(A) Subject to division (C) of this section, a county court shall fix and tax fees and costs as follows:
(1) The county court shall require an advance deposit for the filing of any new civil action or proceeding when required by division (C) of this section and, in all other cases, shall establish a schedule of fees and costs to be taxed in any civil or criminal action or proceeding.
(2) The county court by rule may require an advance deposit for the filing of a civil action or proceeding and publication fees as provided in section 2701.09 of the Revised Code. The court may waive an advance deposit requirement upon the presentation of an affidavit or other evidence that establishes that a party is unable to make the requisite deposit.
(3) When a party demands a jury trial in a civil action or proceeding, the county court may require the party to make an advance deposit as fixed by rule of court, unless the court concludes, on the basis of an affidavit or other evidence presented by the party, that the party is unable to make the requisite deposit. If a jury is called, the county court shall tax the fees of a jury as costs.
(5) A county court may tax as part of the costs in a trial of the cause, in an amount fixed by rule of court, a reasonable charge for driving, towing, carting, storing, keeping, and preserving motor vehicles and other personal property recovered or seized in a proceeding.
(6) The court shall preserve chattel property seized under a writ or process issued by the court pending final disposition for the benefit of all interested persons. The court may place the chattel property in storage when necessary or proper for its preservation. The custodian of chattel property so stored shall not be required to part with the possession of the property until a reasonable charge, to be fixed by the court, is paid.
(7) The county court, as it determines, may refund all deposits and advance payments of fees and costs, including those for jurors and summoning jurors, when they have been paid by the losing party.
(8) The court may tax as part of costs charges for the publication of legal notices required by statute or order of court, as provided by section 7.13 of the Revised Code.
(1) The county court may determine that, for the efficient operation of the court, additional funds are necessary to acquire and pay for special projects of the court including, but not limited to, the acquisition of additional facilities or the rehabilitation of existing facilities, the acquisition of equipment, the hiring and training of staff, community service programs, mediation or dispute resolution services, the employment of magistrates, the training and education of judges, acting judges, and magistrates, and other related services. Upon that determination, the court by rule may charge a fee, in addition to all other court costs, on the filing of each criminal cause, civil action or proceeding, or judgment by confession.
If the county court offers a special program or service in cases of a specific type, the county court by rule may assess an additional charge in a case of that type, over and above court costs, to cover the special program or service. The county court shall adjust the special assessment periodically, but not retroactively, so that the amount assessed in those cases does not exceed the actual cost of providing the service or program.
All moneys collected under division (B) of this section shall be paid to the county treasurer for deposit into either a general special projects fund or a fund established for a specific special project. Moneys from a fund of that nature shall be disbursed upon an order of the court in an amount no greater than the actual cost to the court of a project. If a specific fund is terminated because of the discontinuance of a program or service established under division (B) of this section, the county court may order that moneys remaining in the fund be transferred to an account established under this division for a similar purpose.
(2) As used in division (B) of this section:
(a) "Criminal cause" means a charge alleging the violation of a statute or ordinance, or subsection of a statute or ordinance, that requires a separate finding of fact or a separate plea before disposition and of which the defendant may be found guilty, whether filed as part of a multiple charge on a single summons, citation, or complaint or as a separate charge on a single summons, citation, or complaint. "Criminal cause" does not include separate violations of the same statute or ordinance, or subsection of the same statute or ordinance, unless each charge is filed on a separate summons, citation, or complaint.
(b) "Civil action or proceeding" means any civil litigation that must be determined by judgment entry.
(C) Subject to division (E) of this section, the county court shall collect in all its divisions except the small claims division the sum of twenty-six dollars as additional filing fees in each new civil action or proceeding for the charitable public purpose of providing financial assistance to legal aid societies that operate within the state and to support the office of the state public defender. Subject to division (E) of this section, the county court shall collect in its small claims division the sum of eleven dollars as additional filing fees in each new civil action or proceeding for the charitable public purpose of providing financial assistance to legal aid societies that operate within the state and to support the office of the state public defender. This division does not apply to any execution on a judgment, proceeding in aid of execution, or other post-judgment proceeding arising out of a civil action. The filing fees required to be collected under this division shall be in addition to any other court costs imposed in the action or proceeding and shall be collected at the time of the filing of the action or proceeding. The court shall not waive the payment of the additional filing fees in a new civil action or proceeding unless the court waives the advanced payment of all filing fees in the action or proceeding. All such moneys collected during a month except for an amount equal to up to one per cent of those moneys retained to cover administrative costs shall be transmitted on or before the twentieth day of the following month by the clerk of the court to the treasurer of state in a manner prescribed by the treasurer of state or by the Ohio legal assistance foundation. The treasurer of state shall deposit four per cent of the funds collected under this division to the credit of the civil case filing fee fund established under section 120.07 of the Revised Code and ninety-six per cent of the funds collected under this division to the credit of the legal aid fund established under section 120.52 of the Revised Code.
The court may retain up to one per cent of the moneys it collects under this division to cover administrative costs, including the hiring of any additional personnel necessary to implement this division. If the court fails to transmit to the treasurer of state the moneys the court collects under this division in a manner prescribed by the treasurer of state or by the Ohio legal assistance foundation, the court shall forfeit the moneys the court retains under this division to cover administrative costs, including the hiring of any additional personnel necessary to implement this division, and shall transmit to the treasurer of state all moneys collected under this division, including the forfeited amount retained for administrative costs, for deposit in thelegal aid fund.
(D) The county court shall establish by rule a schedule of fees for miscellaneous services performed by the county court or any of its judges in accordance with law. If judges of the court of common pleas perform similar services, the fees prescribed in the schedule shall not exceed the fees for those services prescribed by the court of common pleas.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9,HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.
Effective Date: 09-05-2001; 10-01-2005