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TBA Response to Novel Coronavirus

 

Bench Bar Conversations

Common Pleas Court - April 8, 2020 - View Video Here 
 
  • Administrative Judge Dean Mandros, Lucas County Court of Common Pleas
  • Judge Michael R. Goulding, Lucas County Court of Common Pleas
  • Judge Matthew Reger, Wood County Court of Common Pleas
Federal Court - April 9, 2020 - View Video Here
  • Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
  • Judge James R. Knepp, II, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
Area Municipal Courts - April 15, 2020 - View Video Here 
  • Hon. Timothy Kuhlman, Toledo Municipal Court
  • Hon. Michael Bonfiglio, Sylvania Municipal Court
  • Hon. Dan Hazard, Maumee Municipal Court
  • Hon. Aram Ohanian, Perrysburg Municipal Court
  • Hon. Mark Reddin, Bowling Green Municipal Court
  • Hon. Louis Kovacs, Oregon Municipal Court
Domestic Relations - April 22, 2020 - View Video Here 
  • Hon. David Lewandowski, Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations
Lucas County Probate Court - May 27, 2020 - View Video Here
  • Hon. Jack Puffenberger
  • Mag. Trevor Fernandes
  • Mag. Nancy Miller
  • Mag. Paul Jomantas
  • Mag. Maria Morgan
  • Mag. Linda Knepp
 

Local Court Updates

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio - Closed to the Public, Official Business Authorized
  • ALL COURTHOUSES OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO, SHALL BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL MAY 1, 2020.  ONLY PERSONS HAVING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AUTHORIZED BY THIS GENERAL ORDER OR BY A PRESIDING JUDGE, INCLUDING CREDENTIALED MEDIA, MAY ENTER COURTHOUSE PROPERTY.  THIS APPLIES TO ALL DIVISIONAL LOCATIONS
  • CIVIL CASES:
    1. No jury trial will be commenced before May 1, 2020.  Any trial dates currently scheduled during that period are vacated.
    2. All scheduled civil matters will be conducted by telephone or video conference 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 CASES: 
    Due to the Court’s reduced ability to obtain an adequate spectrum of jurors and the effect of the public health recommendations on the availability of counsel and court staff to be present in the courtroom, the time period of the continuances implemented by the General Order will be excluded under Speedy Trial Act, as the Court specifically finds that the ends of justice served by ordering the continuances outweigh the interest of the public and any defendant’s right to a speedy trial pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 3161(h)(7)(A).  Accordingly, 
    1. No jury trial will be commenced before May 1, 2020.  Any trial dates currently scheduled during that period are vacated. 
    2. Initial appearances, arraignments, and detention hearings will proceed and will be conducted by telephone or video conference where practicable. 
    3. Criminal pretrials with defense counsel and United States attorneys may proceed, but by telephone only. 
    4. 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. 
    5. 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. 
    6. All grand jury proceedings are suspended until May 1, 2020, unless absolutely necessary and with the approval of the Chief Judge. 
    7. All in-person re-entry court sessions are suspended until May 1, 2020. 
    8. All petty offense (CVB) proceedings are suspended until May 1, 2020. 
    9. 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.   
  • OTHER: 
    1. All mass public gatherings are suspended, including, but not limited to, group tours and visits, moot courts and mock trials, bar group meetings, seminars, and naturalization ceremonies. 
    2. 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. 
    3. 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 mail, or in the event of an emergency, may be submitted by email to:  EmergencyFiling@ohnd.uscourts.gov.  All emergency filings must include an email address and phone number where the filer may be reached.  Filings submitted by mail and email will be processed each business day.  Mail will be received and processed each 
    4. business day.  Clerk’s Office staff will be available by telephone from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each business day as follows: 
    Akron: (330) 252-6020 Cleveland: (216) 357-7011 Toledo: (419) 213-5521 Youngstown: (330) 884-7420 
     
    Payments by attorneys using the CM/ECF system will be processed via credit card utilizing Pay.gov.  Payments by check or money order will be accepted by mail and will be processed when received. 
     
    Cash payments will not be accepted during this period.  Any pro se litigant filing a case via email who cannot secure a check or money order should submit his or her filing by mail, and the Clerk’s Office will send a notice directing payment be submitted after courthouses reopen.  
     
    The Court will vacate or amend this Amended General Order no later than May 1, 2020. 
  • Order: 3/23/2020

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Toledo - Closed to the General Public, Official Business Authorized
In response to the pandemic spread of COVID-19, the court has issued General Order 20-03 Temporary Filing Procedures, effective 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020, signed by Chief Judge Mary Ann Whipple on March 23, 2020. General Order 20-03 closes divisional offices, including the intake desks to the general public. The General Order has been posted on the website here on 3/23/2020.
 

The court has issued Amended General Order 20-02 Temporary Modification of Requirement to Obtain Original Signatures from Persons for Electronic Filings and Amended General Order 20-03 Temporary Filing Procedures, signed by Chief Judge Mary Ann Whipple on May 4, 2020. Both Amended General Orders 20-02 and 20-03 are amended to modify that these orders terminate on June 12, 2020, unless extended or terminated by separate Order of the Court.  All divisional offices, including the intake desks to the general public remain closed through June 12, 2020.

Amended General Order 20-02 has been posted on the website here.
Amended General Order 20-03 has been posted on the website here.

 
Sixth District Court of Appeals 
  • The court will maintain and continue its daily, and essential operations for the duration of the Tolling Order and will continue to monitor its pending caseload. 
  • Briefs and motions must, as always, be filed with the appropriate clerk of court, and the clerks have modified their in-person hours of operation and filing procedures to accommodate alternatives to in-person filing. Specific filing questions should be directed to the respective clerk's office. 
  • The court encourages attorneys and parties to comply with pre-existing court deadlines, to the extent the parties and attorneys are able to do so while maintaining their safety and observing social distancing practices, issued prior to the Tolling Order.  
  • The court encourages the preparation of trial transcripts by court reporters, and filing with the clerk, during the period of the Tolling order to the extent the court reporters are able to do so while maintaining their safety and observing social distancing practices. 
  • The court encourages the clerks of court to file trial court records and supplemental records during the period of the Tolling Order to the extent the clerks of court are able to do so while maintaining their safety, the safety of their employees, and while observing social distancing practices. 
  • All filing deadlines have been "tolled" until the date the period of emergency ends or July 30, 2020, whichever is sooner, pursuant to the Tolling Order. The court will continue to decide case that have been fully briefed and are ready to be submitted. 
  • The court will also handle cases as usual unless a party moves for an extension of time pursuant to the Tolling Order. 
  • The court will order that a case remain active if it is related to a situation that requires immediate attention. The court's determination of whether a case necessitates immediate attention shall be decided on a case-by-case basis. 
  • In determining whether the facts and circumstances of a particular case require immediate attention, the court will consider factors, including, but not limited to, the type of case before the court, the specific order being appealed from, the date the notice of appeal was filed, the length of transcripts, if any, the number of extensions, which were granted prior to the issuance of the Tolling Order, and the alternatives to in-person access provided by the clerk of courts. 
  • In the event the court issues an order, necessitated by the court's determination of a need for immediate attention, which a party believes the party is unable to safely comply with, tat party shall file a motion advising the court of the party's respective safety concerns. 
  • The court will strive to be uniform in its conformance with the language, intent, and its application of the Tolling Order. 
Lucas County Court of Common Pleas - General Division - Open with Restrictions

The Lucas County Courthouse will offer reduced hours starting Monday, April 6, 2020 and lasting until such time that the agencies within the courthouse resume normal hours after the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Courthouse will be in operation from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm, Monday through Friday

A Duties Judge will be available each workday from 8:30 AM until 12:00 PM. Contact the Lucas County Court Administrator's Office for the identity and location of the Duties Judge.

This order does not apply or impact the Domestic Relations, Juvenile, or Probate Court divisions.

Be further advised that each individual Court has the discretion to only be available by phone and/or email in the morning hours as well. Concerned parties should contact each individual Court at the contact information options listed below.

  •  Judge G. Cook’s arraignment docket will be held on Wednesday mornings, 9:00AM.

  •  Judge S. Cook’s arraignment docket remains on Wednesday morning, 9:00AM.

  •  Judge L. Jennings’s arraignment docket is moved to Wednesday mornings, 9:00AM.

  •  Judge M Goulding’s arraignment docket is moved to Friday mornings, 9:00,AM.

  •  Judge M. Duhart‘s arraignment docket remains on Tuesday morning, 9:00AM.

  •  Judge I. English’s arraignment docket is moved to Thursday mornings, 9:00AM.

  •  Judge D. Mandros’ arraignment docket is moved to Thursday mornings, 9:00AM.

  •  Judge L. Navarre‘s arraignment docket remains on Tuesday morning, 9:00AM.

  •  Judge J. McNamara‘s arraignment docket is moved to Friday mornings,9:00AM.

  •  Judge A. Gonzalez‘s arraignment docket remains on Thursday morning, 9:00AM.

These time and date changes remain in effect until further notice.

Administrative Judge of the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, General Division, in consultation with the other Judges of the General Division, hereby issues the following TEMPORARY ORDERS; (Note:  these orders do not apply or impact the Domestic Relations, Juvenile, or Probate Court Divisions) Civil Proceedings:
  • No jurors will be summoned for civil trials through May 4, 2020. Parties may proceed with a bench trial after consultation and approval of the assigned Judge.
  • The parties are ORDERED to continue with good faith efforts to resolve all issues by the originally assigned trial date.
  • All settlement pre-trials are ORDERED to be conducted by teleconferencing on the scheduled settlement pre-trial date. Parties should contact the assigned Judge’s civil bailiff to coordinate conferencing efforts.
  • If litigants have a trial date set between the date of this Order and May 4, 2020, and no other scheduled hearing date before the trial date, all parties are ORDERED to contact the appropriate civil bailiff no later than seven (7) days before the scheduled trial date.
  • If litigants have any other (non-trial) hearing scheduled prior to May 4, 2020 they are instructed to contact the appropriate civil bailiff no later than seven (7) days before the scheduled hearing date. Parties should expect their hearing to be rescheduled.
  • All initial pre-trials are ORDERED to be conducted by telephone or the court will issue a scheduling order to the parties by its own Order.
  • Discovery should continue as normal. Depositions are recommended to be conducted by video link when possible, but left to the agreement of the parties. If the parties cannot agree, they are ORDERED to present this disagreement to the assigned Judge, with the expectation that the court will grant a continuance of the deposition if there is no agreement by the parties, unless circumstances warrant otherwise.
  • All civil filings not currently exempted by Local Rule 10 are encouraged to be E-filed.
  • Hearings regarding Temporary Restraining Orders will still be adjudicated and Cognovite notes will still be processed.
  • Proceedings in Aid will continue to be processed, but all debtor exams are hereby continued until after May 4, 2020.  Contact the assigned judge as to the new exam date.
  • All cases currently scheduled for mediation between the date of this Order and May 4, 2020 are hereby canceled, subject to being rescheduled.  Parties are instructed to contact the assigned judge for further instructions.

    Criminal Proceedings:
  • No jurors will be summoned for out-of-custody defendants and their trial date UNLESS there are speedy trial issues. The Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, through its assigned assistant prosecutors, is responsible for accurate calculation of the remaining time left on each individual case regarding speedy trial deadlines.
  • If a defendant's speedy trial rights expire less than fifteen (15) days after the scheduled trial date, both defense counsel and the assigned assistant prosecutor are ORDERED to appear before the assigned Judge for an attorney-only pre-trial to discuss relevant dates as soon as practicable, but in no event less than seven (7) days before the scheduled trial date. All parties are ORDERED to continue good faith discussions working toward resolution of all issues.

  • The trial dates of all defendants held in-custody or out on bond are ORDERED MAINTAINED. The assigned lawyers are ORDERED to appear before the designated Judge for an attorney-only pre-trial as soon as practicable to discuss scheduling. Be advised that if speedy trial constraints allow, the presently set trial date may be continued.

  • The public health emergency identified herein may be considered to be a finding of good cause for the granting of a continuance of jury trials, court trials, and hearings as deemed necessary by each Judge on a case-by-case basis.

  • Court proceedings are open to the public. Victims, defendants and all parties are permitted by law to have friends, family, and the press present for these proceedings. However, because of the declared State of Emergency, it is appropriate and strongly encouraged that the lawyers alig

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