Daniel Gigiano Reviews Ohio Municipal Courts
Ohio has over 100 municipal courts. Attorney Daniel Gigiano reviews the role municipal courts play in the justice system in Ohio.
Ohio Municipal Courts Handle Smaller CasesMunicipal courts handle civil cases involving less than $15,000, misdemeanor criminal and traffic cases, housing code violations, and landlord-tenant cases. Jury trials in municipal court consist of eight jurors. In civil jury trials, at least six of the eight jurors must agree in order to reach a verdict. In criminal jury trials, all eight jurors must agree to a verdict of guilty or not guilty. If the required number of jurors do not agree on a verdict, the municipal court judge declares a mistrial.
Ohio Municipal Courts Help Provide Citizens Greater Access To JusticeMunicipal courts serve the valuable function of being closer and often more accessible than courts of common pleas. Municipal courts usually have a smaller jurisdiction than courts of common pleas in the same county, especially in larger counties. This usually means that the municipal courthouse is closer than the court of common pleas. Filing fees are usually much lower in municipal courts than their common pleas counterpart. Small claims court usually has a more relaxed method of gathering information, which means that people representing themselves are less likely to be caught off guard by strict application of the rules of evidence. Finally, cases are usually handled in a quicker fashion in municipal court, as the procedures in common pleas court are geared towards more complicated matters that will likely require more time to prepare.