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Overview of the Ohio Court System

Three levels of courts comprise the Ohio judicial system: the Supreme Court, appellate court and trial courts. The legal issues Ohioans wrestle with are handled on a daily basis by the trial courts, which include common pleas, county, municipal and mayor’s courts.

There are 88 Courts of Common Pleas, one in each county. Cases heard in these courts are divided into four categories: domestic relations, juvenile, probate and general. County and municipal courts handle misdemeanor offenses, traffic cases, domestic violence, DUI cases and civil actions up to $15,000. The more than 400 mayor’s courts handle misdemeanor offenses and traffic cases; they do not have juries. There is one Court of Claims that handles suits against the state and compensation for victims of crime.

If a party is not satisfied with the decision of the trial court, the decision can be appealed to the Courts of Appeal. There are 12 appellate courts in Ohio. If the outcome from the appellate court is still unsatisfactory, an appeal can be made to the Ohio Supreme Court, which is comprised of a chief justice and six justices. The Supreme Court chooses which cases to hear; in select cases, it may be the court of original jurisdiction.

Ohio Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Ohio attorney by location and by practice area. We have Ohio attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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Ohio Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free Ohio legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it is a good idea to have a Residential Lease Agreement in place. A residential lease protects you by clearly outlining your rights and responsibilities. It identifies the property and how it can be used and puts in writing other details agreed to by both parties, including the length of the agreement; the amount of rent to be paid, date due and fees for late payment; and whether a security deposit is required as well as the amount and conditions upon which the deposit will be returned.

If you die without making a will, you are said to die intestate, and Ohio law stipulates who will receive your assets. By creating a Last Will and Testament, you can specify how you want your personal property to be handled after you die. Your will lists who may receive your assets and appoints an executor to make sure your wishes are carried out.

A Power of Attorney is a document that appoints another person to act on your behalf. There are two types of POAs: regular and durable. A regular POA becomes invalid if you become incapacitated; a durable POA remains in effect if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. You can have a medical durable POA and a financial durable POA. Creating these documents ensures your health and finances are in the hands of those you trust.

Starting an Ohio Business

Starting a business in Ohio is a way to achieve personal and professional success. There are a number of resources to help you get started, including the Ohio Business Gateway. Ohio Business Gateway offers a wealth of practical advice, from finding a good location to staying compliant with Ohio laws to financing opportunities.

Ohio Business Statistics

The more than 916,000 small businesses in Ohio are a significant factor in the state’s economy. Small business employs 2.1 million workers and represents more than 98 percent of employers. Ohio is also home to 27 Fortune 500 companies, including 19th-ranked Cardinal Health (CAH). Other companies include the Kroger Co. (KR) and Goodyear Tire and Rubber (GT.) Ohio employers cover all sectors and range from forestry to health care and finances.