Updated: March 24, 2020

Cuyahoga County:

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas

  • Court remains open but with limited number of judges and staff through at least Friday, April 10, 2020
  • Anyone seeking to enter the building must enter on the Ontario St. side and be subject to a forehead temperature scan as well as a series of health-related questions
  • Criminal arraignments may be held by video
  • Civil proceedings may be conducted via telephone at the discretion of each individual judge
  • All foreclosure cases are stayed for a period of 60 days
  • Civil and criminal jury trials are suspended until at least April 10, 2020, unless a person’s constitutional right to a speedy trial is at stake

Cuyahoga County Probate Court

  • All scheduled in-person hearings are canceled. Hearings may be conducted by video or telephone conference, upon the discretion of the judge or magistrate assigned to the case.
  • All requirements due from March 16, 2020 until April 16, 2020 have been extended by 60 days
  • Any requirements due after April 16, 2020 are still due on their original date
  • Requirements that are currently overdue by 60 or more days cannot be extended and must still be filed via e-file or regular mail
  • Extensions to case requirements include, but are not limited to, Accounts, Inventories, Guardian’s Reports, Commissioner’s Reports, Reports of Distribution, Certificates of Service, and Verifications of Receipt and Deposit. Many of these items are already available to E-File. Check the Court’s E-File pages for updates and additional available filings.
  • Beginning March 20, 2020, only the rear garage entrance to the Old Courthouse building will be open (North entrance of the building by the parking deck)
  • Individuals will be subjected to screening prior to entering the building. Individuals who do not pass screening will be given information on how to contact the Court.
  • The issuance of in-person marriage licenses is suspended for at least two weeks.
  • Satellite locations are closed until further notice.
  • Marriage Licenses will be issued by online video call for those applicants with an immediate need.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

  • All courthouses of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio are closed until May 1, 2020. Only authorized persons who have official business or persons authorized by a presiding judge, including credentialed media, may enter the courthouse property.
  • All employees of the District Court are directed to telework through May 1, 2020, except when directed by their supervisors/judges to report to the courthouse to perform essential functions.
  • The Clerk’s Office intake windows will be closed.
  • Electronic filings may still be made through the CM/ECF system. For those without access to CM/ECF, documents may be submitted by email to: EmergencyFiling@ohnd.uscourts.gov.
  • Civil:
    • No jury trial will begin before May 1, 2020. Any trial dates currently scheduled during that period are vacated.
    • All scheduled civil matters will be conducted by telephone or videoconference unless otherwise canceled by the assigned judge. This applies to motion hearings, case management conferences, pretrial conferences, settlement conferences and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) proceedings.
  • Criminal:
    • No jury trial will begin before May 1, 2020. Any trial dates currently scheduled during that period are vacated.
    • Initial appearances, arraignments, and detention hearings will proceed and will be conducted by telephone or videoconference where practicable.
    • Criminal pretrials with defense counsel and U.S. attorneys may proceed, but by telephone only.
    • Criminal sentencings are postponed and will not proceed unless the defendant is in custody and (a) the presiding judge determines that an imposed sentence would be equal to or less than the time in which the defendant has been in pretrial custody; or (b) where the presiding judge determines that there is a liberty interest, public safety, or other case-specific compelling reason that makes an immediate sentencing necessary.
    • Change of plea hearings will not proceed. To the extent possible and with the agreement of the defendant, after filing a notice to enter an open guilty plea or plea agreement signed by the defendant and/or defense counsel, the taking of the plea of guilty and the sentencing shall be consolidated for a date after the presentence report has been prepared.
    • All grand jury proceedings are suspended until May 1, 2020, unless absolutely necessary and with the approval of the Chief Judge.
    • All in-person re-entry court sessions are suspended until May 1, 2020.
    • All petty offense (CVB) proceedings are suspended until May 1, 2020.
    • Consistent with recently implemented procedures, all detainees, upon arrival at a courthouse and before appearance in court, will undergo screening for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19 contamination. Such screening will be administered by and/or at the direction of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) or its agencies or designees. The presiding judge must be notified if the detainee exhibits risk factors and will have the discretion to order the detainee returned to the facility from which they came.

Lorain County:

Lorain County Court of Common Pleas

  • Closed to the general public but will maintain essential court functions and operations
  • Conducting non-essential proceedings by remote video or telephone conference.
  • All criminal matters, including pretrial hearings are ordered to be continued. If an in-person hearing is required, all necessary social distancing preventative measures are to be observed.
  • All in-person civil proceedings and pending civil and criminal jury trials are suspended until at least April 13, 2020
  • Mediation department matters and hearings are suspended until at least April 13, 2020

Lorain County Probate Court

  • No persons allowed to enter the office, including attorneys
  • Automatic extension of 60 days for: filing of all Inventories, Accounts, Guardian Reports, Statements of Expert Evaluation, Annual Guardian Plans, and Compliance with Guardianship Education.
  • Pre-trials and hearings will be conducted by teleconference or videoconference unless otherwise noted.
  • Civil commitment cases brought under R.C. 5122.01, et seq. will be heard by the Judge or Magistrate via teleconference or videoconference.

Franklin County:

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas

  • Civil and criminal matters scheduled between March 16, 2020 and April 13, 2020 for a jury trial, hearing or disposition will be moved to a future date.
  • Monday March 16, 2020 through April 13, 2020, citizens summoned for petit jury duty are not required to report for jury service.
  • March 16, 2020 through April 13, 2020 the General Division’s hours of operation will be from 8:00am – 3:00pm.

Franklin County Probate Court

  • Remains open to public and will be providing all essential services. However, to protect public health, citizens are discouraged from visiting the Franklin County Court complex for matters that are not essential or time sensitive.
  • Non e-filing cases documents should be filed by mail or by dropping them off at the court (22nd floor lobby drop boxes).
  • Money orders or attorney’s check for paper filed cases
  • Duty magistrate desk closed until further notice

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

  • Unless parties are otherwise directed, oral arguments scheduled to take place March 17-20 have been postponed.
  • The Court will continue to otherwise operate in the normal course with Clerk’s Office staff available in the office and seamlessly via telework.
  • The requirement that non-prisoner pro se litigants file exclusively in paper format is temporarily suspended effective March 16, 2020, until April 17, 2020.
  • During this limited time, non-prisoner pro se litigants may e-mail documents in PDF format to: CA06_Temporary_Pro_Se_Efiling@ca6.uscourts.gov.

United States District Court – Southern District of Ohio

  • The Joseph P. Kinneary Courthouse (Columbus), the Potter Stewart Courthouse (Cincinnati) and the Walter H. Rice Courthouse (Dayton) will be closed to the public for a period of fourteen days (14) beginning March 23, 2020
  • Sentencings will include only those defendants who are in custody. Defendants who are on bond pending sentencing will be subject to the extension period of this Order. Family members of the defendants may enter the courthouse to observe said sentencing hearings. Family is meant to include immediate family, spouses, or significant others. Consistent with public health and safety, the press may also attend public sentencing hearings.
  • All criminal and civil hearings and trial dates in those courthouses scheduled to proceed during the period of this fourteen-day continuance are continued pending further order of the Court. The Court may proceed with video/telephonic conferences as appropriate and at the discretion of individual judges. Scheduling orders in cases may need to be amended as appropriate on a case by case basis.
  • With regard to criminal matters, due to the public health concerns referenced above, the time period of the continuances implemented by this General Order will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, as the Court specifically finds that the ends of justice served by ordering the continuances outweigh the best interests of the public and any defendant’s right to a speedy trial, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 316l(h)(7)(A).
  • All initial appearances, detention hearings and arraignments will take place in the same proceeding and will be conducted via Video Teleconferencing Capability (VTC). The defendant will appear via VTC from the interview room located in the United States Marshal Service Office. Pretrial Services will arrange to meet with the defendant, in person, by video, or by phone, prior to the initial appearance so that the Pretrial Services Officer will be able to make an oral recommendation to the Court regarding bond. Defense counsel will also arrange to meet with the defendant, in person, by video, or by phone, prior to the initial appearance. The judicial officer, Assistant U.S. Attorney and defense counsel will convene in the duty judge’s courtroom for the proceedings. Courtsmart will be utilized to record the proceeding. Additionally, the presence of a CSO will not be necessary. At the discretion of the duty judge, these proceedings may take place remotely thereby enabling all parties to appear by VTC. The criminal docket will occur at a time designated by the duty judge that allows Pretrial Services and defense counsel sufficient time to meet with the defendant.
  • All Grand Jury proceedings are subject to this continuance except those that are 30-day cases or may be subject to the statute of limitations
  • Individual judges may conduct emergency matters in the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton courthouses if necessary after considering the above public health situation. Those required to attend these matters shall be limited to the litigants and their counsel. This Order does not affect the court’s consideration of civil and criminal motions that can be resolved without in-court appearance.
  • Attorneys are encouraged to continue to file documents with the Court electronically through CM/ECF. Staff in each of the Clerk’s offices will be available by telephone, mail will be received, and new filings will be processed. The Court’s intake window, however, will be closed. Those wishing to make in¬ person filings, such as pro se parties, will be directed to leave such materials at drop boxes positioned at or near the entrances to the aforementioned courthouses.
  • All probation and pretrial offices will be closed to the public but will continue to conduct business. Drug testing will continue as directed by Probation and Pretrial. A probation or pretrial services duty officer at each seat of court will answer questions telephonically.
  • The Court will amend or vacate this General Order no later than April 6, 2020.