Civil Division

General Information Regarding Civil Division

You may contact the Civil Division during the office hours of 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.
You may file a civil action in this court if the total amount of damages is $15,000.00 or less. The jurisdiction of the Hocking County Municipal Court includes all of Hocking County.
Q: Is Hocking County Municipal Court the appropriate court to file my civil action?
A: The answer is yes if ANY of the following statements is true:

Unlawful Detainer Complaints

The procedure is as follows:
The landlord must serve adult tenants with a "Notice to Leave Premisis (3-Day Notice). Notices can be obtained from a legal publishing company. After the time stated in the notice has passed and the tenants have not vacated the premises, then an original complaint along with the "Notice to Leave the Premises" that was served on tenants must be filed with adequate copies to serve on all tenants. This initial hearing is for the "First Cause of Action" in the case.

Eviction hearings are held on Thursdays.

The Court cannot offer legal advice or assistance in completing a complaint. Plaintiffs are advised to seek legal counsel. The Court does not provide forms for Evictions.

Eviction Filing Process

You must be the owner of the property or an attorney representing the owner to evict a tenant.

You must obtain two (2) forms:  a Notice to Leave the Premises form and an Eviction Complaint form.  These forms are available on this web site.

First, you must complete the Notice to Leave the Premises form giving the tenant three (3) full business days (excluding the day you give it to them)  to leave the premises for non-payment of rent. If you have another reason to evict, you must give the tenant thirty (30) days to leave.  Make a copy of the notice, serve one on the tenant and keep the other to file with the Court.  The notice may be served by (1) certified mail, return receipt requested, (2) by handing a copy of the notice to the tenant in person, (3) by leaving the notice at the tenant’s usual place of abode or by leaving it at the premises from which the tenant is sought to be evicted.

NOTE: “The Notice to Leave the Premises” should contain the following paragraph boldly and conspicuously:
“You are being asked to leave the premises.  If you do not leave, an eviction action may be initiated against you.  If you are in doubt regarding your legal rights and obligations as a tenant, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance.”

To file an eviction case, you will need:

 

The hearing is scheduled within fourteen (14) to twenty-one (21) days from the date of filing.

If you have any additional concerns or questions, please feel free to contact:

Legal Aid at 1-888-835-5902
Hocking County Bar Association (740) 385-5604
Or consult with an attorney

PLEASE NOTE: IT IS NEITHER ETHICAL NOR PERMISSABLE BY LAW FOR A COURT EMPLOYEE TO GIVE LEGAL ADVICE.

Landlord-Tenant Law

The State of Ohio has in place "The Landlord-Tenant Law" which explains the responsibilities each party has in regard to a rental unit, and the actions that each party may take if those responsibilities are not met.

Q: What are the landlord's responsibilities?
A: The landlord has the responsibility to keep the structure in a safe and sanitary condition, in compliance with state and local housing, and health and safety codes. In general, this means that the landlord must keep in working order electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning fixtures and appliances. There must be running water, reasonable amounts of hot water and heat. In most cases, waste receptacles must also be provided. The landlord must give the tenant reasonable notice of an intent to enter the premises for any reason and must not harass the tenant with unreasonable or repeated demands of entry.

Q: What are the tenant's responsibilities?
A: The tenant has the responsibility to keep the premises clean and sanitary. The tenant must not damage property beyond normal wear; must use electrical equipment properly; must not disturb the neighbors; and must allow the landlord to inspect, repair and maintain the premises, after giving reasonable notice.

Q: What can the tenant do if the landlord DOES NOT meet his/her responsibilities?
A: If the tenant believes that the landlord has not met his/her responsibilities under the law, there are a number of options available. A tenant must make a written complaint to the landlord by certified mail to rectify the problem and give thirty (30) days in which to do so before any of the remedies may be instituted.
The remedies may be found in Section 5321.07 of the Ohio Revised Code. They include rent deposit actions, lease termination or a request for a court order to repair. There are, however, conditions the tenant must meet before taking advantage of these remedies--see Section 5321.07 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Q: What can the landlord do if the tenant DOES NOT meet his/her responsibilities?
A: Of course, the tenant has the responsibility to pay the rent on time, maintain the rental unit properly and fulfill the obligations under the law.

Generally, if the tenant does not meet these responsibilities, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and take action to evict the tenant. The court can also order the tenant to pay the landlord for past due rent and damages to the premises.

Adequate notice to the tenant to comply with the requirements of the law and allowing time to repair the situation should be given before using any other option. A three (3) day notification prior to filing an action for eviction may include notification to the tenant of their rights. A full explanation of the procedures can be found in Chapter 5321.07 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Rental Escrow Complaint Procedure

The tenant must first send a list of repairs or maintenance needed to the landlord by certified mail. The landlord has thirty days from the receipt of the certified letter to make the listed repairs. If after thirty days, the landlord has not made the listed repairs to the property, the tenant may file a Rental Escrow complaint with the Clerk of Courts.

The tenant does not pay a filing fee for a Rental Escrow complaint.

The tenant must provide the Clerk of Courts Office with the following:

Security Deposit

After a tenant moves out, the landlord subtracts from the deposit any past due rent and the cost of tenant-caused damages. The landlord then must return the balance, with an itemized list of subtractions to the tenant within 30 days of the termination of the lease.

When the tenant provides the landlord in writing with a forwarding address and a security deposit is wrongly withheld, the tenant may recover double the amount due and reasonable attorney fees.

Civil Costs

Effective February 1, 2017

Complaint $150.00
each additional defendant $10.00
Complaint (Collection of credit card debt) $150.00
each additional defendant $10.00
Cognovit Note $150.00
each additional defendant $10.00
Forcible Entry & Detainer (Eviction) $150.00
each additional defendant $10.00
Writ of Restitution (each defendant) $25.00
Counter, Cross claim, or Third Party Complaint $35.00
Amended Complaint $35.00
Re-serve Certified Mail (each defendant) $10.00
Judgment Debtor Examination $50.00
each additional defendant $10.00
Garnishment for Wage Attachment (judgment balance over $500) $130.00
Garnishment for Wage Attachment (judgment balance under $500) $70.00
Bank Attachment (plus $1.00 check to bank) $50.00
Personal Service Fee (plus sheriff costs) $10.00
Contempt Order $40.00
Transfer to another court $60.00
Certificate of Judgment $35.00
Certificate of Judgment to BMV $35.00
Revivor of Judgment $60.00
Civil Warrant $30.00
Certified Document $1.00
Execution $150.00
Appeal (plus $85.00 for Court of Appeal filing fee) $50.00
Jury Demand (plus $350.00 security deposit) $50.00
Objections to Magistrate's Decision $10.00
Trusteeship $110.00
Motion for Summary Judgment $35.00
Motion to Reactivate Case $60.00
Subpoena (plus service costs) $5.00
Court Reporter: As per rule. Requesting party shall
be responsible for payment directly to the reporter.