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Legal FAQs

Practicing in the Court of Claims

What You Need to Know

The Court of Claims is a trial court with statewide jurisdiction, so your complaint must name a state agency or instrumentality as a defendant. Nevertheless, practicing law in the Court of Claims is similar to practicing in any Ohio Court of Common Pleas. The Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure apply, except where they are inconsistent with Chapter 2743 of the Revised Code. Click here for the Rules of the Court of Claims.

What are the typical kinds of civil cases files in the Court of Claims?

Court of Claims civil cases typically involve contract disputes, property damage, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, employment, defamation and wrongful imprisonment.

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Are there special statutes of limitations I should know about as I consider filing an action against the state?

Yes. Please refer to RC 2743.16 and RC 2305 for examples. You may also want to review the savings statute and do your own due diligence regarding other possible statutes of limitations controlling your case.

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Is there a jurisdictional limit?

The Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all claims filed against the state of Ohio regardless of amount. However, claims of $10,000 or less are determined administratively by the Clerk of the Court pursuant to RC 2743.10(A).

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What is the filing fee?

The $25 filing fee will be waived in actions where the plaintiff is indigent. We do not require a deposit for costs at the beginning of a case. After final judgment, the Court sends a cost bill to the party or parties required to pay the court costs.

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Do I need to use your form for my complaint?

No. Your complaint will be accepted as long as it conforms to the Civil Rules. We will need copies of the complaint for each named defendant and the Ohio Attorney General. Note: If you are filing an administrative determination claim (a claim for $10,000 or less) on behalf of your client, you must use the Court’s claim form.

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What happens after my complaint is filed?

Within two to three days, a Statement of the Existence of Connected Actions form will be sent to you. This form is sent to you because RC 2743.02(D) mandates that any recoveries against the state be reduced by any potential sources for collateral recovery. More than likely this means that if you are also pursuing an action in another court related to the facts in your Court of Claims case, our Court must stay the case here until that court determines what, if any, damages your client may be entitled to receive.

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How long does it take to get to trial?

Unless your case is stayed, the time period is the same as it would be for a similar case in any common pleas court. A case management conference with your assigned jurist will occur about 60 days after the complaint is filed and will reveal the trial schedule and dates of discovery. The Court uses a differentiated case management system, which helps to minimize delays. Each case is assigned to the appropriate case track, which in turn allows for the performance of pretrial tasks and allocates the appropriate level of judicial and other system resources.

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I have a case in common pleas court, and the judge is talking about removing it to the Court of Claims. Why?

The judge may have reason to believe that one of the parties will likely file a counterclaim against the state or will make the state a third-party defendant. The Court of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction in all cases filed against the state, so the party who files the counterclaim or makes the state a third-party defendant is statutorily mandated to file a Petition for Removal in the Court of Claims.

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Will my case be tried to the bench or by a jury?

According to RC 2743.11 and RC 2743.03(C)(1), a party has no right to a jury trial in civil actions against the state. However, if a case is removed from the common pleas court to the Court of Claims, parties have the right to a jury trial for claims that are not against the state. In this case, jurors are drawn from the Franklin County Common Pleas list of jurors.

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My practice is not located in Columbus. If I file a case in your court, will I need to make multiple trips to Columbus?

If your case goes to trial, it will probably be the one and only time you need to appear in person. Most cases require only two pretrial conferences, which are usually conducted via telephone. Motions are usually decided based on the documents submitted.

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After my case is tried, when can I expect a decision?

According to the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio, a written decision is required 90 days after a case is submitted, although it will likely occur sooner than that.

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If I disagree with the Court of Claims decision, where do I appeal?

The Tenth District Court of Appeals hears appeals of the Court of Claims. Please refer to the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Local Rules of the Tenth District Court of Appeals for more explanation.

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Where can I research past Court of Claims decisions?

Some decisions are available in a searchable database at the Office of the Reporter of the Ohio Supreme Court.

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Does the Court offer any alternative dispute resolution services?

Yes, a full-time mediator is available. If you believe your case is suitable for mediation, let your assigned jurist know either at conference or via motion.

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My client is the victim of a crime. How do I help him or her file a claim?

Please refer to Receiving Compensation as a Victim of a Crime: What You Need to Know.

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Saturday - Sunday: Closed

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