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Guidelines for Assignment of Judges

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Yes, please include a contact person’s name and phone number with a functioning voicemail in the notes section of your request pursuant to Section 5.01(A)(3).

The notification process for finding out about an assignment will remain the same. Currently, requested in the enhanced version of IGOR is an email notification to the requesting court when the request has been received. Once a judge is assigned, an email will be sent to the requesting court and the assigned judge.

Ohio Constitution, Article IV, Section 5(A)(3) which states: “The chief justice or acting chief justice, as necessity arises, shall assign any judge of a court of common pleas or a division thereof temporarily to sit or hold court on any other court of common pleas or division thereof or any court of appeals or shall assign any judge of a court of appeals temporarily to sit or hold court on any other court of appeals or any court of common pleas or division thereof and upon such assignment said judge shall serve in such assigned capacity until the termination of the assignment.”

Based on this language the assigned judge is stepping into the shoes of the sitting judge and the assigned judge can avail herself or himself to the resources of the court. The assignment grants the assigned judge full judicial power to hear a case. Therefore, if a magistrate has already heard the case, and the order needs the signature of a judge the assigned judge steps in the case at that stage. If the matter is not set for hearing and the matter typically proceeds before a magistrate, the assigned judge has a choice, try the case themselves or allow the magistrate to hear the case and the judge signs the order and hears the objections, if any.

No, in the event a docket clears, the court is not permitted to use the assigned judge for matters beyond the scope of the Certificate of Assignment request.

If the assigned judge is hearing the case under a specific case assignment, the case remains assigned to the assigned judge pursuant to Section 9.02(B). If the conflict abates after a Certificate of Assignment is issued, there is a process to request a recission of the Certificate of Assignment. If a recission is granted, the case goes back to the sitting judge. For more information regarding an Entry of Recission please refer to Section 6.12.

To request a rescission, you must send a letter with your request, include the assignment number, and a statement attesting that the sitting judge can hear the matter. In the future, you will be able to do this through the enhanced IGOR application.

Yes, if there is a true reciprocal agreement in place and they are eligible and able, you may submit multiple judges. See, Sections 2.03 and 6.08.

With the current structure of IGOR, each judge must submit a request recommending the judge they would like, the dates, and in the note field indicate that this request is for a reciprocal assignment. Forthcoming enhancements will be made to IGOR to streamline reciprocal assignment requests.

When a sitting judge is assigned to preside in another court by the Chief Justice, see Rule 17 of The Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio. Regarding actual and necessary travel expenses, see State, ex rel. Winn v. Galvin (1974), 39 Ohio St. 2d 58. Often times, the sitting judges will waive requesting compensation, aside from travel expenses.

Courts of Appeals Questions

Yes, continue to use the form and attach it to any IGOR requests. The intake form provides information for the potential judges who are considering the assignment. You will also be required to attach the file stamped recusal entry for the judge or judges pursuant to Section 6.01(A).<.p>

All other courts are welcome to include as little or as much information as they want, but we require the file stamped recusal entry to be attached to the request. As a friendly reminder, we operate on the information given to us.

For example, in a five-judge appellate court, if three judges recuse from a particular case, the court now needs to file a formal recusal entry in the given case for the three recurring judges when requesting an additional judge/panel member in conjunction with our visiting appellate assignment IGOR request.

No, a reciprocal agreement is not required. Assignments are done on a rotating basis at the discretion of the Chief Justice. Sitting judges must have more than one year of experience.

Single-Judge Court or Division Questions

Yes, in Section 6.05(B) once an on-call certificate of assignment has been used the sitting judge shall enter into IGOR each date or range of dates the assigned judge presided. The assigned judge shall not submit a request for compensation in JASPAY until the sitting judge of the single-judge court or division has entered the required information into IGOR.

The administrative judge may designate another staff member to enter dates sat into IGOR in the event of the administrative judge’s absence.

Please note: the current version of IGOR does not have the ability to record dates sat. Please look for this in forthcoming updates.

Section 6.01(C): “In the event of the recusal of a sitting judge in a single-judge court or division, the administrative judge shall request the Chief Justice to assign a sitting or retired judge as an assigned judge to the court or division.”

The Guidelines do not envision that two judges of separate divisions of the court of common pleas cover for each other when there is a case recusal due to a conflict of interest.

Multiple-Judge Court or Division Questions

No, because you are expected to check within your court to see if any other judges are available before submitting a request in IGOR. See Sections 6.01(D) and 6.10(C). Only if another sitting judge can’t sit, you may submit a request and you will need to attest that no other judge was available to take the case or cases.

No, you do not need a reciprocal assignment for internal reassignment. See Sections 6.01(D) and 6.10(C). It is envisioned that reciprocal assignments are for courts to rely on neighboring courts in the immediate absence of a judge in any circumstance that is not a recusal pursuant to Section 2.03.

Yes. Superintendence Rule 36.019 provides, “Following the recusal of a judge in a multi-judge court or division, the administrative judge shall randomly assign the case among the remaining judges of the court or division who are able to hear the case.”

When entering you request into IGOR, you must attach a recusal entry from all judges in the court and attest they are not available to take the case pursuant to Section 6.01(D).

In a two-judge court the case will be assigned to the remaining judge by default. In a court with three or more judges, the administrative judge shall make at least three attempts to have the case randomly assigned to another judge. If after three unsuccessful attempts to have the case randomly assigned, the administrative judge may submit a request in IGOR.

If a case is reopened, and the conflict still exits, depending on the circumstances, you may be required to enter a new request into IGOR. Please contact us for more information.

In the event two or more judges or all judges of a division recuse from a case, a single entry issued by the administrative judge documenting the recusal of the judges is sufficient. However, some courts prefer to provide separate entries of recusal from each judge.

Pursuant to Sup.R. 36.019, following the recusal of a judge in a multi-judge court or division, the “administrative judge shall randomly assign the case among the remaining judges” of the court or division who are able to hear the case. In any case in which the administrative judge reasonably believes based on all circumstances that no judge of the court should hear the case, the administrative judge may request a visiting judge be assigned.

If all judges recuse, the request must go into IGOR.

Contact Information

Judicial Assignment Program
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215-3431
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