On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

Aug. 19, 2011
Supreme Court Adopts Specialized Dockets Standards

The Supreme Court of Ohio has adopted a new rule that allows local courts to receive Supreme Court certification of a specialized docket. The rule takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

The rule allows a court operating or establishing a particular session of court to apply for certification of the session from the Supreme Court. The session must offer a therapeutically oriented judicial approach to providing court supervision and appropriate treatment to individuals placed in it. Upon receipt of Supreme Court certification, the session may be referred to as a “specialized docket.”

Since the establishment of the Hamilton County Drug Court in 1995, Ohio has been recognized as a national leader in the implementation of specialized dockets. In 2001, the Supreme Court created the Specialized Dockets Section to assist and support local courts in developing specialized programs uniquely tailored to helping specific populations within the court system. Today, there are nearly 150 specialized dockets operating in Ohio including drug courts, mental health courts, re-entry courts, OVI courts, veterans courts, sex offender courts, felony non-support courts and domestic violence courts.

The 12 standards included in the newly adopted Rule 36.02 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio are intended to create a minimum level of uniform practices while still allowing courts to tailor operations to meet their local needs. The standards spell out the procedure for certification. They require courts to engage in a planning process for their specialized docket programs, use a non-adversarial approach, hold regular treatment team meetings, and conduct regular status review hearings for individuals placed in the programs. The standards specifically exempt commercial dockets, housing dockets and environmental dockets from the requirements of the rule.

View the complete language of the rule.

Microsoft Word Word files may be viewed for free with Office Online.