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Appeals Process: Ohio Appeals

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

Resources at Hamilton County Law Library

About this Guide

This guide is intended to provide basic information about the appellate process in Ohio state courts.

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.

Ohio Jurisdictional Structure

Civil and criminal cases in Ohio generally begin in lower courts. This includes:

  • Mayor’s courts,
  • Municipal courts,
  • The court of claims and
  • Common pleas courts (which include four divisions: general, domestic relations, juvenile and probate.)

When parties wish to appeal the decision of the lower court, they must follow appropriate appellate procedure.

Information about the structure of jurisdiction and appellate hierarchy.

Municipal and Common Pleas Courts

When a municipal or common pleas 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 pursuant to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.

Some civil rules which may be useful include, but are not limited to:

Rule 53: Magistrates. Specifically 53(D) – Motions to Set Aside Magistrate’s Order, Objections to Magistrate’s Decision.

Rule 50B: Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict

Rule 59: New Trials

Rule 60: Relief from Judgment or Order: Mistakes, inadvertence, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, fraud, etc.

Rule 62: Stay of Proceedings to Enforce a Judgment


In a criminal case, a party may find relief in the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure

Some criminal rules which may be useful include, but are not limited to:

Rule 19: Magistrates. Specifically 19(D) - Proceedings in Matters Referred to Magistrates.

Rule 29: Motion for Acquittal

Rule 33: New Trial

Rule 34: Arrest of Judgment

Rule 35: Post Conviction Relief

Each lower court also has its own set of local rules which must be followed. Click the link for a listing of local rules by county and division.


District Courts

Appellate Districts

Parties wishing to appeal a final judgment from a lower court may generally file in the appropriate appellate district, except that in a criminal matter, the state cannot generally appeal the decision of the lower court. Ohio has 12 appellate districts that each contain a court of appeals. Courts of appeals consist of multi-judge panels. Appellate districts are based on the county in which the lower court is located.

Some useful rules and statutes governing appeals in Ohio may include: 



Supreme Court of Ohio

Supreme Court Jurisdiction and Authority

Parties may generally file an appeal of an appellate district court’s decision with the Ohio Supreme Court. Depending on the nature of the case, the Ohio Supreme Court may either be required to hear the appeal or choose or decline to hear it. The Ohio Supreme Court consists of a seven judge panel, including the chief justice, and hears cases from all 12 appellate districts.

Rules governing the appellate process for the Ohio Supreme Court:

Some useful information about filing and practice before the court may include:



Supreme Court of the United States - Appellate Cases

U.S. Supreme Court Jurisdiction and Authority

Under certain circumstances parties may appeal decisions of the Ohio Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court must grant a writ of certiorari for a case to be heard.

Subject Guide

Contact Us

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

For directions to the library, see:

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:

By fax: 513.946.5252

By email:

Contact Information for Courts

Hamilton County Municipal Court
1000 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513.946.6464

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas (General Division)
1000 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513.946.5800

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas (Domestic Relations Division)
800 Broadway
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513.946.9000

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas (Juvenile Division)
800 Broadway
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513.946.9200

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas (Probate Division)
William Howard Taft Center
230 East Ninth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513.946.3580

Ohio Court of Claims
The Ohio Judicial Center
65 South Front Street,
Third Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 800.824.8263

Court of Appeals
First Appellate District
William Howard Taft Law Center
12th Floor
230 East Ninth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-2138
Phone: 513.946.3500
Fax: 513.946.3412

Court of Appeals
Twelfth Appellate District
1001 Reinartz Blvd.
Middletown, Ohio 45042
Phone: 513.425.6609
Fax: 513.425.8751

Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614.387.9000

Supreme Court of the United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543
Phone: 202.479.3000