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The Guide to Ohio Court Records


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.

Find court records by county Find court records by town or zip code Find court resources by category Find court records in other states
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.
 


 
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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
CivilCourts of Common PleasCounty CourtsMunicipal CourtsMayor'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's Courts
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
   
CriminalCourts of Common PleasCounty CourtsMunicipal CourtsMayor'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's 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's Courts
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's Courts
Domestic RelationsCourts of Common PleasCounty CourtsMunicipal CourtsMayor'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
 
JuvenileCourts of Common PleasCounty CourtsMunicipal CourtsMayor'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 HealthCourts of Common PleasCounty CourtsMunicipal CourtsMayor'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
 
ProbateCourts of Common PleasCounty CourtsMunicipal CourtsMayor'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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