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Civil Department
3rd Floor
375 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-7220

Overview

The Civil Division is responsible for accepting, filing, issuing service, docketing, processing and maintaining records for civil cases. Civil cases include: contract disputes; personal injury; property damage; evictions; small claims; certificate of judgment transfers; foreclosures; declaratory judgments; housing and safety code issues. There are also many publicly available forms for use with civil cases.

General Information

The Civil Department of the Municipal Court Clerk's Office accepts and maintains all civil cases with a monetary jurisdiction of up to $15,000. Small Claims cases up to $6,000 are also processed by this division. The Civil Division is located on the third floor of the Municipal Court Building. Actions are categorized as follows:

Category E: Personal Injury or Property Damage

Category F: Contracts, Notes, and Accounts

Category G: Forcible Entry and Detainer (Evictions)

One Cause Action: Restitution of premises only Two Cause Action: Restitution of premises, plus monetary judgment for rent and/or damage

Category H: Other Civil Matters including

Appeal of determination by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Driver license suspensions for point accumulations Driver license suspensions for "refusal" Petitions for limited driving privileges Administrative license suspensions imposed in connection with an arrest for a felony OVI (initiated by the Court) Judgments transferred from other Ohio courts Declaratory judgments

Category I: Small Claims

Category P: Appeal of determinations by the City of Columbus Parking Violations Bureau

Cashiers located on the third floor in the Civil Department accept payments for all new case filings, garnishments, attachments, executions, court costs, service fees, judgments, and marriage fees Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays. Payments can be made by mail or in person. Payment of civil judgments may be made by money order or cash only. All other payments may be made by money order, MasterCard, VISA, personal check, attorney check, company check, or cash.

Questions regarding civil costs should be directed to the cashiers at (614) 645-7223.

Starting a Lawsuit

A civil action is started in the Franklin County Municipal Court by filing the appropriate complaint, petition, or appeal, along with the filing fee, on the third floor at 375 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, in person or by mail. Each complaint, petition, or appeal must include the following:

  1. The type of action, being filed (see categories above)
  2. Case style with complete names and addresses of all parties.
  3. If the petition involves an action against the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the petition must include the full name, date of birth, social security number, and driver license number of the petitioner.
  4. An original signature and complete address of the filing party. If filed by an attorney, it must also include the State of Ohio Supreme Court Attorney Code.
  5. Instructions for service. If no special instructions are provided, the summons will be sent by certified mail to the parties as they appear on the pleading.
  6. Enough copies to perform service as requested on all parties.

Filing Documents

Pleadings and documents should be filed in the Civil Department on the third floor. When filing documents by mail, a self-addressed, stamped envelope should be included for returned copies. A separate self-addressed, stamped envelope for each type of document or pleading being filed must also be sent.

Advanced jury deposits must be paid to the clerk pursuant to Local Rules 6.05 and 6.07.

All orders and judgments are to be filed in the Civil Division. The Civil Division also accepts all pleadings and documents prior to final disposition.

Pre-judgment executions may also be filed.

For any procedural questions regarding the filing of documents, please call (614) 645-7220 and use prompt #1. You may also visit the information desk in the Civil Division.

Motion Practice

Motions are to be filed in accordance with Local Rule 3.04 in the Civil Department. An original motion should be submitted, along with a copy of the motion and with any required fee(s). Generally, hearings on motions are scheduled by the judge 's assignment coordinator, who is located in the Assignment Office on the ninth floor of the Municipal Court Building.

Hearings

Hearings in the Franklin County Municipal Court are set by the Assignment Office for all cases assigned to a judge and all Bureau of Motor Vehicle appeals. The Small Claims Division of Court Administration schedules hearings before the magistrates. Most other hearings are set by the Clerk 's Office. The following matters are set automatically for hearing:

  1. Forcible Entry and Detainer (Evictions) These cases are heard by magistrates in courtrooms 11A. All cases are scheduled at 9:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Pursuant to local court rule, if service is requested by certified mail/express mail, the hearing will be set three weeks from the date the complaint is filed if requested. If service is requested by personal or residence service, the hearing will be set two weeks from date the complaint is filed. If service is being made by process server, the hearing will be two weeks from date the process server appointment is filed. If service is requested by ordinary mail (previous service "unclaimed" or "refused") the hearing will be ten days from the date of the Certificate of Mailing.
  2. "Requests for Hearing on Garnishment"(wage and non-wage) . These cases are generally set within twelve days of the filing of the request, and are heard by magistrate in courtroom 11B at 10:30 a.m., on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, excluding holidays.
  3. Judgment Debtor Exams. These cases are heard within three to six weeks of filing by a magistrate in courtroom 11B at 10:30 a. m. on Wednesdays. Hearing dates are assigned by the Duty Room.
  4. Books and Records Hearing and Trusteeship Hearings. These cases are heard within two to four weeks of filing by a magistrate in courtroom 11B at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesdays.
  5. Execution (Exemption) Hearings and Replevin Hearings. These cases are heard within two to three weeks of filing by the Duty Judge in courtroom 10C (Duty Room) at 10:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
  6. Damage Hearings (Default Judgments only). These cases are heard within two to four weeks of filing by a magistrate in courtroom 11A at 10:30 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, excluding holidays.
  7. BMV Appeals/Petitions. These cases are heard within three to six weeks by a magistrate in courtroom 10A at 1:30 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, excluding holidays.
  8. Show Cause Hearing. These cases are heard by the Duty Judge in courtroom 10C (Duty Room) at 10:30 a.m..

Fees

Fees for the Civil Department of the Franklin County Municipal Court are established by Local Rule 13, Schedule 9. The Civil Division of the Clerk of Court's Office has a combined cost sheet for civil and Small Claims cases, located here. The Local Court rules have all costs and fees established by the Municipal Court Judges while the Civil Cost sheet has the aggregate costs for filing Civil and Small Claims Cases.