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Lake County, Ohio - Common Pleas Court General Division

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    Welcome to Lake County, Ohio - General Division Courts

    The Lake County Court of Common Pleas, General Division, is located at:  e

    47 North Park Place, Painesville, Ohio 44077. rr


    With four judges and 46 employees, the Lake County Common Pleas Court, General Division, has jurisdiction to hear criminal felony cases where the penalty imposed could be community control (probation) up to life imprisonment, or in some cases, death.  The court hears civil cases with no limit on the amount that can be awarded. In addition, it hears appeals from the decisions of state and local administrative agencies.  About 3,300 new cases are filed each year, including 1000 felony cases and 800 foreclosure cases.
    Cases are randomly assigned in each of the categories of civil, criminal, stalking, and foreclosure, in equal numbers, to each of the four judges of the General Division.

    The judges of the Common Pleas Court were created by the Ohio Constitution, Article IV § 4:

    (A) There shall be a court of common pleas and such divisions thereof as may be established by law serving each county of the state. Any judge of a court of common pleas or a division thereof may temporarily hold court in any county. In the interests of the fair, impartial, speedy, and sure administration of justice, each county shall have one or more resident judges, or two or more counties may be combined into districts having one or more judges resident in the district and serving the common pleas courts of all counties in the district, as may be provided by law. Judges serving a district shall sit in each county in the district as the business of the court requires. In counties or districts having more than one judge of the court of common pleas, the judges shall select one of their number to act as presiding judge, to serve at their pleasure. If the judges are unable because of equal division of the vote to make such selection, the judge having the longest total service on the court of common pleas shall serve as presiding judge until selection is made by vote. The presiding judge shall have such duties and exercise such powers as are prescribed by rule of the supreme court.

    (B) The courts of common pleas and divisions thereof shall have such original jurisdiction over all justiciable matters and such powers of review of proceedings of administrative officers and agencies as may be provided by law.

    (C) Unless otherwise provided by law, there shall be a probate division and such other divisions of the courts of common pleas as may be provided by law. Judges shall be elected specifically to such probate division and to such other divisions. The judges of the probate division shall be empowered to employ and control the clerks, employees, deputies, and referees of such probate division of the common pleas courts.

    Unlike the other divisions, judges on the General Division have what is called "general jurisdiction" to hear civil and criminal cases. Under Ohio law, Municipal courts have jurisdiction to hear civil cases with a value of up to $15,000.00; Common Pleas civil jurisdiction has no upper limit. Criminal jurisdiction includes all crimes defined by statute as felonies, as well as certain other criminal offenses.


    If you have a question concerning any of the following matters, you should contact the Municipal Court for the appropriate community:

    ·         Misdemeanor Cases

    ·         Traffic or Parking Violations

    ·         Landlord-Tenant/Eviction Cases


    ·         Small Claims Cases