(1) Except as provided in division (A)(2) of this section, a small claims division established under section 1925.01 of the Revised Code has jurisdiction in civil actions for the recovery of taxes and money only, for amounts not exceeding three thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs.
(a) A small claims division does not have jurisdiction in any of the following:
(i) Libel, slander, replevin, malicious prosecution, and abuse of process actions;
(ii) Actions on any claim brought by an assignee or agent, except a claim to recover taxes that is filed by any authorized employee of a political subdivision or any authorized officer or employee of the state or a claim filed by a person designated under section 1925.18 of the Revised Code to act as the representative of a prosecuting attorney;
(iii) Actions for the recovery of punitive or exemplary damages.
(b) Division (A)(2)(a) of this section does not exclude actions for the recovery of damages specifically authorized by division (B) of either section 1345.09 or 1345.48 of the Revised Code from the jurisdiction of a small claims division.
(3) The territorial jurisdiction and venue of a small claims division are concurrent with that of the respective court under its procedures in ordinary civil actions. Jurisdiction over the person of a defendant may not be obtained by any form of published or substituted service or warrant of attorney.
(B) A counterclaim or cross-claim of three thousand dollars or less does not affect the jurisdiction of a small claims division. If a counterclaim or cross-claim exceeds three thousand dollars and if the case is transferred to the regular docket of the court, the court, if it finds that the counterclaim or cross-claim was without substantial grounds, may award reasonable attorney's fees by special order to the party against whom the counterclaim or cross-claim is instituted, if that party prevails in the action on that claim.
(C) Any person who files a counterclaim or cross-claim shall file it with the small claims division and serve it on all other parties at least seven days prior to the date of the trial of the plaintiff's claim in the original action.
(D) As used in this section:
(4) "Officer or employee of the state" means any person who is serving in an elected or appointed office or position with the state or is employed by the state. "Officer or employee of the state" does not include any person elected, appointed, or employed by any political subdivision.
Effective Date: 03-22-1999