COURT TECHNOLOGY FAQs
May I bring my electronic device into the Courthouse? Yes. Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are permitted in the Courthouse for people who are waiting for trials or hearings. The Courthouse has free public Wi-Fi.
May I bring my device or smartphone into a courtroom? That depends. If you will be using a device to present something to the Court, you may use that device as appropriate under the Judge’s or Magistrate’s direction. However, when not in use the Court will require that you turn off smartphones and other devices in the courtroom to avoid disrupting the proceedings.
What connections will be available if I need to use my device for a presentation? Each courtroom has HDMI and VGA cables, and an audio jack for connections. Each courtroom has free Wi-Fi. Every courtroom also has a device called ClickShare to connect a USB port to the courtroom’s wireless system.
My device uses a different connection. Can I still use it? Yes. However, an attorney or party is responsible for supplying any non-standard connection that the Court does not offer, such as FireWire, mini-USB, USB-C, or Lightning cable and/or adapter. You can use Wi-Fi instead of a cable connection.
Does my device have to use Windows to connect? No. The Court’s technology is platform neutral. You may use Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android systems. It is your responsibility to make sure whatever system and hardware you use works with the court connections.
What does the Court supply in each courtroom? Several hardware items. Each courtroom is equipped with a drop-down screen, a ceiling-mounted digital projector, an audio speaker system, an overhead document viewer known as an Elmo, and connection cables at each counsel table and the podium. The Judge or Magistrate has a desktop computer on the bench for their use. Please call the courtroom staff in advance if you have specific questions about the hardware the Court supplies and its usage. The Court does not supply laptops or tablets.
Can the Court help me with my use of technology? To a degree. Court staff, such as a courtroom bailiff, can help you with the setup and connection of your device. It is your responsibility to make sure your system provides the desired output. Please remember, court staff cannot help you with the actual legal presentation. No member of the court staff can offer legal advice or assistance to any party or witness.
Can I use my device to present documents or other exhibits? Yes. Documents stored on a computer or tablet could be used as exhibits and may be considered by a Court. However, the Ohio Rules of Evidence do apply. Exhibits will have to meet those legal requirements to be admitted. Just because something is stored on a computer or other device does not make it automatically admissible as evidence or an exhibit. The Judge or Magistrate may require paper copies of exhibits for use in court or by the Court of Appeals.
Can I file pleadings, motions, and other documents with the Clerk by computer? No. Legal papers for filing with the Clerk of Court can only be submitted in-person, by mail, or by fax. The Court and Clerk of Court do not currently have a process for filing papers by email, known as eFiling. Local Rule 17 on Fax Filing is HERE. The Clerk of Court’s Office FAQs on Fax Filing are HERE. The Clerk of Court’s fax number is 513-732-7050.
I want to look at a court file. Can I do that without coming to the Courthouse? Yes. The Clerk of Court maintains online access to the docket (except civil protection order files) in pending cases. You can review the Common Pleas Court case docket remotely HERE.
I want to look at the court schedule. Can I do that without coming to the Courthouse? Yes. The judges’ dockets/schedules are all online in the lower right hand corner of any Court web page including this one, or go to the tab “Dockets & Reports” and then the page “Dockets and Grand Jury Reports” through this LINK.
I want to look at the grand jury reports. Can I do that without coming to the Courthouse? Yes. The twice-weekly grand jury reports are all online on the page “Docket and Grand Jury Reports” through this LINK. That page has the current report and reports for the past month.
I want to know more about court procedures that affect me. Can I do that without coming to the Courthouse? Yes. The Court has numerous Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and other information about court operations on the page “FAQs and More” through this LINK. Other pages on this website have information about the Court in other formats.
For health or travel reasons, I would like to attend court from my home or office. Can I do that? In certain circumstances, yes. In the Judge’s discretion, status conferences, scheduling conferences, pre-trials, and other proceedings can be held by conference call or remote video. Please check with the Assigned Judge’s staff several days before the proceeding to get approval and instructions.
I’m a juror. Can I bring my smartphone or device into the jury room? NO!
A trial is designed and structured to present the jury with all the evidence and law they need to make a fair and impartial decision. Use of outside information from a smartphone or tablet is strictly prohibited. The use of outside information might cause a mistrial and a later retrial of the same case at considerable taxpayer expense.
May I record court proceedings while I am in the courtroom as a party, witness, or spectator? No. The only recording allowed in a courtroom is the authorized one created by the Official Court Reporter on the Court’s recording system. If you are caught recording, you will be ordered to stop.
If I can’t record the proceedings, how can I get a recording or transcript? All transcripts and audio recordings on CD are available through the Official Court Reporter. You can get information about transcripts or recordings HERE or call 513-732-7125.
I need to make paper copies of a document I have. Where can I do that? The Law Library on the second floor across from Courtroom 204 has a copy machine. Usual charges may apply.
I want to ask the judge on my case a question. How do I do that? You can’t. Judicial ethics prohibit any kind of communications (email, mail, oral, etc.) with a Judge or Magistrate outside the presence of the other party. Any attempt to communicate by email or otherwise with a Judge or Magistrate will be rejected without reading.
I have difficulty with my hearing. How can I better participate in court proceedings? Each courtroom has an amplification system that can be used for people with hearing limitations. Please alert the bailiff before any proceeding starts so staff can make the necessary arrangements.
I have difficulty with my vision. How can I better participate in court proceedings? Each courtroom has a video system for displaying exhibits and other documents. Please alert the bailiff before any proceeding starts so staff can make the necessary arrangements.
Who has the final authority on the use of technology in a courtroom? The Judge or Magistrate hearing the case. Ohio Supreme Court rules have certain standards for the use of technology in court. The ultimate authority for the use of technology-a phone, tablet, iPad, laptop, etc.-is the Judge or Magistrate in the courtroom. Please don’t assume that use of a particular technology is automatically acceptable just because you use it in your work, law firm, or home.