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Ohio Primary Law Legal Research Guide: Court Rules

Covers Ohio cases, statutes, legislative history, regulations, and administrative decisions.

Rule Amendments

"Legislative History" or Background Materials for Rules

If you are looking for commentary as to why a rule was changed, see:

  • Page's Ohio Revised Code Annotated or Baldwin's Ohio Revised Code may reprint committee comments in the rules volumes.

  • Contact the Ohio Supreme Court
You may want to contact the Ohio Supreme Court and/or the court committee that enacted the rule to see if more materials are available. As of 2006, the Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure recommends rules and rule amendments to the Ohio Supreme Court. Procedure for rule amendments.
  • Amendments to Evidence Rules
Chart of Amendments over time -

History of the Ohio Civil Rules

On July 1, 1970, Ohio went from a code based pleading system (ie. statutes enacted by the legislature) to a rules-based system where the Ohio Supreme Court creates and amends court rules.  The Court submits the rules to the General Assembly, which may adopt a concurrent resolution of disapproval. See Art IV, Ohio Constitution, Section 5(b).    The original 1970 Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure were created by the Ohio Judicial Conference, Rules Advisory Committee, and were based on the federal rules.  For a good description of the process by which the rules were made in 1970, see John V. Corrigan, A Look at the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, The Ohio Bar, Vol 43, No. 24 , p. 727.  A helpful resource in comparing the old code based system to the 1970 rules is John W. McCormac,  Ohio Civil Rules Practice, with Forms, (1970),KFO 530 .A8.  The University of Cincinnati Law Review has many useful articles in its symposium issue:  Volume 43, 1970, which can be viewed via HeinOnline in the Franklin County Law Library's computer labs.

Ohio Court Rules

Some Ohio court rules apply statewide, such as the Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules of Appellate Procedure and Rules of Evidence. There are also local rules, which apply to an individual Ohio appellate, common pleas or municipal court. Federal courts also have rules that apply to the entire federal system, as well as local rules of court. The Franklin County Law Library keeps superseded court rule books back to the 1970's.

Annotated Rules

Have rule history, case summaries and research references.

The rules are also available as ebooks for attorneys with Franklin County Law Library cards. See the ebooks guide on this website for information on checking out electronic books through Overdrive.


Unannotated Rules

Local Rules

The annotated rules listed above contain some local court rules. The unannotated rules pamphlets listed above do as well.  Here are some more sources for Local Rules.

Federal Rules