Practice Before the Supreme Court of Ohio
Frequently Asked Questions
The Clerk’s Office has prepared this FAQ to provide some general information about practice before the Supreme Court of Ohio. This information is not a replacement for the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court of Ohio, and the requirements of those rules are controlling. Attorneys and unrepresented parties should always refer to the Rules of Practice for information that addresses their specific issues and circumstances.
Filing an Appeal
This answer depends on the type of appeal. To perfect a jurisdictional appeal, you must file a notice of appeal and a memorandum in support of jurisdiction. A date-stamped copy of the court of appeals opinion and judgment entry being appealed must accompany your memorandum.
To perfect an appeal of right, you must file a notice of appeal. A date-stamped copy of the judgment entry being appealed must accompany your notice of appeal, but a memorandum in support of jurisdiction is not required in an appeal of right.
Jurisdictional appeals and appeals of right are defined in the Rules of Practice.
The documents required to file a jurisdictional appeal or an appeal of right are due no later than 45 days after the entry of the judgment being appealed.
Yes. A $100 filing fee is required by statute and court rule for filing an appeal. You may pay the fee with cash, check, or money order made payable to “Clerk, Supreme Court of Ohio.” In addition, the Clerk's Office accepts American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa for payment of the filing fee.
The filing fee will be waived if you file an entry appointing counsel or an affidavit of indigence that complies with the Rules of Practice. The Clerk’s Office cannot file an appeal, including a notice of cross-appeal or a notice of certified conflict, which is not accompanied by the required fee, entry, or affidavit.
No. The time period for filing a notice of appeal and memorandum in support of jurisdiction is mandatory. The appellant’s failure to file within this time period divests the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to hear the appeal.
The Rules of Practice provide one very limited exception to this general rule. If you are appealing from a felony decision after the time for filing a notice of appeal and memorandum in support of jurisdiction has passed, the Rules of Practice permit the filing of a motion for delayed appeal and notice of appeal. The provision for delayed appeal does not apply to appeals involving postconviction relief or appeals of decisions on App. R. 26(B) motions. Rule 7.01(A)(4)
Only the original documents must be submitted for filing. If the Clerk deems it necessary, the Clerk may request that the filing party provide copies of documents.
To determine the Supreme Court case number assigned when a notice of appeal and memorandum in support are filed, you may access the Court’s online docket via the Internet at: https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Clerk/ecms/#/search. Use the case name or the court of appeals case number to search the docket and determine if the appeal has been filed. If so, search results will indicate the Supreme Court case number that has been assigned to the case. After you find out when the case was filed, you can calculate the date your memorandum in response is due.
To determine the filing date of any pleading or other document served on you, and thus calculate the due date for any responsive document, you may access the online docket. Note that the date a document is filed in the Supreme Court is often different from the date it is served and the date it is received by you. The date used in calculating the time for your response is the filing date as indicated by the Court’s online docket.
If you do not have access to the Internet, a deputy clerk can access the online docket and provide case information to you.You may call the Clerk’s Office at 614.387.9530 and ask to speak with a deputy clerk.
Generally, the Court announces whether it will accept an appeal for a full merit review approximately three to six months after the appellee’s memorandum in response is filed. However, this time frame may vary.
If the appeal involves termination of parental rights or adoption of a minor child, or both, the Supreme Court may expedite its review and determination.
Merit Briefs and Oral Arguments in Appeals from a Court of Appeals
If your appeal is accepted for a full merit review, the Court will order the record of the case from the court of appeals. When the record is filed in the Supreme Court, the Clerk’s Office will notify counsel or unrepresented parties in the case and refer them to the rules on filing merit briefs.
In general, the appellant’s merit brief is due 40 days from the date the record is filed in the Supreme Court. The appellee’s brief is due within 30 days after the filing of the appellant’s brief. The appellant may file the last brief, a reply brief, and it is due within 20 days after the filing of the appellee’s brief.
In appeals involving termination of parental rights or adoption of a minor child or both, the briefing schedule is expedited. The appellant’s merit brief is due 20 days from the date the court of appeals record is filed in the Supreme Court. The appellee’s brief is due 20 days after the filing of the appellant’s brief. The appellant may file a reply brief within 15 days after the filing of the appellee’s brief.
Arguments are usually scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday mornings beginning at 9 a.m., generally one to two times per month. Those scheduled to argue are required to check in with a representative from the Clerk’s Office outside the courtroom by 8:45 a.m.
Oral argument will be held sometime after the merit briefs have been filed in the appeal. Generally, the Court will hear oral argument within two to four months after the time for filing appellant’s reply brief has passed. If the appeal involves termination of parental rights or adoption of a minor child, the Court may expedite the case and hear oral argument at the earliest practicable time.
After a case is scheduled, the Clerk’s Office will send you a notice of oral argument. Generally, this occurs six weeks before the scheduled argument and shortly after the oral argument date is docketed. The notice of oral argument will provide the argument date and other relevant information. Oral argument dates are also posted on the Clerk’s Web page at the following link: https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/opinions-cases/clerk-of-court/office/.
A party may waive argument by filing a written waiver at least seven days before the argument date. Unless all parties waive argument, oral argument will proceed with participation from those parties who have not waived argument.
Attorneys scheduled to participate in oral argument must arrive outside the courtroom for check-in by 8:45 a.m., regardless of when their case appears on the schedule of oral arguments for that day.
A party who fails to file a merit brief in a case is not entitled to participate in oral argument. That party is considered to have waived argument.
A party is not permitted to present oral argument if the party files a notice of adoption of another party’s brief instead of filing its own brief.
An amicus curiae who has filed a brief in a case is not entitled to participate in oral argument without leave of the Court. Leave may be sought by motion to the Court. This should be done well in advance of oral argument, but no later than seven days before the argument.
The Rules of Practice prescribe that any attorney listed on the first document filed on behalf of a party is automatically listed on the docket as counsel for that party. If an attorney is not listed on the first document filed on behalf of a party, in order to be listed as counsel, he or she must either file a separate notice of appearance or indicate on the document being filed that this is the attorney’s first appearance in the case. If the document is filed through the E-filing portal, the attorney and the party represented shall be added in the portal. An attorney who plans to argue a case on behalf of a party must be on record as representing that party in the case. If the attorney is not already on record, a notice of appearance should be filed in the case in advance of oral argument.
It generally takes several months after oral argument for the Court to announce its decision on the merits of the case. The time frame for announcing the Court’s decision is affected by a number of factors, including complexity of the case and how many justices have decided to write concurring or dissenting opinions in the case. If the appeal involves termination of parental rights or adoption of a minor child, or both, the Supreme Court may expedite its consideration of the merits.
If you are the designated counsel of record, the Clerk’s Office will mail you a copy of each Court entry issued in the case after the entry is filed with the Clerk’s Office. If the Court rules on the merits of your case, the Clerk’s Office will mail you a copy of the Court’s entry.
If you are a party in the case and are not represented by counsel, the Clerk’s Office will mail copies of the Court’s entries directly to you.
General Filing Issues
Documents are filed with the Supreme Court by filing with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. You may file paper documents either by mail, delivery service, or in person, during regular business hours. Documents can also be filed electronically through the Court’s e-Filing portal. Letters, motions, memoranda, briefs, and other documents relating to a case are not considered filed, and are not reviewed by the Court, if they are submitted directly to a Justice.
The Clerk’s Office is open for filing in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, local observed time in Columbus, Ohio. The Clerk’s Office is closed on weekends, on the day after Thanksgiving, and on all state holidays except Columbus Day.
To access the Supreme Court floors, you are required to present valid photo identification and pass through the Ohio Judicial Center’s security checkpoint. Please keep this in mind when calculating the time you will need to reach the Clerk’s Office before the close of business.
If the Clerk’s Office is closed on the day your document is due, or closes early that day, your document is due on the next business day the office is open. For example, if your filing deadline falls on Saturday, your document would be due Monday. If Monday is a state holiday, your document would then be due Tuesday. Even though the Clerk’s Office is open on Columbus Day, that day is considered a legal holiday for purposes of determining filing deadlines. Therefore, documents that are due on Columbus Day are considered on time if filed the following day. Similarly, filings that are due on the day after Thanksgiving, a day on which the Clerk’s Office is closed, are considered timely if filed the following Monday.
No. Documents, whether submitted by mail or other delivery service, are not considered filed until received for filing in the Clerk’s Office. Therefore, if you are submitting documents by mail, you should send them sufficiently in advance so they arrive by the due date.
Please note that a delivery confirmation indicating final delivery from the US Postal Service or any other delivery service does not necessarily mean the package has been received by the Clerk’s Office, nor does it constitute notice that the document has been filed by the Clerk’s Office. If you have a question as to whether the Clerk’s Office has received your package, please call the Clerk’s Office at 614.387.9530.
No. The Rules of Practice do not provide additional time to respond to documents served by mail.
All paper documents tendered for filing should be addressed directly to the Clerk’s Office:
Office of the Clerk
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street, 8th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431
Yes, filings may be submitted using the Court’s e-Filing Portal which is available via the internet at https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/opinions-cases/clerk-of-court/office/e-filing/. There you will find detailed information about using the e-Filing Portal. Please note that using the e-Filing Portal does not alter any of the filing deadlines or requirements contained in the rules of practice. Documents submitted through the e-Filing Portal will be timely if the documents comply with the Rules of Practice and were received on or before 11:59:59 p.m., local observed time in Columbus, Ohio, on or before the date they were due.
The Rules of Practice allow for extensions of time only in connection with filing a merit brief or a response to a complaint in an original action. An extension of up to 20 days may be obtained for filing one of these documents by agreement with the other side, provided a written stipulation to the extension is filed in compliance with the rules. Alternatively, an extension of up to 10 days may be obtained by filing a written request in compliance with the rules.
A stipulation or request for extension of time must be filed no later than the deadline for filing the document that is the subject of the extension of time. A party is permitted only one extension of time in a case.
The Rules of Practice strictly prohibit untimely filings. The Clerk is required to reject any document received after the filing deadline. Motions to file “instanter” or “out of rule” are also prohibited. In the event that you submit a document that is not accepted for filing by the Clerk, you must notify all parties you had served with the document that the document was not filed.
The original of any paper document that is being filed should not be bound and cannot contain dividers or tabs. While plastic cover pages are prohibited, you may use plastic spiral binding if staples will not penetrate your document completely. Any document that is thicker than two inches must be bound in two or more numbered volumes.
The original of any paper document being filed must be single-sided. If the Clerk deems it necessary for a party to provide copies, required copies of jurisdictional memoranda and merit briefs must also be single-sided. Copies of all other documents may be double-sided as long as the document is clearly legible.
No. As to jurisdictional memoranda, the Rules of Practice specifically exclude the table of contents and the certificate of service from the 15-page limitation and provide that a limited appendix be attached to the memorandum. (The appendix of a jurisdictional memorandum is restricted to the court of appeals’ opinion and judgment entry, which are required attachments, and other relevant judgment entries and opinions issued in the case.) Similarly, the Rules of Practice exclude the table of contents, the table of authorities, the certificate of service, and the appendix from the 50-page limit imposed on a merit brief.
No. Memoranda and briefs must comply with the Court’s page limitations or the excess pages may be stricken.
Only the original document must be submitted for filing. If the Clerk deems it necessary, the Clerk may request that the filing party provide copies of documents.
The Clerk’s Office does not automatically return a file-stamped copy of your document to you. If you wish to receive a file-stamped copy when you submit your filing to the Clerk’s Office, you should include an extra copy. You should also include a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope large enough to accommodate the document. Generally, documents that are filed are accessible for viewing and printing on the online docket.
The Clerk’s Office has several sample documents to assist persons who have cases before the Court.
All of these sample documents are included with published versions of the Supreme Court Rules of Practice, are available on the Supreme Court’s website at www.supremecourt.ohio.gov, or from the Clerk’s Office upon request. A Guide to Filing is also available on the Court’s website.
The deputy clerks frequently observe the following mistakes made by parties when filing with the Court:
- Failing to submit the filing fee with a notice of appeal, a notice of cross-appeal, or a notice of certified conflict
- Submitting documents for filing after the filing deadline
- Exceeding the page limitation on a jurisdictional memorandum or merit brief
- Failing to attach a date-stamped copy of the decision being appealed to a memorandum in support of jurisdiction or an appellant’s brief
- Attaching the notice of appeal to the front of a memorandum in support of jurisdiction
- Including prohibited materials in the appendix of a memorandum in support of jurisdiction – e., anything other than the court of appeals opinion and judgment entry being appealed, and other opinions and judgment entries issued in the case that are relevant to the appeal
- In an appeal of right, submitting a memorandum in support of jurisdiction with the notice of appeal
- Omitting the Supreme Court case number from a document’s cover page
- Submitting documents with plastic or colored covers, tabs or inserts
- Using margins smaller than one inch, a font smaller than 12 points, or single-spaced or condensed type
- Failing to include a certificate of service on a document tendered for filing, or forgetting to sign or date the certificate of service
- Neglecting to sign a document
- Neglecting to designate counsel of record when two or more attorneys represent a party
- Submitting an affidavit with an insufficient notary’s jurat
- Failing to put footnotes in 12-point font
- Using double-sided and/or condensed text attachments
- Omitting party information from a document’s cover page
Please call the Clerk’s Office and ask to speak to a deputy clerk. The phone number for the Clerk’s Office is:
Office of Clerk of the Court
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street, 8th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431
Clerk of the Court:
Robert Vaughn, Esq.