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The Guide to Ohio Court Records

Overview of Ohio Courts

The Ohio trial court system consists of Courts of Common Pleas, County Courts, Municipal Courts, Mayor's Courts, and Court of Claims.
 
The Courts of Common Pleas have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases and typically handle cases beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. County Courts, Municipal Courts and Mayor\'s Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases. The Court of Claims is a specialized court that handles certain types of civil cases against the State of Ohio and its agencies.

Please select a Ohio county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court.
Find Ohio court pages by Town or Zip Code.
Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level.
Go to the court records pages for another state.
Ohio Courts of Common Pleas
The Courts of Common Pleas have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but generally only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. Courts of Common Pleas have original jurisdiction over felonies and civil cases in which the amount in controversy is more than $15,000. If the amount in controversy is less than $1,000, Courts of Common Pleas may transfer the case to Municipal Court. Courts of Common Pleas have exclusive jurisdiction over mental health, probate/estate, domestic relations, and juvenile cases.

Courts of Common Pleas may have separate divisions for general, domestic relations, probate, and juvenile cases. In many counties, divisions may be combined (for example, into a Probate-Juvenile Division).

The General Division in a Court of Common Pleas handles civil cases, criminal cases, and appeals from most administrative agencies.

The Domestic Relations Division handles cases that include divorce, child custody, and child support. In most counties, the Clerk of Courts is clerk of both the General Division and Domestic Relations Division

The Probate Division handles cases that include wills, estates, trusts, guardianships, mental illness, and adoptions. Probate Division judges serve as their own clerks. In many counties, the Probate Division is called Probate Court.

The Juvenile Division handles cases that include offenses involving minors (including juvenile traffic cases) and most paternity cases, and may share child custody and child support jurisdiction with the Domestic Relations Division. Juvenile Division judges serve as their own clerks. In many counties, the Juvenile Division is called Juvenile Court
Ohio County Courts
County Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases in territory that is not within the jurisdiction of a Municipal Court. If a Municipal Court's jurisdiction includes an entire county, there is no County Court in that county.

Criminal cases heard by County Courts include traffic and non-traffic misdemeanors, felony preliminary hearings, most violations of township resolutions, and some parking violations.

Civil cases heard by County Courts include most general civil claims for less than $15,000. County Courts have exclusive jurisdiction in cases involving less than $500, and original jurisdiction in cases where no party seeks more than $15,000.

Civil cases typically heard by County Courts include actions for the recovery of money or personal property, contract cases, judgment collection actions, interpleader, replevin, forcible entry and detainer, certain nuisance cases, certain types of cases that involve title or boundaries of real property, and temporary protection orders.

Each County Court has a small claims division, which hears civil cases for the recovery of $3,000 or less. Small claims divisions may be presided over by a magistrate appointed by the County Court.

County Courts share some jurisdiction with Mayor's Courts over violations of municipal ordinances and criminal traffic cases.
Ohio Municipal Courts
Municipal Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by Municipal Courts include traffic and non-traffic misdemeanors, felony preliminary hearings, most violations of township resolutions, violations of municipal ordinances, and some parking violations.

Civil cases heard by Municipal Courts include most general civil claims for less than $15,000. Municipal Courts have exclusive jurisdiction in cases involving less than $500, and original jurisdiction in cases where no party seeks more than $15,000.

Civil cases typically heard by Municipal Courts include actions for the recovery of money or personal property, contract cases, judgment collection actions, interpleader, replevin, forcible entry and detainer, certain nuisance cases, and temporary protection orders.

Each Municipal Court has a small claims division, which hears civil cases for the recovery of $3,000 or less. Small claims divisions may be presided over by a magistrate appointed by the Municipal Court.

Some Municipal Courts have Housing or Environmental divisions. These specialized divisions may hear some criminal cases and civil jurisdiction is not subject to financial limits. Environmental and Housing divisions of Municipal Courts also have greater jurisdiction over certain types of cases, including exclusive jurisdiction in some civil actions related to health and safety codes, ordinances, and regulations.
Ohio Mayor's Courts
Mayor's Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of criminal and quasi-criminal cases in territory that is not within the jurisdiction of a Municipal Court. If a Municipal Court has jurisdiction in any municipal corporation, there is no Mayor's Court in that municipality, except in Brown and Morrow Counties where the Georgetown and Mount Gilead Mayor's Courts share jurisdiction with county-wide Municipal Courts.

Cases heard by Mayor's Courts include violations of municipal ordinances, some criminal traffic cases including operating while under the influence, and some parking violations. Mayor's Courts share jurisdiction over these cases with County Courts.
Ohio Court of Claims
The Ohio Court of Claims has original jurisdiction over civil cases against the State of Ohio and its agencies.

Cases handled by the Court of Claims include contract disputes, property damage, personal injury, discrimination, and wrongful imprisonment.

The Court of Claims has a simplified administrative procedure for claims seeking less than $2,500. Claims related to the Victims of Crime Act are first heard by a panel of commissioners and can be appealed to the judge of the Court of Claims.

The Court of Claims handles cases for the entire state from one location in Columbus.
Ohio Court Notes
In several counties, the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas is also the clerk of the County Court and Municipal Courts.

Some counties have established specialized divisions in various courts, including Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts and Diversion programs.

Where to find court cases in Ohio
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in Ohio.
 
Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
Civil Courts of Common Pleas County Courts Municipal Courts Mayor's Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
Some General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
General Civil - Limited
Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Most or all General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the County Courts
Most or all General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Small Claims
 
Some Small Claims cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Small Claims cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Civil Equity
Most or all Civil Equity cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Some Civil Equity cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Civil Equity cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Complex Commercial
Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Foreclosures and Liens
Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Real Estate Title and Boundary
Most or all Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Some Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the County Courts
 
 
Landlord / Tenant
Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Most or all Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the County Courts
Most or all Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Ordinance Violations
 
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Mayor
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
Most or all Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Administrative Agency Appeals
Most or all Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Criminal Courts of Common Pleas County Courts Municipal Courts Mayor's Courts
Felony
Most or all Felony cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Felony Preliminary Hearings
Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Misdemeanors
Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the County Courts
Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Mayor
Ordinance Violations
 
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Mayor
Juvenile
Most or all Juvenile cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Traffic and Infractions
 
Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Mayor
Domestic Relations Courts of Common Pleas County Courts Municipal Courts Mayor's Courts
Divorce
Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Child Custody and Visitation
Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Child Support
Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Paternity
Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Domestic Violence Protection Order
Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Some Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Juvenile Courts of Common Pleas County Courts Municipal Courts Mayor's Courts
Adoptions
Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Juvenile Delinquency
Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Child Abuse and Neglect
Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Termination of Parental Rights
Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Children in Need of Supervision
Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Mental Health Courts of Common Pleas County Courts Municipal Courts Mayor's Courts
Involuntary Commitments
Most or all Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Other Mental Health Cases
Most or all Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
Some Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the County Courts
Some Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
 
Probate Courts of Common Pleas County Courts Municipal Courts Mayor's Courts
Wills & Estates
Most or all Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Name Changes
Most or all Name Changes cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Trusts
Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 
Guardianships and Conservatorships
Most or all Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Courts of Common Pleas
 
 
 

Note: Some courts in Ohio are not included in the chart above. Please use the following links for descriptions and types of cases heard:
 
  Court of Claims

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