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER

A complaint in Forcible Entry and Detainer shall be filed in accordance with AMCR No. 11 and shall contain a reason for the eviction, a copy of the notice given under O.R.C. 1923.04 and a copy of the written instrument upon which the claim is founded. A plaintiff/owner must file a complaint personally or through a licensed attorney. When the plaintiff/owner is a corporation, the complaint must be signed by a licensed attorney. Noncompliance with this rule shall result in the dismissal of the complaint.

(Effective August 27, 2002)

RULE No. 31

TRIAL IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER

There shall be no "Answer Day" or "Call Day" as the term is used in other civil cases, and the trial date shall be set forth in the summons. Defendant shall be served at least five (5) days prior to the date set for trial. Motions shall be heard at the trial, unless the assigned judge or magistrate directs otherwise.

A continuance may be granted as provided in AMCR No. 22, except the number of days in AMCR No. 22 shall be three (3) calendar days.

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 32

JURY TRIAL IN FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER

A demand for jury trial shall be made in accordance with AMCR No. 19(A), except that it shall not be made less than three (3) days prior to the trial date. AMCR No. 19(C) is applicable.

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RULE No. 33

WRITS OF RESTITUTION

The Clerk shall not issue a writ of restitution or an alias writ of restitution after sixty (60) days from the date a Court ordered restitution of the premises, unless authorized by the Presiding Judge.


RULE No. 34

SMALL CLAIMS DIVISION

The Small Claims Division is established for Akron Municipal Court and has been in existence since 1967.

These Rules are suspended to the extent that they are inconsistent with the practice and procedure for Small Claims set forth in O.R.C. 1925.


RULE No. 35

SMALL CLAIMS TRIALS

A memorandum of the time and place set forth for trial shall be given to the person signing the claim. The time set for such trial shall not be fewer than fifteen (15) nor more than forty (40) days after commencement of the action. Notice shall be served on the defendant pursuant to O.R.C. 1925.04.

A continuance may be granted as provided in AMCR No. 22, except the number of days in AMCR No. 22(C) shall be three (3) days.

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RULE No. 36

SMALL CLAIMS MEDIATION

Effective December 1, 2001, a claim filed in the Small Claims Division shall be scheduled for a mandatory mediation hearing with the Court's Mediation Program which shall begin January 1, 2002.

The following shall apply to all Small Claims mediation hearings:

(A) All parties shall attend;

(B) Participation by the parties in the hearing is mandatory;

(C) The purpose is to attempt to resolve the dispute between the parties;

(D) If the plaintiff fails to appear, the claim may be dismissed without prejudice;

(E) If the defendant fails to appear, then a judgment by default may be entered;

(F) If the dispute cannot be resolved, then a trial shall be scheduled on the claim.

This order does not preclude the transfer of a Small Claims case to the court's regular docket in accordance with Rule 37 of the Akron Municipal Court Rules of Practice.

 

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RULE No. 37

TRANSFER OF SMALL CLAIMS CASE

In the discretion of the Court, a case duly entered on the docket of Small Claims Division may be transferred to the regular docket upon motion of the Court, upon motion of a defendant, or upon the filing of a counterclaim in an amount greater than the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Division. The motion of a defendant shall be accompanied by an affidavit stating that a good defense to the claim exists and setting forth the grounds of defense and the compliance of the defendant with any terms fixed by the Court. Such a transfer is at the discretion of the Court and is not mandatory.

The failure to file a motion to transfer the case to the regular docket of the Court constitutes a waiver by the defendant of any right to trial by jury.

If a case is ordered transferred to the regular docket, the defendant shall pay the required deposit and comply with any other orders. This deposit must be paid before the case is transferred to the regular docket.


RULE No. 38

INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS OF FINES AND COSTS

In any criminal or traffic matter when the assigned judge gives the defendant time to pay such fines and costs, the fines and costs may be paid in installments. Installment payments shall not be received beyond the date set forth for payment unless authorized by the assigned judge or as consistent with AMCR No. 5. The court will collect a $20 fee on all cases wherein the offender requests time to pay costs and fines.

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 39

COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM

A community service program is established as a sentencing alternative. The sentencing judge or referee may allow a person convicted of a misdemeanor who qualifies for the community service program to elect to perform community service work as approved by the Probation Department. The Probation Department shall establish the guidelines for the qualification and administration of the community service program. The community service work may be performed for the following:

(A) As a condition of suspended confinement;

(B) In lieu of confinement; and/or

(C) In lieu of payment of fines.

Community service work shall be at the option of the misdemeanant, but only as ordered by the Court and approved by the Probation Department. Credit for the same shall be given upon verification by the Probation Department and at the Court's discretion.

When a misdemeanant performs community service as a condition of a suspended sentence or in lieu of confinement, then an eight-hour day of work shall be equal to one day's confinement.

When a misdemeanant is unable to pay fines imposed, the Court may refer him to the community service program. He shall be credited $50.00 towards fines for each eight hours of work. If the balance on fines is $10.00 or more but less than $35.00, then four hours of work shall be credited for the same, but waived if the balance is less than $10.00.

Any violation of the community service program by a misdemeanant, including the requirements established by the Probation Department or the sentencing judge, is a violation of a court order and subjects that misdemeanant to sanctions provided by law.

A misdemeanant herein is defined as provided in O.R.C. 2901.02.(D), (F), and (G).

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RULE No. 40

CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC BOND SCHEDULE

In lieu of bond set by a judge or referee, the Clerk is authorized to release a person charged in this Court with a crime based on the schedule set forth in Appendix C at the end of these Rules.

RULE No. 41

REPRESENTATION OF INDIGENT

The Summit County Legal Defender Office (Legal Defender) is designated to provide the legal representation for an indigent charged with a misdemeanor and payment for such services shall be from the County of Summit and/or other governmental bodies contracting with it. Any person charged with a criminal or traffic misdemeanor other than a minor misdemeanor, found by the Court to be in need of an attorney, indigent and entitled to such services, may be considered for an appointment of the Legal Defender. When a felony is reduced to a misdemeanor, a practicing attorney may continue with such representation and be paid as provided herein. When exceptional circumstances exist and for good cause the Presiding Judge may appoint a practicing attorney in a misdemeanor case, and the attorney shall be paid as provided herein.

Persons charged with a felony and found to be indigent, in need of an attorney, and entitled to the same, shall be appointed a practicing attorney or the Legal Defender. When the Summit County Legal Defender's office is not appointed to represent an indigent criminal defendant, the judge sitting in arraignment court or the judge to whom the case has been assigned shall appoint counsel from the list maintained for this purpose by the Akron Bar Association. While judges may consider the skill and expertise of potential appointees in selecting counsel in an individual case, judges shall make appointments in such a way as to ensure an equitable distribution of appointments of counsel among all attorneys on the appointment list. At least once a year, the judges at one of their regular meetings shall review the procedure for appointing counsel for indigent criminal defendants to determine if appointments are made in such a way as to ensure the equitable distribution of appointments among attorneys on the list. (Sup. R. 8)

No attorney, including the Legal Defender, appointed to represent an indigent shall receive any fees other than public funds for services relative to that appointment. Before the appointed attorney shall receive any money from or on behalf of an indigent defendant for services in such representation, the Court shall immediately be notified, withdrawing with waiver of any fees from public funds. AMCR No. 23 shall apply to all appointed counsel.

The following fee schedule shall apply to all practicing attorneys (not Legal Defender).

(1) Maximum per attorney per case $275.00

(2) Per hour in-court $40.00

(3) Per hour out-of-court $30.00

(4) Expenses as allowed by Court

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(Effective October 21, 1997)

RULE No. 42

PROBABLE CAUSE

When a private citizen or attorney files a criminal or traffic affidavit without authorization from a prosecutor, law enforcement officer or judge, the Clerk shall number, index and docket that affidavit separate from other filings. Such affidavit shall be assigned as provided in AMCR No. 8, and the assigned judge shall schedule a date for a probable cause hearing. A copy of the affidavit shall be forwarded to the City Prosecutor's Office.

If the judge finds no probable cause for the affidavit, it shall be ordered dismissed, and the Clerk shall enter that finding on the probable cause docket. If the judge finds probable cause, the Clerk shall assign to it a case number and the proceedings shall be held in that case by the assigned judge as required.

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RULE No. 43

SPECIALIZED DOCKETS

The Court may create specialized dockets to respond to local needs and resources.

The Court will adopt local rules to establish specialized dockets and implement the 'specialized docket standards' under Sup.R. 36.20.

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(Effective September 30, 2013)



APPENDIX A

MUNICIPAL COURT OF AKRON
SCHEDULE OF COURT SESSIONS
(See AMCR RULE No. 2)


INDIVIDUAL DOCKET
 
A.M.
P.M.
Monday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Tuesday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Wednesday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Thursday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Friday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00

ARRAINMENT ROOM
 
Felony
Docket
Misdemeanor
Docket
 
A.M.
P.M.
Monday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Tuesday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Wednesday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Thursday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Friday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Saturday
8:30 - 12:00
----------

TRAFFIC DOCKET
 
A.M.
P.M.
Monday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Tuesday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Wednesday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Thursday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Friday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00

SMALL CLAIMS DOCKET
 
A.M.
P.M.
Monday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Tuesday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Wednesday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Thursday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00
Friday
8:30 - 12:00
1:00 - 4:00

MEDIATION HEARINGS
 
A.M.
P.M.
Saturday
8:30 - 12:00
----------

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APPENDIX B

COURT COSTS

CIVIL

CRIMINAL

TRAFFIC

(Effective October 21, 1997)

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APPENDIX C

BOND SCHEDULE

BOND SCHEDULE

(Effective October 21, 1997)

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APPENDIX D

JURY MANAGEMENT PLAN

INTRODUCTION

This Local Rule is being implemented to comply with the mandate of the Ohio Supreme Court that each municipal court develop and implement a jury management plan prior to July 1, 1994.

(A) JURY ELIGIBILITY AND PROCEDURE FOR JURY SELECTION

Juror eligibility shall be determined and prospective jurors shall be selected by the jury commission of the Summit county Court of Common Pleas in accordance with its policies and procedures for potential service with the Akron Municipal Court.

(B) SUMMONING OF PROSPECTIVE JURORS

Prospective jurors shall be summoned only on the filing of a written jury demand and pursuant to AMCR No. 19.

Every effort shall be made to resolve cases prior to summoning juries. A jury panel shall not be summoned unless it appears that there is a substantial likelihood of trial.

(C) EXAMINATION OF PROSPECTIVE JURORS

Examination of prospective jurors shall be limited to matters relevant to the matter before the Court and to determine the juror's fairness and impartiality.

All prospective jurors shall be placed under oath in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code.

The Court may conduct a preliminary voir dire examination concerning basic and relevant matters, and counsel shall be permitted a reasonable period of time to question panel members thereafter. Counsel or parties shall conform their voir dire questioning to the following rules:

  • Questions are to be asked collectively of the panel whenever possible.
  • Counsel may inquire by general questions concerning the validity and philosophy of reasonable doubt or the presumption of innocence.

    In the event there exists a potential for sensitive or potentially invasive questions, the Court or the parties may request a hearing preceding voir dire to consider these questions.

    In all cases, voir dire shall be held on the record, but may be conducted outside the presence of other jurors in order to protect juror privacy, or to avoid juror embarrassment.

    If it is determined by the Court during the voir dire process that an individual is unable or unwilling to sit in a particular cause fairly and impartially, the individual may be removed from the panel for cause. Such motion for removal for cause may be made by counsel, a party if unrepresented, or upon the motion of the Court. Further, Ohio Revised Code Section 2313.42 and Ohio Criminal Rule of Procedure 24(B) set forth additional cause challenges which may be made against potential jurors.

    Peremptory challenges shall be exercised alternately as presently established by Revised Code Section 2945.23, Civil Rule 47, and Criminal Rule 24, unless prior to trial the parties agree on the record to another method. Unless otherwise agreed, all challenges shall be made in open court. In special circumstances, shallenges may be made outside the hearing of the prospective jurors. There shall be no limit to challenges for cause; however, peremptory challenges shall be limited to that number as established by the Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure.

    Challenges to the jury array shall be made in accordance with established rules of procedure.

    In criminal cases, the jury shall consist of eight (8) regular jurors and one (1) alternate juror. In civil cases, the jury shall consist of eight (8) regular jurors and one (1) alternate juror, unless by agreement, the parites stipulate to a lesser number. In special circumstances, additional altrnate juror may be selected.

    (D) JURY ORIENTATION

    Upon appearance for service, all prospective jurors shall be placed under the supervision of assigned personnel and shall direct any questions or communications to such court personnel for appropriate action.

    The Court shall give preliminary instructions to all prospective jurors, as well as additional instructions following the impaneling of the jury to explain the jury's role, trial procedures of the court, along with other basic and relevant legal principles as the Court deems necessary and appropriate.

    Upon the completion of the cases and prior to jury deliberations, the Court shall instruct the jury on the law and the appropriate procedures to be followed during the course of deliberations. In accordance with the Civil and Criminal Rules of Procedure, the parties or their counsel may request that special instruction be given to the jury.

    A final jury charge may in the discretion of the judge be committed to writing, and may be provided to the jury for its use during deliberation.

    All communications between the judge and the members of the jury panel, from the time of reporting to the court through dismissal, shall be committed to writing or placed on the record in open court. Counsel for each party shall be informed of any communication and shall be given the opportunity to be heard as to such communication. Under no circumstances shall counsel, a party, or other witnesses, have any contact with jurors.

    All jury deliberatons shall be conducted in the jury deliberation room. Jury deliberation rooms shall include space, furnishings and facilities conducive to reaching a fair verdict. Court personnel shall endeavor to secure the safety of all prospective jurors and shall arrange and conduct all activities so as to minimize contact between jurors, parties, counsel and the public. Upon the commencement of deliberations, all jurors shall remain in the care of court personnel and shall not be permitted to leave the court without permission.

    Deliberations shall not continue after a reasonable hour, unless the trial judge determines that evening or weekend deliberations would not impose an undue hardship upon the jurors and are required in the interest of justice. Jurors shall be consulted prior to any decision.

    If jury deliberations are halted, jurors shall be permitted to be separated, unless for good cause shown, the Court finds that sequestration is necessary. If a jury is sequestered, the Court shall undertake the responsibility to oversee the conditions of sequestration and the transportation of all jurors.

    Upon reaching a verdict, all jurors shall return to the courtroom where the verdict or verdicts shall be read in open court. Upon the reading of the verdict, in criminal cases, either party may request that the jury be polled.

    Upon completion of service, each juror shall be given a personalized certificate of appreciation at the discretion of the judge.

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    APPENDIX E

    SECURITY PLAN

    Pursuant to the Rules of Superintendence 9, the Akron Municipal Court implemented a security policy and procedure plan on July 1, 1995, which addresses the Ohio Court Security Standards adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio on October 17, 1994. Said plan has been filed with the clerk of the Supreme Court and shall not be a public record.

    (Effective October 21, 1997)

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