Section 2701.10 | Referrals for adjudication of civil actions or proceedings to retired judges.
(A) Any voluntarily retired judge, or any judge who is retired under Section 6 of Article IV, Ohio Constitution, may register with the clerk of any court of common pleas, municipal court, or county court for the purpose of receiving referrals for adjudication of civil actions or proceedings, and submissions for determination of specific issues or questions of fact or law in any civil action or proceeding, pending in the court. There is no limitation upon the number, type, or location of courts with which a retired judge may register under this division. Upon registration with the clerk of any court under this division, the retired judge is eligible to receive referrals and submissions from that court, in accordance with this section. Each court of common pleas, municipal court, and county court shall maintain an index of all retired judges who have registered with the clerk of that court pursuant to this division and shall make the index available to any person, upon request.
(B)(1) The parties to any civil action or proceeding pending in any court of common pleas, municipal court, or county court unanimously may choose to have the action or proceeding in its entirety referred for adjudication, or to have any specific issue or question of fact or law in the action or proceeding submitted for determination, to a judge of their choosing who has registered with the clerk of that court in accordance with division (A) of this section.
If the parties unanimously do choose to have a referral or submission made to a retired judge pursuant to this section, all of the parties to the action or proceeding shall enter into a written agreement with the retired judge that does all of the following:
(a) Designates the retired judge to whom the referral or submission is to be made;
(b) If a submission is to be made, describes in detail the specific issue or question to be submitted;
(c) Indicates either of the following:
(i) That the action or proceeding in its entirety is to be referred to, and is to be tried, determined, and adjudicated by that retired judge;
(ii) Indicates that the issue or question is to be submitted, and is to be tried and determined by that retired judge.
(d) Indicates that the parties will assume the responsibility for providing facilities, equipment, and personnel reasonably needed by the retired judge during the retired judge's consideration of the action or proceeding and will pay all costs arising out of the provision of the facilities, equipment, and personnel;
(e) Identifies an amount of compensation to be paid by the parties to the retired judge for the retired judge's services and the manner of payment of the compensation;
(f) Indicates a procedure for terminating the agreement with the retired judge.
(2) In any case described in division (B)(1) of this section, the agreement shall be filed with the clerk of the court or the judge before whom the action or proceeding is pending. The judge before whom the action or proceeding is pending shall address the agreement within fourteen days after its filing. That judge, by journal entry, may, at the judge's discretion, order the referral or submission in accordance with the agreement. No referral or submission shall be made to a retired judge under this section, unless the parties to the action or proceeding unanimously choose to have the referral or submission made, enter into an agreement of the type described in division (B)(1) of this section with the retired judge, and file the agreement in accordance with this division.
(C) Upon the entry of an order of referral or submission in accordance with division (B)(2) of this section, the retired judge to whom the referral or submission is made, relative to the action or proceeding referred or the issue or question submitted, shall have all of the powers, duties, and authority of an active judge of the court in which the action or proceeding is pending. The court in which the action or proceeding is pending is not required to provide the retired judge with court or other facilities, equipment, or personnel during the retired judge's consideration of the action, proceeding, issue, or question. The retired judge shall not receive any compensation, other than that agreed to by the parties and the retired judge, for the retired judge's services during consideration of the action, proceeding, issue, or question.
(D)(1) A retired judge to whom a referral is made under this section shall try all of the issues in the action or proceeding, shall prepare relevant findings of fact and conclusions of law, and shall enter a judgment in the action or proceeding in the same manner as if the retired judge were an active judge of the court. A retired judge to whom a submission is made under this section shall try the specific issue or question submitted, shall prepare relevant findings of fact or conclusions of law, shall make a determination on the issue or question submitted, and shall file the findings, conclusions, and determination with the clerk of the court in which the action or proceeding is pending. Any judgment entered, and any finding of fact, conclusion of law, or determination of an issue or question made, by a retired judge in accordance with this section shall have the same force and effect as if it had been entered or made by an active judge of the court, and any appeal from the judgment, finding, conclusion, or determination shall be made as if the judgment had been entered, or the finding, conclusion, or determination had been made, by an active judge of the court.
(2) Upon conclusion of the referred action or proceeding or determination of the submitted issue or question, jurisdiction is returned to the referring judge.
(E) Any judge who registers with any court in accordance with division (A) of this section may have the judge's name removed from the index of registered retired judges maintained by that court at any time after the registration. On and after the date of removal of the name of a retired judge from the index of a court, the retired judge is not eligible under this section to receive referrals or submissions from that court.
(F) This section does not affect, and shall not be construed as affecting, the provisions of section 141.16 of the Revised Code. This section does not apply to any action or proceeding pending in a small claims division of a municipal court or county court.
Last updated May 20, 2021 at 2:14 PM
Available Versions of this Section
- September 26, 1984 – House Bill 657 - 115th General Assembly [ View September 26, 1984 Version ]
- August 17, 2021 – Amended by House Bill 7 - 134th General Assembly [ View August 17, 2021 Version ]