2303.201 Computerizing court or paying cost of computerized legal research.

(A)

(1) The court of common pleas of any county may determine that for the efficient operation of the court additional funds are required to computerize the court, to make available computerized legal research services, or to do both. Upon making a determination that additional funds are required for either or both of those purposes, the court shall authorize and direct the clerk of the court of common pleas to charge one additional fee, not to exceed six dollars, on the filing of each cause of action or appeal under divisions (A), (Q), and (U) of section 2303.20 of the Revised Code.

(2) All fees collected under division (A)(1) of this section shall be paid to the county treasurer. The treasurer shall place the funds from the fees in a separate fund to be disbursed either upon an order of the court, subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners, or upon an order of the court, subject to the court making an annual report available to the public listing the use of all such funds, in an amount not greater than the actual cost to the court of procuring and maintaining computerization of the court, computerized legal research services, or both.

(3) If the court determines that the funds in the fund described in division (A)(2) of this section are more than sufficient to satisfy the purpose for which the additional fee described in division (A)(1) of this section was imposed, the court may declare a surplus in the fund and, subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners, expend those surplus funds, or upon an order of the court, subject to the court making an annual report available to the public listing the use of all such funds, expend those surplus funds, for other appropriate technological expenses of the court.

(B)

(1) The court of common pleas of any county may determine that, for the efficient operation of the court, additional funds are required to make technological advances in or to computerize the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas and, upon that determination, authorize and direct the clerk of the court of common pleas to charge an additional fee, not to exceed twenty dollars, on the filing of each cause of action or appeal, on the filing, docketing, and endorsing of each certificate of judgment, or on the docketing and indexing of each aid in execution or petition to vacate, revive, or modify a judgment under divisions (A), (P), (Q), (T), and (U) of section 2303.20 of the Revised Code and not to exceed one dollar each for the services described in divisions (B), (C), (D), (F), (H), and (L) of section 2303.20 of the Revised Code. Subject to division (B)(2) of this section, all moneys collected under division (B)(1) of this section shall be paid to the county treasurer to be disbursed, upon an order of the court of common pleas and subject to appropriation by the board of county commissioners, in an amount no greater than the actual cost to the court of procuring and maintaining technology and computer systems for the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas.

(2) If the court of common pleas of a county makes the determination described in division (B)(1) of this section, the board of county commissioners of that county may issue one or more general obligation bonds for the purpose of procuring and maintaining the technology and computer systems for the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas. In addition to the purposes stated in division (B)(1) of this section for which the moneys collected under that division may be expended, the moneys additionally may be expended to pay debt charges on and financing costs related to any general obligation bonds issued pursuant to division (B)(2) of this section as they become due. General obligation bonds issued pursuant to division (B)(2) of this section are Chapter 133. securities.

(C) The court of common pleas shall collect 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. This division does not apply to proceedings concerning annulments, dissolutions of marriage, divorces, legal separation, spousal support, marital property or separate property distribution, support, or other domestic relations matters; to a juvenile division of a court of common pleas; to a probate division of a court of common pleas, except that the additional filing fees shall apply to name change, guardianship, adoption, and decedents' estate proceedings; or to an 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 filing fees 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 the legal aid fund.

(D) On and after the thirtieth day after December 9, 1994, the court of common pleas shall collect the sum of thirty-two dollars as additional filing fees in each new action or proceeding for annulment, divorce, or dissolution of marriage for the purpose of funding shelters for victims of domestic violence pursuant to sections 3113.35 to 3113.39 of the Revised Code. The filing fees required to be collected under this division shall be in addition to any other filing fees 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 action or proceeding for annulment, divorce, or dissolution of marriage unless the court waives the advanced payment of all filing fees in the action or proceeding. On or before the twentieth day of each month, all moneys collected during the immediately preceding month pursuant to this division shall be deposited by the clerk of the court into the county treasury in the special fund used for deposit of additional marriage license fees as described in section 3113.34 of the Revised Code. Upon their deposit into the fund, the moneys shall be retained in the fund and expended only as described in section 3113.34 of the Revised Code.

(E)

(1) The court of common pleas 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 court of common pleas offers or requires a special program or additional services in cases of a specific type, the 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 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 (E) 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, subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners, 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 (E) of this section, the court may order, subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners, that moneys remaining in the fund be transferred to an account established under this division for a similar purpose.

(2) As used in division (E) 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.

Cite as R.C. § 2303.201

History. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.176, HB 197, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.

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

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 09-05-2001; 10-01-2005