What follows is a brief but informative summary of rules, procedures, and filings requirements for small claims court in Ohio. Keep in mind that rules and laws change. It’s always a good idea to confirm the rules with the court or with further research.
Maximum Jurisdictional Dollar Amount: The maximum dollar amount is $3,000.
Where Suit May Be Brought: Case may be brought where the defendant resides, has a place of business or where breach or injury occurred. Suit against a nonresident defendant may be brought where plaintiff resides. A corporation is deemed to reside where it has principal place of business or an agent.
Proper Manner of Service of Process upon Defendant: Service may be made by certified mail by clerk with a return receipt, or by sheriff, bailiff or court-approved adult.
How the Hearing Date Is Selected: 30 days from filing of complaint.
Attorney Representation Rule: Attorneys are allowed. A corporation may proceed through an officer or employee, but may not cross-examine, argue or advocate except through attorney.
Special Provisions Regarding Transfer or Jurisdiction of Cases: If either side requests, if defendant counterclaims for more than $3,000 or at court’s discretion, the case shall be tried under regular civil procedure of appropriate court.
Availability of Appeals: An appeal is available by either litigant for review of law, but not facts to Court of Appeals within 30 days.
Special Rules and Notes: No injunctive relief is available in small claims court. Jury trials are not available. No discovery is allowed. Small claims court cannot hear libel and/or slander cases. Right to sue may not be transferred. Limit of 24 claims a year per plaintiff. The court may order arbitration. Mediation is available in some jurisdictions. Municipal Court cases limited to recovery of personal property, taxes, and money. No assignees (except to recover taxes).
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Michael Spadaccini is the author of 8 books on self-help legal matters such as, Ultimate LLC Compliance Guide: Covers All 50 States (Ultimate Series), Ultimate Book of Forming Corps, LLCs, Partnerships & Sole Proprietorships, and Ultimate Guide to Forming an LLC in Any State, Second Edition (Ultimate Series).
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