Ohio Courts of Common Pleas
The Ohio Courts of Common Pleas are the trial court
Trial court
A trial court or court of first instance is a court in which trials take place. Such courts are said to have original jurisdiction.- In the United States :...

s of the state court system of Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...


The courts of common pleas are the trial courts of general jurisdiction
General jurisdiction
A court of general jurisdiction is one that has the authority to hear cases of all kinds - criminal, civil, family, probate, and so forth.-Courts of general jurisdiction in the United States:All federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Many U.S...

 in the state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

. They are the only trial courts created by the Ohio Constitution
Ohio Constitution
The Ohio Constitution is the basic governing document of the State of Ohio, which in 1803 became the 17th state to join the United States of America. Ohio has had two constitutions since statehood was granted....

 (in Article IV, Section 1). The duties of the courts are outlined in Article IV, Section 4. Each of Ohio's 88 counties has a court of common pleas. The Ohio General Assembly
Ohio General Assembly
The Ohio General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Ohio. It consists of the 99-member Ohio House of Representatives and the 33-member Ohio Senate...

 (the state legislature) has the power to divide courts of common pleas into divisions, and has done so, establishing general, domestic relations
Domestic relations
In the common law tradition, the law of domestic relations is a broad category that encompasses:* divorce;* property settlements;* alimony, spousal support, or other maintenance;* the establishment of paternity;...

, juvenile
Juvenile court
A juvenile court is a tribunal having special authority to try and pass judgments for crimes committed by children or adolescents who have not attained the age of majority...

, and probate
Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under the valid will. A probate court decides the validity of a testator's will...

  • General divisions have original jurisdiction
    Original jurisdiction
    The original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, when a court has the power to review a lower court's decision.-France:...

     in all criminal
    Criminal law
    Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

    A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors...

     cases, all civil
    Civil law (common law)
    Civil law, as opposed to criminal law, is the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim...

    A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

     in which the amount in controversy
    Amount in controversy
    Amount in controversy is a term used in United States civil procedure to denote the amount at stake in a lawsuit, in particular in connection with a requirement that persons seeking to bring a lawsuit in a particular court must be suing for a certain minimum amount before that court may hear the...

     is more than $15,000, and all cases involving title to real estate, excepting eviction matters. General divisions also have appellate jurisdiction
    Appellate jurisdiction
    Appellate jurisdiction is the power of the Supreme Court to review decisions and change outcomes of decisions of lower courts. Most appellate jurisdiction is legislatively created, and may consist of appeals by leave of the appellate court or by right...

     over the decisions of some state administrative agencies and of city agencies.
  • Domestic relations divisions have jurisdiction over proceedings involving divorce
    Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

     (dissolution of marriage
    Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

    ), annulment
    Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place...

    , legal separation
    Legal separation
    Legal separation is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married. A legal separation is granted in the form of a court order, which can be in the form of a legally binding consent decree...

    , spousal support, parental rights, children, etc.
  • Juvenile divisions hear cases involving juvenile delinquency
    Juvenile delinquency
    Juvenile delinquency is participation in illegal behavior by minors who fall under a statutory age limit. Most legal systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing with juveniles, such as juvenile detention centers. There are a multitude of different theories on the causes of crime, most if not...

    Minor (law)
    In law, a minor is a person under a certain age — the age of majority — which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood; the age depends upon jurisdiction and application, but is typically 18...

     under 18 years of age charged with acts that would be crimes if committed by an adult) as well as cases involving unruly, dependent
    This article is related to law. For the personality trait, see Dependent Personality DisorderA dependant or dependent is a person who relies on another as a primary source of income...

     and neglected children
    Child abuse
    Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of a child. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Children And Families define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or...

    . Juvenile courts have jurisdiction in adult cases involving paternity
    Paternity (law)
    In law, paternity is the legal acknowledgment of the parental relationship between a man and a child usually based on several factors.At common law, a child born to the wife during a marriage is the husband's child under the "presumption of legitimacy", and the husband is assigned complete rights,...

    , child abuse
    Child abuse
    Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of a child. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Children And Families define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or...

    , non-payment of child support
    Child support
    In family law and public policy, child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship...

    , contributing to the delinquency of minors, and the failure to send children to school (truancy
    Truancy is any intentional unauthorized absence from compulsory schooling. The term typically describes absences caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate "excused" absences, such as ones related to medical conditions...

  • Probate divisions - Formerly probate was handled by separate probate courts under Ohio Constitution of 1851, which had original jurisdiction over the probate of wills
    Wills is a surname and may refer to:* Alfred Wills , English High Court judge and mountaineer* Andrew Wills , Australian rules footballer* Anneke Wills , British actress...

    , supervision of the administration of estates
    Administration of an estate on death
    In English law, Administration of an estate on death arises if the deceased is legally intestate. In United States law, the term Estate Administration is used....

    , and guardianship
    Legal guardian
    A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability...

    . In 1968, the Modern Courts Amendment to the Ohio Constitution was adopted, establishing probate divisions of the courts of common pleas instead. Probate courts additionally have jurisdiction over the issuance of marriage license
    Marriage license
    A marriage license is a document issued, either by a church or state authority, authorizing a couple to marry. The procedure for obtaining a license varies between countries and has changed over time...

    s, adoption
    Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents...

     proceedings, determination of sanity
    Sanity refers to the soundness, rationality and healthiness of the human mind, as opposed to insanity. A person is sane if they are rational...

     or mental competency
    Competence (law)
    In American law, competence concerns the mental capacity of an individual to participate in legal proceedings. Defendants that do not possess sufficient "competence" are usually excluded from criminal prosecution, while witnesses found not to possess requisite competence cannot testify...

     and certain eminent domain
    Eminent domain
    Eminent domain , compulsory purchase , resumption/compulsory acquisition , or expropriation is an action of the state to seize a citizen's private property, expropriate property, or seize a citizen's rights in property with due monetary compensation, but without the owner's consent...

     proceedings. Probate judges may also act as marriage officiant
    Marriage officiant
    A marriage officiant is a person who officiates at a wedding ceremony.-Civil:Marriage officiant is a civil officer who performs acts of marriage, civil union or commitment. Their main responsibility is to receive and witness the consent of the intended spouses and to ensure the legal formalities,...

    s and charge a fee for the service.

A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

s of the court of common pleas are elected to six-year terms on a nonpartisan
In political science, nonpartisan denotes an election, event, organization or person in which there is no formally declared association with a political party affiliation....

 ballot, although candidates may choose to run in partisan primary elections. In order to be appointed or elected to the court, a person must be an attorney
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 with at least six years of experience in the practice of law
Practice of law
In its most general sense, the practice of law involves giving legal advice to clients, drafting legal documents for clients, and representing clients in legal negotiations and court proceedings such as lawsuits, and is applied to the professional services of a lawyer or attorney at law, barrister,...


External links

  • List of Ohio Courts of Common Pleas from of the Supreme Court of Ohio
    Supreme Court of Ohio
    The Supreme Court of Ohio is the highest court in the U.S. state of Ohio, with final authority over interpretations of Ohio law and the Ohio Constitution. The court has seven members, a chief justice and six associate justices, each serving six-year terms...

    and the Ohio Judicial System
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