How to Obtain Court Records in Ohio
In Ohio, county courts and municipal courts have the same jurisdiction, which is limited to misdemeanor issues, traffic violations, and civil cases with stakes under $15,000. Some small towns that don’t have municipal courts may have mayor’s courts, which only preside over violations of municipal ordinances.
At the next level, the courts of common pleas are located in each of the state’s 88 counties and are the general trial courts for the state, with jurisdiction over felony criminal cases and civil cases with more than $15,000 at stake as well as some appeals of administrative agency decisions. The common pleas courts are often divided into divisions that are separately responsible for juvenile matters, domestic relations (divorce), and probate (estates and wills).
There are 12 intermediate courts of appeals as well as one state supreme court, which presides over all state courts, hearing questions of constitutionality of lower court cases as well as of state laws.
Requesting court documents
Whether you have to prove you’ve paid a fine, show that you have completed your probation or parole, seeking enforcement of a protection order, or clarifying child custody arrangements, having a copy of the related court document can be key. To request copies of court records or documents, contact the clerk of the court where the case was heard using this directory: http://www.occaohio.com/counties.
A decree is the official document that defines the terms of a divorce, from child support to name changes to alimony and division of jointly owned property. Get a copy from the clerk of the court where the divorce was granted by using this site: http://www.occaohio.com/counties.
When a person dies, his property and assets are divided among heirs under the supervision of a probate court judge. Probate courts may also be responsible for adoptions, guardianships, and other aspects of custodial relationships. To research an estate or to get other probate documents, contact the clerk of the county court where the individual lived using this directory: http://www.occaohio.com/counties. Note that some court documents may be confidential due to sensitive information like juvenile case details, the names of crime victims, or the inclusion of medical information.
Each state has at least one federal court, known as U.S. District Court, which has jurisdiction over federal criminal cases, lawsuits among multiple states, and bankruptcy cases. To research federal court cases use this website: www.pacer.gov.