Changes Coming in the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure

The Ohio Supreme Court recently announced amendments to the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, The Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure, and the Ohio Rules of Evidence.

All the rule changes will take effect July 1, 2012.

The Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure have been amended in various places and most of the changes seem relatively minor but listed below are the significant changes that Ohio attorneys need to be aware of. Of course, attorneys in Ohio are encouraged to read the full text of all changes.

COMMERCIAL SERVICE OF PROCESS ALLOWED. Service of process (summons and complaint) can now be set up via a commercial service and not just the US mail, as long as the server returns a document showing who, when, and where the party was served. See Rule 4.1 thru 4.5

THE “MAIL BOX RULE” APPLIES TO COMMERCIAL SERVICE. When service is perfected by a commercial service, 3 days is added to any required response time. See Rule 6(D)

ATTORNEY OR PARTY EMAIL ADDRESSES. Any attorney, or a party acting without an attorney, who files a pleading in court must always include their fax number and email address. See Rule 11

DISCOVERY OF EXPERTS. The rules on expert witness discovery and early drafts of reports by experts have been changed to conform to the federal rule. See Rule 26(B)


  • Interrogatories need only be served electronically now. See Rule 33(A)
  • Requests for admission need only be served electronically now. See Rule 36(A)
  • Deposition subpoenas may only require a witness to appear in their home county. See Rule 45(A)

SUBPOENA APPEARANCE. Trial subpoenas may require a witness to appear anywhere in the state where a trial or hearing takes place. See Rule 45(A)

JURORS. Trial courts now have discretion to hold alternate jurors while the jury deliberates instead of discharging them. See Rule 47(D)

The complete text of changes to all rules appears in the Ohio State Bar Association Report, aka “the green book,” dated May 21 (Vol. 85 #21) and can also be found from the link on the top left margin at this internet page:

Ron Burdge
Helping Lawyers Win Cases since 1978.