2701.031 [Effective Until 7/10/2014] Disqualification of municipal or county court judge - affidavit.

(A) If a judge of a municipal or county court allegedly is interested in a proceeding pending before the judge, allegedly is related to or has a bias or prejudice for or against a party to a proceeding pending before the judge or to a party's counsel, or allegedly otherwise is disqualified to preside in a proceeding pending before the judge, any party to the proceeding or the party's counsel may file an affidavit of disqualification with the clerk of the court in which the proceeding is pending.

(B) An affidavit of disqualification shall be filed under this section with the clerk of the court in which the proceeding is pending not less than seven calendar days before the day on which the next hearing in the proceeding is scheduled and shall include all of the following:

(1) The specific allegations on which the claim of interest, bias, prejudice, or disqualification is based and the facts to support each of those allegations;

(2) The jurat of a notary public or another person authorized to administer oaths or affirmations;

(3) A certificate indicating that a copy of the affidavit has been served on the judge of the municipal or county court against whom the affidavit is filed and on all other parties or their counsel;

(4) The date of the next scheduled hearing in the proceeding or, if there is no hearing scheduled, a statement that there is no hearing scheduled.

(C)

(1) Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, when an affidavit of disqualification is presented to the clerk of a municipal or county court for filing under division (B) of this section, the clerk shall enter the fact of the filing on the docket in that proceeding and shall provide notice of the filing of the affidavit to one of the following:

(a) The presiding judge of the court of common pleas of the county;

(b) If there is no presiding judge of the court of common pleas of the county, a judge of the court of common pleas of the county.

(2) The clerk of the municipal or county court in which a proceeding is pending shall not accept an affidavit of disqualification presented for filing under division (B) of this section if it is not timely presented for filing or does not satisfy the requirements of divisions (B)(2), (3), and (4) of this section.

(D)

(1) Except as provided in divisions (D)(2) to (4) of this section, if the clerk of the municipal or county court in which a proceeding is pending accepts an affidavit of disqualification for filing under divisions (B) and (C) of this section, the affidavit deprives the judge of a municipal or county court against whom the affidavit was filed of any authority to preside in the proceeding until the judge who was notified pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section rules on the affidavit pursuant to division (E) of this section.

(2) A judge of a municipal or county court against whom an affidavit of disqualification has been filed under divisions (B) and (C) of this section may preside in the proceeding if, based on the scheduled hearing date, the affidavit was not timely filed.

(3) A judge of a municipal or county court against whom an affidavit of disqualification has been filed under divisions (B) and (C) of this section may determine a matter that does not affect a substantive right of any of the parties.

(4) If the clerk of a municipal or county court accepts an affidavit of disqualification for filing under divisions (B) and (C) of this section, if the judge who is notified pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section of the filing of the affidavit of disqualification denies the affidavit pursuant to division (E) of this section, and if, after the denial, a second or subsequent affidavit of disqualification regarding the same judge and the same proceeding is filed by the same party who filed or on whose behalf was filed the affidavit that was denied or by counsel for the same party who filed or on whose behalf was filed the affidavit that was denied, the judge of a municipal or county court against whom the second or subsequent affidavit is filed may preside in the proceeding prior to the ruling, by the judge who is notified pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section, on the second or subsequent affidavit pursuant to division (E) of this section.

(E) If the clerk of a municipal or county court accepts an affidavit of disqualification for filing under division (B) and (C) of this section and if the judge who is notified pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section of the filing of the affidavit determines that the interest, bias, prejudice, or disqualification alleged in the affidavit does not exist, the judge who is so notified shall issue an entry denying the affidavit of disqualification. If the judge who is notified pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section of the filing of the affidavit determines that the interest, bias, prejudice, or disqualification alleged in the affidavit exists, the judge who is so notified shall issue an entry that disqualifies the judge against whom the affidavit was filed from presiding in the proceeding and designate another judge of the municipal or county court, or of the court of common pleas, to preside in the proceeding in place of the disqualified judge.

Effective Date: 11-20-1996

This section is set out twice. See also § 2701.031 , as amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 261, §1, eff. 7/10/2014.