HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, EXCEPT LEGAL HOLIDAYS
CLERK’S REVISED HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, EXCEPT LEGAL HOLIDAYS
NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS
03/17/2020 UPDATE RE: CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE
To: The Citizens of Clermont County, Ohio
From: Honorable Judges Jerry McBride, Anthony Brock, Richard Ferenc and Victor Haddad
In this time of national concern over the spread of COVID-19, the judges of the Common Pleas Court of Clermont County have been closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and have been investigating and discussing the best response to help slow the spread of the virus. Procedures have already been implemented such as the increased use of hand sanitizers and disinfectants to wipe down “high-touch” areas in our offices and in the public areas of the Courthouse.
As of today, March 17, 2020, the following changes are in effect immediately, extending at least through June 29, 2020:
We also encourage every citizen to comply with the following recommendations of health professionals to help prevent the spread of this virus:
As a provider of essential government services, the Court remains open for business. In an ongoing effort to keep our employees and the general public as healthy as possible, we will continue to engage in discussions with County officials and will make decisions to further minimize the risk of spreading this virus. Please continue to check the Court’s website for updates on changing conditions based on the spread and severity of this outbreak.
Information can be found at our website, https://clermontcommonpleas.com/, and at the following additional locations:
Thank you for your attention.
PLEASE NOTE: The Court has adopted new procedures for garnishments and related proceedings. Please review the GARNISHMENT SPECIAL ORDER here.
PLEASE NOTE: The Court has issued a stay of foreclosure and sheriff’s sale proceedings. Please review the Order Staying Foreclosure here.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to mandatory health screenings at the entrance to the Courthouse, please arrive early for any court proceeding that you must attend. If you are having any symptoms of illness, such as a fever or a cough, DO NOT COME TO COURT. You will be denied entry. Please review notices elsewhere on this web site for updated information.
*NOTICE TO COUNSEL-APRIL 20, 2020-Use of Masks in Judge McBride’s Courtroom
As you are aware, one rule in my courtroom during the COVID-19 emergency is that each person in the courtroom maintain social distancing from other persons in the courtroom. This means that there needs to be physical distance between persons of six feet or more. As I have observed persons in my courtroom over recent days, I have become aware that, while this is a rule, it is not always observed.
Even under the most recent pronouncements of Governor DeWine and President Trump, social distancing is strongly recommended. Governor DeWine has gone so far as to say that there will be a “new normal” including social distancing until such time as there is a vaccine that is developed and which is made readily available throughout the country.
Beyond that, I have persons who come in my courtroom who are at risk, either by reason of age and/or medical condition. The recommendation has been made that at risk individuals need to be particularly on guard until such time as a vaccine is made available. At risk individuals who come in my courtroom have a right to expect that reasonable precautions will be taken for their protection.
In this regard, in addition to advocating social distancing, the Center for Disease Control has recommended wearing face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain in order to slow the spread of the virus and to help people who may be asymptomatic but who have the virus from transmitting it to others. Governor DeWine has strongly encouraged the wearing of face masks when persons are out in public. As he said recently, “In many cultures around the world, wearing a mask is just part of the culture- it is a socially accepted act of kindness.” DeWine has further said that wearing masks will “be part of what we do until we’re done with this virus in a year or so.”
Today, I was wearing a face covering in court, and I intend to continue to wear a face covering in the future.
Because I believe it is necessary for all persons to wear face coverings for the protection of other persons in my courtroom, I am requiring effective Tuesday, April 21st, that every person, including but not limited to court staff, attorneys, parties, witnesses, and jurors, wear a face covering while in my courtroom. The face covering can be as simple as a bandana and can be as complex as some of the face masks that are depicted in the news. Regardless, the face covering must cover both nose and mouth. Persons who do not have a face covering will be able to participate in a hearing by telephone or videoconference, but they will not be permitted to remain in the courtroom. The face covering is a common courtesy that will be expected of everyone.
There will be an exception to the face covering requirement for any person who has a note from a physician stating that the person cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition. This may happen where a person has a severe asthma or COPD or any other condition where any obstruction to regular breathing may be a greater risk than possible exposure to the coronavirus. However, a person who is excused from wearing any face covering will need to adhere strictly to the six foot physical distance requirement. Even without a note, a person who feels threatened by the requirement to wear a mask can participate in a hearing by telephone or videoconference.
There may also need to be for accommodation for someone who is deaf and who reads lips. Counsel and court staff are both requested to notify the court promptly if there is someone present for whom accommodation will be necessary.
The policy requiring face coverings is not unprecedented or novel. There are other courts that are requiring face coverings, and many courts are implementing protective measures of one type or another.
Attorneys are expected to communicate to their clients that face coverings are required. I am also requesting that the Assignment Office set forth this requirement on notices that go out as to hearings in my courtroom.
Your cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
Judge Jerry R. McBride
270 E. Main Street
Batavia, Ohio 45103
NOTICE REGARDING COURT MEDIATION
Due to the Court’s operational changes and continuances of civil trials in light of the coronavirus, the Court is expanding its mediation program to include mediation by telephone, video conference, and email. Any attorney seeking to mediate a pending matter should email their contact information, with the case style and number, to email@example.com. The Court Mediator will respond by email with the logistics of how and when to set up a remote conference call or video conference. Counsel should give consideration to cases that: (1) have been mediated previously and need follow up, (2) cases set in March through June that were continued based on the Court’s policy notice of March 17, 2020, (3) cases that are set for trial in the near future, (4) any case that would benefit from early mediation to reduce discovery and other costs, and (5) any civil matter that would benefit from mediation.
Holiday Schedule: Please take notice that the Clermont County Common Pleas Court will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2020 in observance of Independence Day. The Court will reopen on Monday, July 6, 2020 at 8:00 AM.
Please be advised that the Kahle Building across East Main Street from the Courthouse, formerly the site of the Clermont County Court, the Municipal Court, and most recently the County Records Center, has been demolished to make way for new parking. Until the site is repaved, there will barriers, detours, and parking restrictions in the area. Please arrange your schedules to arrive early for court appearances as you may be required to park further from the front door than usual.
Common Pleas Court Receives Supreme Court of Ohio Technology Grants: The Clermont County Common Pleas Court recently received two grants from the Supreme Court of Ohio for the upgrade of courthouse technology. The grants from the Supreme Court’s Technology Grant Fund total $54,608, and consist of $40,000 for courthouse security video upgrades, and $14,608 for improved courtroom audio-visual equipment. The two grant checks were presented by Supreme Court Justice Judith French to the Common Pleas Court in a ceremony on April 25, 2019 in the courtroom of Judge Richard Ferenc.
Pictured above, left to right: Clermont County Bar Association President Ernie Ramos, Judge Anthony Brock, Justice Judith French,
Judge Richard Ferenc, Judge Victor Haddad.
NOTICE REGARDING NEW COURT COSTS SCHEDULE:
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2018, the Court is amending its Local Rules Appendix A-Security for Costs. The current costs schedule will expire August 31, 2018. The increased costs are:
Security For Costs
|NEW CIVIL CASE||$250.00|
|APPEAL OF ARBITRATION||$450.00|
|JUDGMENT DEBTOR EXAM||$125.00|
|WRIT OF POSSESSION||$250.00|
|PETITION FOR CQE||$125.00|
|RECORDING CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT||$30.00|
|CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT||$10.00|
|STATE OF OHIO CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT||$40.00|
|FOREIGN CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT||$75.00|
|JURY TRIAL (DEPOSIT)||$300.00|
|JURY VIEW (DEPOSIT)||$400.00|
|APPEAL TO THE TWELFTH APPELLATE DISTRICT||$225.00|
|FOREIGN COUNTY SHERIFF’S SERVICE (PER DEFENDANT)||$50.00|
|STATE REPARATION/INDIGENT DEFENSE SUPPORT FUND||$60.00|
|BAIL BOND SURCHARGE||$25.00|
|INDIGENT DEFENDANT APPLICATION||$25.00|
|PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM DISABILITY||$125.00|
|ORDER OF SALE||$150.00|
|PROCESS SERVER APPOINTMENT-INDIVIDUAL||$25.00|
|PROCESS SERVER APPOINTMENT-COMPANY||$50.00|
|WITNESS FEE (PER DAY)||$12.00|
|MILEAGE (WITNESS PER MILE)||$0.51|
EFFECTIVE DATE: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018
Please take notice that the Clermont County Common Pleas Court will be closed on Monday, September 2, 2019 in observance of Labor Day. The Court will reopen on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 8:00 AM.
Comments Welcomed: The new website for the Common Pleas Court has been available to the public since January 2017. If you have comments, suggestions, improvements to the new site, or an error correction, please submit them by clicking here. Thank you for your input.
TO ALL COUNSEL SEEKING CRIMINAL CASE APPOINTMENTS: Please take notice that the Common Pleas Court has adopted a new form for counsel seeking to receive appointments to represent indigent criminal defendants. All counsel must submit the new form pursuant to the regulations of the Ohio Public Defender Commission in OAC chapter 120-1. Counsel are urged to review the regulations in that chapter. Completed forms should be returned promptly to Court Administrator Gary Scalf. Please click for the Appointed Counsel Application Form in PDF format.
The Clermont County Board of Commissioners has posted a YouTube video “What is the Common Pleas Court?” on its website. The video can be accessed by clicking HERE.
Retiring Judge Thomas Herman has given an interview on his years of service to Clermont County. The video can be accessed by clicking HERE.
TO ALL COUNSEL INVOLVED IN FORECLOSURE CASES, Please take notice that the Court has adopted major amendments to Local Rule 11 involving judicial sales. A copy of the rule can be found here. All new foreclosure cases filed will require the submission of a Property Description Approval Form (available here) which must be reviewed by the Auditor’s Office Tax Map Department before filing the complaint with the Clerk. The fee for a Writ of Possession is now $200. The amended version of Local Rule 11 will be effective November 24, 2014. Please adjust your procedures to conform to the new version of the Local Rule and advise your clients accordingly. A complete version of the Local Rules as amended is available here.
Please take notice the Judge McBride has posted the procedure he uses in revivor proceedings on this web site under his judicial preferences. A copy of this procedure is available HERE. Any counsel planning to file a revivor should review and follow this procedure. Judge McBride has also posted updated versions of his civil and criminal pre-trial orders, and his list of witnesses, exhibits, and depositions.
Please take notice that the Court has updated its reported civil jury verdicts for reference by counsel and parties. The report covers trials through October of 2014. The jury verdicts report is available HERE.
Please take notice that the Court has posted on this web site a schematic diagram of major county buildings. Anyone is welcome to use this diagram to get to the correct government building, including the Clermont County Courthouse, in a timely manner. Attorneys are free to download and print this map to assist their clients. A copy of the schematic is available here.
Please take notice that failure to submit Appointed Counsel fee applications on criminal cases within 90 days of disposition of the case will result in a 35% reduction in the fee, based on Ohio Public Defender’s Office rules.
Please take notice that the Clerk of Courts has updated the Civil Case Classification form. Please use this version for all future filings. A copy of the updated 2014 form is available here.
Effective May 1, 2014, the fee for filing an appeal to the 12th District Court of Appeals has been raised to $225.00 for all cases, criminal and civil. Please plan accordingly if you are filing a Notice of Appeal in the near future.
Please take notice that the Clermont County Common Pleas Court has amended its Local Rules effective May 2, 2013. These amendments cover new provisions for petitions for Certificates of Qualification for Employment, updates to arraignment practice and the Clerk’s fee schedule, and renumbering of certain rules. The May 2, 2013 amendments are available here. The complete Local Rules are available here and on the Local Rules page of this web site. Individual Local Rules as amended have been posted on the Local Rules page.
Please take notice that the Court now has information about Certificates of Qualification for Employment (CQEs) listed in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this web site. The CQE petition process was created in a recent amendment to ORC 2953.25. The link to the FAQs is here.
Additional judge’s opinions are being posted on the Court’s web site as they become available for the benefit of the practicing bar. All posted court opinions may be accessed here.
September 19, 2011 Attorneys should take note that the Court is operating under the newly revised fee schedule for appointed counsel in criminal cases. The current rates as approved by the Board of County Commissioners is $60 per hour for in-court work and $50 per hour for out-of-court work. The full text of the Commissioners’ resolution can be found here.
July 25, 2011 The Clermont County Common Pleas Court has posted judicial preferences for practices and procedures on this web site. An attorney or party may go to the page “Judicial Preferences” and click on a judge’s name to get a PDF with that judge’s individual preferences for practice in his court. These listings of judicial preferences for practices and procedures for counsel and parties are offered for the convenience and guidance of those appearing before the individual judges in the Clermont County Common Pleas Court, General Division. Each judge reserves the right and has the discretion to modify these preferences to suit the circumstances of individual cases as the law and the facts require.
May 26, 2011 The Local Rules of the Clermont County Common Pleas Court, General Division, as amended May 24, 2011, are now posted on the Court’s web site. The major change is the adoption of Local Rule 1 regarding the assignment to judges of both criminal and civil cases. In addition to the individual Local Rules, counsel and other interested parties may download a complete set of Local Rules in PDF format.
May 10, 2011 Judge Richard Ferenc was interviewed on Clermont County Today on May 6, 2001 regarding his initial impressions on becoming a Common Pleas Court Judge, and his observations on trends in the court caseload. To see the complete interview, please click HERE.