changes to the Court of Claims of Ohio that take effect include the
elimination of commissioners. The changes will save money and improve
a panel of three commissioners, appointed by the Supreme Court for
six-year terms, heard and determined compensation appeals from crime
victims. Appeals will now be handled by magistrates.
“We have been fortunate to have many fine attorneys serve with us as panel commissioners,” Court of Claims Clerk Mark Reed said.
“However, as these appeals have continued to dwindle it no longer made
economic sense to bring in outside counsel to hear these cases when we
had magistrates on staff ready and able to do the work. Bringing the
process in house will result in significant cost savings and a more
changes as outlined in H.B. 261 would lower the pay rate for Court of
Claims judges, add a provision to give the Supreme Court Chief Justice
authority to decide if a Court of Claims judge should be disqualified,
and re-establish the Supreme Court’s authority to reimburse local courts
for the cost of using an acting judge. The amendment also gives the
Supreme Court greater oversight of the use of acting judges.
changes to the Court of Claims statutes reflect best practices and
create administrative efficiencies that will result in cost savings,”
Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said.
Chief Justice O’Connor said the modernization legislation is the latest in a series of advancements for the Court of Claims.
The Court of Claims in 2012 eliminated backlogs and cut costs by more than half a million dollars, according to the court’s 2012 annual report. In September, the court for the first time launched a pilot program
for streaming select cases on the Internet in an effort to increase
transparency and public understanding of its proceedings. In February,
the Ohio Association for Justice recognized Reed and Chief Justice
O’Connor for the reduced time it takes the Court of Claims to decide
cases and other efficiencies.
Court of Claims is given original jurisdiction to hear and determine
all civil actions filed against the Ohio and its agencies. The court
also hears appeals of attorney general decisions on reimbursement claims
filed by victims of crime.
Content courtesy of Court News Ohio.