Chapter 2503: SUPREME COURT

2503.01 Composition of supreme court; qualifications for justices.

The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and six justices, each of whom has been admitted to practice as an attorney at law in this state and has, for a total of at least six years preceding appointment or commencement of the justice's term, engaged in the practice of law in this state or served as a judge of a court of record in any jurisdiction of the United States, or both.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

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

Effective Date: 07-01-1972

2503.02 Chief justice term, election, vacancy.

A chief justice of the supreme court shall be elected every six years and shall hold office for six years commencing on the first day of January next after his election. Vacancies occurring in the office of chief justice shall be filled in the manner prescribed for the filling of vacancies in the office of judge of the supreme court.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.03 Justice term, election.

Two judges of the supreme court shall be chosen in each even-numbered year. Each judge shall hold office for six years. The term of one of such judges shall commence on the first day of January next after his election and the term of the other judge shall commence on the second day of January next after his election.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.04 Presiding judge - assigning judges from common pleas court.

The chief justice of the supreme court shall preside at all terms and sessions of the supreme court. When an unusual number of cases have accumulated in the court of common pleas of any county, the chief justice may, without request, assign judges from other counties to aid in the disposition of such business. When the number of cases pending in the court of common pleas of any county exceeds seventy-five per cent of the number of cases filed during the preceding year, the chief justice, without request, shall assign judges from other counties to aid in the disposition of such business, and the chief justice shall, at such times as he may desire, and not less than once each year, ascertain the number of cases pending in the court of common pleas in each county.

The expenses incurred by the chief justice, or the judge serving in his stead, in performing all his administrative duties shall be paid from the state treasury upon the warrant of the state auditor.

Effective Date: 09-09-1957

2503.05 Appointment of officers and employees.

The supreme court may appoint the clerk of the supreme court, the reporter of the supreme court, the administrative director of the supreme court, the law librarian of the court, the marshal of the court, the administrative assistant to the chief justice, and assistants, deputies, clerks, stenographers, and other employees who are necessary for the prompt and efficient discharge of the duties of the offices of the clerk, the reporter, the administrative director, the law librarian, the marshal, and the administrative assistant. All such appointees shall serve at the pleasure of the court.

The supreme court shall fix the compensation to be paid the clerk, the reporter, the administrative director, the law librarian, the marshal, the administrative assistant, and all assistants, deputies, clerks, stenographers, and other employees, which compensation shall be paid from the state treasury in bi-weekly installments upon the approval of the court administrative director. Every appropriation authorized by the general assembly for the payment of such compensation may be distributed and paid among these appointees as the court may direct.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

2503.06 Bond of clerk of supreme court.

Before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, the clerk of the supreme court shall give a bond to the state in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, with two or more sureties approved by the court, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office. Such bond with the approval of the court and the oath of office required by sections 3.22 and 3.23 of the Revised Code indorsed thereon shall be deposited with the secretary of state.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.07 Deputy clerks.

With the approval of the supreme court, the clerk of the supreme court may appoint two deputy clerks for the court, and when necessary he may appoint a deputy for the supreme court commission to be approved by the commission. The appointment of such deputies must be in writing, and entered on the journal of the respective courts. The clerk may require each deputy to give a bond in such amount and with such sureties as such clerk directs, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of such deputy. The clerk shall be responsible for the neglect of duty or misconduct in office of a deputy.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.08 Vacancy in clerk's office.

In case of a vacancy in the office of clerk of the supreme court, the supreme court shall appoint a clerk pro tempore, who shall give a bond and take the oath of office required of the clerk by section 2503.06 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.09 Removal of clerk.

If the clerk of the supreme court fails to attend to the duties of his office or becomes incompetent, he may be removed by the court. The vacancy shall be filled as provided in section 2503.08 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.10 Office furnishings for clerk.

The clerk of the supreme court shall keep his office at Columbus, in the rooms provided for that purpose. He shall be furnished by the state with all necessary printing, books, blanks, stationery, and furniture.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.11 Duties of clerk.

The clerk of the supreme court shall prepare the necessary dockets, attend the sessions, enter and record the orders, judgments, decrees, and proceedings of the supreme court and supreme court commission, and issue necessary writs and process.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.12 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 10-02-1961

2503.13 Direct and reverse index of cases.

The clerk of the supreme court shall keep a direct and reverse index of all causes by the names of parties, alphabetically arranged, showing in separate columns the names of plaintiff and defendant, as they appear on the journal in the final order, unless otherwise ordered by the court. Such index must show the volume and page of the minute book on which the final judgment or order is entered, the term at which it was rendered, the journal or order book on which it is entered, and the volume and page of the final record.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.14 to 2503.16 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 06-30-1997

2503.17 Filing fees.

The clerk of the supreme court shall charge and collect one hundred dollars, as a filing fee, for each case entered upon the docket. The filing fees so charged and collected shall be in full for each case filed in the supreme court under the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court. The party invoking the action of the court shall pay the filing fee to the clerk before the case is docketed, and it shall be taxed as costs and recovered from the other party if the party invoking the action of the court succeeds, unless the court otherwise directs.

No filing fee or security deposit shall be charged to an indigent party upon determination of indigency by the supreme court pursuant to the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court.

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

Effective Date: 06-28-2002

2503.18 Cancellation of uncollectible debts.

If at any time the court finds that an amount owing to the court is due and uncollectible, in whole or in part, the court may direct the clerk of the court to cancel all or part of the claim. The clerk shall then effect the cancellation.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.169, HB 247, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.

2503.19 Bond of reporter of supreme court.

Before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, the reporter of the supreme court shall give bond to the state in the sum of five thousand dollars, with two or more sureties approved by the chief justice of the supreme court, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office. Such bond with the approval of the chief justice and the oath of office indorsed thereon shall be deposited with the secretary of state and kept in his office.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.20 Duties of reporter of supreme court.

When requested by the supreme court, the reporter of the supreme court shall attend its sessions and consultations and shall report and prepare its decisions for publication under its direction. The reporter shall prepare for publication and edit, tabulate, and index those opinions and decisions of any court of appeals furnished the reporter for publication by any such court, and such opinions and decisions of any of the inferior courts, as may be designated by the reporter and approved by the chief justice of the supreme court. No cases in any court of appeals shall be reported for publication except those selected by that court of appeals, or by a majority of the judges thereof.

The supreme court may appoint assistants necessary to carry on the work of the reporter's office. The court shall fix the compensation of each assistant, which compensation shall be paid out of the state treasury upon the warrant of the director of budget and management.

Whenever a case is reported for publication, the syllabus of such case shall be prepared by the judge delivering the opinion, and approved by a majority of the members of the court. Such report may be per curiam, or if an opinion is reported, such opinion shall be written in as concise form as may be consistent with a clear presentation of the law of the case. Opinions for permanent publication in book form shall be furnished to the reporter and to no other person. All such cases shall be reported in accordance with this section before they are recognized by and receive the official sanction of any court.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985; 12-01-2006

2503.21 Report of decisions delivered to superintendent of purchases and printing.

Immediately after the decision of a case by the supreme court and of all other cases which are to be reported, the reporter of the supreme court shall prepare a report thereof under the supervision of the court or judge by whom it was rendered. If practicable, such reporter may incorporate in the report the points made and authorities cited by counsel in briefs, but their arguments shall not be published unless the court so orders. Thereupon the reporter shall deliver the report in manuscript to the superintendent of purchases and printing.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.22 Reporter to edit, tabulate, index, and publish all cases disposed of on general docket.

The reporter of the supreme court shall edit, tabulate, index, and publish all cases disposed of on the general docket of the supreme court, except cases dismissed for want of preparation, failure to file printed record, or by consent of the parties. He shall state in such publication the number and style of each case, character of suits, the court of appeals from which appeal is prosecuted, the attorneys of the parties, and the judgment of the court, together with the reasons therefor.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.23 Specifications for printed decisions.

The reports of the supreme court, of the courts of appeals, and of inferior courts shall be printed on such paper and style of type as the supreme court directs, and bound in volumes in such manner and of such size as it prescribes. Each volume of the supreme court reports, reports of the courts of appeals, and of the inferior courts shall be issued at such time and cover such period of works as the supreme court orders. All reports shall contain an index, table of cases, list of citations, and other proper tabulation. The reporter of the supreme court shall secure a copyright for the use of the state for each volume of reports published.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.24 Contracts for publication of court reports.

With the approval and under the direction of the supreme court, the reporter of the supreme court may contract with one or more responsible persons to furnish materials, print, and bind the reports of the supreme court and courts of appeals, and the reports of other courts of record as are designated by the reporter, with the approval of the chief justice of the supreme court. The price at which the bound volumes shall be sold to persons or companies may be fixed by the supreme court. The reporter may award separate contracts for publication of the reports of the supreme court, the reports of the courts of appeals, and the reports of other courts of record, or contracts for the publication of any combination of those reports. Each contractor shall have the exclusive right to publish the reports that he has contracted to publish during the term of the contract.

Effective Date: 04-11-1991

2503.25 Bond of contractor for publishing court reports.

The contractor for publishing the reports under section 2503.24 of the Revised Code shall give a bond to the state in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, with such sureties as the supreme court requires, conditioned for the faithful performance of his contract within the time and in the manner provided by law and the order of the court. Such bond shall be deposited with the secretary of state and kept in his office.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.26 Bond of law librarian of supreme court.

Before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, the law librarian shall give bond to the state in the sum of five thousand dollars, with two or more sureties approved by the chief justice of the supreme court, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office. Such bond with the approval of the chief justice and the oath of office indorsed thereon shall be deposited with the treasurer of state and kept in his office.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.27 Receipt for library contents.

The law librarian shall make and deliver to his predecessor in office a receipt for the books and other property belonging to the law library which come into his possession. He separately shall specify in such receipt each book or set of books, and each article of property under his control, and file the receipt with the treasurer of state. Such librarian shall make further receipts for books or property purchased for or presented to such library and file them with the treasurer of state. On the death, resignation, or removal of such librarian, the books and other property of such library shall forthwith be delivered to his successor, and credit therefor entered on the receipts so filed. Such library shall be independent of the state library.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.28 Duties of law librarian.

The law librarian shall have charge of the law library, the rooms designated for the use of the court, with all property pertaining thereto, and perform such other services as the court directs.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.281 Administrative director of supreme court.

The administrative director of the supreme court shall, under the supervision and direction of the supreme court, do the following:

(A) Examine the state of the dockets of the courts of record, determine the need for assistance by any such court, and report the same to the chief justice;

(B) Make recommendations to the chief justice relating to the assignment of judges when courts of record are in need of assistance and carry out the direction of the chief justice as to the assignment of judges;

(C) Attend to such other matters as may be assigned by the supreme court.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

2503.282 Administrative director of supreme court to handle information requests.

The justices, judges, clerks, and officers of the supreme court, the courts of appeals, the courts of common pleas, and the probate courts shall comply with all requests made by the administrative director of the supreme court for information bearing on the state of the dockets of such courts and such other information as the chief justice of the supreme court may determine to be necessary in order to discharge his lawful duties.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

2503.29 Appointment and compensation of stenographers.

The supreme court shall appoint such stenographers as are necessary for the prompt and efficient discharge of the business of said court, and shall fix the compensation to be paid therefor, which compensation shall be paid from the state treasury in monthly installments upon the certificate of the chief justice of the supreme court.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.30 Oath and duties of stenographers.

Each official stenographer of the supreme court shall take an oath of office and perform such duties as the court designates. For incompetency, neglect of duty, or other good cause, a stenographer may be removed by the court, and the vacancy shall be filled by a person appointed by the court for the unexpired term.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

2503.31 Equipment for stenographers.

The necessary typewriting machines and materials for the use of the stenographers of the supreme court in official duties shall be paid for by the state.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.32 Records and papers of court.

The records and papers pertaining to the business of the supreme court shall be kept in the rooms provided for the court. They shall not be removed therefrom unless by direction of the court, and then only so long as its business requires.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.33 Term of court.

The chief justice and the judges of the supreme court shall meet at Columbus in January of each year and at subsequent times throughout the year as determined by the court.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.169, HB 247, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.34 Special or adjourned terms.

The supreme court may hold special or adjourned terms at such times and places as a majority of the judges determines. If a special term is held elsewhere than at Columbus, thirty days' notice of the time and place thereof must be given by publication in the newspaper published in Columbus. The court may make necessary orders for the return of process and the transmission of papers and files of the court to and from the place of holding a special term.

Effective Date: 10-07-1977

2503.35 Quorum.

If a quorum of the supreme court is not in attendance on the first day of a term, the clerk of the supreme court shall enter such fact on record, and the court will stand adjourned from day to day for ten days. If the court is not opened within ten days, all matters pending therein shall stand continued until the next term. No action or matter shall abate or be discontinued because of such continuance.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.36 Rules of practice.

The supreme court may prescribe rules for the regulation of its practice, the reservation of questions, the transmission of cases to it from the lower courts, and the remanding of cases.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.37 Docket order of cases.

Cases commenced in or taken to the supreme court shall be entered on the docket in the order in which they are commenced, received, or filed. They shall be disposed of in the same order, except that the court may dispose of the following classes of cases in advance of their order on the docket:

(A) Proceedings in quo warranto, mandamus, procedendo, prohibition, or habeas corpus;

(B) Cases in which the person seeking relief has been convicted of felony;

(C) Cases involving the validity of a tax levy or assessment;

(D) Cases involving the construction or constitutionality of a statute, or a question of practice, in which the questions arising are of general public interest;

(E) Cases of general interest to the public, if two or more of the courts of appeals have held the law directly opposite upon like facts;

(F) Cases in which the relief sought is damages for personal injury, or for death caused by negligence, and in which the person injured makes affidavit that the person's livelihood is dependent upon daily labor, or, in case of death, in which the surviving spouse or any of the next of kin of the deceased makes an affidavit that the surviving spouse or next of kin was dependent for livelihood upon the person's or the decedent's daily labor;

(G) Cases in which a trust fund for the care, support, or education of a minor, or care or support of a mentally retarded person, is in question;

(H) Cases involving controversies or questions arising in the administration of the estate of a deceased person under the laws of this state;

(I) Cases involving the construction of a statute for the annexation of territory to a municipal corporation.

Effective Date: 04-09-1981

2503.38 Case involving same questions taken out of order.

If a case is reached in its order in the supreme court, and there are other cases on the docket involving the same questions, such cases may be taken out of their order and disposed of with the one reached in order. If a case is disposed of and again comes into court, it shall be taken up as if it had its original place on the docket.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.39 Oral and written arguments.

Oral arguments must be heard in a cause in the supreme court if either party so requests, but the written arguments of counsel may be transmitted to the court, placed on file with the papers, and read by the court in the investigation of the cause. In cases involving the constitutionality of a law of the state, the court, upon request, shall permit not more than two attorneys at law on each side, in addition to the attorneys engaged by the parties, to be heard orally, or in writing, as such attorneys prefer.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.40 Issuance of writs.

In addition to the original jurisdiction conferred by Section 2 of Article IV, Ohio Constitution, the supreme court when in session, and on good cause shown, may issue writs of supersedeas in any case, and other writs not specially provided for and not prohibited by law, when necessary to enforce the administration of justice.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.41 Process.

Process issuing out of the supreme court shall be directed to the sheriff or other proper officer of the county where it is to be executed, who shall serve and return it. The marshal or a messenger of the court may serve a rule, order, warrant, or notice of citation issuing out of court, for which he shall be paid the same fees as other officers are entitled to for like services.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.42 Reporting decisions.

The supreme court shall cause each of its decisions, in disposing of a motion or otherwise, which determines or modifies an unsettled or new and important question of law, or gives construction to a statute of ambiguous import, to be reported with as much brevity as practicable. The court shall cause to be reported such other of its decisions as it deems of public interest and importance.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2503.43 Supreme court need not determine weight of evidence.

In a civil case or proceeding, except when its jurisdiction is original and except as provided by section 2309.59 of the Revised Code, the supreme court need not determine as to the weight of the evidence.

Effective Date: 03-17-1987

2503.44 Remand final decrees, judgments, or orders.

The supreme court may remand its final decrees, judgments, or orders in cases brought before it on appeal to the court below for specific or general execution, or to the inferior courts for further proceedings.

Effective Date: 03-17-1987

2503.45 Entity to operate and maintain the facilities and attendant exterior grounds of state-owned real estate located in Franklin County.

(A) The supreme court may create a board, commission, or other entity to be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facilities and attendant exterior grounds included within the real estate described in division (A) of Section 2 of Sub. House Bill No. 388 of the 125th general assembly. The supreme court may authorize any board, commission, or other entity so created to establish a trust for the purpose of receiving, restoring, maintaining, and displaying items of historic, artistic, or educational value in the facilities or on the grounds.

(B) The facilities and attendant exterior grounds granted to the supreme court pursuant to division (A) of Section 2 of Sub. House Bill No. 388 of the 125th general assembly, and any income from the possession or operation of those facilities and grounds, are exempt from taxation and assessments.

Effective Date: 03-02-2004