130th Ohio General Assembly
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Am. Sub. H. B. No. 197  As Passed by the House
As Passed by the House

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
Am. Sub. H. B. No. 197


Representative Slesnick 

Cosponsors: Representatives Fende, Letson, Murray, O'Brien, Patmon, Yuko, Blair, Combs, Johnson, Milkovich, Terhar Speaker Batchelder 



A BILL
To amend sections 1901.261, 1901.31, 1907.20, 1907.26, 1907.261, and 4503.39 and to enact sections 1901.44, 1905.202, 1907.25, and 2947.09 of the Revised Code to require that all moneys collected by the clerk of a municipal or county court be paid to the appropriate person, fund, or entity on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which they are collected; to authorize a municipal, mayor's, or county court to require community service in lieu of costs if at the time of sentencing or any time after sentencing the court finds that the offender cannot pay costs; to authorize a municipal, mayor's, or county court to allow payment of costs in installments if at the time of sentencing or at any time after sentencing the court finds that the offender will not be able to pay costs in full when due; and to ensure that after notice to the debtor and an opportunity to enter into an installment payment or community service agreement with the court neither the Registrar of Motor Vehicles nor any deputy registrar accepts any application for the registration or transfer of registration of a motor vehicle of a person who fails to pay any fine or costs imposed for offenses by a common pleas, municipal, mayor's, or county court.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 1901.261, 1901.31, 1907.20, 1907.26, 1907.261, and 4503.39 be amended and sections 1901.44, 1905.202, 1907.25, and 2947.09 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 1901.261.  (A)(1) A municipal court may determine that for the efficient operation of the court additional funds are required to computerize the court, to make available computerized legal research services, or to do both. Upon making a determination that additional funds are required for either or both of those purposes, the court shall include in its schedule of fees and costs under section 1901.26 of the Revised Code one additional fee not to exceed three dollars on the filing of each cause of action or appeal equivalent to one described in division (A), (Q), or (U) of section 2303.20 of the Revised Code and shall direct the clerk of the court to charge the fee.
(2) All fees collected under this section shall be paid on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which they are collected 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. The treasurer shall place the funds from the fees in a separate fund to be disbursed upon an order of the court, subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners if the court is a county-operated municipal court or by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation if the court is not a county-operated municipal court, or upon an order of the court, subject to the court making an annual report available to the public listing the use of all such funds, in an amount not greater than the actual cost to the court of computerizing the court, procuring and maintaining computerized legal research services, or both.
(3) If the court determines that the funds in the fund described in division (A)(2) of this section are more than sufficient to satisfy the purpose for which the additional fee described in division (A)(1) of this section was imposed, the court may declare a surplus in the fund and, subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners if the court is a county-operated municipal court or by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation if the court is not a county-operated municipal court, expend those surplus funds, or upon an order of the court, subject to the court making an annual report available to the public listing the use of all such funds, expend those surplus funds, for other appropriate technological expenses of the court.
(B)(1) A municipal court may determine that, for the efficient operation of the court, additional funds are required to computerize the office of the clerk of the court and, upon that determination, may include in its schedule of fees and costs under section 1901.26 of the Revised Code an additional fee not to exceed ten dollars on the filing of each cause of action or appeal, on the filing, docketing, and endorsing of each certificate of judgment, or on the docketing and indexing of each aid in execution or petition to vacate, revive, or modify a judgment that is equivalent to one described in division (A), (P), (Q), (T), or (U) of section 2303.20 of the Revised Code. Subject to division (B)(2) of this section, all moneys collected under division (B)(1) of this section shall be paid on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which they are collected 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. The treasurer shall place the funds from the fees in a separate fund to be disbursed, upon an order of the municipal court and subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners if the court is a county-operated municipal court or by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation if the court is not a county-operated municipal court, in an amount no greater than the actual cost to the court of procuring and maintaining computer systems for the office of the clerk of the municipal court.
(2) If a municipal court makes the determination described in division (B)(1) of this section, the board of county commissioners of the county if the court is a county-operated municipal court or the legislative authority of the municipal corporation if the court is not a county-operated municipal court, may issue one or more general obligation bonds for the purpose of procuring and maintaining the computer systems for the office of the clerk of the municipal court. In addition to the purposes stated in division (B)(1) of this section for which the moneys collected under that division may be expended, the moneys additionally may be expended to pay debt charges and financing costs related to any general obligation bonds issued pursuant to division (B)(2) of this section as they become due. General obligation bonds issued pursuant to division (B)(2) of this section are Chapter 133. securities.
Sec. 1901.31.  The clerk and deputy clerks of a municipal court shall be selected, be compensated, give bond, and have powers and duties as follows:
(A) There shall be a clerk of the court who is appointed or elected as follows:
(1)(a) Except in the Akron, Barberton, Toledo, Hamilton county, Miami county, Montgomery county, Portage county, and Wayne county municipal courts and through December 31, 2008, the Cuyahoga Falls municipal court, if the population of the territory equals or exceeds one hundred thousand at the regular municipal election immediately preceding the expiration of the term of the present clerk, the clerk shall be nominated and elected by the qualified electors of the territory in the manner that is provided for the nomination and election of judges in section 1901.07 of the Revised Code.
The clerk so elected shall hold office for a term of six years, which term shall commence on the first day of January following the clerk's election and continue until the clerk's successor is elected and qualified.
(b) In the Hamilton county municipal court, the clerk of courts of Hamilton county shall be the clerk of the municipal court and may appoint an assistant clerk who shall receive the compensation, payable out of the treasury of Hamilton county in semimonthly installments, that the board of county commissioners prescribes. The clerk of courts of Hamilton county, acting as the clerk of the Hamilton county municipal court and assuming the duties of that office, shall receive compensation at one-fourth the rate that is prescribed for the clerks of courts of common pleas as determined in accordance with the population of the county and the rates set forth in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code. This compensation shall be paid from the county treasury in semimonthly installments and is in addition to the annual compensation that is received for the performance of the duties of the clerk of courts of Hamilton county, as provided in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code.
(c) In the Portage county and Wayne county municipal courts, the clerks of courts of Portage county and Wayne county shall be the clerks, respectively, of the Portage county and Wayne county municipal courts and may appoint a chief deputy clerk for each branch that is established pursuant to section 1901.311 of the Revised Code and assistant clerks as the judges of the municipal court determine are necessary, all of whom shall receive the compensation that the legislative authority prescribes. The clerks of courts of Portage county and Wayne county, acting as the clerks of the Portage county and Wayne county municipal courts and assuming the duties of these offices, shall receive compensation payable from the county treasury in semimonthly installments at one-fourth the rate that is prescribed for the clerks of courts of common pleas as determined in accordance with the population of the county and the rates set forth in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code.
(d) In the Montgomery county and Miami county municipal courts, the clerks of courts of Montgomery county and Miami county shall be the clerks, respectively, of the Montgomery county and Miami county municipal courts. The clerks of courts of Montgomery county and Miami county, acting as the clerks of the Montgomery county and Miami county municipal courts and assuming the duties of these offices, shall receive compensation at one-fourth the rate that is prescribed for the clerks of courts of common pleas as determined in accordance with the population of the county and the rates set forth in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code. This compensation shall be paid from the county treasury in semimonthly installments and is in addition to the annual compensation that is received for the performance of the duties of the clerks of courts of Montgomery county and Miami county, as provided in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code.
(e) Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(1)(e) of this section, in the Akron municipal court, candidates for election to the office of clerk of the court shall be nominated by primary election. The primary election shall be held on the day specified in the charter of the city of Akron for the nomination of municipal officers. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of section 3513.05 or 3513.257 of the Revised Code, the declarations of candidacy and petitions of partisan candidates and the nominating petitions of independent candidates for the office of clerk of the Akron municipal court shall be signed by at least fifty qualified electors of the territory of the court.
The candidates shall file a declaration of candidacy and petition, or a nominating petition, whichever is applicable, not later than four p.m. of the ninetieth day before the day of the primary election, in the form prescribed by section 3513.07 or 3513.261 of the Revised Code. The declaration of candidacy and petition, or the nominating petition, shall conform to the applicable requirements of section 3513.05 or 3513.257 of the Revised Code.
If no valid declaration of candidacy and petition is filed by any person for nomination as a candidate of a particular political party for election to the office of clerk of the Akron municipal court, a primary election shall not be held for the purpose of nominating a candidate of that party for election to that office. If only one person files a valid declaration of candidacy and petition for nomination as a candidate of a particular political party for election to that office, a primary election shall not be held for the purpose of nominating a candidate of that party for election to that office, and the candidate shall be issued a certificate of nomination in the manner set forth in section 3513.02 of the Revised Code.
Declarations of candidacy and petitions, nominating petitions, and certificates of nomination for the office of clerk of the Akron municipal court shall contain a designation of the term for which the candidate seeks election. At the following regular municipal election, all candidates for the office shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the territory of the court in the manner that is provided in section 1901.07 of the Revised Code for the election of the judges of the court. The clerk so elected shall hold office for a term of six years, which term shall commence on the first day of January following the clerk's election and continue until the clerk's successor is elected and qualified.
(f) Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(1)(f) of this section, in the Barberton municipal court, candidates for election to the office of clerk of the court shall be nominated by primary election. The primary election shall be held on the day specified in the charter of the city of Barberton for the nomination of municipal officers. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of section 3513.05 or 3513.257 of the Revised Code, the declarations of candidacy and petitions of partisan candidates and the nominating petitions of independent candidates for the office of clerk of the Barberton municipal court shall be signed by at least fifty qualified electors of the territory of the court.
The candidates shall file a declaration of candidacy and petition, or a nominating petition, whichever is applicable, not later than four p.m. of the ninetieth day before the day of the primary election, in the form prescribed by section 3513.07 or 3513.261 of the Revised Code. The declaration of candidacy and petition, or the nominating petition, shall conform to the applicable requirements of section 3513.05 or 3513.257 of the Revised Code.
If no valid declaration of candidacy and petition is filed by any person for nomination as a candidate of a particular political party for election to the office of clerk of the Barberton municipal court, a primary election shall not be held for the purpose of nominating a candidate of that party for election to that office. If only one person files a valid declaration of candidacy and petition for nomination as a candidate of a particular political party for election to that office, a primary election shall not be held for the purpose of nominating a candidate of that party for election to that office, and the candidate shall be issued a certificate of nomination in the manner set forth in section 3513.02 of the Revised Code.
Declarations of candidacy and petitions, nominating petitions, and certificates of nomination for the office of clerk of the Barberton municipal court shall contain a designation of the term for which the candidate seeks election. At the following regular municipal election, all candidates for the office shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the territory of the court in the manner that is provided in section 1901.07 of the Revised Code for the election of the judges of the court. The clerk so elected shall hold office for a term of six years, which term shall commence on the first day of January following the clerk's election and continue until the clerk's successor is elected and qualified.
(g)(i) Through December 31, 2008, except as otherwise provided in division (A)(1)(g)(i) of this section, in the Cuyahoga Falls municipal court, candidates for election to the office of clerk of the court shall be nominated by primary election. The primary election shall be held on the day specified in the charter of the city of Cuyahoga Falls for the nomination of municipal officers. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of section 3513.05 or 3513.257 of the Revised Code, the declarations of candidacy and petitions of partisan candidates and the nominating petitions of independent candidates for the office of clerk of the Cuyahoga Falls municipal court shall be signed by at least fifty qualified electors of the territory of the court.
The candidates shall file a declaration of candidacy and petition, or a nominating petition, whichever is applicable, not later than four p.m. of the ninetieth day before the day of the primary election, in the form prescribed by section 3513.07 or 3513.261 of the Revised Code. The declaration of candidacy and petition, or the nominating petition, shall conform to the applicable requirements of section 3513.05 or 3513.257 of the Revised Code.
If no valid declaration of candidacy and petition is filed by any person for nomination as a candidate of a particular political party for election to the office of clerk of the Cuyahoga Falls municipal court, a primary election shall not be held for the purpose of nominating a candidate of that party for election to that office. If only one person files a valid declaration of candidacy and petition for nomination as a candidate of a particular political party for election to that office, a primary election shall not be held for the purpose of nominating a candidate of that party for election to that office, and the candidate shall be issued a certificate of nomination in the manner set forth in section 3513.02 of the Revised Code.
Declarations of candidacy and petitions, nominating petitions, and certificates of nomination for the office of clerk of the Cuyahoga Falls municipal court shall contain a designation of the term for which the candidate seeks election. At the following regular municipal election, all candidates for the office shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the territory of the court in the manner that is provided in section 1901.07 of the Revised Code for the election of the judges of the court. The clerk so elected shall hold office for a term of six years, which term shall commence on the first day of January following the clerk's election and continue until the clerk's successor is elected and qualified.
(ii) Division (A)(1)(g)(i) of this section shall have no effect after December 31, 2008.
(h) Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(1)(h) of this section, in the Toledo municipal court, candidates for election to the office of clerk of the court shall be nominated by primary election. The primary election shall be held on the day specified in the charter of the city of Toledo for the nomination of municipal officers. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of section 3513.05 or 3513.257 of the Revised Code, the declarations of candidacy and petitions of partisan candidates and the nominating petitions of independent candidates for the office of clerk of the Toledo municipal court shall be signed by at least fifty qualified electors of the territory of the court.
The candidates shall file a declaration of candidacy and petition, or a nominating petition, whichever is applicable, not later than four p.m. of the ninetieth day before the day of the primary election, in the form prescribed by section 3513.07 or 3513.261 of the Revised Code. The declaration of candidacy and petition, or the nominating petition, shall conform to the applicable requirements of section 3513.05 or 3513.257 of the Revised Code.
If no valid declaration of candidacy and petition is filed by any person for nomination as a candidate of a particular political party for election to the office of clerk of the Toledo municipal court, a primary election shall not be held for the purpose of nominating a candidate of that party for election to that office. If only one person files a valid declaration of candidacy and petition for nomination as a candidate of a particular political party for election to that office, a primary election shall not be held for the purpose of nominating a candidate of that party for election to that office, and the candidate shall be issued a certificate of nomination in the manner set forth in section 3513.02 of the Revised Code.
Declarations of candidacy and petitions, nominating petitions, and certificates of nomination for the office of clerk of the Toledo municipal court shall contain a designation of the term for which the candidate seeks election. At the following regular municipal election, all candidates for the office shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the territory of the court in the manner that is provided in section 1901.07 of the Revised Code for the election of the judges of the court. The clerk so elected shall hold office for a term of six years, which term shall commence on the first day of January following the clerk's election and continue until the clerk's successor is elected and qualified.
(2)(a) Except for the Alliance, Auglaize county, Brown county, Columbiana county, Holmes county, Putnam county, Sandusky county, Lorain, Massillon, and Youngstown municipal courts, in a municipal court for which the population of the territory is less than one hundred thousand, the clerk shall be appointed by the court, and the clerk shall hold office until the clerk's successor is appointed and qualified.
(b) In the Alliance, Lorain, Massillon, and Youngstown municipal courts, the clerk shall be elected for a term of office as described in division (A)(1)(a) of this section.
(c) In the Auglaize county, Brown county, Holmes county, Putnam county, and Sandusky county municipal courts, the clerks of courts of Auglaize county, Brown county, Holmes county, Putnam county, and Sandusky county shall be the clerks, respectively, of the Auglaize county, Brown county, Holmes county, Putnam county, and Sandusky county municipal courts and may appoint a chief deputy clerk for each branch office that is established pursuant to section 1901.311 of the Revised Code, and assistant clerks as the judge of the court determines are necessary, all of whom shall receive the compensation that the legislative authority prescribes. The clerks of courts of Auglaize county, Brown county, Holmes county, Putnam county, and Sandusky county, acting as the clerks of the Auglaize county, Brown county, Holmes county, Putnam county, and Sandusky county municipal courts and assuming the duties of these offices, shall receive compensation payable from the county treasury in semimonthly installments at one-fourth the rate that is prescribed for the clerks of courts of common pleas as determined in accordance with the population of the county and the rates set forth in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code.
(d) In the Columbiana county municipal court, the clerk of courts of Columbiana county shall be the clerk of the municipal court, may appoint a chief deputy clerk for each branch office that is established pursuant to section 1901.311 of the Revised Code, and may appoint any assistant clerks that the judges of the court determine are necessary. All of the chief deputy clerks and assistant clerks shall receive the compensation that the legislative authority prescribes. The clerk of courts of Columbiana county, acting as the clerk of the Columbiana county municipal court and assuming the duties of that office, shall receive in either biweekly installments or semimonthly installments, as determined by the payroll administrator, compensation payable from the county treasury at one-fourth the rate that is prescribed for the clerks of courts of common pleas as determined in accordance with the population of the county and the rates set forth in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code.
(3) During the temporary absence of the clerk due to illness, vacation, or other proper cause, the court may appoint a temporary clerk, who shall be paid the same compensation, have the same authority, and perform the same duties as the clerk.
(B) Except in the Hamilton county, Montgomery county, Miami county, Portage county, and Wayne county municipal courts, if a vacancy occurs in the office of the clerk of the Alliance, Lorain, Massillon, or Youngstown municipal court or occurs in the office of the clerk of a municipal court for which the population of the territory equals or exceeds one hundred thousand because the clerk ceases to hold the office before the end of the clerk's term or because a clerk-elect fails to take office, the vacancy shall be filled, until a successor is elected and qualified, by a person chosen by the residents of the territory of the court who are members of the county central committee of the political party by which the last occupant of that office or the clerk-elect was nominated. Not less than five nor more than fifteen days after a vacancy occurs, those members of that county central committee shall meet to make an appointment to fill the vacancy. At least four days before the date of the meeting, the chairperson or a secretary of the county central committee shall notify each such member of that county central committee by first class mail of the date, time, and place of the meeting and its purpose. A majority of all such members of that county central committee constitutes a quorum, and a majority of the quorum is required to make the appointment. If the office so vacated was occupied or was to be occupied by a person not nominated at a primary election, or if the appointment was not made by the committee members in accordance with this division, the court shall make an appointment to fill the vacancy. A successor shall be elected to fill the office for the unexpired term at the first municipal election that is held more than one hundred thirty-five days after the vacancy occurred.
(C)(1) In a municipal court, other than the Auglaize county, the Brown county, the Columbiana county, the Holmes county, the Putnam county, the Sandusky county, and the Lorain municipal courts, for which the population of the territory is less than one hundred thousand, the clerk of the municipal court shall receive the annual compensation that the presiding judge of the court prescribes, if the revenue of the court for the preceding calendar year, as certified by the auditor or chief fiscal officer of the municipal corporation in which the court is located or, in the case of a county-operated municipal court, the county auditor, is equal to or greater than the expenditures, including any debt charges, for the operation of the court payable under this chapter from the city treasury or, in the case of a county-operated municipal court, the county treasury for that calendar year, as also certified by the auditor or chief fiscal officer. If the revenue of a municipal court, other than the Auglaize county, the Brown county, the Columbiana county, the Putnam county, the Sandusky county, and the Lorain municipal courts, for which the population of the territory is less than one hundred thousand for the preceding calendar year as so certified is not equal to or greater than those expenditures for the operation of the court for that calendar year as so certified, the clerk of a municipal court shall receive the annual compensation that the legislative authority prescribes. As used in this division, "revenue" means the total of all costs and fees that are collected and paid to the city treasury or, in a county-operated municipal court, the county treasury by the clerk of the municipal court under division (F) of this section and all interest received and paid to the city treasury or, in a county-operated municipal court, the county treasury in relation to the costs and fees under division (G) of this section.
(2) In a municipal court, other than the Hamilton county, Montgomery county, Miami county, Portage county, and Wayne county municipal courts, for which the population of the territory is one hundred thousand or more, and in the Lorain municipal court, the clerk of the municipal court shall receive annual compensation in a sum equal to eighty-five per cent of the salary of a judge of the court.
(3) The compensation of a clerk described in division (C)(1) or (2) of this section and of the clerk of the Columbiana county municipal court is payable in either semimonthly installments or biweekly installments, as determined by the payroll administrator, from the same sources and in the same manner as provided in section 1901.11 of the Revised Code, except that the compensation of the clerk of the Carroll county municipal court is payable in biweekly installments.
(D) Before entering upon the duties of the clerk's office, the clerk of a municipal court shall give bond of not less than six thousand dollars to be determined by the judges of the court, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the clerk's duties.
(E) The clerk of a municipal court may do all of the following: administer oaths, take affidavits, and issue executions upon any judgment rendered in the court, including a judgment for unpaid costs; issue, sign, and attach the seal of the court to all writs, process, subpoenas, and papers issuing out of the court; and approve all bonds, sureties, recognizances, and undertakings fixed by any judge of the court or by law. The clerk may refuse to accept for filing any pleading or paper submitted for filing by a person who has been found to be a vexatious litigator under section 2323.52 of the Revised Code and who has failed to obtain leave to proceed under that section. The clerk shall do all of the following: file and safely keep all journals, records, books, and papers belonging or appertaining to the court; record the proceedings of the court; perform all other duties that the judges of the court may prescribe; and keep a book showing all receipts and disbursements, which book shall be open for public inspection at all times.
The clerk shall prepare and maintain a general index, a docket, and other records that the court, by rule, requires, all of which shall be the public records of the court. In the docket, the clerk shall enter, at the time of the commencement of an action, the names of the parties in full, the names of the counsel, and the nature of the proceedings. Under proper dates, the clerk shall note the filing of the complaint, issuing of summons or other process, returns, and any subsequent pleadings. The clerk also shall enter all reports, verdicts, orders, judgments, and proceedings of the court, clearly specifying the relief granted or orders made in each action. The court may order an extended record of any of the above to be made and entered, under the proper action heading, upon the docket at the request of any party to the case, the expense of which record may be taxed as costs in the case or may be required to be prepaid by the party demanding the record, upon order of the court.
(F) The clerk of a municipal court shall receive, collect, and issue receipts for all costs, fees, fines, bail, and other moneys payable to the office or to any officer of the court. The clerk shall each on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which they are collected disburse to the proper persons or officers, and take receipts for, all costs, fees, fines, bail, and other moneys that the clerk collects. Subject to sections 307.515 and 4511.193 of the Revised Code and to any other section of the Revised Code that requires a specific manner of disbursement of any moneys received by a municipal court and except for the Hamilton county, Lawrence county, and Ottawa county municipal courts, the clerk shall pay all fines received for violation of municipal ordinances into the treasury of the municipal corporation the ordinance of which was violated and shall pay all fines received for violation of township resolutions adopted pursuant to section 503.52 or 503.53 or Chapter 504. of the Revised Code into the treasury of the township the resolution of which was violated. Subject to sections 1901.024 and 4511.193 of the Revised Code, in the Hamilton county, Lawrence county, and Ottawa county municipal courts, the clerk shall pay fifty per cent of the fines received for violation of municipal ordinances and fifty per cent of the fines received for violation of township resolutions adopted pursuant to section 503.52 or 503.53 or Chapter 504. of the Revised Code into the treasury of the county. Subject to sections 307.515, 4511.19, and 5503.04 of the Revised Code and to any other section of the Revised Code that requires a specific manner of disbursement of any moneys received by a municipal court, the clerk shall pay all fines collected for the violation of state laws into the county treasury. Except in a county-operated municipal court, the clerk shall pay all costs and fees the disbursement of which is not otherwise provided for in the Revised Code into the city treasury. The clerk of a county-operated municipal court shall pay the costs and fees the disbursement of which is not otherwise provided for in the Revised Code into the county treasury. Moneys deposited as security for costs shall be retained pending the litigation. The clerk shall keep a separate account of all receipts and disbursements in civil and criminal cases, which shall be a permanent public record of the office. On the expiration of the term of the clerk, the clerk shall deliver the records to the clerk's successor. The clerk shall have other powers and duties as are prescribed by rule or order of the court.
(G) All moneys paid into a municipal court shall be noted on the record of the case in which they are paid and shall be deposited in a state or national bank, or a domestic savings and loan association, as defined in section 1151.01 of the Revised Code, that is selected by the clerk. Any interest received upon the deposits shall be paid into the city treasury, except that, in a county-operated municipal court, the interest shall be paid into the treasury of the county in which the court is located.
On the first Monday in January of each year, the clerk shall make a list of the titles of all cases in the court that were finally determined more than one year past in which there remains unclaimed in the possession of the clerk any funds, or any part of a deposit for security of costs not consumed by the costs in the case. The clerk shall give notice of the moneys to the parties who are entitled to the moneys or to their attorneys of record. All the moneys remaining unclaimed on the first day of April of each year shall be paid by the clerk to the city treasurer, except that, in a county-operated municipal court, the moneys shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the court is located. The treasurer shall pay any part of the moneys at any time to the person who has the right to the moneys upon proper certification of the clerk.
(H) Deputy clerks of a municipal court other than the Carroll county municipal court may be appointed by the clerk and shall receive the compensation, payable in either biweekly installments or semimonthly installments, as determined by the payroll administrator, out of the city treasury, that the clerk may prescribe, except that the compensation of any deputy clerk of a county-operated municipal court shall be paid out of the treasury of the county in which the court is located. The judge of the Carroll county municipal court may appoint deputy clerks for the court, and the deputy clerks shall receive the compensation, payable in biweekly installments out of the county treasury, that the judge may prescribe. Each deputy clerk shall take an oath of office before entering upon the duties of the deputy clerk's office and, when so qualified, may perform the duties appertaining to the office of the clerk. The clerk may require any of the deputy clerks to give bond of not less than three thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the deputy clerk's duties.
(I) For the purposes of this section, whenever the population of the territory of a municipal court falls below one hundred thousand but not below ninety thousand, and the population of the territory prior to the most recent regular federal census exceeded one hundred thousand, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation may declare, by resolution, that the territory shall be considered to have a population of at least one hundred thousand.
(J) The clerk or a deputy clerk shall be in attendance at all sessions of the municipal court, although not necessarily in the courtroom, and may administer oaths to witnesses and jurors and receive verdicts.
Sec. 1901.44.  (A)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, if at the time of sentencing or at any time after sentencing a municipal court finds that a person who is found guilty of an offense is unable to pay costs, the court may order the offender to perform community service in lieu of costs.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, if at the time of sentencing or at any time after sentencing a municipal court finds that a person who is found guilty of an offense will not be able to pay costs in full when they are due, the court may order the offender to pay the costs in installments according to a schedule set by the court.
(B) If a person is charged with an offense in municipal court and either fails to appear in court at the required time and place to answer the charge or pleads guilty to or is found guilty of the offense and fails within the time allowed by the court to pay any fine or costs imposed by the court, the court shall send the person a notice by ordinary mail at the person's last known address stating that there is a balance due, specifying the amount of the balance due, and directing the person to contact the court clerk's office within ten days of the date of the notice. The notice shall include the sentence: "WARNING: Failure to timely respond to this notice may result in the blocking of your motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration!" To avoid a block on the person's motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration, the person may enter into a written agreement with the court to pay the balance due in installments or to perform community service in lieu of payment. The agreement shall include the sentence: "WARNING: Failure to comply with the payment schedule or to complete your community service requirement may result in the blocking of your motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration!"
If a person does not enter into an agreement under this division or if a person fails to comply with an agreement entered into under this division, the court may enter information relative to the person's failure to pay any outstanding amount of the fine or costs on a form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (C) of this section and send the form to the registrar. Upon receipt of the form, the registrar shall take any measures necessary to ensure that neither the registrar nor any deputy registrar accepts any application for the registration or transfer of registration of any motor vehicle owned or leased by the person. However, for a motor vehicle leased by the person, the registrar shall not implement this requirement until the registrar adopts procedures for that implementation under section 4503.39 of the Revised Code.
The period of denial relating to the issuance or transfer of a certificate of registration for a motor vehicle imposed under this section remains in effect until the person pays any fine or costs imposed by the court relative to the offense. When the fine or costs have been paid in full, the court shall inform the registrar of the payment by entering information relative to the payment on a notice of payment form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (C) of this section and sending the form to the registrar.
(C) The registrar shall prescribe and make available to municipal courts forms to be used for a notice to the registrar of failure to pay fines or costs and a notice to the registrar of payment of fines or costs under division (B) of this section. The registrar may approve the use of other forms for these purposes.
The registrar may require that any of the forms prescribed or approved pursuant to this section be transmitted to the registrar electronically. If the registrar requires electronic transmission, the registrar shall not be required to give effect to any form that is not transmitted electronically.
Sec. 1905.202.  (A)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, if at the time of sentencing or at any time after sentencing a mayor's court finds that a person who is found guilty of an offense is unable to pay costs, the court may order the offender to perform community service in lieu of costs.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, if at the time of sentencing or at any time after sentencing a mayor's court finds that a person who is found guilty of an offense will not be able to pay costs in full when they are due, the court may order the offender to pay the costs in installments according to a schedule set by the court.
(B) If a person is charged with an offense in mayor's court and either fails to appear in court at the required time and place to answer the charge or pleads guilty to or is found guilty of the offense and fails within the time allowed by the court to pay any fine or costs imposed by the court, the court shall send the person a notice by ordinary mail at the person's last known address stating that there is a balance due, specifying the amount of the balance due, and directing the person to contact the court clerk's office within ten days of the date of the notice. The notice shall include the sentence: "WARNING: Failure to timely respond to this notice may result in the blocking of your motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration!" To avoid a block on the person's motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration, the person may enter into a written agreement with the court to pay the balance due in installments or to perform community service in lieu of payment. The agreement shall include the sentence: "WARNING: Failure to comply with the payment schedule or to complete your community service requirement may result in the blocking of your motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration!"
If a person does not enter into an agreement under this division or if a person fails to comply with an agreement entered into under this division, the court may enter information relative to the person's failure to pay any outstanding amount of the fine or costs on a form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (C) of this section and send the form to the registrar. Upon receipt of the form, the registrar shall take any measures necessary to ensure that neither the registrar nor any deputy registrar accepts any application for the registration or transfer of registration of any motor vehicle owned or leased by the person. However, for a motor vehicle leased by the person, the registrar shall not implement this requirement until the registrar adopts procedures for that implementation under section 4503.39 of the Revised Code.
The period of denial relating to the issuance or transfer of a certificate of registration for a motor vehicle imposed under this section remains in effect until the person pays any fine or costs imposed by the court relative to the offense. When the fine or costs have been paid in full, the court shall inform the registrar of the payment by entering information relative to the payment on a notice of payment form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (C) of this section and sending the form to the registrar.
(C) The registrar shall prescribe and make available to mayor's courts forms to be used for a notice to the registrar of failure to pay fines or costs and a notice to the registrar of payment of fines or costs under division (B) of this section. The registrar may approve the use of other forms for these purposes.
The registrar may require that any of the forms prescribed or approved pursuant to this section be transmitted to the registrar electronically. If the registrar requires electronic transmission, the registrar shall not be required to give effect to any form that is not transmitted electronically.
Sec. 1907.20.  (A) The clerk of courts shall be the clerk of the county court, except that the board of county commissioners, with the concurrence of the county court judges, may appoint a clerk for each county court judge, who shall serve at the pleasure of the board and shall receive compensation as set by the board, payable in semimonthly installments from the treasury of the county. An appointed clerk, before entering upon the duties of the office, shall give bond of not less than five thousand dollars, as determined by the board of county commissioners, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the clerk's duties.
The clerks of courts of common pleas, when acting as the clerks of county courts, and upon assuming their county court duties, shall receive compensation at one-fourth the rate prescribed for the clerks of courts of common pleas as determined in accordance with the population of the county and the rates set forth in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code. This compensation shall be paid from the county treasury in semimonthly installments and is in addition to the annual compensation received for the performance of the duties of the clerk of a court of common pleas as provided in sections 325.08 and 325.18 of the Revised Code.
(B) The clerk of a county court shall have general powers to administer oaths, take affidavits, and issue executions upon any judgment rendered in the county court, including a judgment for unpaid costs, power to issue and sign all writs, process, subpoenas, and papers issuing out of the court, and to attach the seal of the court to them, and power to approve all bonds, sureties, recognizances, and undertakings fixed by any judge of the court or by law. The clerk shall file and safely keep all journals, records, books, and papers belonging or appertaining to the court, record its proceedings, perform all other duties that the judges of the court may prescribe, and keep a book showing all receipts and disbursements, which shall be open for public inspection at all times. The clerk may refuse to accept for filing any pleading or paper submitted for filing by a person who has been found to be a vexatious litigator under section 2323.52 of the Revised Code and who has failed to obtain leave to proceed under that section.
The clerk shall prepare and maintain a general index, a docket as prescribed by the court, which shall be furnished by the board of county commissioners, and such other records as the court, by rule, requires, all of which shall be the public records of the court. In the docket, the clerk shall enter at times of the commencement of an action, the names of the parties in full, the names of the counsel, and the nature of the proceedings. Under proper dates, the clerk shall note the filing of the complaint, issuing of summons or other process, returns, and pleadings subsequent thereto. The clerk also shall enter all reports, verdicts, orders, judgments, and proceedings of the court, clearly specifying the relief granted or orders made in each action. The court may order an extended record of any of the above to be made and entered, under the proper action heading, upon the docket at the request of any party to the case, the expense of which may be taxed as costs in the case or may be required to be prepaid by the party demanding the extended record, upon order of the court.
(C) The clerk of a county court shall receive and collect all costs, fees, fines, penalties, bail, and other moneys payable to the office or to any officer of the court and issue receipts therefor, and shall each on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which they are collected disburse the costs, fees, fines, penalties, bail, and other moneys to the proper persons or officers and take receipts therefor. Subject to sections 307.515, 4511.19, 4511.193, and 5503.04 of the Revised Code and all other statutes that require a different distribution of fines, fines received for violations of municipal ordinances shall be paid into the treasury of the municipal corporation whose ordinance was violated, fines received for violations of township resolutions adopted pursuant to section 503.52 or 503.53 or Chapter 504. of the Revised Code shall be paid into the treasury of the township whose resolution was violated, and fines collected for the violation of state laws shall be paid into the county treasury. Moneys deposited as security for costs shall be retained pending the litigation.
The clerk shall keep a separate account of all receipts and disbursements in civil and criminal cases. The separate account shall be a permanent public record of the office. On the expiration of a clerk's term, those records shall be delivered to the clerk's successor.
The clerk shall have such other powers and duties as are prescribed by rule or order of the court.
(D) All moneys paid into a county court shall be noted on the record of the case in which they are paid and shall be deposited in a state or national bank selected by the clerk. On the first Monday in January of each year, the clerk shall make a list of the titles of all cases in the county court that were finally determined more than one year past in which there remains unclaimed in the possession of the clerk any funds, or any part of a deposit for security of costs not consumed by the costs in the case. The clerk shall give notice of the moneys to the parties entitled to them or to their attorneys of record. All the moneys remaining unclaimed on the first day of April of each year shall be paid by the clerk to the county treasurer. Any part of the moneys shall be paid by the county treasurer at any time to the person having the right to them, upon proper certification of the clerk.
(E)(1) In county court districts having appointed clerks, deputy clerks may be appointed by the board of county commissioners. Clerks and deputy clerks shall receive such compensation payable in semimonthly installments out of the county treasury as the board may prescribe. Each deputy clerk shall take an oath of office before entering upon the duties of the deputy clerk's office and, when so qualified, may perform the duties appertaining to the office of the clerk. The clerk may require any of the deputy clerks to give bond of not less than three thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the deputy clerk's duties.
(2) A clerk of courts acting as clerk of the county court may appoint deputy clerks to perform the duties pertaining to the office of clerk of the county court. Each deputy clerk shall take an oath of office before entering upon the deputy clerk's duties, and the clerk of courts may require the deputy clerk to give bond of not less than three thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the deputy clerk's duties.
(3) The clerk or a deputy clerk of a county court shall be in attendance at all sessions of the court, although not necessarily in the courtroom, and may administer oaths to witnesses and jurors and receive verdicts.
(F)(1) In county court districts having appointed clerks, the board of county commissioners may order the establishment of one or more branch offices of the clerk and, with the concurrence of the county judges, may appoint a special deputy clerk to administer each branch office. Each special deputy clerk shall take an oath of office before entering upon the duties of the deputy clerk's office and, when so qualified, may perform any one or more of the duties appertaining to the office of clerk, as the board prescribes. Special deputy clerks shall receive such compensation payable in semimonthly installments out of the county treasury as the board may prescribe. The board may require any of the special deputy clerks to give bond of not less than three thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the deputy clerk's duties.
The board of county commissioners may authorize the clerk of the county court to operate one or more branch offices, to divide the clerk's time between the offices, and to perform duties appertaining to the office of clerk in locations that the board prescribes.
(2) A clerk of courts acting as clerk of the county court may establish one or more branch offices for the clerk's duties as clerk of the county court and, with the concurrence of the county court judges, may appoint a special deputy clerk to administer each branch office. Each special deputy clerk shall take an oath of office before entering upon the deputy clerk's duties and, when so qualified, may perform any of the duties pertaining to the office of clerk, as the clerk of courts prescribes. The clerk of courts may require any of the special deputy clerks to give bond of not less than three thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the deputy clerk's duties.
(G) The clerk of courts of the county shall fix the compensation of deputy clerks and special deputy clerks appointed by the clerk pursuant to this section. Those personnel shall be paid and be subject to the same requirements as other employees of the clerk under the provisions of section 325.17 of the Revised Code insofar as that section is applicable.
Sec. 1907.25.  (A)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, if at the time of sentencing or at any time after sentencing a county court finds that a person who is found guilty of an offense is unable to pay costs, the court may order the offender to perform community service in lieu of costs.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, if at the time of sentencing or at any time after sentencing a county court finds that a person who is found guilty of an offense will not be able to pay costs in full when they are due, the court may order the offender to pay the costs in installments according to a schedule set by the court.
(B) If a person is charged with an offense in county court and either fails to appear in court at the required time and place to answer the charge or pleads guilty to or is found guilty of the offense and fails within the time allowed by the court to pay any fine or costs imposed by the court, the court shall send the person a notice by ordinary mail at the person's last known address stating that there is a balance due, specifying the amount of the balance due, and directing the person to contact the court clerk's office within ten days of the date of the notice. The notice shall include the sentence: "WARNING: Failure to timely respond to this notice may result in the blocking of your motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration!" To avoid a block on the person's motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration, the person may enter into a written agreement with the court to pay the balance due in installments or to perform community service in lieu of payment. The agreement shall include the sentence: "WARNING: Failure to comply with the payment schedule or to complete your community service requirement may result in the blocking of your motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration!"
If a person does not enter into an agreement under this division or if a person fails to comply with an agreement entered into under this division, the court may enter information relative to the person's failure to pay any outstanding amount of the fine or costs on a form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (C) of this section and send the form to the registrar. Upon receipt of the form, the registrar shall take any measures necessary to ensure that neither the registrar nor any deputy registrar accepts any application for the registration or transfer of registration of any motor vehicle owned or leased by the person. However, for a motor vehicle leased by the person, the registrar shall not implement this requirement until the registrar adopts procedures for that implementation under section 4503.39 of the Revised Code.
The period of denial relating to the issuance or transfer of a certificate of registration for a motor vehicle imposed under this section remains in effect until the person pays any fine or costs imposed by the court relative to the offense. When the fine or costs have been paid in full, the court shall inform the registrar of the payment by entering information relative to the payment on a notice of payment form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (C) of this section and sending the form to the registrar.
(C) The registrar shall prescribe and make available to county courts forms to be used for a notice to the registrar of failure to pay fines or costs and a notice to the registrar of payment of fines or costs under division (B) of this section. The registrar may approve the use of other forms for these purposes.
The registrar may require that any of the forms prescribed or approved pursuant to this section be transmitted to the registrar electronically. If the registrar requires electronic transmission, the registrar shall not be required to give effect to any form that is not transmitted electronically.
Sec. 1907.26.  Judges of a county court shall not retain any of the costs or fees specified in the schedules adopted pursuant to section 1907.24 of the Revised Code nor shall they retain a fee for performing a marriage ceremony. Those costs and fees that cannot be retained shall be transmitted to the general fund of the county on or before the first business twentieth day of each the month following the month in which they are collected.
Sec. 1907.261.  (A)(1) A county court may determine that for the efficient operation of the court additional funds are required to computerize the court, to make available computerized legal research services, or to do both. Upon making a determination that additional funds are required for either or both of those purposes, the court shall include in its schedule of fees and costs under section 1907.24 of the Revised Code one additional fee not to exceed three dollars on the filing of each cause of action or appeal equivalent to one described in division (A), (Q), or (U) of section 2303.20 of the Revised Code and shall direct the clerk of the court to charge the fee.
(2) All fees collected under this section shall be paid on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which they are collected to the county treasurer. The treasurer shall place the funds from the fees in a separate fund to be disbursed either upon an order of the court, subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners, or upon an order of the court, subject to the court making an annual report available to the public listing the use of all such funds, in an amount not greater than the actual cost to the court of computerizing the court, procuring and maintaining computerized legal research services, or both.
(3) If the court determines that the funds in the fund described in division (A)(2) of this section are more than sufficient to satisfy the purpose for which the additional fee described in division (A)(1) of this section was imposed, the court may declare a surplus in the fund and, subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners, expend those surplus funds, or upon an order of the court, subject to the court making an annual report available to the public listing the use of all such funds, expend those surplus funds, for other appropriate technological expenses of the court.
(B)(1) A county court may determine that, for the efficient operation of the court, additional funds are required to computerize the office of the clerk of the court and, upon that determination, may include in its schedule of fees and costs under section 1907.24 of the Revised Code an additional fee not to exceed ten dollars on the filing of each cause of action or appeal, on the filing, docketing, and endorsing of each certificate of judgment, or on the docketing and indexing of each aid in execution or petition to vacate, revive, or modify a judgment that is equivalent to one described in division (A), (P), (Q), (T), or (U) of section 2303.20 of the Revised Code. Subject to division (B)(2) of this section, all moneys collected under division (B)(1) of this section shall be paid on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which they are collected to the county treasurer. The treasurer shall place the funds from the fees in a separate fund to be disbursed, upon an order of the county court and subject to an appropriation by the board of county commissioners, in an amount no greater than the actual cost to the court of procuring and maintaining computer systems for the office of the clerk of the county court.
(2) If a county court makes the determination described in division (B)(1) of this section, the board of county commissioners of that county may issue one or more general obligation bonds for the purpose of procuring and maintaining the computer systems for the office of the clerk of the county court. In addition to the purposes stated in division (B)(1) of this section for which the moneys collected under that division may be expended, the moneys additionally may be expended to pay debt charges and financing costs related to any general obligation bonds issued pursuant to division (B)(2) of this section as they become due. General obligation bonds issued pursuant to division (B)(2) of this section are Chapter 133. securities.
Sec. 2947.09.  (A) If a person is charged with an offense in a court of common pleas and either fails to appear in court at the required time and place to answer the charge or pleads guilty to or is found guilty of the offense and fails within the time allowed by the court to pay any fine or costs imposed by the court, the court shall send the person a notice by ordinary mail at the person's last known address stating that there is a balance due, specifying the amount of the balance due, and directing the person to contact the court clerk's office within ten days of the date of the notice. The notice shall include the sentence: "WARNING: Failure to timely respond to this notice may result in the blocking of your motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration!" To avoid a block on the person's motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration, the person may enter into a written agreement with the court to pay the balance due in installments or to perform community service in lieu of payment. The agreement shall include the sentence: "WARNING: Failure to comply with the payment schedule or to complete your community service requirement may result in the blocking of your motor vehicle registration or transfer of registration!"
If a person does not enter into an agreement under this division or if a person fails to comply with an agreement entered into under this division, the court may enter information relative to the person's failure to pay any outstanding amount of the fine or costs on a form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (B) of this section and send the form to the registrar. Upon receipt of the form, the registrar shall take any measures necessary to ensure that neither the registrar nor any deputy registrar accepts any application for the registration or transfer of registration of any motor vehicle owned or leased by the person. However, for a motor vehicle leased by the person, the registrar shall not implement this requirement until the registrar adopts procedures for that implementation under section 4503.39 of the Revised Code.
The period of denial relating to the issuance or transfer of a certificate of registration for a motor vehicle imposed under this section remains in effect until the person pays any fine or costs imposed by the court relative to the offense. When the fine or costs have been paid in full, the court shall inform the registrar of the payment by entering information relative to the payment on a notice of payment form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (B) of this section and sending the form to the registrar.
(B) The registrar shall prescribe and make available to courts of common pleas forms to be used for a notice to the registrar of failure to pay fines or costs and a notice to the registrar of payment of fines or costs under division (A) of this section. The registrar may approve the use of other forms for these purposes.
The registrar may require that any of the forms prescribed or approved pursuant to this section be transmitted to the registrar electronically. If the registrar requires electronic transmission, the registrar shall not be required to give effect to any form that is not transmitted electronically.
Sec. 4503.39.  With regard to a motor vehicle leased by or in the name of a person named in a suspension order or who is precluded from registering or transferring registration of a motor vehicle because of a failure to pay a fine or court costs, the registrar of motor vehicles shall adopt procedures as indicated in division (B) of section 1901.44, division (B) of section 1905.202, division (B) of section 1907.25, division (D) of section 2935.27, division (A) of section 2937.221, division (A) of section 2947.09, and division (B) of section 4510.22 of the Revised Code. The procedures shall prescribe the information and methodology necessary to implement those divisions.
Section 2.  That existing sections 1901.261, 1901.31, 1907.20, 1907.26, 1907.261, and 4503.39 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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