This guide is intended to provide basic information about the appellate process in the federal court system in Ohio.
Disclaimer: Hamilton County Law Library staff, as a service to its patrons, provides reference services and information, including these research guides. To protect the public interest, Ohio law requires that legal advice and services be rendered only by qualified attorneys who are subject to the guidelines of the courts. Library staff members do not interpret the law, provide legal advice, or explain court procedures. The information provided is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. None of our services shall be construed as giving legal advice.
Civil and criminal cases that fall under federal jurisdiction are generally heard in federal district courts. In the federal system, these courts are considered the lower courts.
Information about the structure and jurisdiction of federal courts:
Ohio Federal District Courts
When a federal district court issues a decision a party may be able to obtain some relief from that court in certain circumstances without resorting to filing an appeal to a higher court.
In a civil case a party may find relief in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Some civil rules which may be useful include, but are not limited to:
See Rule 53(f): Action on the Master's Order, Report, or Recommendations
See Rule 50: Judgment as a Matter of Law in a Jury Trial; Related Motion for a New Trial; Conditional Ruling
See Rule 59: New Trial; Altering or Amending a Judgment
See Rule 60: Relief from a Judgment or Order
See Rule 62: Stay of Proceedings to Enforce a Judgment
See Rule 62.1: Indicative Ruling on a Motion for Relief That is Barred by a Pending Appeal
In a criminal case a party may find relief pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Some criminal rules which may be useful include, but are not limited to:
Rule 29: Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal
Rule 33: New Trial
Rule 34: Arresting Judgment
Rule 37: Indicative Ruling on a Motion for Relief that is Barred by a Pending Appeal
Rule 38: Staying a Sentence or Disability
Rule 59: Matters before a Magistrate Judge
Parties wishing to appeal a final judgment from a lower court may generally file in the appropriate appellate circuit court, except that, in a criminal matter, the government cannot generally appeal the decision of the lower court. Federal circuit courts consist of three-judge panels.
Rules and procedures for the Sixth Circuit include:
Information about circuit courts and the appeals process:
U.S. Supreme Court jurisdiction, authority and rules:
In certain circumstances parties may appeal decisions of the federal circuit courts to the U.S. Supreme Court by making a petition for a writ of certiorari. After a party makes a petition for a writ of certiorari, the Court then generally has the discretion to agree or decline to hear the case.
28 U.S.C. Chapter 81 provides detailed information about the Court's jurisdiction.
Information about the U.S. Supreme Court:
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U.S. Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Eastern Division)
Office of the Clerk
Joseph P. Kinneary U.S. Courthouse, Rm 121
85 Marconi Blvd
Columbus, OH 43215
U.S. Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Western Division - Cincinnati)
Office of the Clerk
Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse, Rm 103
100 E. Fifth Street
Cincinnat, OH 45202
U.S. Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Western Division - Dayton)
Office of the Clerk
Federal Building, Rm 712
200 W. 2nd Street
Dayton, OH 45402
U.S Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Eastern Division - Akron)
John F. Seiberling Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
2 South Main Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
U.S Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Eastern Division - Cleveland)
Carl B. Stokes U.S. Court House
801 West Superior Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
U.S Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Eastern Division - Youngstown)
Thomas D. Lambros Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
125 Market Street
Youngstown, Ohio 44503
U.S Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Western Division)
James M. Ashley and Thomas W. L. Ashley U.S. Courthouse
1716 Spielbusch Avenue
Toledo, Ohio 43604
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
540 Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse
100 East Fifth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Supreme Court of the United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543