1901.41 Case files retention and destruction.

(A) Notwithstanding sections 149.381 and 149.39 of the Revised Code and subject to division (E) of this section, each municipal court, by rule, may order the destruction or other disposition of the files of cases that have been finally disposed of by the court for at least five years as follows:

(1) If a case has been finally disposed of for at least five years, but less than fifteen years prior to the adoption of the rule of court for destruction or other disposition of the files, the court may order the files destroyed or otherwise disposed of only if the court first complies with division (B)(1) of this section;

(2) If a case has been finally disposed of for fifteen years or more prior to the adoption of the rule of court for destruction or other disposition of the files, the court may order the files destroyed or otherwise disposed of without having copied or reproduced the files prior to their destruction.

(B)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this division, all files destroyed or otherwise disposed of under division (A)(1) of this section shall be copied or reproduced prior to their destruction or disposition in the manner and according to the procedure prescribed in section 9.01 of the Revised Code. The copies or reproductions of the files made pursuant to section 9.01 of the Revised Code shall be retained and preserved by the court for a period of ten years after the destruction of the original files in accordance with this section, after which the copies or reproductions themselves may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.

Files destroyed or otherwise disposed of under division (A)(1) of this section that are solely concerned with criminal prosecutions for minor misdemeanor offenses or that are concerned solely with minor misdemeanor traffic prosecutions do not have to be copied or reproduced in any manner or under any procedure prior to their destruction or disposition as provided in this section.

(2) Files destroyed or otherwise disposed of under division (A)(2) of this section do not have to be copied or reproduced in any manner or under any procedure prior to their destruction or disposition.

(C) Nothing in this section permits or shall be construed as permitting the destruction or other disposition of the files in the Cleveland municipal court of cases involving the following actions and proceedings:

(1) The sale of real property in an action to foreclose and marshal all liens on the real property;

(2) The sale of real property in an action to foreclose a mortgage on the real property;

(3) The determination of rights in the title to real property either in the form of a creditor's bill or in any other action intended to determine or adjudicate the right, title, and interest of a person or persons in the ownership of a parcel or parcels of real property or any interest therein.

(D) All dockets, indexes, journals, and cash books of the court shall be retained and preserved by the court for at least twenty-five years unless they are reproduced in the manner and according to the procedure prescribed in section 9.01 of the Revised Code, in which case the reproductions shall be retained and preserved by the court at least until the expiration of the twenty-five year period for which the originals would have had to have been retained. Court dockets, indexes, journals, and cash books, and all other court records also shall be subject to destruction or other disposition under section 149.381 of the Revised Code.

(E) Notwithstanding sections 149.381 and 149.39 of the Revised Code, each clerk of a municipal court shall retain documentation regarding each criminal conviction and plea of guilty involving a case that is or was before the court. The documentation shall be in a form that is admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding as evidence of a prior conviction or that is readily convertible to or producible in a form that is admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding as evidence of a prior conviction and may be retained in any form authorized by section 9.01 of the Revised Code. The clerk shall retain this documentation for a period of fifty years after the entry of judgment in the case, except that documentation regarding cases solely concerned with minor misdemeanor offenses or minor misdemeanor traffic offenses shall be retained as provided in divisions (A) and (B) of this section, and documentation regarding other misdemeanor traffic offenses shall be retained for a period of twenty-five years after the entry of judgment in the case. This section shall apply to records currently retained and to records created on or after September 23, 2004.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 03-28-1985; 09-23-2004; 03-23-2005