To establish, pursuant to Sup. R.
5(B)(1), an automated system for civil case management that will achieve the
prompt and fair disposition of civil cases, provide the Court with an efficient
means of controlling the flow of civil cases, and save time by providing
members of the bar with information and case management facilities.
B. PROCEDURE UPON FILING CIVIL ACTION:
a. Every civil action filed shall be
monitored for return of service of summons. If
service fails on any defendant or party named in a crossclaim, counterclaim, or
third party complaint, the filing party shall be notified to reissue service
within 14 days of the filing date of the notification
to reissue service. If any party fails to reissue service or notify the
Court why service cannot be reissued within the 14 day period, the action may
be dismissed pursuant to Civ. R. 41(B) and Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.15(B).
b. Service by Publication:
If a party
requests service by publication pursuant to Civ. R. 4.4 and such request is
granted by the Court, it is the responsibility of the party seeking service by
publication to forward a time-stamped copy of the Court order granting such
service to the official law journal and to follow the journal’s procedures for
ii. The law journal is required to
forward notarized proof of publication to the Court.
iii. The Court shall not forward notices
to effect service by publication to the official law journal nor collect fees
for the publication.
a. Upon completion of service, every
civil action shall be monitored for the answer(s) to be filed within the 28 day
period required by Civ. R. 12 or any extension permitted by the Court.
If any defendant
fails to answer, the case shall be monitored for the filing of motion(s) for
default judgment. If a motion for default judgment is not filed within a
reasonable time, as determined by the Court, the filing party shall be notified
to file a motion for default judgment within 14 days.
ii. If the party fails to file the motion
for default judgment or notify the Court why the motion is premature or
otherwise inappropriate within the 14 day period, the action may be dismissed
pursuant to Civ. R. 41(B) and Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.15(B).
b. In any case where an answer is filed
within the 28 day period as required by Civ. R. 12:
if no jury demand
was made, the assigned Judge may refer the case to the Magistrate pursuant to
Civ. R. 53 and Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.31; and
ii. a pre-trial conference call shall be
held to establish all filing and discovery deadlines pursuant to Civ. R. 16 and
Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.07. A final pre-trial order journalizing the filing and
discovery deadlines shall be filed.
Entry: When the case is completed, whether by default judgment, summary
judgment, dismissal, settlement or trial, an entry terminating the case shall
be indicated on the docket as a final judgment or dismissal entry.
This Rule implements Civ. R. 16. It
designs the basic patterns and instructions for pretrial development of civil
actions. Initiative, ingenuity, and industry on the part of attorneys in these
actions will implement this Rule and will determine the quality of pretrial
proceedings. In the effective administration of this Rule, appropriate
sanctions will be employed as may be necessary.
Attorneys shall consult with their
clients in advance of the conference and be prepared to confer practically and
earnestly on settlement and all other matters as may aid in the disposition of
1. The Court, with counsel, may inquire
into the status and possibility of settlement; discovery completed to date and
anticipated prior to the time of trial, and establish the date for the delivery
of a medical and special damages package.
2. The Court shall issue a pretrial
order establishing the following dates, if applicable:
a date for the
parties to reveal to each other the identities of expert witnesses;
a date for the
filing of any memoranda on disputed issues of law or fact and a discovery
a date for the
filing of all other motions deemed necessary, including motions for summary
a date for
motions to add necessary parties;
a date for trial
material exchange and objections to trial materials;
for completing Civ.R. 35 exams which shall be set 120 days following the
scheduling conference, and the examiner’s report shall be submitted to counsel
within 21 days from the date of the examination;
a date for
completing perpetuation depositions;
a date for filing
a joint or individually prepared pretrial statements;
a date for a
final pretrial conference; and
a trial date.
TO BE READ INTO EVIDENCE:
If written materials are to be read
into evidence, copies of such materials shall be provided by the proponent to
the Court and other counsel at least seven days prior to trial.
Rule 2.31 – Magistrate
A. APPOINTMENT AND REFERRAL:
Magistrates shall be appointed in
accordance with Civ. R. 53(A). Cases shall be referred to the appointed
Magistrate in accordance with Civ. R. 53(D).
The Magistrate may require a case to
follow the pretrial provisions set forth in Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.07 prior to the
hearing or trial date.
Trials before the
Magistrate shall be conducted in accordance with the standard set forth in the
Ohio Rules of Superintendence, these Rules and any other applicable rules or
A record shall be
made of all proceedings before a Magistrate.
D. MAGISTRATE’S DECISION:
with Civ. R. 53, after a hearing or trial, the Magistrate shall issue the
Magistrate’s decision, including findings of fact, unless otherwise ordered by
the assigned Judge.
After the trial
or hearing and prior to issuing a decision, the Magistrate may require that
briefs, proposed findings or other memoranda be submitted by the parties or parties’
E. PROCEDURES FOR OBJECTING TO
a. Objections, if any, shall be filed
within 14 days
following from the filing date of
the Magistrate’s decision.
b. If objections are filed by a party within
the 14 day period, any other party may file cross objections within 10 days of
when the objections were filed.
c. Any memoranda in opposition or reply
briefs shall be filed in accordance with Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.05(B).
cross objections or memoranda shall cite to a specific time designation on the
recording of proceedings before the Magistrate. Failure to cite objections in
this manner may result, at the discretion of the assigned Judge, in adoption of
the Magistrate’s factual findings, and any review may be limited to the
Magistrate’s legal conclusions.
A party may file
a brief in opposition to the objections or cross objections within 14 days of
the filing of objections or cross objections. An extension of time for filing
a brief in opposition may be obtained, for good cause shown, upon written
party may file a reply brief to a brief in opposition to the objections within
7 days from when the brief in opposition was filed. Should a party file cross
objections, as allowed for in this Rule, and should a brief in opposition to
the cross objections be filed, the party filing the cross objections may file a
reply brief to a brief in opposition to the cross objections within 7 days from
when the brief in opposition was filed.
objections, and memoranda shall not exceed 20 pages in length, and shall
otherwise comply with Mont. Co. C.P.R. 1.15(F).
F. STIPULATIONS TO FINDINGS OF FACT:
The parties may
enter stipulations of fact either before or after the Magistrate’s decision.
Said stipulations shall not preclude any objections to errors of law.
If the parties
agree that the findings of fact of the Magistrate are to be final, as
contemplated in Civ. R. 53(D)(3)(iii), the parties shall file a written entry
with the Court.
Pursuant to Civ.
R. 53(D)(3)(b)(iii), if objections to the findings of fact of the Magistrate
are made, the objecting party shall file a transcript of the hearing within 30
days from the filing date of the objections.
may be filed in CD or paper form. All requests for transcripts shall be made
in accordance with Mont. Co. C.P.R. 1.29.
H. FINAL ENTRIES:
no objections to the Magistrate’s decision are filed pursuant to this Rule, the
Magistrate shall prepare a judgment entry and submit the judgment entry to the
assigned Judge for approval.
Except as set
forth in Subsection (A)(1)(b)(i)-(iii) of this Rule, any civil case may be
referred for mediation pursuant to a party’s motion or by agreement of the
parties. The assigned Judge, in his or her discretion, may refer any civil
case for mediation.
After the Court’s
pre-trial scheduling conference, the Court shall issue its standard pre-trial
order which shall establish a cutoff date of 90 days from
the filing date of the pre-trial order, unless otherwise ordered by the
Court, for the parties to request mediation through the Court’s mediation
program. After a case is referred for mediation, the mediation staff will
conduct an initial telephone conference with the parties to select a Mediator
pursuant to Subsection (C)(2)(a) of this Rule and to schedule a mediation date.
Relations and Protective Orders
The Court shall
not refer cases for mediation in the following circumstances:
As an alternative
to the prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence;
whether to grant, modify, or terminate a protection order;
the terms and conditions of a protection order; and
the penalty for violation of a protection order.
ii. Exception: Nothing in Subsection
(A)(1)(b)(i) of this Rule shall prohibit the use of mediation in a subsequent
divorce or custody case in another division of the Common Pleas Court for
Montgomery County, Ohio or any other court, even if such case may result in
the termination of the provisions of a protection order issued by the Court.
iii. Allegations of Domestic Abuse
In any case
referred for mediation, all parties and counsel have a continuing duty to and
shall disclose to the assigned Judge, the Mediator, and the mediation staff
whether any of the opposing parties have resided in a common residence or are
related by blood, adoption, or marriage, and, at any time prior to or following
the referral for mediation and before conclusion of the mediation process, have
committed or are alleged to have committed domestic abuse.
The party who
committed or is alleged to have committed the act of domestic abuse shall
participate in any screening required by Sup. R. 16 prior to the mediation
session(s). The Mediator may order additional screenings, at the Mediator’s
discretion, throughout the duration of mediation.
REFERRAL FOR MEDIATION:
Magistrate shall serve as “Mediation Liaison” to settle disputes that arise
during the mediation process. The Mediation Liaison may refer a dispute to the
Subsection (C)(2) of this Rule, the Court shall maintain a list of Court
approved Mediators (“Mediator List”). Parties, by agreement, may select a
Mediator from the Mediator List. If the parties fail to agree or elect not to
choose a Mediator, the Court shall assign a Mediator from the Mediator List on
a rotating basis.
with R.C. 2710.08(A) and (B), the Mediator selected by the parties or assigned
by the Court shall disclose to counsel, the parties, and any nonparty
participants any known potential conflicts that may affect the Mediator’s
impartiality as soon as such conflict(s) become known to the Mediator.
a) If a party or counsel requests that
the Mediator withdraw because of the potential conflict(s), the Mediator may
withdraw and request that the assigned Judge appoint a new Mediator.
b) If the Mediator determines that
withdrawal is not warranted, the Mediator may elect to continue.
If the Mediator
elects to continue, any party may request the Mediator’s removal by submitting
a request to the assigned Judge to remove the Mediator.
Judge may remove the Mediator and appoint another Mediator from the Mediator
If the assigned
Judge decides that the request for removal is unwarranted, the Mediation
process shall proceed from the point where the objection was first raised, with
events rescheduled as necessitated by any delay.
Conference: The Mediator shall conduct a telephone conference prior to the
date of the scheduled Mediation session.
a. The Mediator shall set the time for
the telephone conference.
b. All counsel and pro se parties
shall make themselves available for the scheduled telephone conference.
c. During the telephone conference, the
Mediator shall inquire of the parties or counsel of their readiness for the
mediation, including any additional information needed to be obtained or
exchanged. The Mediator shall determine if the parties are required to submit
a mediation statement. If a mediation statement is required the following
shall instruct the parties how to submit the mediation statement.
statements shall not exceed three pages in length, unless otherwise ordered by
the Mediator, and shall set forth the relevant positions of the parties
concerning factual issues, issues of law, damages, and the settlement
negotiation history of the case, including a recitation of any specific demands
and offers that have been conveyed.
statements shall not be filed with the Clerk. Mediation statements shall be
submitted to the Mediator and all parties or counsel no later than 10 days
prior to the mediation session, unless otherwise requested by the Mediator.
If a party or
counsel believes it is necessary or desirable to convey confidential
information to the Mediator, the party or counsel may submit the information to
the Mediator. The confidential information shall not be filed with the Clerk.
submitting the information shall clearly mark the information as confidential and
indicate that the information shall not be shared with the opposing party
without consent of the party submitting the information.
otherwise ordered by the assigned Judge, the mediation session shall be
scheduled to take place no later than 90 days prior to the scheduled trial
If the parties
and Mediator believe additional mediation sessions would be beneficial, the
parties and Mediator shall schedule additional sessions on a schedule that
shall not negatively impact the scheduled trial date.
For good cause
shown, the parties may seek a continuance of the trial date from the assigned
Judge to continue to explore mediation.
ii. The Mediator may direct the parties
to exchange additional information that the Mediator believes will assist the
If the case is
settled or dismissed prior to a scheduled Mediation, the parties shall promptly
file a settlement and conditional dismissal entry with the Court and inform the
For good cause
shown, the Mediator may grant a continuance of a mediation session.
session shall not be continued more than once without the approval of the
Mediation Liaison or assigned Judge.
directed by the Mediator, any party or person whose presence is required in
order to supply authority to settle the case, as well as counsel for all
parties and an adjuster for an insurer, are required to be present at the
If counsel or
parties become aware of a person or entity whose consent is required to resolve
the dispute but who is not yet a party to the case, counsel or parties shall
promptly inform the Mediator and the assigned Judge of the identity of the
person or entity.
shall report to the assigned Judge any failure of a necessary party or counsel
to attend a mediation session or act in good faith, including but not limited
to, performing obligations expeditiously and not using mediation for the
purposes of delay or discovery. The assigned Judge may impose sanctions,
including but not limited to, an award of attorneys’ fees and other costs,
contempt, or other appropriate sanctions.
otherwise agreed by the Mediator and the parties, the mediation session(s)
shall take place at the Court.
shall be governed by the Ohio Uniform Mediation Act, R.C. §§ 2710.01 – 2710.10,
as amended from time to time.
Communications”, as defined in R.C. § 2710.01(B), in addition to the privileges
set forth in R.C. § 2710.07, shall not be disclosed by parties, counsel, the
Mediator or the Court without consent of the other participants.
ii. The parties shall execute a written
confidentiality agreement prior to the beginning of the mediation session. If
new or additional persons attend a subsequent mediation session, the new or
additional persons shall sign the confidentiality agreement prior to
iii. Exceptions to Confidentiality
requirements: Information that is:
mandated to be reported;
pursuant to R.C. § 2710.05; and
Permitted to be
reported pursuant to R.C. § 2710.05.
Settlement: If a
settlement agreement is reached:
The Mediator may
prepare a written memorandum memorializing all material terms of the agreement
counsel shall provide the Notice required pursuant to Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.15(A)
to the assigned Judge.
counsel shall file an agreed Termination Entry for approval by the assigned
Judge within 30 days from the date the parties or
counsel provide Notice pursuant to Subsection (B)(9)(b) of this Rule.
If the parties or counsel fail to file an agreed Termination Entry within the
specified time, the Court may administratively dismiss the case.
10. Termination: If the Mediator
determines that further mediation efforts would be of no benefit to the
parties, the Mediator shall inform all interested parties and the assigned
Judge that the mediation is terminated.
11. Throughout the mediation process, the
assigned Judge shall continue to manage the case pursuant to Mont. Co. C.P.R.
C. COURT APPROVED MEDIATORS:
mediators shall submit an application pursuant to a process established by the
Court, as amended from time to time.
The Court shall
review all applications in accordance with the procedures adopted by the Court.
mediators shall be approved at the sole discretion of the Judges of the Court.
mediators approved by the Court shall participate in an orientation session
conducted by the Court.
The Court shall maintain
a list of Court approved Mediators (defined as “Mediator List” in Subsection
(B)(2)(a) of this Rule).
All persons whose
names are placed on the Mediator List shall submit a regularly updated
Curriculum Vitae (including a list of professional or association memberships)
which, along with the Mediator’s application, shall be provided to those
requesting information on the assigned Mediator’s qualifications to mediate a
dispute, as required by R.C. § 2710.08(C).
at the pleasure of the Judges of the Court and may be terminated from the
Mediator List at any time for any or no cause.
be paid a fee in an amount set by the Court, as amended from time to time.
Upon petition by
the Mediator and for good cause shown, the assigned Judge may allow additional
provided in Subsections (D)(1)(c) and (D)(2)(b) of this Rule, Mediators shall
be paid, upon proper warrant, from the funds of Montgomery County, Ohio,
allocated for the operation of the Court.
The Judges of the
Court may determine that, in order to provide effective mediation services, it
is necessary for mediating parties to pay a portion of the Mediator Fee or
other costs of mediation.
If the Judges of
the Court make the determination referred to in Subsection (D)(1)(c) of this
Rule, a schedule of mediation costs shall be provided to all parties upon
request or upon referral for mediation.
ii) Upon motion of a party for good cause
shown, the Mediation Liaison or the assigned Judge may waive mediation costs
imposed pursuant to Subsection (D)(1)(c) of this Rule.
not receive a fee for a mediation session canceled more than 48 hours prior to
the scheduled session.
If a mediation
session is canceled with less than 48 hours notice, the Court may assess
If a cancellation
is the result of a settlement resulting in termination of the case, the
cancellation fee shall be divided equally between the parties. In addition to
informing the Mediator, parties shall provide the Notice required pursuant to
Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.15(A) to the assigned Judge.
ii) If a cancellation is the result of a
requested continuance or other reason, the fee shall be assessed against the
party requesting the continuance or causing the cancellation.
iii) Cancellation fees may be assessed in
all cases, including mediation scheduled before a Magistrate or other Court
employee. Magistrates and other Court employees shall not receive additional
compensation for mediation services.
iv) Cancellation fees shall be deposited
with the Clerk, shall not be taxed as costs in the case, and shall be paid to
the Special Project Fund for Dispute Resolution establish by Mont. Co. C.P.R.
Upon motion and
for good cause shown, the Mediation Liaison or the assigned Judge may waive any
cancellation fees assessed pursuant to Subsection (D)(2)(b) of this Rule.
The proposed amendments to Mont. Co. C.P.R. 2.01, 2.07,
2.31 and 2.39 will take effect on December 15, 2014, unless prior to
such date the Court, in its discretion, amends, modifies, or withdraws the
amendments. In the event the Court amends, modifies, or withdraws the
amendment, the revision(s) will be published for a thirty-day notice period.