IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19

Current as of 02/26/2021 revised 4:00pm

Fairfield County is currently under a Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This alert level, may be increased or decreased by the state based upon several factors. Governor DeWine requested that we take decisions that are not only in our own best interest but are also in the best interest of our community. All visitors must comply with safety guidelines and precautions as recommended by the Ohio Department of Health.  Social distancing will be enforced and the wearing of facemasks will be required.
TITLE DEPARTMENT
Effective March 1, 2021 - March 31, 2021
The Lancaster Title office and Pickerington Title office are open for in person transactions by appointment only.  Both offices are also processing titles by mail and drop off.

Please look at the flyer that explains our Tiling-by-Mail and Drop Off Titling procedures / Application

For questions or assistance, please email Titles@FairfieldCountyOhio.gov or call
Pickerington Title Office, Phone: 614-835-2612
Lancaster Title Office, Phone: 740-652-7554

On May 26, 2020 BMV locations around the state re-opened.
Because of the recent BMV closures, the Ohio General Assembly in House Bill 197 has extended the expiration date of driver's licenses that are up for renewal, and also waived the required late fees and extended the deadlines of temporary tags and registration.

In the meantime, the Ohio State Highway Patrol will not issue tickets to drivers whose licenses expire while BMV's services are unavailable.  Governor DeWine recommended that other law enforcement agencies in Ohio do the same.

Ohioans can still renew their vehicle registrations by mail or online at www.oplates.com, and BMV is currently working to provide other online services.
LEGAL DEPARTMENT
The Hall of Justice is open for in person filings, scheduled hearings, and appointments.  We ask that the only person filing or having business with the Court be the only person entering the building.  All other individuals will be asked to wait outside.  Once your business has been completed, please do not loiter in the building.

Masks are required for all visitors entering the building absent a medical excuse.  People should bring their own masks with them.  If a person arrives without a mask, a supply of disposable masks will be available upon entrance for use.


Please contact the Clerk of Courts office between 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (Monday-Friday) for assistance.
PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS
Due to the temporary public closure of the Hall of Justice we will not be able to take in person public records requests.  To make a public records request, please call the Records Division at  740-652-7358, send an email to ClerkRecords@fairfieldcountyohio.gov or complete the online request form.
FAIRFIELD COUNTY COMMON PLEAS COURT
GENERAL DIVISION
COURT OPERATIONS
Effective March 1, 2021 - March 31, 2021

GENERAL BUILDING POLICIES

  • The Common Pleas Court is open normal business hours.

  • The Hall of Justice is open for in person filings, scheduled hearings and appointments.

  • All visitors—attorneys and parties—are required to wear masks while in the building.

  • Visitors are encouraged to bring their own face covering; if they do not have one, a disposable mask will be provided at the front door

  • No food or drink are allowed in the building

  • Hearings will be held both remotely and in-person, as set forth in more detail below.

 

JURORS

  • If you recently received a jury summons, please do not panic. Instead, please complete your juror questionnaire and follow the processes outlined in your paperwork. Know that we are keeping your health in safety in mind as we plan for the future. We will be in contact with you closer to your actual report date.

 

CRIMINAL CASES
Attorneys and defendants should presume that all hearings currently on the Court’s docket will proceed as scheduled
•  For defendants in jail:

   •  All hearings for in-jail defendants will be held remotely via GoToMeeting except for the following:

      -  Jury trials and suppression hearings will be held in-person

      - Judge Trimmer’s criminal pretrials will be held by non-oral hearing (e-mail)

    •  You will be sent a weblink upon scheduling with the Judge’s Assignment Commissioner; no special software is required

•  For defendants in prison:

    •  All hearings for in-prison defendants will require the attorneys to appear in-person with the defendant appearing via video

•  For defendants on bond:

    •  Plea/Sentencing/ILC hearings will be held in-person

    •  Judge Berens’ criminal pretrials will be conducted via phone conference with counsel only

    •  Judge Trimmer’s criminal pretrials will be held by non-oral hearing (e-mail)

•  Jury Trials for all defendants will proceed as scheduled

    •  Parties must notify the Court of any continuance or plea agreement by the Thursday preceding trial; any trials remaining on the docket will be scheduled for a trial conference with the Judge on the Friday preceding trial

•  Probationers and those on bond shall report in-person or by phone/e-mail as directed by their Probation/Bond Officer

CIVIL

  • Jury trials will proceed as scheduled

  • Pretrials will be converted to phone conferences on the date and time originally scheduled

  • Most other civil hearings will proceed in-person as scheduled unless a motion to continue/convert is filed


FILINGS OF COURT DOCUMENTS & POSTING OF BOND

  • Mail, e-mail, or fax filing is strongly preferred; in person filings are now also permitted.

  • All documents received at or before 3:30 p.m. will be filed the date it is received; all documents received after 3:30 p.m. will be filed the next business day

  • Any documents needing to be notarized must be notarized prior to being filed with the Clerk’s office.  Staff will not be able to notarize documents during this time.

  • Payment of filing fees will be required in order for documents to be filed.  If mailing your filing, please send your payment with the filing, otherwise pay online or call the office to pay over the phone.

  • Members of the public who are seeking to post bond for a defendant should call the Clerk’s Office before visiting in-person for further instruction.

 

Fax Filing:

General Division (Civil/Felony Criminal): 740-687-0158
Domestic Relations: 740-652-7399
*Any pleadings over 20 pages will be charged 5 cents per page and the cost will be added on to the case.

 

E-Mail Filing:
General Division (Civil/Felony Criminal): clerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

Domestic Relations:
DRclerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

*Any pleadings over 20 pages will be charged 5 cents per page and the cost will be added on to the case.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you have additional questions about specific cases or hearings please contact the appropriate office:

 

CLERK OF COURTS:

General Division (Civil/Felony Criminal/Court of Appeals): 740-652-7360

clerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

Domestic Relations Division:
740-652-7357

DRclerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

General Inquiries: ClerkofCourts@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

Judge Berens:
Misty Conkle, Assignment Commissioner
Phone: 740-652-7431

misty.conkle@fairfieldcountyohio.gov


Judge Trimmer:
Kathy Hartman, Assignment Commissioner
Phone: 740-652-7427
kathy.hartman@fairfieldcountyohio.gov


General Questions (Felony & Civil):
Jill Boone, Court Administrator
Phone: 740-652-7424
jillian.boone@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

 

CLERK OF COURTS

Phone: 
740-652-7360 (General) or 740-652-7357 (Domestic Relations)
Fax Filing:
740-687-0158 (General) or 740-652-7399 (Domestic Relations)

E-Mail Filing
Civil/Criminal/Court of Appeals: clerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov
Domestic Relations: DRclerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

**Any other questions, can be directed to the general email inbox at
ClerkofCourts@fairfieldcountyohio.gov.

 

 

FAIRFIELD COUNTY COMMON PLEAS
DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION
COURT OPERATIONS
Effective March 1, 2021 - March 31, 2021

GENERAL BUILDING POLICIES

  • The Domestic Relations Court is open normal business hours.

  • The Hall of Justice is open for in person filings, scheduled hearings and appointments.

  • All visitors—attorneys and parties—are required to wear masks while in the building.

  • Visitors are encouraged to bring their own face covering; if they do not have one, a disposable mask will be provided at the front door.

  • No food or drink are allowed in the building.

  • Any witnesses should be present at the Hall of Justice at the scheduled hearing time, but each witness will be requested to wait outside of the Hall of Justice until notification,  via text if possible, that it is time for the witness testimony.

 

Scheduled Hearings
The tolling legislation has expired, and there is no indication that the State legislature will again pass tolling legislation. Therefore, some hearings are being held in person. Hearings with large numbers of parties and/or attorneys are being scheduled in the Commissioner’s hearing room in order to allow us more space for social distancing. Many continuance requests associated with the virus have been received recently, and such requests related to the virus will continue to be liberally granted during this pandemic.

 

For hearings scheduled with parties present at Court, the parties and the parties’ attorney(s) will be permitted to enter the Hall of Justice at the time of the hearing. All witnesses are asked to be present at the Hall of Justice at the time of the scheduled hearing, but witnesses should remain in their cars until such time as a phone call or text message alerts the witness that it is time for the witness to testify. The witness will then be able to enter the building at that time. Due to the necessity of limiting exposure, friends and family members of the parties are not being permitted to attend the hearings other than as witnesses at this time.

 

Some virtual hearings on dissolutions, agreed uncontested divorces, and agreed custody matters have been conducted when the parties agree to conduct the hearing virtually. The agreed entries signed by all parties and attorneys of record shall be delivered to the Court at least three Court days prior to the scheduled virtual hearing for Court review prior to the hearing. Original signatures on the agreed entries had been required; however, it has been communicated that obtaining original signatures has been problematic during this time period. Therefore, copies of original signatures on the final agreed entries will be permitted as long as the parties acknowledge their signatures on the agreed documents during their testimony. Please let us know if you have a scheduled hearing that would be appropriate to convert to a virtual hearing.

 

Some pretrial motions, which have been set for oral hearing in the past, may continue to be set for a non-oral hearing pursuant to Civil Rule 7(B). For those hearings, an affidavit, rather than a notarized verification, will be required.

 

Pretrial hearings and settlement conferences will continue to be held as GoToMeeting conferences for the foreseeable future.

 

The Clerk of Courts will continue to receive in-person filings of Petitions for Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders and emergency custody actions. The ex-parte hearings on Petitions for Civil Protection Orders will continue to be heard when filed. The emergency custody actions will be heard in accordance with prior practice.

 

Filings of Court Documents & Posting of Bond

  • Mail, e-mail, or fax filing is strongly preferred; in person filings are now also permitted.

  • All documents received at or before 3:30 p.m. will be filed the date it is received; all documents received after 3:30 p.m. will be filed the next business day.

  • Any documents needing to be notarized must be notarized prior to being filed with the Clerk’s office.  Staff will not be able to notarize documents during this time.

  • Payment of filing fees will be required in order for documents to be filed.  If mailing your filing, please send your payment with the filing, otherwise pay online or call the office to pay over the phone.

  • Members of the public who are seeking to post bond for a defendant should call the Clerk’s Office before visiting in-person for further instruction.


Fax Filing:
General Division (Civil/Felony Criminal): 740-687-0158
Domestic Relations: 740-652-7399
*Any pleadings over 20 pages will be charged 5 cents per page and the cost will be added on to the case.

 

E-mail Filing:
General Division (Civil/Felony Criminal): clerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov
Domestic Relations: DRclerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

*Any pleadings over 20 pages will be charged 5 cents per page and the cost will be added on to the case.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you have additional questions about specific cases or hearings please contact the appropriate office:

 

Clerk Of Courts:

General Division (Civil/Felony Criminal/Court of Appeals): 740-652-7360

clerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

Domestic Relations Division: 740-652-7357

DRclerkefile@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

General Inquiries: ClerkofCourts@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

Domestic Relations Court General Questions:

Lori Lovas, Court Administrator

Phone: 740-652-7448

lori.lovas@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

 

 

COURT OF APPEALS

Any questions pertaining to Court of Appeals filings should be directed to 740-652-7383 or to the general email inbox at ClerkofCourts@fairfieldcountyohio.gov.