Brand new this week, most of the forms on the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations website are now interactive as fillable pdf forms. They can now be completed online by simply typing in relevant information and printing out the completed product. However, due to restrictions enbedded in the documents themselves, you will not be able to save the documents you create for your records. Nevertheless, this will be a huge benefit and time-saver for parties who want to proceed pro se and fill out their own paperwork for a divorce, a dissolution, child support, etc.
The Ohio Supreme Court decision in Erwin v. Bryan has clarified when plaintiffs can and cannot name John Doe defendants under Civil Rule 15. The crux of the opinion is that using that designation is acceptable if a plaintiff knows who a defendant is but does not know his/her/its name in time to file to meet a statute of limitation. However, the Court will not allow parties to use "placeholders" for unknown defendants to buy time to find them after a statute of limitations has run. Click here to read the Court's press release and to find the link for the oral argument in the case.
The Ohio State Bar Association has recommended a new jury instruction for judges to give to jurors. Concerns over jurors looking outside the confines of a case for evidence and other information has prompted the OSBA to recommend that judges instruct jurors not to use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or technology, such as iPhones and Blackberrys. The proposed instruction is not, however, limited to technological devices or internet sites and includes reference books, newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio news. According to Justice Lanzinger, the goal of the proposed instruction is to ensure that parties receive a fair trial. Click here to read a press release from the Ohio Supreme Court about the new proposal. According to the OSBA website, the new jury instruction is available through Casemaker. This link from the OSBA press release may take you to the text of the proposed instruction, although you may have to sign in online as a member of the OSBA first.
As part of reneogiating new Lexis and Westlaw plans, the Cleveland Law Library and the Cuyahoga County Law Library expanded what the law library has to offer. Click here to review all databases we currently offer and review our new Lexis and Westlaw databases, including the breadth and scope of our new public records access.