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Ohio Court Records

With the increasing capacity for digital storage and the accessibility of Internet searches, court records are now much easier to obtain than the traditional route of arriving at a law library or court house in person to request a record. The demand for records comes from legal professionals and the public for a number of reasons. Some use court records to research the decisions in a historical case before filing a new one, while others are interested in finding vital records or to satisfy the curiosity of a genealogist.

Whatever your reason for searching for court records, there are thousands generated each year by the diverse judicial structure of the courts of Ohio.

Ohio Court Records

History of Ohio Courts

Important but often overlooked figures in the judicial system are the Clerks who have the imperative responsibility of maintaining court records. In 1802 each Ohio County was appointed a Clerk of Courts to serve for a 7 year term, making them the sole official accountable for filing, preserving, docketing, and creating an index for all court records.

Even today, in Ohio’s 88 counties there are Clerks upholding the importance of sustaining an organized, publicly accessible and informative collection of court records.

Ohio Court Statistics

Ohio Courts recieve 3,284,757 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 3,435,430 filings and gave 3,456,384 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 3,094,586 filings and had 3,115,187 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 3,435,430
2013 3,409,281
2014 3,316,362
2015 3,168,126
2016 3,094,586

Ohio Court Records Availability

The Supreme Court Law Library located in Columbus is one of the largest legal libraries in the country and boasts a collection of court records, provides full library services and is open to the public. Multiple counties in Ohio also have their own law libraries for retrieval of court records.

Online searches for court records will also allow the public to access cases of a criminal, civil and municipal origin. Also available online are historical documents outlining the state’s legislative history and providing statutes for comparison to current case filings.

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 1,593,897 (51.5 %)
Domestic Relations: 205,293 (6.6 %)
Criminal: 766,771 (24.8 %)
Civil: 528,625 (17.1 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 1,610,513 (51.7 %)
Domestic Relations: 206,408 (6.6 %)
Criminal: 771,274 (24.8 %)
Civil: 526,992 (16.9 %)

Ohio Main Court Information

The Ohio Supreme Court is the highest court of the state, also known as the court of last resort and has final say in the interpretation of state and federal Constitutions. Serving on the Supreme Court are a Chief Justice and six associate justices. It is an appellate court and most cases are from appeals in lower court hearings. The District Courts of Appeal are also appellate courts and are located in 12 districts in the state, the judges for these courts work in panels of 3 and most districts have at least 4 and as many as 12 justices each.

A Court of Common Pleas, traditionally a civil and criminal trial court, is located in each of the 88 counties in Ohio. Additionally, County Courts have jurisdiction over felony preliminary hearings, misdemeanors, and violations of township resolutions, there is a cap of $15,000 for the civil claims the County Courts preside over. Municipal Courts have authority over violations of municipal ordinances in most cases. Lastly, the Court of Claims has authority over any civil actions taken against the state of Ohio or its agencies, it is located in Columbus.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Ohio at year end 2016 has decreased by 14.0% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 233,957 with a rate of 2,027 cases per 100,000 population, higher than it's in 2016.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2012 233,957 3,435,430
2013 227,076 3,409,281
2014 218,914 3,316,362
2015 210,878 3,168,126
2016 205,293 3,094,586

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

Year Incoming Caseload Outgoing Caseload Caseload per 100,000 Population
2012 233,957 235,130 2,027
2013 227,076 229,239 1,962
2014 218,914 224,320 1,888
2015 210,878 210,678 1,816
2016 205,293 206,408 1,768

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Ohio

More Domestic Relations Cases than Ohio:

State: Caseload:
New York 570,709
Texas 397,468
California 388,903
Pennsylvania 342,163
Virginia 342,040

Less Domestic Relations Cases than Ohio:

State: Caseload:
Georgia 150,303
Illinois 141,703
North Carolina 121,737
Missouri 117,946
Michigan 114,563

Ohio Caseload Statistics

Ohio court records indicate that the average Supreme Court cases heard is approximately 2,000 annually. In 2013 the Supreme Court oversaw 2,055 filings and recorded 2,040 dispositions. The previous year was slightly higher with 2,187 filings and 2,171 dispositions.

Ohio Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Ohio counts 766,771 with 167,621 felony cases and 599,150 misdemeanors accordingly.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2012 825,416 166,311 659,105
2013 824,342 163,010 661,332
2014 813,238 164,561 648,677
2015 763,578 159,591 603,987
2016 766,771 167,621 599,150

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 112,239 cases, it went from 640,864 to 528,625 with clearance rates of 103% and 100%.

Year Civil Caseload Clearance Rate
2012 640,864 103
2013 568,239 104
2014 537,861 102
2015 531,198 101
2016 528,625 100