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Appeals Process: Federal Appeals (Ohio)

Information about the appeals process in Ohio state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

Resources at the Hamilton County Law Library

About this Guide

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.

Jurisdiction - Ohio Federal District Courts

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 

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has jurisdiction over 48 of the 88 Ohio counties, all located in southern Ohio. The Southern District is divided into the Eastern and Western Divisions. The Eastern Division seat of court is located in Columbus. The Western Division has a seat of court in both Cincinnati and Dayton. Each seat of court serves a specific set of counties. Click the link for a detailed breakdown of counties in the Southern District.

 

In northern Ohio the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has jurisdiction over the remaining 40 counties. The Northern District is divided into Eastern and Western Divisions. The Eastern Division has seats of court in Akron, Cleveland and Youngstown. The Western Division seat of court is located in Toledo. Click the link for a detailed breakdown of counties in the Northern District.

 

Procedure - 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

The Southern and Northern Districts also have local rules which apply to cases heard in those courts. Click the link for the Southern District Local Rules and the Northern District Local Rules.

Federal Circuit Court - Sixth Circuit

Circuit Courts

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:

 

Supreme Court of the United States - Appellate Cases

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. 

Information about the U.S. Supreme Court:

 

Forms

Some useful forms and information include:

Sixth Circuit forms

Sixth Circuit Appeals Process Guide

Subject Guide

Contact Us

The Law Library is open Courthouse hours, Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:00. 

For directions to the library, see: http://lawlibrary.hamiltoncountyohio.gov/about/directions/.

We cannot provide research by phone or email, except for governmental officials and subscribers.  Please come into the library for research guidance and self-help.

In person: Hamilton County Courthouse 1000 Main Street, 6th floor Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

By phone: 513.946.5300

On the web: http://lawlibrary.hamilton-co.org/

By fax: 513.946.5252

By email: reference@cms.hamilton-co.org

Contact Information for Courts

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
Phone: 614.719.3000
http://www.ohsd.uscourts.gov/content/columbus

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
Phone: 513.564.7500
http://www.ohsd.uscourts.gov/content/cincinnati

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
Phone: 937.512.1400
http://www.ohsd.uscourts.gov/content/dayton

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
Phone: 330.252.6000
http://www.ohnd.uscourts.gov/content/akron

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
Phone: 216.357.7000
http://www.ohnd.uscourts.gov/content/cleveland

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
Phone: 330.884.7400
http://www.ohnd.uscourts.gov/content/youngstown

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
Phone: 419.213.5500
http://www.ohnd.uscourts.gov/content/toledo

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
540 Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse
100 East Fifth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Phone: 513.564.7000
http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/internet/default.html

Supreme Court of the United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543
Phone: 202.479.3000
http://www.supremecourt.gov/