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Frequenty Asked Questions - General
1. What does the Clerk of Courts do?
2. Is the Clerk of Courts open 24 hours a day?
3. What is the difference between a Civil case and a Criminal Case?
4. Where is the Hamilton County Courthouse located?
5. Where is the Hamilton County Justice Center located?
6. Where is the Domestic Relations Court located?
7. Where is the Juvenile Court located?
8. Where is the Court of Appeals located?
9. When is my court date?
10. Where do I go to view case information and records?
11. How do I view documents?
12. What does my case number mean?
13. What is the structure of the Ohio Judicial System?
14. How can I pay for a lawsuit?
15. How do I file an answer to a lawsuit?
16. How much time do I have to file an answer to a lawsuit?
17. Has my document been filed?
18. How do I get a copy of my Birth Certificate?
19. How do I get a copy of a Death Certificate?
20. Where do I get a Marriage License?
21. Where do I check on my child support?
22. How do I file a document after 4:00 PM?
23. How can I obtain information and/or paperwork on Bankruptcy?
24. Where are Naturalization records housed?
25. How much are filing fees?
26. Who do I contact to become a Notary?
27. How do I contact the Assignment Commissioner’s Office?
28. Who do I contact regarding Property Taxes or Business License Information?
29. How do I get a copy of my Deed?

1. What does the Clerk of Courts do?
The responsibilities of the Clerk are varied. They include maintaining the records of the Court of Common Pleas and various other courts that have appellate jurisdiction at the county level. By statute, the Clerk is required to maintain a record of certain civil and criminal cases. Its personnel have responsibilities in the Municipal Courts, both criminal and civil. Their duties include arrest, transportation of prisoners, subpoenas, evictions and courtroom security. An average year finds the bailiffs in the Municipal Court making over 8,000 arrests, serving over 15,000 subpoenas and transporting some 20,000 prisoners to court.

The Traffic Division processes over 50,000 traffic tickets yearly and 40,000 arrest warrants. These generate over $13,000,000 each year, which Hamilton County shares with the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio. The Civil Division handles over 35,000 civil suits yearly and handles over 12,000 evictions.

The Auto Title Division has been issuing Certificates of Title since 1938. Hamilton County is third largest in the state in title volume for cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, mobile homes, and boats. Well over 420,000 titles are issued each year, generating revenue of over $70,000,000. Most of this money goes to the State of Ohio.

Over $130 Million per year is paid through the Clerk of Courts’ Office, mostly through the processing of Auto Titles. The Clerk’s office employs a staff of over 320 people who are dedicated to providing outstanding service to citizens and visitors of Hamilton County. If the Clerk’s office were a private business, it would be the 32nd largest business in the Cincinnati area according to the 2003 list of the area’s 100 largest corporations in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

To learn more about the Clerk of Courts, click here.
 
2. Is the Clerk of Courts open 24 hours a day?
The Municipal Criminal Division is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The main hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. We are available after hours and weekends for posting of bonds and processing warrants. Because other departments and agencies are not open during these hours, not all services are available. You may call (513) 946-6010 anytime to find out if your service is available.
 
3. What is the difference between a Civil case and a Criminal Case?
A civil case is a court case where one party sues another party, usually for money (damages). A typical civil case involves a lawsuit over an auto accident where someone claims injury because of a driver’s negligence. Other civil suits include forfeitures, seizures, evictions, divorces, and small claims actions.

A criminal case is a court case where a person is alleged to have committed a criminal violation. In this type of case, the government acts as the Plaintiff and the alleged criminal is the Defendant. If the Defendant is found guilty, he faces criminal sanctions including fines, probation, and incarceration. The typical criminal case is DUI, Robbery, or Murder.
 
4. Where is the Hamilton County Courthouse located?
The Hamilton County Courthouse is located in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The Courthouse is at 1000 Main St. For directions and a picture of the Courthouse, click here.
 
5. Where is the Hamilton County Justice Center located?
The Hamilton County Justice Center is behind the main Courthouse and is located at 1000 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. For directions, click here.
 
6. Where is the Domestic Relations Court located?
The Domestic Relations Court is located about 3 blocks from the Courthouse at 800 Broadway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. For directions, click here.
 
7. Where is the Juvenile Court located?
The Juvenile Court is located about 3 blocks from the Courthouse at 800 Broadway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. For directions, click here.
 
8. Where is the Court of Appeals located?
The Court of Appeals is located about 1 block from the Courthouse at 230 E. 9th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. For directions, click here.
 
9. When is my court date?
You can search our Schedule by Case Number if you have the case number of your case. Otherwise, you can call. If you have the name of a party, you can use our name search and get the case number. For a felony case call the Common Pleas Assignment Commissioner at (513) 946-5930. For all other cases call the Municipal Court Assignment Commissioner at (513) 946-5190.
 
10. Where do I go to view case information and records?
There are a variety of ways you can view case information and case records on this Web Site:

If you have a case number, click here.

If you have the name of a party, click here.

If you have the name of the attorney, click here.

If you have the name of the judge, click here.

For a listing of all available searches on this site, click here.
 
11. How do I view documents?
You must have the appropriate software on your system to view documents that are available on our Web Site. Most computers contain this commonly used software. Document images are available in two formats, Adobe PDF files or TIFF files. You have the option to view the documents in either format. For a free copy of the Adobe Acrobat reader, click here.

Currently, documents cannot be viewed online without a clerk assigned user ID.
 
12. What does my case number mean?
Any case filed in the court system in Hamilton County is assigned a case number. The number can be used to more easily track your case.

Click here and go to the bottom of the page for a table of case number formats.
 
13. What is the structure of the Ohio Judicial System?
Click here to view the structure of the Ohio judicial system.
 
14. How can I pay for a lawsuit?
You can pay by cash, check, or credit card (Master Card, Discover, or American Express).
 
15. How do I file an answer to a lawsuit?
You file your answer to a lawsuit with the Clerk of Courts.
 
16. How much time do I have to file an answer to a lawsuit?
You have 28 days to file your answer from the time you were served.
 
17. Has my document been filed?
You can check the history and docket information of your case on this website if you have the name of a party or a case number.

If your case is a small claims case, an eviction, or a civil case less than $15,000, you can call the Municipal Civil Division of the Clerk’s office at (513) 946-5700.

If your case is a civil case for more than $15,000, you can call the Common Pleas Civil Division of the Clerk’s office at (513) 946-5635.
 
18. How do I get a copy of my Birth Certificate?
The Clerk of Courts office does not handle Birth Certificates.
  • For Births inside the city of Cincinnati: call (513) 352-3120
  • For Births outside the city of Cincinnati: call (513) 946-7815
 
19. How do I get a copy of a Death Certificate?
The Clerk of Courts office does not handle Death Certificates. The Bureau of Vital Statistics can help, call (513) 352-3120.
 
20. Where do I get a Marriage License?
The Clerk of Courts office does not issue Marriage Licenses. In Ohio, the Probate Court has that responsibility. However, with the cooperation of Hamilton County Probate Court Judge James Cissell, we do issue Marriage Certificates in our Title Division office located at 1216 Kemper Road, Forest Park, OH 45240.

For more information on how to get a Marriage License, visit the Probate Court website or contact the Probate Court:

Judge James Cissell
Hamilton County Probate Court
230 E. Ninth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 946-3580
 
21. Where do I check on my child support?
Call the Child Support Enforcement Agency at (513) 946-7387.
 
22. How do I file a document after 4:00 PM?
The Clerk of Court’s office is available to receive filings 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at the Hamilton County Justice Center, 1000 Sycamore St., 9th Street Entrance, (513) 946-6029.

We also accept certain electronic filings (which can be submitted by facsimile or the internet). For more information on electronic filing of documents, click here.
 
23. How can I obtain information and/or paperwork on Bankruptcy?
All questions regarding Bankruptcy should be directed to the United States Trustee’s office at (513) 684-2572.
 
24. Where are Naturalization records housed?
The Hamilton County Clerk of Courts does not handle these records. These records are located at the Carl Blegen Library at the University of Cincinnati. The phone number is (513) 556-1959.
 
25. How much are filing fees?
Filing fees are different for different kinds of cases. Contact the appropriate Division of the Clerk’s office for that information:
  • Common Pleas - (513) 946-5635
  • Municipal Court - (513) 946-5700
  • Municipal Criminal/Traffic - (513) 946-6029
 
26. Who do I contact to become a Notary?
The Cincinnati Bar Association process applications for those wishing to become a Notary Public. They can be reached at (513) 381-8213 or on their website at www.cincybar.org.
 
27. How do I contact the Assignment Commissioner’s Office?
  • Municipal Court: (513) 946-6250
  • Common Pleas Court: (513) 946-5930
 
28. Who do I contact regarding Property Taxes or Business License Information?
The Hamilton County Auditor’s Office can help with this type of information. Try their website or call them at (513) 946-4000.
 
29. How do I get a copy of my Deed?
The Hamilton County Recorder’s Office is the recorder of deeds. Try their website or call them at (513) 946-4600.
 
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