General Administrative Order 11.24.2020

The Court is open for civil and criminal matters, and we are utilizing remote services unless otherwise directed.

The increasing rates of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths make it impracticable and unsafe for certain in-person court events to continue at the level reached during the past few months.

In response to the precipitous rise in COVID cases in Lorain County, the Court of Common Pleas Judges voted on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 to suspend jury trials until January 4, 2021. The Judges will continue to monitor the infection rates in the community and re-evaluate periodically to determine when Jury Trials will resume in 2021.

All persons entering the Justice Center are subject to a temperature scan and series of health questions.   Everyone is required to wear a face covering while in the building and follow all COVID-19 safety protocols, including social distancing. 

 

The Court will continue to be guided by experts in public health as it administers court operations in a manner that prioritizes the safety of court users.

 

 

 

About the Court of Common Pleas

The court of common pleas, the only trial court created by the Ohio Constitution, is established by Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution, and its duties are outlined in Article IV, Section 4.

There is a court of common pleas in each of Ohio's 88 counties. Specific courts of common pleas may be divided into separate divisions by the General Assembly, including general, domestic relations, juvenile and probate divisions. Common pleas judges are elected to six-year terms on a nonpartisan ballot. A person must be an attorney with at least six years of experience in the practice of law to be elected or appointed to the court.

General Division

Unlike the other divisions, judges on the General Division have what is called "general jurisdiction" to hear civil and criminal cases. Under Ohio law Municipal courts have jurisdiction to hear civil cases with a value of up to $15,000.00; Common Pleas civil jurisdiction has no upper limit. Criminal jurisdiction includes all crimes defined by statute as felonies, as well as certain other criminal offenses.