130th Ohio General Assembly
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(Amended House Bill Number 226)



AN ACT
To amend section 1901.26 of the Revised Code to authorize the legislative authority of a municipal corporation to establish a schedule of fees to be taxed as costs in a civil, criminal, or traffic proceeding in a municipal court for services performed by officers or employees of the municipal corporation's police department or marshal's office and to revise the law regarding the Workers' Compensation Oversight Commission's reporting requirements concerning investments.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That section 1901.26 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1901.26.  (A) Subject to division (E) of this section, costs in a municipal court shall be fixed and taxed as follows:

(1)(a) The municipal court shall require an advance deposit for the filing of any new civil action or proceeding when required by division (A)(9)(C) of this section, and in all other cases, by rule, shall establish a schedule of fees and costs to be taxed in any civil or criminal action or proceeding.

(b)(i) The legislative authority of a municipal corporation may by ordinance establish a schedule of fees to be taxed as costs in any civil, criminal, or traffic action or proceeding in a municipal court for the performance by officers or other employees of the municipal corporation's police department or marshal's office of any of the services specified in sections 311.17 and 509.15 of the Revised Code. No fee in the schedule shall be higher than the fee specified in section 311.17 of the Revised Code for the performance of the same service by the sheriff. If a fee established in the schedule conflicts with a fee for the same service established in another section of the Revised Code or a rule of court, the fee established in the other section of the Revised Code or the rule of court shall apply.

(ii) When an officer or employee of a municipal police department or marshal's office performs in a civil, criminal, or traffic action or proceeding in a municipal court a service specified in section 311.17 or 509.15 of the Revised Code for which a taxable fee has been established under this or any other section of the Revised Code, the applicable legal fees and any other extraordinary expenses, including overtime, provided for the service shall be taxed as costs in the case. The clerk of the court shall pay those legal fees and other expenses, when collected, into the general fund of the municipal corporation that employs the officer or employee.

(iii) If a bailiff of a municipal court performs in a civil, criminal, or traffic action or proceeding in that court a service specified in section 311.17 or 509.15 of the Revised Code for which a taxable fee has been established under this section or any other section of the Revised Code, the fee for the service is the same and is taxable to the same extent as if the service had been performed by an officer or employee of the police department or marshal's office of the municipal corporation in which the court is located. The clerk of that court shall pay the fee, when collected, into the general fund of the entity or entities that fund the bailiff's salary, in the same pro-rated amount as the salary is funded.

(iv) Division (A)(1)(b) of this section does not authorize or require any officer or employee of a police department or marshal's office of a municipal corporation or any bailiff of a municipal court to perform any service not otherwise authorized by law.

(2) The municipal court, by rule, may require an advance deposit for the filing of any civil action or proceeding and publication fees as provided in section 2701.09 of the Revised Code. The court may waive the requirement for advance deposit upon affidavit or other evidence that a party is unable to make the required deposit.

(3) When a jury trial is demanded in any civil action or proceeding, the party making the demand may be required to make an advance deposit as fixed by rule of court, unless, upon affidavit or other evidence, the court concludes that the party is unable to make the required deposit. If a jury is called, the fees of a jury shall be taxed as costs.

(4) In any civil or criminal action or proceeding, witnesses' fees shall be fixed in accordance with sections 2335.06 and 2335.08 of the Revised Code.

(5) A reasonable charge for driving, towing, carting, storing, keeping, and preserving motor vehicles and other personal property recovered or seized in any proceeding may be taxed as part of the costs in a trial of the cause, in an amount that shall be fixed by rule of court.

(6) Chattel property seized under any writ or process issued by the court shall be preserved pending final disposition for the benefit of all persons interested and may be placed in storage when necessary or proper for that preservation. The custodian of any chattel property so stored shall not be required to part with the possession of the property until a reasonable charge, to be fixed by the court, is paid.

(7) The municipal court, as it determines, may refund all deposits and advance payments of fees and costs, including those for jurors and summoning jurors, when they have been paid by the losing party.

(8) Charges for the publication of legal notices required by statute or order of court may be taxed as part of the costs, as provided by section 7.13 of the Revised Code.

(B)(1) The municipal court may determine that, for the efficient operation of the court, additional funds are necessary to acquire and pay for special projects of the court including, but not limited to, the acquisition of additional facilities or the rehabilitation of existing facilities, the acquisition of equipment, the hiring and training of staff, community service programs, mediation or dispute resolution services, the employment of magistrates, the training and education of judges, acting judges, and magistrates, and other related services. Upon that determination, the court by rule may charge a fee, in addition to all other court costs, on the filing of each criminal cause, civil action or proceeding, or judgment by confession.

If the municipal court offers a special program or service in cases of a specific type, the municipal court by rule may assess an additional charge in a case of that type, over and above court costs, to cover the special program or service. The municipal court shall adjust the special assessment periodically, but not retroactively, so that the amount assessed in those cases does not exceed the actual cost of providing the service or program.

All moneys collected under division (B) of this section shall be paid to the county treasurer if the court is a county-operated municipal court or to the city treasurer if the court is not a county-operated municipal court for deposit into either a general special projects fund or a fund established for a specific special project. Moneys from a fund of that nature shall be disbursed upon an order of the court in an amount no greater than the actual cost to the court of a project. If a specific fund is terminated because of the discontinuance of a program or service established under division (B) of this section, the municipal court may order that moneys remaining in the fund be transferred to an account established under this division for a similar purpose.

(2) As used in division (B) of this section:

(a) "Criminal cause" means a charge alleging the violation of a statute or ordinance, or subsection of a statute or ordinance, that requires a separate finding of fact or a separate plea before disposition and of which the defendant may be found guilty, whether filed as part of a multiple charge on a single summons, citation, or complaint or as a separate charge on a single summons, citation, or complaint. "Criminal cause" does not include separate violations of the same statute or ordinance, or subsection of the same statute or ordinance, unless each charge is filed on a separate summons, citation, or complaint.

(b) "Civil action or proceeding" means any civil litigation that must be determined by judgment entry.

(C) The municipal court shall collect in all its divisions except the small claims division the sum of fifteen dollars as additional filing fees in each new civil action or proceeding for the charitable public purpose of providing financial assistance to legal aid societies that operate within the state. The municipal court shall collect in its small claims division the sum of seven dollars as additional filing fees in each new civil action or proceeding for the charitable public purpose of providing financial assistance to legal aid societies that operate within the state. This division does not apply to any execution on a judgment, proceeding in aid of execution, or other post-judgment proceeding arising out of a civil action. The filing fees required to be collected under this division shall be in addition to any other court costs imposed in the action or proceeding and shall be collected at the time of the filing of the action or proceeding. The court shall not waive the payment of the additional filing fees in a new civil action or proceeding unless the court waives the advanced payment of all filing fees in the action or proceeding. All such moneys shall be transmitted on the first business day of each month by the clerk of the court to the treasurer of state. The moneys then shall be deposited by the treasurer of state to the credit of the legal aid fund established under section 120.52 of the Revised Code.

The court may retain up to one per cent of the moneys it collects under this division to cover administrative costs, including the hiring of any additional personnel necessary to implement this division.

(D) In the Cleveland municipal court, reasonable charges for investigating titles of real estate to be sold or disposed of under any writ or process of the court may be taxed as part of the costs.

(E) Under the circumstances described in sections 2969.21 to 2969.27 of the Revised Code, the clerk of the municipal court shall charge the fees and perform the other duties specified in those sections.

SECTION 2. That existing section 1901.26 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

SECTION 3. Nothwithstanding Section 502.03 of Am. Sub. H.B. 66 of the 126th General Assembly, the assets of funds that at the time that section took effect were invested in investments that are prohibited by section 4121.12 of the Revised Code and the assets of funds that, in the twelve months immediately preceding the effective date of that section, had been invested in investments that are prohibited by section 4121.12 of the Revised Code shall be divested in the most expedient time possible to obtain the maximum value during the liquidation unless the assets are being held as evidence in a criminal investigation or prosecution. If the assets are being held as evidence in a criminal investigation or prosecution, the assets shall be divested in the most expedient time possible to obtain the maximum value during the liquidation after the investigation or prosecution has concluded.

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