Supreme Court Administrative Offices
The Supreme Court of Ohio, acting through the Chief Justice and the Justices of the court, possesses constitutional and statutory authority to exercise general powers of superintendence over the courts of the state. This includes responsibility for providing leadership for the judicial branch of Ohio government. The administrative staff of the Supreme Court supports these efforts by performing numerous administrative functions.
The administrative operation of the court consists of eight divisions including the Administrative Division, the Clerk's Division, the Legal Resources Division, the Attorney Services Division, the Judicial & Education Services Division, the Court Services Division, the Information Technology Division, and the Facilities Management Division. This divisional structure became effective on July 1, 2005.
- Supreme Court Administrative Structure
- Supreme Court of Ohio Vision and Mission Statement
- Office Directory
- Comprehensive List of Topics by Department
The Administrative Division is the lead division of the court and consists of six offices, one section, and the Law Library- the Office of the Administrative Director, the Office of Fiscal Resources, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of the Chief Legal Counsel, the Office of Public Information, the Office of Court Security, the Civic Education Section, and the Law Library. In addition, all of the other divisions of the court report to the Office of the Administrative Director.
Stephanie E. Hess is the Interim Administrative Director of the court.
Interim Administrative Director: Stephanie E. Hess, Esq.
The Administrative Director of the court is a position created under the Ohio Constitution. The Administrative Director is the senior non-elected officer of the court who assists the Chief Justice, the Justices of the court, the Ohio Judicial Conference, and the judges of the state, in developing and communicating the long-term vision, values and direction of the court and the judicial branch of Ohio government. The Office of the Administrative Director is the lead office in the Administrative Division. The office is responsible for providing oversight to the other offices within the division and to the other divisions of the court.
The Office of the Administrative Director also assists in the development of emerging issues, including providing staff support for special projects, initiatives, and task forces. The office also develops and maintains relationships with the General Assembly, and monitors legislative activity on matters of interest to the court and the judicial branch.
Director of Fiscal Resources: Ronda Carver, C.P.A., C.F.E., CFP®
The Office of Fiscal Resources is responsible for implementing the court's budget, including the payment of the salaries of the judges of the state. The office also processes purchase requisitions and payment vouchers, completes an annual inventory, prepares budget reports and forecasts, and assists the court in managing over $120 million in the Supreme Court/Judiciary budget. The Office of Fiscal Resources also oversees the operation of the Records Management Program.
Office of Human Resources
Director of Human Resources: Christine Kidd
The Office of Human Resources is responsible for implementing the employment policies of the court, including coordinating the employment process, maintaining position and salary classifications, supervising performance evaluations, providing staff training programs, and assuring that the court complies with all federal and state employment laws. The office also provides payroll services for over 250 members of court staff, over 250 employees of all the courts of appeals of the state, over 700 judges, and the 88 elected county clerks of court.
Chief Legal Counsel: John S. VanNorman, Esq.
The Office of the Chief Legal Counsel is responsible for assisting the Court and the Office of the Administrative Director with legal, government relations, and policy matters. The Chief Legal Counsel provides advice on general legal matters affecting the administrative operation of the Supreme Court and the judges and courts of Ohio. The office develops and maintains relationships with the General Assembly, and monitors legislative activity on matters of interest to the court and the judicial branch. The office also provides staff assistance to the Commission on the Rules of Superintendence, the Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure, and follow-up monitoring to the Ohio Courts Futures Commission and the Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness.
Director of Public Information: Lyn Tolan
The Office of Public Information is responsible for providing a continuing program of information to the public and the media concerning the decisions and operation of the court. This includes issuing daily announcements of court decisions, providing summaries of court opinions and other media releases, issuing court publications, and maintaining the court's websites at www.supremecourt.ohio.gov, and www.courtnewsohio.gov. In addition, the office is the primary point of contact for media inquiries to the court, notifying the media of court actions, explaining procedural and administrative matters, facilitating greater understanding of the court and the Ohio judiciary among local, state and national media. The office oversees the Print Production Center which provides copy, print, and book binding services for the court and all tenants of the Moyer Judicial Center. The office is also responsible for responding to constituent mail, and coordinating responses to public records requests with the Office of Legal Resources.
Director of Court Security: James Cappelli
The Office of Court Security is responsible for coordinating security services for the Moyer Judicial Center and the court's staff. The office maintains a security force and monitors the admission of staff and the public into the facility by employing the assistance of magnetometers and x-ray machines at each entrance, and managing the loading dock. The office also provides life safety services by developing and maintaining working relationships with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Columbus Police Department, and the Columbus Fire Department. In addition, the office maintains 24-hour surveillance of the building, provides defibrillators throughout the facility, and maintains the court's vehicle fleet. The office also provides consulting services and leadership to other courts throughout the state on security and emergency preparedness issues. The Office of Court Security is assisted by the Advisory Committee on Court Security.
Manager of Civic Education: Sara Stiffler
The Civic Education Section includes education programming and outreach efforts for visitors to the building and the public at large. These efforts include conducting tours of the building and the Visitor Education Center, coordinating the Off-Site Court program, providing assistance to the Judicial Family Network, working with international visitor groups, organizing special events, developing the court’s art collection, and increasing the court’s historical resources.
Director of Law Library: Erin N. Waltz
With a collection of over 400,000 equivalent volumes, the Law Library is one of the largest state Supreme Court law libraries in the nation. The Law Library has a comprehensive collection of Ohio, federal and other state laws. It has a core collection of international and foreign law. The library's most notable and in-depth collections are its treatises and practice books, legal periodicals and microforms.
In addition to providing library services to the Justices and court staff, the Law Library also serves the need for legal information and materials for the state legislature, state administrative agencies, attorneys and the general public. The Law Library provides a full range of services to patrons, and is the primary law library for all state agencies located in Columbus.
The Clerk's Division consists of the Office of the Clerk and the Office of the Reporter.
Melissa M. Ferguson is the Interim Clerk of the Court.
Interim Clerk of the Court: Melissa M. Ferguson, Esq.
The Office of the Clerk is charged with supervising the filing of all case-related items, and the maintenance of all case files in matters pending before the court. In performing this role the office works closely with the attorneys of record, and coordinates its efforts with the clerks of the trial and appellate courts from where the cases originate. The office is also responsible for the preparation of all entries regarding rulings by the court, maintaining the dockets and index of cases pending before the court, and issuing necessary writs and process.
Reporter of Decisions: Douglas M. Nelson, Esq.
The Office of the Reporter is responsible for publishing the opinions, announcements, entries, miscellaneous orders, and rules of the court in the Ohio Official Reports and on the court’s website at www.supremecourt.ohio.gov. The office also publishes all Ohio appellate opinions on the court’s website.
The Legal Resources Division consists of the Office of Legal Resources. The Director of Legal Resources provides oversight and administrative direction for the operation of the division.
Elisabeth Long is the director of Legal Resources.
Office of Legal Resources
Director of Legal Resources: Elisabeth Long, Esq.
The Office of Legal Resources is responsible for assisting the Justices of the court in researching complex legal issues and preparing written analyses of those issues for review by the court, particularly in matters involving workers' compensation, public utilities, taxation, death penalty, attorney discipline and extraordinary writs. The Office also assists the Chief Justice in performing the duties conferred by Section 5 (C), Article IV, of the Ohio Constitution in ruling upon affidavits of disqualification filed against judges statewide.
The Attorney Services Division consists of the Office of Attorney Services and the Office of Bar Admissions. The Director of Attorney Services provides oversight and administrative direction for the operation of the division.
Gina White Palmer is the Director of Attorney Services.
Director of Attorney Services: Gina White Palmer, Esq.
The Office of Attorney Services is the lead office of the division. The office is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the offices of the division, and coordinating the efforts of the various boards, commissions and committees involving the regulation of the practice of law in the state. These groups include the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, the Commission on Professionalism, the Commission on Appointment of Counsel for Defendants in Capital Cases, and the Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists. The office also maintains relationships with the disciplinary-related offices of the court including the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Board of Professional Conduct, the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, and the various bar-related organizations of the state.
Every two years all attorneys admitted to the practice in Ohio must register with the court. The process is undertaken pursuant to the authority of Gov. Bar R. VI. There are approaching 54,000 attorneys registered, with more than 41,000 registered for active status; over 9,700 registered as inactive; and nearly 300 who are admitted to practice in other states, but registered for corporate status in Ohio. In addition, over 2,800 attorneys are registered as retired, a status created for attorneys age 65 and over who no longer practice law. The Office of Attorney Registration & CLE processes and issues more than 3,500 certificates of good standing each year.
The office also administers the process that requires all members of the Ohio bar to complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing legal education and all judges to complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing legal education every two years. Each year the Continuing Legal Education Section administers this requirement for more than 20,000 lawyers registered in the state. In meeting these duties, the Section is assisted by the Commission on Continuing Legal Education.
Office of Bar Admissions
Director of Bar Admissions: Gina White Palmer, Esq.
The court is responsible for regulating the admission of applicants into the practice of law pursuant to Section 2(B)(1)(g), Article IV, of the Ohio Constitution. The Office of Bar Admissions assists the court in exercising that responsibility. The court administers two bar examinations each year, one in February and one in July, and conducts bar admissions ceremonies in May and November. The office relies upon the assistance of the Board of Bar Examiners and the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness in overseeing the admissions process.
The Judicial & Education Services Division consists of the Office of Judicial Services and the Ohio Judicial College. The Office of Judicial & Education Services and the Ohio Judicial College report to the Director of Judicial & Education Services who provides oversight and administrative direction for the operation of the division.
W. Milt Nuzum III is the Director of Judicial & Education Services.
Director of Judicial Services: W. Milt Nuzum III, Esq.
The Office of Judicial Services is the lead office of the division and provides leadership and administration of the division. The office coordinates the management of comprehensive division projects and provides oversight of the judges' database, support services for the creation of new judgeships, and the assignment of visiting judges.
Director of the Ohio Judicial College: M. Christy Tull
The Ohio Judicial College was created in 1976 and is governed by Gov. Jud. R. V. The College was established to provide educational programs and activities for Ohio judges. In 1988, the program was expanded to include court referees and magistrates, and in 1990 the College began to provide programs for non-judicial court personnel throughout the state. The oversight body for the Ohio Judicial College is the Ohio Judicial College Board of Trustees.
Court Services Division
The Court Services Division consists of the Office of Court Services, the Case Management Section, the Children & Families Section, the Dispute Resolution Section, the Language Services Section, the Specialized Dockets Section, and the Domestic Violence Program. The division provides multiple programs and services to judges and courts, both trial and appellate, throughout the state. All of the offices and sections of the division report to the Director of Court Services who provides oversight and administrative direction for the operation of the division.
Stephanie Nelson is the director of Court Services.
Director of Court Services: Stephanie Nelson, Esq.
The Office of Court Services supports trial and appellate courts in the administration of justice. The Office oversees several Sections and Programs which provide traditional and innovative services in response to and with respect for the needs of the courts and the public.
Manager of Case Management Programs: Colleen Rosshirt, Esq.
The Case Management Section provides resources, consulting services and educational instruction to judges and court personnel throughout Ohio regarding case flow management and delay reduction. The section also provides oversight to the Assigned Judges Program and the Court Statistics Program. The section is assisted by the Advisory Committee on Case Management.
Manager of Children & Families Section: David Edelblute
The Children & Families Section provides resources, programs, trainings, and educational assistance to domestic relations, probate, and juvenile courts throughout the state on matters that involve the interaction of children and families with the judicial system. The assistance provided deals with a variety of family and legal issues. The Section is assisted by the Advisory Committee on Children & Families.
Manager of Dispute Resolution Section: Marya Kolman, Esq.
The purpose of the Dispute Resolution Section is to promote statewide rules and uniform standards concerning dispute resolution programs; develop and deliver innovative dispute resolution services to Ohio courts sponsor training programs for judges, court personnel, and dispute resolution professionals; and provide mediation for Supreme Court litigants, Court of Claims litigants, and Ohio public officials. The Section receives advice from and provides assistance to the Commission on Dispute Resolution.
The Language Services Section is designed to provide assistance to judges and courts statewide on the issue of foreign language interpretation. The court created the section upon joining the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification in June 2003. The section is designed to serve as a resource center on the issue for the judicial branch of Ohio government. The Section is maintained by Bruno Romero, the Language Services Section Manager. The Language Services Section is assisted by the Advisory Committee on Language Services.
Interim Manager of Specialized Dockets Section: Stephanie Nelson, Esq.
The Specialized Dockets Section provides assistance to judges and court personnel throughout the state regarding drug court programs, mental health court programs and other specialized dockets involving diversionary and treatment alternatives to incarceration. The section works with various interested governmental and private agencies in meeting its responsibilities, such as the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addition (ODADAS) and the Drug Court Practitioners Network. The section also receives advice from and provides assistance to the Commission on Specialized Dockets.
The Domestic Violence Program was established in 2007 to assist and support local courts with issues associated with civil and criminal domestic violence and stalking cases practices and procedures. The program monitors new trends and disseminates information to local courts; recommends rules and standards in regards to protection order forms and court procedures relating to domestic violence and stalking. The program is maintained by Anne Murray, Policy Counsel on Domestic Violence Issues. The Domestic Violence Program is assisted by the Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence.
The Information Technology Division consists of the Office of Information Technology, the Application Development Section, and the Network & Technology Resources Section. Both office and sections report to the Director of Information Technology who serves as the chief information officer of the court and provides oversight and administrative direction for the operation of the division.
Robert D. Stuart is the Director of Information Technology.
Director of Information Technology: Robert D. Stuart
The Office of Information Technology is responsible for the operation of the court's information technology systems, including the development and maintenance of the court's computer databases and software programs. The Office of Information Technology is assisted by the Commission on Technology and the Courts.
The Facilities Management Division consists of the Office of Facilities Management. The Office of Facilities Management also includes several work groups -- Meetings & Events; Housekeeping & Grounds; Maintenance & Operations; and the Mail Center. All of the offices and work groups report to the Director of Facilities Management, who provides oversight and administrative direction for the operation of the division.
Anthony Joyce is the director of Facilities Management.
Office of Facilities Management
Director of Facilities Management: Anthony Joyce
The Office of Facilities Management is the lead office of the division. The office is responsible for operating the Moyer Judicial Center at 65 South Front Street in Columbus, which is the home of the Supreme Court. The office is responsible for providing tenant services by supervising and monitoring the daily activities of the offices and work groups in the division.
Meetings & Events
The Meetings & Events work group is responsible for scheduling, coordinating and providing services for meetings, conferences and events held at the Moyer Judicial Center, including food service, special events, and rentals of the facility. The work group is headed by the Meetings & Events Coordinator.
Housekeeping & Grounds
The Housekeeping & Grounds work group is responsible for coordinating custodial services in the Moyer Judicial Center, including providing in-house and contracted janitorial services, contracted window cleaning, supervising refuse collection, treating and maintaining historic and precious metals and wood finishes, and providing grounds-keeping services for the landscaping, plazas, and fountains of the facility. The work group is headed by Mary Harrison, who is the Housekeeping & Grounds Coordinator.
The Maintenance work group is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the Moyer Judicial Center. This includes maintaining the building's electrical, mechanical, plumbing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems. It also includes monitoring utility services, coordinating elevator service, maintenance and repair, and supervising construction, remodeling and minor repair projects.
The Mail Center handles all postal functions for the court and all tenants of the Moyer Judicial Center. This service entails mail pick-up from the Unites States Post Office each day, and the pick-up and delivery of mail throughout the facility.
The Court has the constitutional responsibility to oversee the practice of law in the state, and as a result, has developed one of the most comprehensive disciplinary systems of any state in the nation. The court has established three offices to exercise independent responsibility in assisting the court in meeting its responsibility as set forth in Section 5(B), Article IV of the Ohio Constitution.
Disciplinary Counsel: Joseph Caligiuri, Esq.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel investigates and prosecutes allegations of misconduct against lawyers and judges throughout the state before the Board of Professional Conduct.
Director, Board of Professional Conduct: Richard A. Dove, Esq.
The Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court is established by Gov. Bar R. V and is charged with administering, interpreting, and enforcing that rule and Jud. Rule II, which deal with lawyer and judge discipline. The Board hears all formal disciplinary charges filed against Ohio's judges and lawyers and recommends sanctions to the court for unethical conduct. The Board consists of 28 members, including 17 lawyers, seven active or voluntarily retired judges and four non-lawyers. The Director, an attorney, is appointed by the Board. The Board also appoints Disciplinary Counsel, which is the office that is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of allegations of misconduct against lawyers and judges. Since 1995, three-person hearing panels also conduct hearings on judicial campaign grievances under Canon 7 and recommend sanctions to the Supreme Court.
Administrator, Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection: Janet Green Marbley, Esq.
The Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection is established by Rule VIII of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio to administer the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection. The Board determines the eligibility of claims filed with the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection and pays reparations of up to $75,000 to those who are harmed by the misconduct of lawyers. The Fund was established in 1985 and is funded from attorney registration fees.
Executive Director, Sara Andrews
In 1990, the General Assembly created the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission by statute. The Commission is chaired by the Chief Justice. It is responsible for conducting a review of Ohio's sentencing statutes and sentencing patterns and making recommendations regarding necessary statutory changes. The Commission consists of 31 members, 10 of whom are judges appointed by the Chief Justice. A report issued by the Committee to the Governor and the General Assembly in 1993 resulted in Senate Bill 2, the most comprehensive revision of criminal sentencing statutes in over 20 years.