Upon the determination of a judge of the court of common pleas that a sufficient petition has been filed in the court in accordance with section 6101.05 of the Revised Code, the judge shall give notice of the petition to the court of common pleas of each county included in whole or in part within the proposed conservancy district. The judge of the court of common pleas of each county, or in the case of any county having more than one judge, one judge assigned by order of the judges of the court of common pleas of the county, shall sit as the court of common pleas of the county in which the petition was filed to exercise the jurisdiction conferred by this chapter. In case of the inability to serve of the judge of any county having only one judge, the chief justice of the supreme court, upon application of any interested person and proper showing of need, may assign a judge from another county to serve as a judge for the county during the disability of its local judge. The court of any county, presided over by the judges provided for in this section, may establish conservancy districts when the conditions stated in section 6101.05 of the Revised Code are found to exist. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the court has, for all purposes of this chapter, original and exclusive jurisdiction coextensive with the boundaries and limits of the district or proposed district and of the lands and other property included in, or proposed to be included in, the district or affected by the district, without regard to the usual limits of its jurisdiction. The judges of the court shall meet in the first instance upon the call of the judge determining the sufficiency of the petition and shall elect one of their number as presiding judge. Each judge when sitting as a member of the court shall receive compensation and allowance for expenses as provided by law for a judge of the court of common pleas serving by assignment outside the county in which the judge resides, which shall be paid as other expenses of the organization or operation of the district are paid.
The court shall adopt rules of practice and procedure not inconsistent with this chapter and the general laws of this state. If the court consists of more than three judges, it may designate three of its members from three different counties to preside over the court, hear matters coming before the court, and make determinations and decisions or findings and recommendations, as the rules of the court provide, with respect to any matters authorized by the rules, the disposition of which is vested in the court, except that it shall not make final decisions and orders as to the following:
(A) The establishment, dissolution, or merger of the district or of subdistricts of it;
(B) The adoption, rejection, or amendment of the official plan;
(C) The appointment and removal of directors and appraisers;
(D) The confirmation of the appraisers' report of benefits, damages, and appraisals of property;
(E) The authorization of maintenance assessments in excess of one per cent of benefits;
(F) The authorization of a readjustment of the appraisal of benefits in accordance with section 6101.54 of the Revised Code;
(G) The approval of the method of financing improvements and activities under section 6101.25 of the Revised Code;
(I) The examination of the annual report of the board of directors of the conservancy district as provided under section 6101.66 of the Revised Code.
The concurrence of two of the three judges designated shall be necessary for any action or determination by the judges, and it has, if so provided by the rules of the court, the same effect as though taken or made by the full court. All actions and determinations by the full court require the affirmative vote of a majority of the judges constituting the court. In all cases in which the judges are evenly divided, that side with which the presiding judge votes shall prevail. If the court consists of two judges and they find themselves unable to agree on any question left to their decision, a judge of the court of common pleas of some other county shall be designated by the chief justice of the supreme court to sit and vote as a third member of the court until the question is decided.
When the court by its order entered of record decrees that a subdistrict be organized, the judge of the court of common pleas of each county included in whole or in part in the subdistrict, or in the case of any county having more than one judge, one judge assigned by order of the judges of the court of common pleas of the county, shall sit as the court of common pleas, with jurisdiction in all matters relating to the subdistrict, the disposition of which is vested in the court, except those listed in divisions (A), (C), and (I) of this section, which shall remain the responsibility of the full court.
Effective Date: 09-21-2000