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Ohio Primary Law Legal Research Guide: Federal Courts in Ohio

Guide based on Cleveland-Marshall's Ohio Primary Law Research Guide. Covers Ohio cases, statutes, legislative history, regulations, and administrative decisions.

Appellate Courts

 

Image from The National Judicial College

 The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals hears appeals from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee District Courts. Reported cases appear in the Federal Reporter series. Reported and unreported cases are available on Lexis, Fastcase and Westlaw. Published opinions issued since July 1, 1999 and unpublished opinions issued since October 1, 2004 appear on the Sixth Circuit's Web SiteFindlaw has Sixth Circuit opinions from 1996 to current. Copies of recent opinions are free on the federal Pacer docket service. Searching is not free, but the cost is minimal. Also try:

Federal Reported v. Unreported

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals now allows citation of all unpublished opinions. See Sixth Circuit Rule 32.1. This was in response to a change in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, mandating that for cases decided on and after Jan. 1, 2007, appellate courts may not restrict the citation of unpublished cases. See Fed. R. App. P. 32.1.

U.S. Supreme Court: The highest court for both state and federal cases. See Where to obtain US Supreme Court Opinions and Legal Research on the Web - Cases.

 

Overview of the Federal Court System

Federal District Court Opinions

Photo: by stu_spivack

Two district courts try cases in Ohio, the Northern District and the Southern District. Reported cases appear in the Federal Supplement series. Reported and unreported cases are available on LexisFastcase and Westlaw. Recent notable cases can be found at the Northern District of Ohio Web Site and the Southern District of Ohio Web Site. Copies of recent opinions are free on the federal Pacer docket service, but a search by party name has a minimal cost. Also try:

 

Federal and State Court Structure

Federal and State Court Structure

The name of each court links to a description of that court and/or its jurisdiction.

U.S. Supreme Court

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Ohio Supreme Court

 

U.S. Circuit Courts
13 Appellate Courts: 11 Regional plus DC Circuit (Map)
Plus U.S.Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

 

Ohio District Courts
12 Appellate Courts. Map

 

U.S District Courts
94 Trial Courts, Bankruptcy Courts, Map

 

Trial Courts
Common Pleas- ea. of 88 counties, Municipal Courts