Ohio Supreme Court Order Complements COVID-19 Relief Measure

By J. Colin Knisely and Matthew Caminiti

On March 27, 2020, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an Order “in response to” Am. Sub. H.B. 197, which Governor DeWine signed into law the same day. Am. Sub. H.B. 197 is a COVID-19 relief measure, which, among other things, waives state testing requirements for the remainder of the school year, extends professional licenses for those who cannot get them renewed, extends the income tax deadline to July 15, and provides funding for affected small business, such as day care.

The Supreme Court’s March 27 Order, which is meant to complement the law, tolls timing requirements found in Ohio’s: Code of Judicial Conduct; Rules of Appellate Practice; Rules of Civil Procedure; Rules of Criminal Procedure; Rules of Evidence; Rules of Juvenile Procedure; Rules of Professional Conduct; Traffic Rules; Rules for Appointment of Counsel in Capital Cases; Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio; Rules for the Government of the Judiciary of Ohio; Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court of Ohio; Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio; Supreme Court Rules for the Reporting of Opinions; and Mayor’s Courts Forms, Instructions, and Education & Procedure Rules.

The Order does not preclude filings during its duration if the Court, local court, hearing panel, board, commission, or clerk is able to receive filings and the matter is related to a situation that requires immediate attention. Additionally, a specific order in a case issued on or after the effective date of the Supreme Court’s Order shall supersede the tolling provisions of the Supreme Court Order unless otherwise noted.

The Supreme Court has also indicated that any scheduling orders issued on or after March 9, 2020, will remain in effect. Any scheduling issues issued before March 9, 2020, should be reconsidered by the issuing court.

The Supreme Court’s Order applies retroactively to the date of the emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D, March 9, 2020, and expires on the date the period of emergency ends or July 30, 2020, whichever is sooner.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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