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Crime Victims Compensation

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Crime Victims Compensation

The Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program is a state government program that provides innocent victims of violent crime and their families with up to $50,000 in financial assistance for certain out-of-pocket expenses resulting from a crime. The program is administered by the Ohio Attorney General with judicial review provided by the Ohio Court of Claims.

 

Filing a Claim for Compensation

What is the difference between the Ohio Court of Claims Crime Victims Compensation Program and the Ohio Attorney General’s Crime Victims Compensation Program?

It is the same Program, but the Attorney General and the Court of Claims have different roles within the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program. The Attorney General reviews and investigates the initial claim, and then issues a decision.

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Journals & Victims Archives

Court Journal

The Clerk maintains an electronic journal – or electronic record – of orders issued by the Court of Claims. Once given access to the electronic journal, you will be able to view Civil Journals and Victims Journals, and Public Records Journals.

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Victims Decisions (Single Commissioner, Panel of Commissioners & Judicial)

In addition to the electronic journal, the Clerk has created an electronic archive of Victims decisions beginning January 30, 1977.

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Additional Information

How do I qualify for this program?
If you or a family member are the victim of a crime and you incurred out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance or another source, you may be eligible for compensation from the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program. Family members of an injured victim may also be eligible under certain circumstances.
What if the person who hurt me is a family member?
Not only are you still eligible to apply for the Crime Victims Compensation Program, but the program may pay for an attorney to help you get a protective order, providing the order requires physical separation between you and the offender.
Do I need to file a police report in order to qualify for the program?
Yes. Although the former 72-hour deadline for filing a police report has been eliminated, the victim must file a police report.
What if the person who injured me was never officially charged with a crime?
You can still participate in the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program, although you must fully cooperate with law enforcement officials who are investigating and prosecuting the person who injured you.
Can I receive compensation for pain and suffering or for stolen, damaged or lost property?
No. However, reimbursements for crime-scene cleanup and repairs, items taken for evidence, and the replacement costs for clothing damaged due to medical treatment and assessment may be available.
Are there restrictions regarding who can participate in the program?
Yes. If you were the person who committed the crime or you engaged in significant misconduct that caused or contributed to your injuries, you are not eligible for the program. Certain types of serious criminal history will also disqualify you.
Do I need an attorney to apply for compensation or to appeal a decision by the Ohio Attorney General?
No. An attorney is not required, even if you appeal your case to the Court of Claims. However, if you choose to use an attorney to assist you in applying for compensation, that attorney will be paid by the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program, and any attorney fees will not be deducted from your award. The attorney who worked on your claim cannot charge you for helping to file your claim or for legal representation during the application or appeals process. The attorney must submit his or her fees directly to the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program for consideration.
How do I start my claim?
The Ohio Attorney General investigates and makes the initial decision on all claims. Contact the Ohio Attorney General’s office at 1.877.5VICTIM (1.800.584.2846) or apply online at: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Individuals-and-Families/Victims/Apply-for-Victims-Compensation
What if I disagree with the Ohio Attorney General’s decision on my claim?
You may appeal your claim to the Ohio Court of Claims. You may appeal an award, the amount of an award, or the denial of a claim. No fee is required.
What happens if I appeal the Ohio Attorney General’s decision?
The Court of Claims will conduct a hearing within 90 days. You will have the chance to testify, and you may also have witnesses testify on your behalf. To ensure that your witnesses will be there, ask the Court to issue a subpoena requiring their presence. The Court will issue a written decision within 60 days after the hearing. The decision is final and not subject to further review.
What do I need to know before coming to court?
Proper attire is expected at all court proceedings. Cell phones and pagers are allowed in court, but they must be turned off prior to entering the courtroom. Courtroom procedures are open to the public. However, certain subject matters may be inappropriate for small children and younger adults. For information about directions and parking, click here.
How do I find more details about court rules and state laws?
Please understand that the Court is obligated to follow certain rules and statutes. Failure to comply with these regulations could impact the outcome of your case. For more information, go to our Rules & Statutes webpage.
What is the difference between the Ohio Court of Claims Crime Victims Compensation Program and the Ohio Attorney General’s Crime Victims Compensation Program?
It is the same Program, but the Attorney General and the Court of Claims have different roles within the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program. The Attorney General reviews and investigates the initial claim, and then issues a decision. If you disagree with the Attorney General’s decision, in whole or in part, you have the right to appeal the Attorney General’s decision in the Court of Claims. Your appeal must be filed within 30 days of the Attorney General’s final decision. The Court will hear your claim and make a final determination.

Fees & Costs

The law requires that you pay a $25 filing fee when filing a complaint. You can pay by credit card if filing online. You must enclose a check or money order if filing by mail, or you may pay cash if filing in person.

Please refer to the following fee schedule for more information:

Claims vs the State

Civil complaint filing fee
$25.00
Counter-claim, cross-claim, third-party complaint & intervening complaint filing fee
$25.00
Issuing each writ, order or notice (except subpoena)
$2.00
Issuing subpoena, swearing witness, entering attendance & certifying fees (each name)
$2.00
Calling a jury (cases that have been removed from common pleas court)
$25.00
Entering on journal, indexing & posting on any docket (each page)
$2.00
Acknowledging all instruments in writing
$2.00
Notice of appeal, including the filing & noting of all necessary documents
$25.00
Each electronic transmission of a document, plus $1.00 for each page of that document (to be paid by the party requesting the electronic transmission)
$2.00
Certified copy of document (per page)
$1.00
Uncertified copy of a document (per page)
$0.10

Crime Victims Compensation Appeals

Filing Fee to Appeal Attorney General’s Decision
No charge
Certified copy of document (per page)
$1.00
Uncertified copy of a document (per page)
$0.10

Glossary of Terms

Reading about legal matters and Court processes can mean coming across unfamiliar words and abbreviations. The glossary below can help you look up and hopefully understand some of the terminology used in the Court of Claims.

In addition, Court News Ohio provides an interactive online glossary to help the public understand the legal terms that Ohio courts and lawyers frequently use.

Administrative Determinations
Small claims (for $10,000 or less) that are decided by the Clerk of the Court and based on the documents, photos, affidavits, etc. that have been submitted for review.
Affidavit
A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Settling a dispute without a full, formal trial. Methods include mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and settlement, among others.
Answer
The defendant’s response to the plaintiff’s allegations as stated in a complaint. An item-by-item, paragraph-by-paragraph response to points made in a complaint; part of the pleadings.
Appeal
A higher court’s review of a lower court or administrative agency decision (for example, the Attorney General).
Attorney of Record
The principal attorney in a lawsuit, who signs all formal documents relating to the suit.
Bench Trial
Trial without a jury in which a judge decides the facts.
Case Number
A unique number assigned to a case by each court. In the Court of Claims, the case number is a nine digit number that begins with the year the case is filed. For example, 2014-00229.
Certificate of Service
A signed statement that indicates an exact copy of a document filed with the Court of Claims was provided to every other party in the case. The statement must indicate the names and addresses of everyone who receives a copy, when they were given a copy and how the copy was given or sent to them (for example, by hand delivery or by first-class mail.) All documents offered for filing in the Court of Claims must contain a certificate of service.
Civil Case
A non-criminal case that seeks a particular legal remedy. A civil case usually involves money damages.
Complaint
The legal document that usually begins a civil lawsuit. It states the facts and identifies the action the court is asked to take.
Court Costs
The expenses of prosecuting or defending a lawsuit, other than the attorneys’ fees.
Damages
Money awarded by a court to a person injured by the unlawful act or negligence of another person.
Date of Decision
The date that is file-stamped on the judgment.
Decision
Judgment, decree or determination of findings of fact and/or of law by a judge, court or other judicial officer.
Defendant
The person or organization being sued.
Docket
The list of all proceedings and filings in a case.
Et al
And others
Exhibit
A document or other item introduced as evidence during a trial or hearing.
Expedite
To accelerate. The court can decide to accelerate the progress of a pending matter either on its own or in response to a motion to expedite.
File
To place a paper in the official custody of the clerk of court to enter into the files or records of a case.
Filing Deadline
The date a document must be filed with the clerk’s office. In order to be filed, the document and all required copies must be in the clerk’s office and in full compliance with the applicable Rules by 5 p.m. on the filing deadline.
Filing Fee
The sum of money that must be paid before a case can be filed with the Court of Claims.
Immunity
Immunity refers to a protection from personal liability that may be provided to a state employee who is sued in his or her individual capacity.
Judgment Entry
The court’s written decision in a case.
Judicial Review
The authority of a court to review the official actions of other branches of government. For example, the Ohio Court of Claims has judicial review over decisions made by the Ohio Attorney General on claims for Crime Victims Compensation.
Jurisdiction
A court’s authority to decide a case or issue an order.
Magistrate
Judicial officer exercising some of the functions of a judge.
Mediation
A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party, who helps them agree on a settlement.
Motion
Oral or written request made by a party to an action before, during, or after a trial, upon which a court issues a ruling or order.
Negligence
Failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances.
Ohio Revised Code
The laws enacted by the Ohio General Assembly. The Ohio Revised Code is organized by subject matter and divided into general provisions, titles, chapters, and sections.
Opinion
A court’s written statement explaining its final decision in a case.
Original
The document from which a copy is a made; usually includes the original signature of the person filing the document.
Party
A person, business, or government agency actively involved in the prosecution or defense of a legal proceeding.
Petition for Removal
The transfer of a case from one court to another. In this sense, removal refers to a transfer of a case from a common pleas court to the Court of Claims because the state has been named a defendant either by counterclaim or third party claim. This is not discretionary, as the Court of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over all claims against the state.
Plaintiff
The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
Pleadings
The written statements of fact and law filed by the parties to a lawsuit.
Pre-Trial Conference
A meeting between the judge and the parties involved in a lawsuit to narrow the issues of the suit, agree on what will be presented at trial, and make a final effort to settle the case without a trial.
Pro Bono
From the Latin “pro bono publico,” meaning “for the public good.” Legal services performed pro bono are performed by a licensed attorney without any expectation of compensation.
Pro Se
Latin for “for one’s self.” A person appearing pro se or filing pro se in a court does so without the assistance of a licensed attorney.
Record
All the documents and evidence plus transcripts of oral proceedings in a case.
Response
The reply by a party to charges raised in a pleading by the other party.
Service
The delivery of a legal document (such as a complaint, summons, subpoena) notifying the person or organization that a lawsuit has been filed against that person or organization.
Settlement
An agreement between the parties disposing of a lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations
The time within which a plaintiff must bring a lawsuit.
Stay
An order suspending or postponing all or part of a judicial proceeding or the judgment from that proceeding.
Summons
A notice to a defendant that he or she has been sued and is required to appear in court.
Testimony
The evidence given by a witness under oath. It does not include evidence from documents and other physical evidence.
Transcript
A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation, such as an oral deposition.
Witness
A person who testifies to what he or she has seen, heard, or otherwise experienced.