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Ohio Supreme Court expands, cleans up e-filing and other rules

Technology for Lawyers

Published: January 8, 2021

The Ohio Supreme Court has finalized several amendments S. Ct. Prac. R. 3, having to do with e-filing.
The new rules will take effect on January 1, 2021.
The most important of these new rules is probably 3.02 and 30.3(A)(1), which expand the time for e-filing on-time documents from 5:00 PM Columbus time to midnight that day (to be accurate, to 11:59:59). They will not be reviewed by the Clerk’s office if they are e-filed after 5 PM, but they will be considered timely filed if they are time-stamped before midnight. Hope that’s clear.
Documents filed on weekends and holidays will be considered to be filed the next business day.
Importantly, the deadline for filing paper documents does not change. It is still 5:00 PM, and the Clerk’s office is still only physically open from 8AM to 5 PM.
Time-stamping the documents is a part of both the e-filing deadlines and the physical filing deadlines generated solely by the Court. No other kind of time stamp will be accepted.
Other amendments expand other time limits. 3.03(B)(2)(b)(iii), regarding motions for extension of time, now adds: “The filing of a request for extension of time automatically extends the time for filing the document for which the extension is sought until the Supreme Court rules on the request.”
There are also a number of rules which have been changed by eliminating language that directs the Clerk to refuse to file a document unless certain rules have been followed. This includes some service rules and others. This seems to open up the possibility that a lot of documents may be filed out-of-rule but which may be considered by the Court anyway.
In what must be a specific slap-to-the-face toward someone, a change to the typeface rule that requires single-sided documents includes language that “Only the single-sided portions of a document will be scanned and made part of the official record.”
And in the most 2020 of these amendments, to Rule 12.08, in expedited elections cases, parties will be required to file a response to a motion within three days.
The entire set of new rules is on the Supreme Court website.