Rule 1: Adoption, Scope, and Construction Rules

1.01 The Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas for Marion County, Ohio adopts the following Rules for the management of proceedings and other functions of the Court pursuant to Rule 9 of the Rules of Superintendence of the Common Pleas Courts. The Court may amend these Rules from time to time as needed or as required by law.

1.02 These Rules are intended to supplement and compliment the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, the Ohio Juvenile Rules of Procedure, the Superintendence Rules of the Supreme Court of Ohio, and other controlling statutes.

1.03 These Rules shall be applied, construed and enforced so as to avoid inconsistency with other rules of Court and statutes governing proceedings of this Court. In their application, they shall be construed so as to provide fairness and to secure just, expeditious, and inexpensive determination of all proceedings. They shall apply to proceedings pending at the time they take effect.

1.04 These Rules shall be cited as “Marion F.C. Rule X.XX.”

1.05 These Rules shall be effective May 1, 2003, and supersede all previous rules promulgated by this Court.

Rule 2: Conduct in Court

2.01 Counsel for all parties shall be present and before the Court at the assigned hearing time. If counsel is not present in Court at the assigned hearing time, the case may commence without counsel, may be continued, or may be dismissed, as the Court may decide is appropriate. If counsel is going to be late for a hearing, counsel must make a reasonable effort to notify the Judge or Magistrate as soon as practical in order to explain the reason for their lateness. Repeated lateness or absences may result in the removal of an attorney from the appointment list in the Marion County Family Court and/or other remedial sanctions.

The unexcused failure of an attorney and/or party to appear for a hearing at the scheduled time, may result, within the discretion of the Court, in subjecting the offender to any or all of the sanctions provided by law.

2.02 Proper decorum in the Court is necessary to the administration of the Court’s business.

2.03 No cell-phones, radio or television transmission, voice recording device(other than a device used in making a record of the proceedings for the Court) or the making or taking of pictures shall be permitted in the Courtroom except as provided elsewhere under these Rules.

2.04 Spectators shall not be allowed in the courtroom without the consent of the Court. No child shall be permitted to enter or remain in any courtroom unless accompanied by an adult. In every case of an adult charged with a criminal offense, the right of public trial and hearing shall be observed, with the right to trial by jury as provided by law or the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

2.05 Food, beverages, gum chewing, and smoking are prohibited in the courtroom during all hearings. Smoking is prohibited throughout the Family Court area.

2.06 No person carrying a bag, case or parcel shall be permitted to enter or remain in the courtroom without first, if requested by the Court, submitting such bag, case or parcel to security personnel for inspection.

2.07 All persons shall dress appropriately and respectfully when appearing before the Court. Failure to comply with this Rule may result in any or all of the sanctions referred to in Rule 2.01 being imposed.

2.08 Persons committing any violation of proper conduct shall be removed from the courtroom, hallway or entry-way by security personnel charged with enforcement of this Rule.

Rule 3: Security for Costs

3.01 No action or proceeding shall be accepted by the Family Court for filing unless the party or parties offering the same for filing shall have first deposited a sum to secure the payment of the costs that may accrue in each action or proceeding, except as otherwise provided by law. Such advance deposit shall be in accordance with the following schedule:

Complaint for Divorce or Annulment without children$247.00
Complaint for Divorce or Annulment with children$275.00 
Counterclaim without children$175.00
Counterclaim with children$203.00
Legal separation without children$215.00
Legal separation with children$243.00
Petition for Dissolution without children$247.00
Petition for Dissolution with children$303.00
Request for appointment of Guardian Ad Litem$1500.00
Any Complaint or Motion for Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities$243.00
Case(Re)Activations (other than for Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities)$165.00
Motion for Mediation$200.00

3.02 When the Family Court has determined that costs in a case still active have exceeded the deposit, the Court shall require an additional deposit of the same amount as when the case was originally filed.

3.03 In cases where service by publication is necessary, the notice and the payment for the legal notice is to be made directly to the newspaper by the party seeking service. However, such amount may be taxed as costs as the Court deems appropriate. Proof of publication shall be filed with the Family Court.

3.04 Affidavit of Poverty filed pursuant to Revised Code 2323.30 shall state the reasons for inability to advance security for costs including financial information. The Affidavit is subject to review by the Court at any stage of the proceedings. A Motion to Reduce PEACE fee shall be filed separately through the Family Court and shall state, by affidavit, the reasons for inability to advance the PEACE fee.

3.05 If filed by an inmate of a state institution, an Affidavit of Poverty shall be accompanied by a Certificate of Superintendent or other appropriate officer of the institution setting forth the amount of funds, if any, which the inmate may have on deposit with the institution available to the inmate.

3.06 The final judgment entry shall direct the Family Court to apply any and all security deposits to the costs in the case, regardless of the party against whom costs are assessed. A Deputy Clerk shall then deliver a statement of costs to the party against whom costs were assessed.

3.07 Documents already filed shall not be altered without a nunc pro tunc Order or other Order of the Court.

Rule 4: Dismissal of Cases

4.01 Upon failure to comply with any local rule, statute, order, civil rule, or failure to timely journalize, the assigned Judge may, after notice, exercise any sanction provided by the Civil Rules including dismissal.

Rule 5: Pleadings

5.01 All pleadings and motions shall be legibly typewritten or printed and be double spaced on a single-side 8½ by 11 inch paper and shall have a 2 inch top margin and a 1 inch bottom margin. In addition, all pleadings and motions shall contain the following: 

(a) A case designation form (See Form F attached hereto)
(b) The caption in a party’s initial pleading or motion shall contain the following: Actions for divorce, dissolution or post decree originating from a termination of marriage: Case number, name, address, zip code and date of birth of each party, assigned Judge’s name and Magistrate’s name. Indicate whether with child, with child with Juvenile Court Jurisdiction or without child. 
(c) Case captions in all actions involving juveniles or parentage actions shall contain child’s name, date of birth, case number, SETS number (if available), Judge’s and Magistrate’s name. 

All pleadings and motions shall contain the name of the attorney, as counsel for plaintiff or defendant, office address, office telephone number, fax number, if any, and the attorney’s Ohio Supreme Court registration number. 

5.02 During the pendency of any case or Motion, all Notices directed to a Party to the case will be sent to the address the Party has listed upon the Complaint, Petition or Motion. All Parties to a case not represented by an attorney, must, during the pendency of the case advise the Court, in writing, of his or her address if the address is different than that listed upon the Complaint, Petition or Motion or if the address otherwise changes during the pendency of the case. Failure to do so may result in Hearings going forward and relief granted in default of a Party’s appearance. 

Form G contained herein may be used to comply with this Rule and should be sent or delivered to the Marion County Court of Common Pleas, Family Division at the time of filing. 

5.03 All Separation Agreements filed with the Court must be a separate document, typed, styled as a Separation Agreement, and not included in the body of the pleadings. 

All Shared Parenting Plans filed with the Court must be a separate document, typed, styled as a Shared Parenting Plan, and not included in the body of the pleadings. 

5.04 All Complaints in Divorce, Answers, and Counterclaims shall be accompanied by Affidavit 1 (Income and Expenses Affidavit) and Affidavit 2 (Property Affidavit). In addition if the action involves children, Affidavits 3 (Parenting Proceeding Affidavit) and 4 (Health Insurance) must be filed. A Notice of Submission shall be filed with the Family Court when income verification attachments are directly deposited with the assigned Judge’s Office. 

The parties shall file updated Affidavits as information changes or becomes available. 

Forms A,B,C and D contained herein may be used to comply with this Rule and shall be sent or delivered to the Marion County Family Court for filing. Additional copies of these forms may be obtained from the Court. 

5.05 It shall be the duty of the attorney or party to file copies for service on all parties. 

5.06 Any Petition for Dissolution and Separation Agreement shall be accompanied by Affidavits 1(Income and Expenses Affidavit) and 2(Property Affidavit). In addition if the petition involves children, Affidavits 3 (Parenting Proceeding Affidavit) and 4 (Health Insurance) must be filed. 

5.07 A Notice of Appearance or Substitution shall be filed by Counsel when entering any pending case. 

5.08 In all Divorces, Dissolutions and Legal Separations, each spouse shall disclose in a full and complete manner all marital property, separate property, and other assets, debts, income, and expenses of the spouse. 

Rule 6: Motions

6.01 All motions shall contain a notice of the hearing date and time obtained from the Family Court prior to filing.

6.02 In addition to that required by statute or Civil Rule, the following documents shall be filed with any motion to modify or establish child support and/or spousal support: Affidavits 1 (Income and Expenses Affidavit),3 (Parenting Proceeding Affidavit) and 4 (Health Insurance Affidavit) (Forms A, C and D); the preceding year’s W-2; a statement from the party’s employer of all wages received in the preceding six (6) pay periods or photocopies of pay stubs for the preceding six (6) pay periods; and a statement from the party’s employer of all overtime and bonuses received for the preceding three (3) years. The responding party shall deliver copies of his or her completed schedule and the above income information to the movant’s attorney prior to the commencement of the hearing. The responding party shall file copies of his or her completed schedule and the above income information three (3) days prior to the first scheduled pretrial hearing. Proof of Income documentation may be submitted directly to the Office of the assigned Judge or Magistrate and a Notice of Submission filed with the Court.

Except, however, CSEA shall comply with the SETS requirements and additional information as the Court requests.

6.03 In hearings on petitions for protection orders, the following shall apply:

(a) Ex Parte Hearings will be heard by the Magistrate in accordance with the time limits outlined in Revised Code 3113.31(D). If the Magistrate is not available, hearings will be heard by the assigned Judge.

(b) At the time of the Full Hearing, the Respondent may request a continuance to obtain counsel provided that the Ex-Parte orders remain in effect until the next hearing.

6.04 Any motion for contempt including but not limited to motions for failure to pay child support, failure to pay spousal support, denial of visitation, or a violation of a CPO, shall be accompanied by instructions to the Family Court to serve the alleged contemnor with a summons in compliance with Revised Code 2705.031(C).

6.05 An ex parte motion shall be supported by an affidavit of the moving party setting forth the facts on which the motion is based. A Magistrate/Judge may, upon filing, immediately hold a hearing. The respondent’s attorney, if any, shall be served with the motion and notified of any hearing. If the respondent is not represented, petitioner shall serve respondent notice by personal service. A full hearing on a motion for ex parte orders shall be held within seven business days from the date the ex parte order was granted. 

In the case of a Juvenile shelter care, a hearing shall be held pursuant to applicable Ohio Revised Code Statute.

Rule 7: Motions for Orders Pendente Lite and Temporary Orders

7.01 All requests for temporary orders shall comply with the procedure set forth in Civil Rule 75 (N)(1), Requests for Orders Pendente Lite, and the procedure set forth in this local rule.

7.02 Upon expiration of the time limit set by Civil Rule 75 (N)(2), the Magistrate or assigned Judge will, without oral hearing, review and issue orders pendente lite.

7.03 Motions for orders pendente lite shall be in the same form as appended to these rules as Form E. Any Motion for hearing on orders pendente lite shall comply with Civil Rule 75 (N).

7.04 Motions for Temporary Orders which could have been resolved without oral hearing under Civil Rule 75(N) may be made only with leave of Court. The Magistrate/Judge may schedule any issue for hearing for Temporary Orders.

7.05 Any request for Temporary Orders that are not addressed under Civil Rule 75 (N) shall be made by Motion and scheduled for hearing.

7.06 To effectuate an agreed child support order in an action for Dissolution, an Agreed Temporary Order shall be filed with the Court and served upon the Child Support Enforcement Agency.

Rule 8: Motion to Vacate Premises

8.01 An ex parte exclusive occupancy order can be obtained preventing a party from returning to the premises if such a party has been absent for more than thirty (30) continuous days immediately preceding the filing of the motion. Absence from the premises means the party is no longer residing at the premises. The motion seeking an ex parte temporary restraining order preventing a party from returning to the premises must be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the approximate date on which the absent party left the premises, the number of days (months) of continuous absence immediately preceding the filing of the motion and any reason for the absence which is known to the movant. Any motion to dissolve an ex parte temporary restraining order granted pursuant to this rule shall be set for hearing within fourteen (14) days of the date the motion to dissolve is filed.

Rule 9: Title IV-D Applications

9.01 Any order which contains an order of support shall include language requiring the obligee to sign, at the time of the issuance or modification of said order, an application for Title IV-D services and to file as soon as possible the signed application with the Child Support Enforcement Agency that will consider the order, pursuant to Revised Code 2301.35(J)(2). The obligee may submit the signed application to the Family Court for filing with the appropriate Child Support Enforcement Agency.

9.02 Before any motion for reallocation of parental rights and responsibilities is heard, the current obligee shall file a Title IV-D application in accordance with this rule unless the obligee has already done so. If the current obligee is not available, the current obligor shall file a Title IV-D application in accordance with this rule unless the current obligee has already done so.

9.03 The Court case number and SETS number shall be typed or legibly written at the top of the Title IV-D application.

Rule 10: Income/Assets Withholding Order

10.01 All income/assets withholding notices issued pursuant to Revised Code Sections 3111.21 and 3113.23 shall be issued by and through the Marion County Child Support Enforcement Agency. Attorneys shall be responsible for the preparation and submission of a Request to Issue income/assets withholding notice (Form H) with the Judgment Entry.

10.02 The Marion County Child Support Enforcement Agency shall complete the income/assets withholding notice to the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services when withholding from unemployment benefits is deemed necessary. 

10.03 All income/assets withholding notices shall include processing fee (except benefit withholding orders to the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services and child support arrearages), and shall be stated on a monthly basis. 

10.04 The Family Court shall forward a copy of the Request to Issue income/assets withholding notice (Form H) to the Marion County Child Support Enforcement Agency. The Child Support Enforcement Agency shall forward a copy to each party by regular mail. 

10.05 The Marion County Child Support Enforcement Agency shall forward a copy of all income/assets withholding notices issued by the Agency to the Family Court. A Deputy Clerk shall place a copy of said notice in the appropriate Court file.

Rule 11: Continuances

11.01 Motions for continuances shall comply with Rule 41 of the Rules of Superintendence for Courts of Common Pleas. 

All Motions for continuances shall be filed with the Court at the earliest possible date after the discovery that a continuance is necessary. Counsel must file a Notice of Appearance prior to filing their Motion. Motions shall include the signature of counsel and the moving party. Notice shall be given to opposing counsel or opposing party if the party is not represented by counsel and to the Guardian ad litem. 

Motions for Continuance shall not be filed less than seven (7) days prior to the date of trial or hearing, nor shall a continuance be granted on the date of trial or hearing, except for good cause shown. 

If a Motion for Continuance is filed due to counsel being engaged in trial in another Court, a copy of the other Court’s Notice of Hearing shall be attached to the Motion to continue. 

At the discretion of the Court, the Court may require any oral requests for continuances be followed by a written Motion and Memorandum of support filed with the Clerk within two (2) days of the oral request. 

All requests for continuances, whether written or oral, shall be ruled upon and noted on the case docket sheet by the assigned Judge or Magistrate within 72 hours of presentation to the Court. The docket entry shall contain the date, party making the request, whether the continuance is granted or denied and if granted, the new hearing date. 

11.02 A motion for continuance of a hearing scheduled before the Magistrate shall be submitted to the Magistrate rather than the assigned Judge. The Magistrate will rule on the request for continuance by means of a Magistrate’s Order.

Rule 12: Education Programs

12.01 This rule applies to all parenting proceedings as defined in Revised Code 3109.21. 

12.02 In any parenting proceeding, every party requesting parental rights and/or companionship shall attend an informational seminar designed to educate the interested parties on how to minimize the negative impact separation may have on their children. This informational seminar will be referred to as the P.E.A.C.E. Program. 

12.03 The initiating party must attend the P.E.A.C.E. Program within sixty (60) days of the filing of the initiating document. The responding party must attend the P.E.A.C.E. Program within sixty (60) days of service of the summons or motion. Failure to comply may result in sanctions. 

12.04 The initiating party shall attach to the initiating document (Complaint or Motion) a form captioned “NOTICE TO RESPONDING PARTY.” Said notice shall be in the form prescribed by the Court as appended to these rules (Form I). 

12.05 A fee will be charged for attendance and added to filing fees. The fee will be established by the Court and shall be subject to change. The fee may be reduced upon a demonstration of extreme hardship. 

12.06 Waiver of attendance may be granted by the assigned Judge or Magistrate only upon a demonstration of extreme hardship. 

12.07 If the initiating party has failed to attend the P.E.A.C.E. Program, the Court may refuse to hear the motion until the P.E.A.C.E. Program is attended. 

12.08 A certificate of attendance will be issued to each participant, and a copy delivered to the Family Court for filing. The Clerk of Courts shall file a copy of the certificate in the record and docket the attendance. 

12.09 If the party attended the P.E.A.C.E. program under a different case, it is the party’s responsibility to make certain that the Certificate of Attendance is filed in all appropriate cases. A party will not be required to repeat the P.E.A.C.E. Program unless the party is specifically ordered by the Court. 

12.10 In any proceeding requesting an order regarding parental rights and responsibilities, any minor children enrolled in grades 2-12 shall attend and complete the K.I.D.S. program. The program cost shall be included in the filing fees.

Rule 13: Restraining Order

13.01 A temporary mutual restraining order shall be issued without notice upon the filing of a complaint for divorce, legal separation, or annulment and shall remain in force during the pendency of the action unless vacated or modified. 

13.02 The restraining orders shall accompany the Complaint at the time of filing. Attorney for the Plaintiff shall forthwith deliver a copy of the restraining orders to the Plaintiff. The Family Court shall serve Defendant a copy of the restraining orders along with the Complaint pursuant to Civil Rule and place a file stamped copy in the file. The mutual restraining orders shall be in the same format as appended to these rules (Form J). 

13.03 Upon Motion and supporting affidavit, additional restraining orders may be issued, with or without bond, against financial institutions or other parties that are joined as parties. 

13.04 A party against whom a temporary restraining order has been granted may file a motion, supported by affidavit, requesting that such an order be vacated. A motion to vacate a mutual or ex parte restraining order may be set for hearing before the Magistrate/Judge. 

13.05 All other motions for ex parte orders shall be handled in accordance with Marion F.C. Rule 6.05.

Rule 14: Service of Process by Posting and Mail

14.01 In all actions, when a party is proceeding in forma pauperis and if the residences of the parties to be served are unknown, service may be obtained by publication or by posting and mail, pursuant to the provisions of Civil Rule 4.4(A)(2). 

14.02 The Family Court shall cause service of Notice to be made by posting in a conspicuous place in: Marion County Courthouse, Courthouse Square, Marion, Ohio; the Marion County Building, 222 West Center Street, the Marion County Department of Job and Family Services Building, 363 West Fairground Street, Marion, Ohio; and the Marion Municipal Building, 233 West Center Street, Marion, Ohio. 

14.03 Except as provided under F.C. Rule 14.01, in all Juvenile actions a party requesting service shall instruct the Family Court to issue service by personal service through the Sheriff, Special Process Server pursuant to Rule 15, or certified mail.

Rule 15: Special Process Server

15.01 One-Time Appointment. If a party desires personal service to be made by a special process server pursuant to Civil Rule 4.1, the party or counsel must file with the Marion County Family Court an Order appointing a special process server. The following must be stated in the Order of appointment: (a) The name of the person to be appointed as process server; (b) That the person to be appointed as process server is 18 years of age or older; (c) That the person to be appointed as process server is not a party to the action. 15.02 Continuing Appointment. A person may apply to be designated as a “Standing Special Process Server” for cases filed in this Court by filing an application supported by affidavit setting forth the following information: 

(a) The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant; 

(b) That the applicant is 18 years of age or older; 

(c) That the applicant agrees not to attempt service of process in any case in which the applicant is a party or counsel for a party; 

(d) That the applicant agrees to follow the requirements of Civil Rules 4 through 4.6, and any applicable local rules, and specific instructions for service of process as ordered by the Court in individual cases. 

The applicant requesting designation shall also submit an order captioned, “In re The Appointment of (name of applicant) As Standing Special Process Server,” and stating as follows: “It appearing to the Court that the following applicant has complied with the provisions of Marion F.C. Rule 15.02, (name of applicant) is hereby designated as a Standing Special Process Server authorized to make service of process in all cases filed in this Court, to serve until further order of the Court.” The Family Court shall record such appointment on the Court’s General Docket, and shall retain the original applications and entries. In any case thereafter, the Family Court shall accept a time-stamped copy of such an order as satisfying the requirements of Civil Rule 4.1 for designation by the Court of a person to make service of process.

Rule 16: Pre-Trial Procedure in Cases Originating From Terminations of Marriage

16.01 A pre-trial hearing shall be held in every contested divorce, post decree motion to change designation of residential parent and legal custodian, and post decree motion to modify companionship and in such other circumstances as the Court deems necessary. 

16.02 In contested divorces, pre-trial statements shall be filed with the Family Court three (3) days prior to the pre-trial hearing and are to include: 

(a) Proposals; 
(b) Updated Affidavits 1, 2, 3 and 4. 
(c) Detailed agreed and contested issues; 
(d) Assets or debts alleged to be non-marital; 
(e) Prior six (6) pay stubs and the prior year’s W-2 form; 
(f) The number and nature of exhibits to be introduced, and if required by the Court, produce them for examination by the Court or parties; 
(g) The names and addresses and specialties of any anticipated expert witnesses; 
(h) The names of any anticipated lay witnesses. 

A copy shall be served on all parties and a copy submitted directly to the Family Court. Failure to file a pre-trial statement as ordered may result in a finding that there is agreement to all matters included in the pre-trial statement from opposing party. 

16.03 Appraisals of all real and personal property including, but not limited to, real estate and pensions shall be completed prior to the pre-trial hearing so that there can be an exchange of information. If written stipulations are filed, appraisals will not be necessary unless ordered by the Court. 

16.04 If the parties are unable to agree regarding an inventory and value of personal property or division of same, the parties shall arrange for an appraisal of the personal property and evidence of same shall be presented at the final hearing. 

16.05 The attorneys are expected to communicate before and after the pre-trial hearing in order to attempt to narrow the issues and resolve as many issues as possible prior to the final hearing. 

16.06 All parties shall be present at the pre-trial hearing unless excused by the Court. 

16.07 The attorneys shall be prepared to: 

(a) Freely discuss the theories of their case, both factual and legal; 
(b) Discuss the necessity or desirability of amendments to any pleadings or the filing of additional pleadings; 
(c) Discuss simplification of the issues; 
(d) Make admissions as to the facts and the genuineness of documents and other exhibits which are not in dispute; 
(e) Eliminate parties unnecessary to the case; 
(f) Exchange reports of expert witnesses expected to be called by the parties; 
(g) Exchange medical reports and hospital records if intended to be offered at final hearing; 
(h) Discuss limitations on the number of expert witnesses; 
(i) Discuss the necessity of supplementing interrogatory answers or other previous discoverable matters; 
(j) Discuss procedures and time limitations for the completion of any further anticipated discovery;
(k) Discuss any other matters that may expedite the trial or disposition of the case. 

16.08 Failure of an attorney to be prepared for pre-trial hearing; failure of a party or attorney to appear; or failure to cooperate in good faith in the conduct of the pre-trial hearing, may subject said attorney or party to sanctions, including a finding of contempt, an award of expenses and/or attorney fees. Upon failure of the plaintiff or defendant to appear in person or by counsel at the pre-trial hearing in accordance herewith, the Court may proceed with all matters ex parte.

Rule 17: Pre-Trial Procedure in All Other Cases

17.01 Trial counsel shall appear at each pre-trial conference with client(s). At the pre-trial, trial counsel should be prepared for settlement of all issues. In the event that all issues are not settled at the pre-trial, the following matters shall be considered or completed by counsel for the parties: 

(a) Those matters set forth in Rule 16 of the Civil Rules. 
(b) Those matters set forth in Juvenile Rule 24 (a)(1)-(6). 
(c) Further discovery proceedings including a completion date. 
(d) Trial briefs as ordered by the Court. 
(e) Status of case for trial. 
(f) Narrow trial issues by stipulation. 
(g) Other than in delinquency, unruly, and traffic cases, parties shall have made at least one (1) good faith attempt to settle the case. 

17.02 The pre-trial conference shall be assigned no later than two (2) weeks before the assigned date of the trial of the action. All counsel shall be fully prepared to discuss all the above issues at pre-trial. Failure to be so prepared may result in the imposition of sanctions, attorney fees and/or court costs. 

17.03 All records requested by motions for discovery in the custody of the Marion County Children Services (MCCS) shall be examined by counsel at the office of MCCS during normal business hours or at such time as MCCS may approve in advance. 

MCCS shall make all records in the particular case, except those protected by statute: ORC 2151.141; OAC 5101:2-24-38 and USC Title 42 (6A) sec. 290dd-2, available to counsel and permit the reproduction of any documents requested by counsel. 

Marion County Children Services may charge counsel a reasonable fee for reproductions and if counsel is Court-Appointed, counsel shall submit said charges as expenses on the fee request. 

17.04 All actions will be pre-tried unless they are not contested, in which case the initial hearing date may be considered a final hearing on the action if the Court deems it appropriate. A notice of the following effect should be included with the filing of the action. 

The hearing scheduled on the above action will be considered a pre-trial conference before the Court, rather than a hearing on the merits, unless the party against whom the action is brought fails to appear at the hearing and does not file an objection to the requested relief, and if no such appearance or objection is made, the Court may proceed to the merits of the action at the scheduled hearing without further notice.

Rule 18: Family Court Services Department

18.01 The Court, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.04(C), may appoint Family Court Services, upon its own Motion or the Motion of a party, in order to complete an investigation. 

18.02 An investigation may be made as to the character, family relations, past conduct, earning ability, and financial worth of each parent and request the Court to order the parents and their minor children to submit to medical, psychological, and psychiatric examinations. 

18.03 The report of the investigation and examinations shall be made available to either parent and/or counsel of record not less than seven (7) days before trial. The report may be available at the settlement conference or final pre-trial provided that a final hearing has already been scheduled. The report shall be signed by the investigator, and the investigator shall be subject to cross-examination by either parent concerning the contents of the report. 

18.04 If counsel intends to call the investigator as a witness, the investigator must be subpoenaed seven (7) days prior to the scheduled hearing. 

18.05 The Court may tax as costs all or any part of the expenses for each investigation.

Rule 19: Court Mediation Services

19.01 Definitions
All definitions found in the “Uniform Mediation Act” (UMA) O.R.C. section 2710.01 are adopted by this Court through this Local Rule, including the following as used in this Local Rule: 

A. “Mediation” means any process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute. 
B. “Mediator” means an individual who conducts a mediation. 
C. “Mediation Communication” means a statement, whether oral, in a record, verbal or nonverbal, that occurs during a mediation or is made for purposes of considering, conducting, participating in, initiating, continuing, or reconvening a mediation or retaining a mediator. 
D. “Proceeding” means a judicial, administrative, arbitral, or other adjudicative process, including related pre-hearing and post-hearing motions, conferences, and discovery. 

19.02 Purpose
Mediation services have been established in order to promote greater efficiency and to facilitate the earliest possible resolution in Marion County Family Court cases. The Court will determine whether a matter is appropriate for the mediation process before scheduling a mediation conference. A mediation conference may be scheduled by court order during any pending case. Parties must attend the scheduled mediation conference. 

19.03 Scope
At any time and in any pending action under the jurisdiction of the Marion County Family Court, a case may be referred for mediation services either in house or to an outside mediator. Mediation is prohibited in any case as an alternative to the prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence; in determining whether to grant, modify or terminate a protection order; in determining the terms and conditions of a protection order; or in determining the penalties or disposition for violation of a protection order. Mediation may be utilized in a subsequent divorce or custody case even though that case may result in the termination or modification of the provisions of a protection order. 

In Probate proceedings, mediation is prohibited in the following cases: 

(a) Cases where one of the parties is or is alleged to be mentally ill; 
(b) In emergency circumstances requiring an immediate hearing by a jurist;
(c) Cases in which the parties have submitted an executed Agreed Judgment Entry; 
(d) In Motions for an Emergency Guardian; or 
(e) Upon Applications for a Special Administrator 

19.04 Post Decree Mediation
The parties may file a Motion for Post Decree Mediation through the Court. The Motion and UCCJA forms are available at the Court. A filing fee will be charged which will include the cost of mediation. 

19.05 Procedure
The Court may order parties to participate in mediation and/or an assessment session to determine the need for appropriate services. If, as a result of the mediation assessment process, a determination is made that the case will proceed to mediation, the Court may permit both parties to participate in mediation for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days, unless both parties request an extension for a time certain. 

19.06 Mediator Duties
The mediator shall do the following: 
(a) Advise all parties of their right to participate in mediation, and if the parties wish, that their attorney or other individual they designate may accompany them and participate in mediation. 
(b) Keep confidential all communication whether verbal or written and advise parties and other participants of confidentiality issues. 
(c) Disclose to the mediation parties, counsel, and any non party participants any known possible conflicts that may affect the mediator’s impartiality as soon as the conflict becomes known to the mediator (see O.R.C. 2710.08(A)and(B).
(d) Inform all interested parties and the Court that mediation is terminated if the mediator determines that further mediation efforts would be of no benefit to the parties or is otherwise inappropriate. 
(e) Screen for domestic violence both before and during mediation (see F.C. Rule 19.08). 
(f) Encourage appropriate referrals to legal counsel and other support services for all parties, including victims of and suspected victims of domestic violence. 
(g) Comply with the Rules of Superintendence for Courts of Common Pleas and submit to the Court an Affidavit of Compliance in a form prescribed by the Court; 
(h) Provide to the parties and their attorneys a summary of any agreement reached or a statement that the mediation has been terminated without an agreement; 
(i) Provide to the attorneys and the Court a mediation report in the form provided by the Court. 

19.07 Confidentiality/Privilege
All mediation communications related to or made during the mediation process are subject to and governed by the “Uniform Mediation Act”(UMA)O.R.C.2710.01 to 2710.10, O.R.C. 3109.052, the Rules of Evidence and any other pertinent judicial rule(s). 

All disclosures made by parties or information received from any source or person during mediation shall be deemed confidential and the mediator shall not be required to disclose any statements or discussions which occurred during mediation. Communications during mediation fall within the purview of the Rules of Evidence which prohibit any party from introducing these communications into evidence. The foregoing confidentiality requirements shall not, however, be construed to exempt any person from the statutory duty to report child abuse pursuant to Revised Code 2151.421. 

19.08 Mediation in Cases with Domestic Violence Issues
For mediation of allocation of parental rights and responsibilities or the care of, or parenting time with, minor children or delinquency or status offense cases, mediation may proceed, when violence or fear of violence is alleged, suspected or present, only if the mediator has specialized training set forth in “Specific qualifications and training: domestic abuse” of this rule and all of the following have been satisfied: 

(a) The person who is or may be the victim is fully informed, both orally and in writing, about the mediation process, his or her right to decline participation in the mediation process, and his or her option to have a support person present at mediation sessions. 
(b) The parties have the capacity to mediate without fear of coercion or control. 
(c) Appropriate procedures are in place to provide for the safety of the person who is or may be the victim of domestic violence and all other persons present at the mediation. 
(d) Procedures are in place for the mediator to terminate mediation if he or she believes that there is a continued threat of domestic violence or coercion between the parties. 
(e) Written findings of fact, as required by O.R.C. 3109.052, have been made by the Court in referring a case involving domestic violence to mediation. 

19.09 Mediation in Abuse, Neglect and Dependency Cases
Mediations in abuse, neglect and dependency cases shall comply with all provisions outlined above. In addition the mediator shall: 

(a) Have had specialized training as set forth in the “Specific Qualifications and Training: Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency” section of this rule. 
(b) Ensure that all parties will either be represented by counsel during mediation or will waive the right to counsel in open court prior to the onset of mediation. If a party is represented by counsel the party may attend mediation without his Attorney only when the right to have counsel present at mediation has been specifically waived. Waivers can be rescinded at any time. 
(c) Notify the parties and non party participants of all mediation sessions. 
(d) When mediation is ordered in a permanent custody case or a dependency, neglect and/or abuse case, it is a Court docketed event and mandates the appearance of all parties, legal counsel and the guardian ad litem. 

19.10 Mediator Qualifications
The following qualifications apply to all mediators to whom the Court makes a referral: 

(a) General Possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent education or have at least two (2) years of professional experience with families, have completed at least twelve hours of basic mediation training or equivalent experience as a mediator that is satisfactory to the Court. 
(b) Specific Qualifications and Training: Family A mediator employed by the Family Court or to whom the Family Court makes referrals for mediation of allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, the care of, or parenting time/visitation with minor children, abuse, neglect and dependency, or juvenile perpetrated domestic violence shall satisfy, in addition to the above, at least forty hours of specialized family or divorce mediation training which has been approved by the Dispute Resolution Section of the Supreme Court and have at least two years of professional experience with families. “Professional experience with families” includes mediation, counseling, casework, legal representation in family law matter, or such equivalent experience satisfactory to the Court. 
(c) Specific Qualifications and Training: Domestic Abuse A mediator employed by the Family Court or to whom the Family Court makes referrals for mediation of any case shall complete at least fourteen hours of specialized training in domestic abuse and mediation through a training program approved by the Ohio Supreme Court Dispute Resolution Section. A mediator who has not completed this specialized training may mediate these cases only if he/she co-mediates with a mediator who had completed the specialized training. 
(d) Specific Qualifications and Training: Abuse, Neglect and Dependency In addition to satisfying the requirements outlined above, a mediator employed by the Family Court or who the Family Court makes referrals for mediation of abuse, neglect, or dependency cases shall complete at least thirty-two hours of specialized child protection mediation training through either a formal training session or through a mentoring program approved by the Dispute Resolution Section of the Ohio Supreme Court. In addition, the mediator shall possess significant experience in mediating family disputes. 

19.11 Model Standards
Mediators providing services for the court shall endeavor to comply with the Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation and the Special Policy Considerations for the State Regulation of Family Mediators and Court Affiliated Programs. In cases where these models are in conflict with Rule 16 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio, the Rule shall control. 

19.12 Mediation Reports
(a) Mediation Agreement: If pro se parties or parties with their respective attorneys reach an agreement in mediation, the mediation report is submitted to the court for review. If an attorney is not present at the mediation and the parties reach an agreement, the attorney is mailed a copy of the mediation report. The attorney may file written objections to the mediation report within ten (10) days of the date of mailing. If an objection is timely filed, the case may be referred to a magistrate or judge. If no objection is timely filed, the mediation report is submitted to the court for review. 

Agreements reached by the parties during mediation may become an order of the Court after review by each party’s attorney and upon submission to the Court in proper entry form. 

(b) Absence of Mediation Agreement: If the parties do not reach an agreement to mediation, the mediation report is filed with the court and the matter is referred to a magistrate or judge. 

19.13 Costs
The Court reserves the right to assess costs for mediation services and determine compensation for any mediator as may be deemed appropriate.

Rule 20: Judgement

20.01 All decrees for dissolution and uncontested divorces shall be submitted to the Court for approval three (3) days prior to the final hearing. 

20.02 The judgment specified in Civil Rule 58 shall be journalized within thirty (30) days of the hearing. If judgment is not prepared and presented for journalization by counsel or party, then it may be prepared and journalized by the Court. Failure to submit an entry to the Court within thirty (30) days of hearing may result in the Court issuing a Sua Sponte Motion to dismiss and dismissal of the case. 

20.03 All orders related to child support or spousal support shall contain the following information: 

(a) Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates of the parties, and SETS number; 
(b) The amount of child support awarded on a monthly basis, per child, plus processing fee; 
(c) Child support and/or spousal support to be paid through the Ohio Child Support Payment Central; 
(d) The effective date of the establishment or modification of support; 
(e) A provision for income/assets withholding order consistent with Revised Code 3112.21(D); 
(f) Whether any support arrearages/overages that have accrued pursuant to temporary orders are merged or not merged into the final Entry. (See Mar. F.C. Rule 20.14) 

20.04 Consent entries involving the allocation of parental rights or otherwise affecting the welfare of minor children must be preceded with the filing of a Motion and Affidavit 3 (Parenting Proceeding Affidavit)(Form C) and may be subject to investigation before approval by the Court. 

20.05 All shared parenting plans filed with the Court must be a separate document, typed, styled as a Shared Parenting Plan, and be attached to and incorporated into a Final Decree of Shared Parenting.(See Marion F.C. Rule 5.03) 

20.06 All separation agreements filed with the Court must be a separate document, typed, styled as a Separation Agreement, and be incorporated by reference into the Final Decree. (See also Marion F.C. Rule 5.03) 

20.07 If no effective date for support is stated in the order, the effective date shall be the file stamped date of the order.

20.08 Unless specifically stated otherwise in the separation agreement, the effective date of any support order shall be the date of execution of the separation agreement. 

20.09 In cases where motions have been settled and the attorney has been required to submit a judgment entry, the judgment entry shall be submitted within thirty (30) days of the hearing date. 

20.10 The Court may order either counsel to prepare the judgment entry setting forth the agreement of the parties. Said judgment entry shall be submitted to the opposing counsel prior to the submission to the Court. If counsel are unable to agree upon the judgment entry, the opposing counsel shall notify in writing, within five (5) days, the counsel who prepared the entry. Both counsel may thereafter submit an entry to the Court within ten (10) days of the written notice, and the Court may direct which entry shall be filed. A judgment entry sent for signature which is not returned or rejected by opposing counsel within five (5) days, may be submitted to the Court without the signature of the opposing counsel or party. A judgment entry submitted to the Court without the signature of the opposing counsel or party shall indicate “submitted but not approved”. All judgment entries not signed by both parties shall be accompanied by a copy of the transmittal letter indicating the date on which the judgment entry was sent to the opposing counsel or party. 

20.11 All judgments shall include a direction to the Family Court to serve upon all parties notice of the judgment and its date of entry upon the journal pursuant to Civil Rule 58. 

20.12 In order to ensure inclusion of certain required provisions/language, an addendum to the Judgment Entry in the same form as appended to these rules as Form K shall be attached to and incorporated by reference in all judgment entries related to allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, child support, or spousal support. 

Form L attached hereto may be used to comply with relocation notice requirements. 

20.13 All agreed Judgment Entries shall be signed by Counsel of Record and the parties. 

20.14 Any support arrearages/overages which might have accrued pursuant to temporary orders shall be merged with the final order unless specifically ordered otherwise. This issue shall be addressed in each entry before the final entry will be approved.

Rule 21: Qualified Domestic Relations Court Order

21.01 Unless otherwise agreed, the counsel for the alternate payee entitled to the pension or retirement plan shall prepare the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”) for submission to the Court. 

21.02 Whenever the parties agree to divide a pension or retirement program by a QDRO, they or their counsel shall sign and approve the original of a QDRO submitted to the Court, and shall sign and approve any subsequent QDRO submitted to the Court. 

21.03 The QDRO shall be submitted to the plan administrator no later than ninety (90) days after the judgment for divorce or legal separation. In a dissolution of marriage proceeding, the QDRO shall be submitted on the date of the final hearing with the decree of dissolution.

Rule 22: Guardian ad Litem

22.01 The rules and qualifications concerning Guardian Ad Litems in the Marion County Family Court shall be governed by Rule 48 of The Rules of Superintendence. In addition, the individual must be an attorney who is a member in good standing of the Ohio Bar and who is experienced in Family Court matters.

Rule 23: Court Appointed Counsel

23.01 The right of all parties to be represented and retain counsel of their own choosing is implicit in the law and is fully recognized by the Court. Indigent parties shall be appointed counsel as provided in the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure and Supreme Court rulings.

23.02 The list of attorneys available for appointment in any action will be maintained by the Court. Any eligible attorney whose name does not appear on the list may have his or her name added upon approval by the Court. 

23.03 All attorney fee applications for assigned counsel in any action shall be filed with the Court every thirty (30) days during the pendency of the action with the final application also being filed with the Court within thirty (30) days of the date of final disposition of the action. Any application for attorney fees for assigned counsel received after thirty (30) days from the date of final disposition will not be approved for the full amount. 

23.04 No attorney of record will be allowed to withdraw nor may they be discharged within fourteen (14) days of the trial date except for good cause shown and provided that such action is not the fault of the attorney and is not for the purpose of delay.

Rule 24: Withdrawal of Counsel

24.01 Attorneys seeking to withdraw as counsel in pending cases shall submit a written request, which shall be in the form of a motion, along with a proposed order. There must be a certificate of service to the opposing counsel and to the withdrawing counsel’s client. The order shall state the date and time of any scheduled hearing and that new counsel should be promptly obtained, unless new counsel is already substituted on the case. Should new counsel have been substituted, the name of said counsel shall be included in the motion and order.

Rule 25: Admission of Out-of-State Attorneys

25.01 An attorney not licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio, but who is duly licensed to practice law in any other state or the District of Columbia, may, in the discretion of the Trial Judge, be permitted to represent a party or parties in any litigation pending or to be in this County after completion of all of the following conditions: 

(a) File a written oath substantially in compliance with Rule 1 Section 8A of the Rules for the Government of the Bar. 
(b) Certify in writing that he or she has familiarized himself or herself with Local Court Rules and will familiarize himself or herself with the appropriate Civil, Juvenile, or Criminal Rules, the Rules of Evidence, and the Code of Professional Responsibility. 
(c) Be sponsored in writing by an attorney, licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio. The motion made by the licensed attorney shall certify such out of state counsel’s compliance with this Rule and the Rules for the Government of the Bar. 
(d) The sponsoring attorney shall submit with the motion and certification an entry authorizing the approval of the motion; and 
(e) The sponsoring attorney, or any other attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio, shall be co-counsel with the attorney admitted pro hoc vice. 

The continuance of any scheduled trial or hearing date shall not be permitted solely because of the unavailability or inconvenience of the out of state counsel.

Rule 26: Attorney Fees

26.01 Any request for attorney fees must be made by written Motion and affidavit. Said Motion shall be filed at least seven days prior to the final hearing and served upon opposing counsel or the opposing party, if pro se. The opposing counsel or party shall have 14 days to file a written objection to the Motion. In cases where the request for attorney fees is $500.00 or less, the Court will make a ruling as to the reasonableness of the fees based upon the affidavits. If the request for attorney fees exceeds $500.00 and an objection is filed, the Court shall set a hearing to determine whether the request is reasonable and equitable. 

26.02 In determining whether an award is equitable, the affidavit in support of attorney fees shall include the following: 

(a) An itemized statement describing the services rendered, the time for such services, the requested hourly rate, and necessary expenses and costs for litigation; 
(b) A statement as to whether the case was complicated by any factor which necessitated extra time being spent on a case; 
(c) A statement regarding the attorney’s years in practice and experience in Family Court cases; and 
(d) In an action for divorce, dissolution, legal separation, or annulment, statements regarding the parties’ marital assets and income (Updated Affidavit 1 (Income and Expenses Affidavit)), awards of temporary spousal support, conduct of the parties, or other relevant factors. 
(e) In any post decree motion or proceeding that arises out of an action for divorce, dissolution, legal separation, or annulment, the Court may consider statements regarding parties’ income, conduct of the parties, or other relevant factors but may not consider the parties’ assets. 
(f) In any motion or proceeding arising out of an action to establish parentage, or the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, the Court may consider statements regarding parties’ income, conduct of the parties, or other relevant factors but may not consider the parties’ assets. This rule shall not be construed to give rights not afforded under Ohio law.

Rule 27: Recording of Proceedings

27.01 Pursuant to Rule 37 of the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure and the Rules of Superintendence for Courts of Common Pleas, a complete record of all testimony, or other oral proceedings shall be taken in shorthand, stenotype or by any other adequate mechanical or electronic recording device. 

27.02 If a party prefers the services of a stenographer, he or she shall make his or her own arrangements for such services. If the stenographer’s transcript is to be used as an official record, the Court will need to approve and appoint the reporter as official Court reporter for the particular hearings. The expense of a Court reporter may be taxed as costs in the case. 

27.03 No public use shall be made by any person, including a party, of any record or transcript thereof except in the course of an appeal or as authorized by the Court. 

27.04 If a request for a transcript is for the purposes of an appeal, the Court Reporter will certify the Docketing Statement by indicating an estimated number of pages and how much time is needed to complete the transcript. 

In indigent cases, the transcript is prepared and the Court is billed. 

In non-indigent cases, the attorney will be advised by the court reporter of the estimated cost of the transcript and a deposit is required prior to the preparation of the transcript. 

27.05 If a request for transcript is for cases that are pending further hearing, (i.e. objections, trial, closed cases, etc.) that request must be made by filing a written Motion whether the attorney is appointed or retained or represents the State. A written Motion is also required if the party is not represented by counsel. The Motion should specify who is responsible for payment. No transcript shall begin until ordered by the Court. The same rules apply as in appeal cases: in indigent cases, the transcript is prepared and the Court is billed; in non-indigent cases, a deposit is required prior to preparation of the transcript. 

27.06 The policy of this Court is that indigent parties shall have access to transcripts/recordings equal to that of non-indigent parties. The officer of the Court, charged with securing counsel for indigent parties, shall determine those individuals entitled to a free or reduced rate transcript. All transcripts fully or partially paid by the Court must be approved by Judge’s order.

Rule 28: Photographing, Recording and Broadcasting of Court Proceedings

28.01 In compliance with Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Superintendence Rule 12, the Court shall permit the broadcasting, televising, recording or photographing of Court proceedings. The term proceedings shall be understood to apply to public hearings by the Court. 

28.02 Requests for permission to broadcast, televise, record or photograph in the courtroom shall be made in writing (Form M) to the Court Director as far in advance as reasonably practicable but in no event later than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the courtroom session to be broadcast, recorded or photographed unless otherwise permitted by the Judge for good cause shown. 

28.03 The Court Director shall immediately inform the Judge assigned to the case of written media requests. The Court Director shall also immediately inform the attorneys for all the parties in the case of the media request. If time does not permit notification by mail then telephonic means or notification in person must be attempted. The intent of this Rule is to allow attorneys for all parties an opportunity to be heard prior to the Judge deciding the media request. 

28.04 In the event the Judge approves the media request, the Judge shall prepare and sign a journal entry setting forth the conditions of media broadcasting, televising, recording or photographing. This entry shall be made a part of the record of this case. Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 12 of the Rules of Superintendence and this Rule shall govern the Judge’s granting of the media request. 

28.05 In the event of a continuance of the Court proceeding requested to be broadcast, televised, recorded or photographed for a period of more than 30 days, a new media request shall be required. 

28.06 Any equipment which is non-portable shall be set up and ready for operation prior to commencement of the morning or afternoon Court sessions. In no event will persons be permitted to bring equipment into the courtroom during trial unless such equipment can be easily carried by a single person and without causing a distraction or disturbance. 

28.07 No media recording of proceedings in the Judge’s chambers or accesses thereto shall be permitted except with express permission of the Judge. 

28.08 The Judge, counsel and witnesses shall not address any remark to or via the media when the Court is in session. In all respects, the trial shall proceed in exactly the same manner as though there were no media recording in progress. 

28.09 No media recording shall be made of any document or exhibit before or after such document or exhibit is admitted into evidence, except those that are clearly visible to spectators, e.g., maps, charts, blackboards, etc. 

28.10 Permission for media recording shall in no way diminish the ethical requirements applicable to Judges and attorneys respecting comments or the release of information relating to a case in progress. 

28.11 Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Rule 12 of the Rules of Superintendence are incorporated herein by reference and adopted into this Rule. 

28.12 All media representatives shall be properly attired in a manner which reflects positively upon the media profession. Proper courtroom decorum shall be maintained by all media representatives. 

28.13 No personal recording devices shall be permitted in the courtroom.

Rule 29: Record Retention and Destruction

29.01 The Court, in compliance with Superintendence Rule 26(F) may destroy exhibits, depositions and transcripts if they are not retrieved within sixty (60) days of the written notification of intent to destroy.

Rule 30: Magistrates

30.01 The powers and duties of Magistrates shall be defined in Rule 40 of the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure, Rule 53 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and Criminal Rule 19, as amended on July 1, 1995. 

30.02 A Magistrate may enter orders effective without judicial approval in pre-trial proceedings. Any person may appeal to the Court from an interlocutory order by filing a motion to set the order aside, stating the party’s objection with particularity. The pendency of a motion to set aside does not stay the effectiveness of the Magistrate’s order unless the Magistrate or the Court grants a stay. 

30.03 A Magistrate is not required to prepare any report other than the Magistrate’s Decision. After conducting the proceedings necessary for decision of referred matters, the Magistrate shall prepare, sign and file a Magistrate’s decision with the Clerk. If any party requests findings of fact and conclusions of law, the Magistrate’s decision shall include proposed findings and conclusions. If an attorney of record requests findings of fact and conclusions of law, they shall present proposed findings and conclusions to the Magistrate within seven (7) days of the request. Failure to present proposed findings and conclusions within seven (7) days of the request will be deemed a withdrawal of the request. 

30.04 In a matter in which all issues are agreed, the parties may waive the Magistrate’s Decision by signing a waiver with unanimous consent. When there is a waiver of the Magistrate’s Decision, an agreed judgment entry shall be submitted to the Court. 

30.05 The Magistrate’s decision shall be effective when adopted by the Court as noted in the Journal Record. 

30.06 Within fourteen (14) days of the filing of a Magistrate’s decision, a party may file written objections to the decision. The objection shall be specific and state with particularity the grounds of the objection. 

30.07 The Court may adopt a Magistrate’s decision and enter judgment without waiting for timely objections by the parties, but the filing of timely written objections shall (except commitments to the Ohio Department of Youth Service or the North Central Ohio Rehabilitation Center in delinquency cases), operate as an automatic stay of execution of that judgment until the Court disposes of objections and vacates, modifies or adheres to the judgment previously entered.

Rule 31: Court Security

31.01 All persons entering the Court area or in the corridors adjacent thereto are subject to security screening. Security screening may occur for each visit to the Court facility regardless of the purpose or the hour.

Rule 32: Parenting Time Schedule

2.01 Parties are encouraged to discuss and agree on a liberal parenting time schedule. When the parties are unable to agree on arrangements, the following schedule shall apply as a minimum order to those cases where the parties reside within a sixty (60) mile radius of each other. Specific orders in the Decree shall take precedence over this schedule. Changes or modifications may be ordered by the Court if demonstrated to be appropriate. 

32.02 GENERAL RULES
a. The child(ren) and parties shall cooperate during all periods of parenting time. The child(ren) and custodial party have no duty to await the visiting party for more than thirty (30) minutes past the scheduled time for the commencement of parenting time. 

b. In the event that the scheduled parenting time cannot be complied with because of illness or other good cause, the other party shall be notified as soon as possible. The period missed shall be rescheduled for the following weekend unless otherwise agreed upon. 

c. Sufficient clothing and personal items must be sent and returned with the child(ren). 

d. Unless the parties agree otherwise responsibility for transportation costs shall be shared equally by the parties, with the exception that the non-residential party shall have the responsibility of picking up and returning the child(ren) when the parties reside within a ten (10) mile radius of each other. 

e. All parties have the right to contact the child(ren) by phone at reasonable times when the child(ren) is/are with the other party. All parties shall contact the other in case of illness or injury to the child(ren) that requires medical attention by a physician. All parties shall be notified of any special school functions, teacher conferences or other special events. All parties shall have equal access to any school or medical information concerning the child(ren). The party first receiving any grade card or other information from the school shall give a copy to the other party if requested. 

f. Holidays take precedence over regularly scheduled visitation. 

32.03 SPECIFIC PARENTING TIME

a. Alternate weekends from Friday at 6:00 p.m. to Sunday at 6:00 p.m. 
b. Five (5) weeks each summer to be scheduled two weeks in June, two weeks in July, and one week in August unless the parties agree otherwise. Each party shall provide the other with a general itinerary if they plan an out of town vacation with the child(ren). Both parties shall notify the other in writing by May 30th of each year as to the vacation schedules. 
c. The non-residential party shall have Christmas visitation from 11:00 a.m. Christmas Day to 6:00 p.m. December 29th. If the non-residential party’s regularly scheduled weekend parenting time includes the residential party’s Christmas Eve day, that weekend parenting time is eliminated and shall not be made up. 
d. Non-residential party on even numbered years: Easter from the Friday before at 6:00 p.m. to Easter Sunday at 6:00 p.m.; Independence Day from 9:00 a.m. to July 5th at 9:00 a.m.; Thanksgiving Day weekend from the Wednesday before at 6:00 p.m. until the Sunday after at 6:00 p.m. 

Non-residential party on odd numbered years: Memorial Day weekend from the Friday before at 6:00 p.m. until Memorial Day at 6:00 p.m.; Labor Day weekend from the Friday before at 6:00 p.m. until Labor Day at 6:00 p.m. 

When the non-residential party’s regularly scheduled weekend parenting time coincides with a residential party’s holiday enumerated in paragraph d, then the residential party’s holiday shall control and the non-residential party’s regularly scheduled parenting time shall be made up the weekend following said holiday. 
e. The child(ren) shall celebrate his or her birthday in the home of the residential party, unless it falls on a parenting time day, and the other party can celebrate at another time if desired. 
f. Parent’s Days: If it falls on a non-parenting time weekend and if parent is non-residential, from noon to 6:00 p.m. If it falls on a parenting time weekend and if parent is residential, child to be returned by non-residential parent at noon on Sunday.

Rule 32 A: Parenting Time Schedule

32.01 Children require the continued and regular involvement of both parents despite the termination of their parent’s relationship. No standard Parenting Time schedule can possibly meet the needs of every parent-child relationship and therefore the Court encourages parties to develop parenting plans which meet the specific needs of their child(ren). This includes the importance of keeping cultural and religious celebrations in mind when creating a schedule. 

During and after the termination of a family relationship, there is often a crisis period during which families are under great stress because of loss, conflict and change. Unfortunately, whether intentional, or otherwise, children tend to become pawns in a struggle between their parents. Most studies indicate, and psychologists uniformly agree, that the children who “do best” are those whose parents are able to maintain a low level of conflict. The absence of conflict is just as important as the amount of time either parent spends with the child(ren). 

The Court adopts this minimum Parenting Time Schedule in the hopes that it is unnecessary. In cases where the parents cannot agree to parenting times, the Court’s Standard Parenting Time Schedule will be considered the minimum parenting time for a non-residential parent absent a showing of danger to the child(ren), and the Court encourages the parties to minimize conflicts as much as possible. Specific items in a Journal Entry take precedence over this schedule. 

Careful consideration has been given to fostering Parenting Time between the child(ren) and both parents. The Court has established distinct schedules according to the distance between the parents and the age of child(ren). 

32.02 GENERAL RULES
a. Waiting for Parenting Time exchange: The child(ren) and/or residential parent have no duty to wait for the non-residential parent to arrive for more than thirty (30) minutes. The non-residential parent who is more than thirty (30) minutes late for a particular period of time shall forfeit that time. An exception shall be made if, and only if, the tardiness of the non-residential parent is for just cause and the residential parent receives both prompt notification and a reasonable estimated arrival time. 

b. Cancellation of Parenting Time period: In the event that the scheduled parenting time cannot be complied with because of illness or other good cause, the other party shall be notified as soon as possible. The period missed shall be rescheduled for the next available comparable day and time unless otherwise agreed upon. 

c. Clothing: The residential parent is responsible for providing sufficient, appropriate, clean clothing for every parenting time period, based on the lifestyle of the residential parent and the child(ren). If the planned Parenting Time activities require special or unusual clothing needs, the non-residential parent must notify the residential parent at least two (2) days in advance of the Parenting Time period. If the child(ren) do not have the type of clothing requested, the residential parent is under no obligation to comply with the request. All clothing sent by either parent must be returned immediately after the Parenting Time period. The non-residential parent is not required to return the clothing washed and cleaned, unless the non-residential parent has the child(ren) for a period in excess of four (4) days. Additionally, any clothing purchased by the non-residential parent and which the child(ren) are wearing upon their return to the residential parent after Parenting Time, shall be returned, washed and cleaned, by the residential parent to the non-residential parent at the next Parenting Time period. 

d. Transportation: Unless otherwise provided for in these rules or the parties agree, responsibility for transportation costs shall be shared equally by the parties with the parent beginning to exercise their parenting time being responsible for providing the transportation. (i.e. non-residential picks up child(ren) on Friday evening and residential parent picks up the child(ren) on Sunday evening) The exception to this rule is that the non-residential parent shall have the responsibility of picking up and returning the child(ren) when the parties reside within a ten (10) mile radius of each other. 

e. Telephone Contact: Both parents have the right to contact the child(ren) by phone at reasonable times when the child(ren) are with the other parent. The frequency of these phone calls shall also be reasonable. The other parent shall not participate in these calls. The parent placing the call shall bear any expense associated with telephone calls unless the other parent has given permission to be phoned collect. The child(ren) may call either parent (collect with the agreement of the parent being called) at any and all reasonable times as the child(ren) wish. 

f. Access to records: Both parents shall have access to all medical, dental, optometric, psychiatric and psychological records of the minor child(ren) and may consult with any treating physician, dentist, or other health care provider of the child(ren). Both parents shall execute any authorizations or releases necessary to release these records and documents to the other. Both parents shall have the authority to consent to any necessary emergency medical treatment for the child(ren). All parties shall contact the other in case of illness or injury to the child(ren) that requires medical attention by a physician. 

Both parents shall have equal access to any school records concerning the child(ren). Both parents shall have the right to participate in parent-teacher conferences, school trips, school programs, and other school activities and events in which the parents are invited to participate. The party first receiving any grade card or other information from the school shall give a copy to the other party within three (3) days of receipt unless otherwise agreed. 

Both parents shall have access to baby-sitting, day care, preschool and/or latchkey records of the child(ren). Both parents shall be entitled to communicate with all physical care providers for the child(ren). Either parent shall execute any authorizations or releases necessary to release the records to the other. Both parents shall have access to all religious records of the child(ren). Both parents shall have the right to participate and attend all religious activities of the child(ren). 

(Also see Form K of the Marion County Rules of the Court of Common Pleas, Family Division.) 

g. Extra-curricular activities: Regardless of where the child(ren) are living, their continued participation in a reasonable amount of extra-curricular activities, school related, or otherwise, shall continue uninterrupted. For parents following the local parenting time plan, it shall be the responsibility of the parent with whom they are in the physical care at the time of the activity to provide the physical and economic cost of transportation to these activities. For parents following regional or long distance parenting plans, uninterrupted participation in extracurricular activities may not be possible. The Court encourages parents to communicate and cooperate in order to support their child(ren)’s extra-curricular activities. Both parents shall provide the other parent with notice of all extra-curricular activities, school related, or otherwise in which the child(ren) participate. Schedules of all extra-curricular activities and the name of the activity leader (including address and telephone number if reasonably available) shall be given to the other parent. 

h. Car/Booster Seat: For any and all child(ren) required by law to ride in a car/booster seat, the parents shall transfer the car/booster seat with the child(ren) as Parenting Time exchanges occur. 

i. Current address and phone number: Each parent must keep the other informed of his/her current address and telephone number at all times. Any change of address, or phone number is to be reported to the other parent within forty-eight (48) hours. Also, each parent must file a Notice of Change of Address (Form L) with the Court. 

j. Conflict between Parenting Time Schedules: In the event of a conflict, holidays take precedence over regularly scheduled visitation. 

If the parties have more than one child and the children are between the ages of three (3) and thirteen (13) and fall into different age categories, parenting time will be controlled by the age category in which the oldest child may fall for all children at issue, unless otherwise agreed by the parties or ordered by the Court. 

32.03 SPECIFIC PARENTING TIME
A.Local
Birth to 2 years 
Three weekly visits, two of which will be for 2-6 hours, and one over night, on the days and times the parties can agree. If the parties cannot agree, then parenting time will take place on every Monday and Wednesday, from 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and overnight pursuant to the following rotating schedule (unless otherwise ordered by the Court). 

Week 1 – Friday 6:00 p.m. until Saturday 6:00 p.m. Week 2 – Saturday 6:00 p.m. until Sunday 6:00 p.m. Week 3 – Friday 6:00 p.m. until Saturday 6:00 p.m. Week 4 – Residential parents’ weekend 

3 Years to 5 Years 
Two weekly visits for 2-6 hours, and alternating weekends on the days and times the parties can agree. If the parties cannot agree, the parenting time will take place on every Monday and Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and alternating weekends from Friday, 6:00 p.m. until Sunday, 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise ordered by the court. 

6 Years to 13 Years 
Every other weekend from Friday after school (as soon as the non-residential parent can pick up the child) until Sunday at 6:00 p.m. plus one evening a week, as the parties can agree. If the parties cannot agree, the midweek visit will be Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and alternating weekends from Friday 6:00 p.m. until Sunday 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise ordered by the court. 

14 Years until age 18 
Parents must keep in mind that at this stage of development, the teenager’s world revolves around peers and activities. Being flexible is key to designing a parenting time schedule that allows the adolescent to spend time with his/her parents and also participate in academic and social activities that are valued by the adolescent. That is, both parents will probably find that they are spending less time with their teenager(s). Parenting time is expected to take place weekly, with days and times to be agreed upon between the adolescent and the parents (parties). 

If the adolescent and the parents (parties) cannot agree: 

For ages 14 and 15, parenting time will be every other weekend from Friday after school (as soon as the non-residential parent can pick up the child) until Sunday at 6:00 p.m. and every Wednesday, from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 pm, unless otherwise ordered by the court. 

For ages 16 until age 18, the parenting time will be every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and overnight pursuant to the following rotating schedule (unless otherwise ordered by the Court). 

Week 1 – Friday 6:00 p.m. until Saturday 6:00 p.m. Week 2 – Saturday 6:00 p.m. until Sunday 6:00 p.m. Week 3 – Friday 6:00 p.m. until Saturday 6:00 p.m. Week 4 – Residential parent’s weekend 

B. Regional (more than 100 miles apart but less than 200 miles)
Parents shall follow the same plans as the Local schedule with the following exception: 

Any mid-week parenting time must be exercised in the county of the child(ren)’s residence. The non residential parent shall bear the cost of transportation to the mid-week visits. 

C. Summers (For Local and Regional Parenting Plans)
Non-residential parents shall have five (5) weeks each summer to be scheduled two weeks in June, two weeks in July, and one week in August unless the parties agree otherwise. The two week periods will be divided by a residential parent weekend. 

The mid-week parenting time shall be available to both the residential and non-residential parents in their respective weeks. Each parent shall be entitled to designate two (2) of their weeks as uninterrupted time without mid-week visits, upon giving fourteen (14) days written or electronic notice to the other parent. 

If the child(ren) are not school age the five (5) weeks may be scheduled at any time during the year. 

Both parties shall notify the other in writing at least three months prior to the date they wish to exercise their time. If both parents submit the same dates thereby creating a conflict, then the non-residential parent’s schedule shall control in even numbered years and the residential parent’s schedule shall control in odd numbered years. 

Each party shall provide the other with a general itinerary and contact phone numbers if they plan an out of town vacation with the child(ren). 

D. Holidays
The non-residential parent shall have parenting time every year from December 27th at noon until December 30th at noon. The long distance schedule is an exception to this provision. 

Non-residential parent on even numbered years: 
• Easter from the Friday before at 6:00 p.m. to Easter Sunday at 6:00 p.m.;
• Independence Day from 9:00 a.m. to July 5th at 9:00 a.m.; 
• Thanksgiving Day weekend from the Wednesday before at 6:00 p.m. until the Sunday after at 6:00 p.m.; 
• Christmas Day at noon until December 30th at noon, with the residential parent getting December 23rd at noon until Christmas Day at noon.

Non-residential parent on odd numbered years: 
• Memorial Day weekend from the Friday before at 6:00 p.m. until Memorial Day at 6:00 p.m.; 
• Labor Day weekend from the Friday before at 6:00 p.m. until Labor Day at 6:00 p.m.; 
• December 23rd at noon until Christmas Day at noon, with the residential parent getting Christmas Day at noon until December 27th at noon. 

When the non-residential parent’s regularly scheduled weekend parenting time coincides with a residential parent’s holiday enumerated in this section, then the residential parent’s holiday shall control and the non-residential parent’s regularly scheduled parenting time shall be made up the weekend following said holiday. 

The child(ren) shall celebrate his or her birthday in the home of the residential parent, unless it falls on a non-residential parenting time day, and the other parent can celebrate at another time if desired. 

Parent’s Days: The mother shall have parenting time from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day. The father shall have parenting time from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Father’s Day. 

If a scheduled day off from school falls on a Friday preceding a non-residential parent’s weekend that is not a holiday as set out above, the non-residential parent’s weekend shall commence Thursday at 6:00 p.m. 

If a scheduled day off from school falls on a Monday following a non-residential parent’s weekend that is not a holiday as set out above, the non-residential parent’s weekend shall be extended until Monday at 6:00 p.m. 

E. Long Distance (more than 200 miles apart)
(Excerpts from Planning for Parenting Time: Arizona’s Guide for Living Apart) 

Parents must be aware of the impact of relocation on their child and that relocation may require the permission of a judge. Long‐distance parenting rules apply whenever the move between homes is more than 200 miles. 

Disagreements about long‐distance parenting time often result in the judge or magistrate making a decision. Unfortunately, a decision by a judge or magistrate may not please either party. Each relocation case is unique, and the right decision is based on the specific facts for each family. Parents should make a serious effort to resolve a parenting time dispute themselves or with the help of a mediator, or an attorney. Any reasonable agreement between the parents negotiated in good faith is usually better than having a judge decide the matter after the expense and stress of a court hearing. 

A parent who wants to move a long distance with, or without, a child should think about many things before making a decision. Long distances often weaken the relationships between children and parents. If the move is necessary, parents might want to consider relocating both households to the same city. If it isn’t possible, parenting time for the distant parent must be at regular and frequent times during the year. The court considers many factors, and parents should think about these factors. Each parent should take a moment and “stand in the other parent and the child’s shoes.” What is their point of view? How would I feel if my child moved away to another city? Think about all the facts including the age and maturity of the child, the child’s developmental needs, sibling bonds, school and work schedules, transportation costs, the presence of supportive family and friends in each city, and the gains or loss of extended family. 

For most children, a long‐distance move may result in less regular contact with both parents. If both parents are within a reasonable distance of each other, the child will benefit. When parents live far apart, a child’s daily and weekly contact is reduced and large gaps of time without physical contact between the child and parent develop. When both parents move to the same general area, it is less disruptive. No matter the distance, a child will benefit from as much regular and frequent physical contact with each parent as possible. 

If the parties have more than one child and the children fall into different age categories, parenting time will be controlled by the age category in which the oldest child falls for all children at issue, unless otherwise agreed by the parties or ordered by the Court. 

Birth to Kindergarten
This is an important time for bonding between parents and children. For most children, the loss of a strong bond is a lifelong issue. In contrast, building a strong bond creates a sense of belonging, encourages active and committed parents, causes healthy adult relationships with both genders, facilitates co‐parenting, and improves communication between parents and a growing child. If possible, the long distance separation should be delayed so that both parents and children can make best use of their time together during these formative years. If the move can’t be delayed, the parenting time schedule should be designed to provide the most direct and frequent physical contact between the child and both parents that time and money permit. If the parents cannot agree, the following schedule shall control. 

Upon thirty (30) day notice to the residential parent the non-residential parent may exercise any of the times granted under the Local schedule. 

Up to eight (8) weeks per year in four (4) separate blocks of time lasting two (2) weeks each. Unless otherwise agreed, parenting time shall occur February 1st through 14th, May 1st through 14th, and August 1st through August 14th. 

Additionally, parenting time shall occur in odd numbered years from December 1st through 14th and in even numbered years from December 14th through December 28th. 

Kindergarten to Age 18
The parties should continue to make the most of the time each parent has with the child. The schedule should be adjusted to follow closely the child’s regular school schedule. The school year parent must sacrifice frequent physical contact during non‐school times such as the summer and holidays, while the non‐school parent must sacrifice frequent physical contact during the school semesters. Some schools have year‐round or modified year‐round schedules that provide for more frequent or longer breaks with the distant parent. If parents can find a school with such a schedule, this will be of assistance to children. 

Parents need to remember that as children get older they may be less likely to be in favor of spending large blocks of time due to their own activities. It is important to consider the child’s wishes, concerns, and ideas in developing a long distance plan. If the parents cannot agree, the following schedule shall control. 

Upon thirty (30) day notice to the residential parent the non-residential parent may exercise any of the times granted under the Local schedule. 

Up to eight (8) weeks during the summer break commencing a week after the last day of school and ending no later than a week before school resumes in the fall. 

Every spring break from 6:00 PM on the last day of school before the break until 6:00 PM the day before school resumes. 

One half of every winter break. The non-residential parent shall exercise parenting time the first half of winter break in even numbered years and the second half of winter break in odd numbered years.

Rule 33: Specialized Dockets

33.01 For the purposes of decreased recidivism and increased family stability, the Court on its own motion may refer cases of appropriateness to any special court program. Each program will coordinate agency collaboration, provide regular judicial oversight, and assess progress on goals. 

33.02 Family Dependency Treatment Court
For cases of abuse, neglect and/or dependency whereas the parent or guardian has been assessed as having one or more of the following: mental illness, alcohol abuse/dependence or drug abuse/dependence.

A Judge/Magistrate may refer a case to the Family Dependency Treatment Court (FDTC) program. The FDTC Treatment Team will determine appropriateness for participation in the program based upon specific eligibility criteria and make recommendations to the FDTC Judge/Magistrate. The FDTC Treatment Team shall then determine whether to accept the family into the program. If admitted the family shall be diverted to the specialized docket of the FDTC program for further proceedings. 

All parties involved with a case in the FDTC are to comply with all aspects of the program as certified by the Ohio Supreme Court and orders of the Court. If unsuccessfully terminated from the FDTC program the family shall be returned to the Abuse, Neglect and/or Dependency Docket for further proceedings as defined in the Ohio Revised Code. 

33.03 Juvenile Re-Entry Court
For cases involving a child adjudicated delinquent, and returning to the community from institutional and/or residential placement. 

A Judge/Magistrate refer the case the Juvenile Re-Entry Court. The Juvenile Re-Entry Court Treatment team will determine appropriateness for participation in the program based upon specific eligibility criteria and make recommendations to the Juvenile Re-Entry Court Judge/Magistrate. The Juvenile Re-Entry Court Treatment Team shall determine whether to accept the family into the program. Each participant and their family are to comply with all aspects of the program as certified by the Ohio Supreme Court and the orders of the Court. If unsuccessfully terminated, the case will be returned to the Delinquency Docket for further proceedings.

Rule 34: Juvenile Competency Proceedings

34.01 General Purpose: The purpose of these rules is to expedite proceedings under sections 2152.51 to 2152.59 of the Revised Code, to ensure that proper notice of competency hearings is provided to the appropriate persons, and to ensure that any proceedings on an underlying complaint are stayed pending the determinations under these sections. 

34.02 Expedited Hearings: Juvenile competency proceedings shall be scheduled and heard on an expedited basis. Hearings in juvenile competency proceedings shall be held in strict compliance with applicable deadlines as established by statute or by this rule. 

34.03 Notice: Upon the conclusion of each hearing, the court shall provide written notice to the prosecuting attorney, the child’s attorney, the child’s guardian ad litem, and the child’s parents, guardian, or custodian of the date, time and place of the next scheduled hearing. Mailed notice shall not be required for any party or other individual designated in this rule to whom notice of the next hearing was provided in writing upon conclusion of the immediately preceding hearing. 

34.04 Stay of Proceedings: Upon the filing of a motion for a determination regarding a child’s competency or upon the court’s own motion the court shall stay all delinquency proceedings pending a determination of competency. If, upon a determination of competency, the court determines that the child is not competent but could likely attain competency, the court order staying the delinquency proceedings shall remain in effect until such time as the child attains competency or the proceeding is dismissed.