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Appeals Process

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

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.  Relief could come in the form of a new trial, a stay of judgment enforcement or other option listed below.

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. The government can generally only appeal the decision of the lower court in civil matters. 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 can choose 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