Court Procedure

The Court understands that both the Plaintiff and the Defendant are not attorneys and that they have little or no legal experience. To help you better understand Small Claims court procedures, you may want to review the Small Claims section of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.

Default Judgment

If the Defendant fails to appear for the trial after having been properly notified by mail, the court will assume that the Defendant admits the claim of the Plaintiff and will render a judgment in favor of the Plaintiff and against the Defendant accordingly.

If the Defendant appears for the trial and the Plaintiff fails to appear for trial, then the case normally will be dismissed at the cost and expense of the Plaintiff.

Decision and Judgment

The Court's decision and judgment will be made in writing and will be mailed to all parties involved. In the event either party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Magistrate, they may appeal that decision by filing Objections to the Magistrate's Report within 14 days of the filing of the Report of the Magistrate. Small Claims Objections Form is also available at the Clerk's Office. You may need to have a recording of your hearing prepared for the Judge. The cost to prepare the recording is $1.75, Request for Recorded Transcript Form.

Collection and Enforcement of Judgments

If you win a judgment and the other party does not pay, you may start collection proceedings. Certain methods for collecting judgments such as bank and earnings garnishments, liens and attachments are permitted under the law. Filings on these actions can be made in the Clerk's Office Civil Division. The Ohio Judicial College Small Claims Guide provides more information to assist you on this topic.