Amendments to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure

The Supreme Court has recently adopted changes to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure which went into effect on July 1, 2012.  This includes changes to the rules governing methods of service of process, methods of services to litigants during litigation, and where a person may be subpoenaed for deposition.

Rule 4.1 now permit clerks of courts to issue service of process by commercial carrier services such as UPS or FedEx utilizing any form of delivery requiring a signed receipt as an alternative to US certified or express mail.  The remaining sections of Rule 4 were also updated to allow for commercial carrier service on parties outside of the state and in foreign counties.  However, if service is made in a foreign county who is a signatory to the Hague Convention, the provisions of the Convention supersede the other methods of service listed in Civil Rule 4.

Rule 5 was amended to permit service of documents, other than the original complaint, by electronic means including facsimile and email.  Rule 11 was amended to require all parties to provide a facsimile number and email address if available.  Rule 5 now allows for service of motions and other documents (other than the original complaint) by these two additional means. The rule also indicates that service by email or facsimile is complete upon transmission unless the transmitting party learns that it did not reach the person served.

Rule 45 was amended to state that a person may no longer be required by subpoena to give a deposition anywhere in the state.  The rule was amended to require the deposition to occur in the county where the deponent resides, is employed, or transacts business in person.  An alternate “convenient” location may be used by court order.  A person may still be compelled by subpoena to appear at a trial or hearing anywhere in the State.

To view the amendments in their entirety, go to:

Many thanks to Sonya Gaines for her contributions to this article.  Sonya is a paralegal with Slovin & Associates Co., L.P.A.