Retired Judges to be Assigned to Commercial Court: The Ohio Supreme Court announced today that Common Pleas Courts have an option to use retired judges to preside over commercial dockets. Commercial dockets resolve disputes between businesses utilizing judges who develop expertise in the area. Earlier this year the Supreme Court adopted rules which take effect July 1, 2013, that establish commercial dockets for common pleas courts with six or more general division judges or that are located in a county with at least 300,000 people.
AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF SUPERINTENDENCE FOR THE COURTS OF OHIO
On May 21, 2013, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted the following amendments to the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio (Sup.R. 49, 49.02, 49.03, and 49.09), effective July 1, 2013.
RULES OF SUPERINTENDENCE FOR THE COURTS OF OHIO
RULE 49. Definitions.
As used in Sup.R. 49 through 49.12:
(A) Business entity
“Business entity” means a for profit or nonprofit corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, professional association, business trust, joint venture, unincorporated association, or sole proprietorship.
(B) Retired judge
“Retired judge” has the same meaning as in Sup.R. 17(A)(1).
RULE 49.02. Designation or Assignment of Commercial Docket Judges.
(A) Designation or assignment by Chief Justice
Each court of common pleas that has established a commercial docket pursuant to Sup.R. 49.01 shall select either of the following methods for designating or assigning judges to hear cases assigned to the docket:
(1) Request the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to designate two or more sitting judges of the general division of the court. The Chief Justice shall not designate a judge unless the judge agrees to participate.
(2) Request the Chief Justice to assign one or more retired judges to active duty to the court pursuant to Article IV, Section 6(C) of the Ohio Constitution.
The judges designated or assigned by the Chief Justice shall be styled “commercial docket judges.”
(C) Candidate recommendations
A subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Case Management shall recommend to the Chief Justice candidates for designation or assignment as commercial docket judges and the number of commercial docket judges for each court.
RULE 49.03. Termination of Commercial Docket.
(A) Sitting judges serving as commercial docket judge
If a vacancy in the position of a commercial docket judge occurs in a court of common pleas that has established a commercial docket with sitting judges of the general division of the court serving as the commercial docket judges pursuant to Sup.R. 49.01 and 49.02(A)(1), resulting in the court having only one commercial docket judge, and no other judge of the court volunteers to serve and is appointed by the Chief Justice to the commercial docket pursuant to Sup.R. 49.02(A)(1), the court shall terminate the commercial docket as follows:
(1) The court shall cease assigning cases to the commercial docket;
(2) Commercial docket cases assigned to the remaining commercial docket judge shall remain with the judge until final disposition;
(3) Following final disposition of all commercial docket cases assigned to the remaining commercial docket judge, the commercial docket shall cease to exist.
(B) Retired judge serving as commercial docket judge
If a vacancy in the position of a commercial docket judge occurs in a court of common pleas that has established a commercial docket with a retired judge serving as the commercial docket judge pursuant to Sup.R. 49.01 and 49.02(A)(2), resulting in the court having no commercial docket judge, and no other retired judge volunteers to serve and is appointed by the Chief Justice to the commercial docket pursuant to Sup.R. 49.02(A)(2), the court shall terminate the commercial docket and all remaining commercial docket cases shall be randomly assigned to a judge of the court in accordance with the individual assignment system adopted by the court pursuant to Sup.R. 36(B)(2).