Cathie Dees – Garnishment - Head of Civil Department
You may visit the Civil Division during the office hours of 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. The civil division is located in the City of Wilmington Building – on the second floor. To the right as you leave the elevator or stairs located in the counsel room.
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 Clinton County Municipal Court is limited to the boundaries of Clinton County, Ohio.
Civil Filing Fees
|Forcible Entry(includes personal service)||$102.00|
|Cost for Additional Defendant||$25.00|
|Cost for each additional defendant||$10.00|
|Other than personal earnings||$15.00|
|Plus $1.00 check made payable to Financial Institution|
|Certificate of Judgment||$ 5.00|
Is Clinton County Municipal Court the appropriate Court to file my Civil action?
The answer is yes if ONE of the following statements is true:
- A defendant lives in Clinton County, or the defendant is a business that has its principal place of business in Clinton County.
- A person was injured or personal property was damaged in Clinton County.
- A defendant signed or entered into a contract in Clinton County, a defendant lived in Clinton County when the contract was entered into, a contract or obligation was to be performed in Clinton County, or the defendant was a corporation and the contract was breached in Clinton County.
Unlawful Detainer Complaints
The court does not have any forms for filing a notice to leave premises or the appropriate complaint forms. The usual procedure is as follows:
- Landlord must serve adult tenants with the proper form of a "Notice to Leave the Premises." After the time stated in the notice has passed and the tenants have not vacated the premises, then
- An original complaint with adequate copies to serve on all tenants must be filed with the Court. It is advised to attach a copy of the notice to leave the premises that was served on tenants. If notice is not attached to complaint, it MUST be brought to the hearing.
- The plaintiff (landlord) may request personal bailiff service which is the usual method used by this Court. You may request a special process server by Motion to the Court.
The Court cannot offer legal advice or assistance in completing a complaint. Plaintiff's are advised to seek legal counsel.
Physical Eviction Procedures
Within ten (10) days after service of a Writ of Restitution, a physical eviction shall go forward. Evictions are set by schedule of the Clinton County Municipal Court.
It is the responsibility of the attorney, plaintiff, or agent to arrange for movers to be at the eviction site at the time and date specified by the Court. The bailiff or a deputy bailiff never make such arrangements; handle keys or monies, or directs any party to a specific moving company.
Once authorized entry is made, the bailiff or deputy bailiff will keep the peace. If any problems arise during the eviction procedure, the Police or Sheriff’s department will be called.
Any costs incurred from the move out are the responsibility of the plaintiff, and may be included in the second cause of action if amended.
What can the tenant do if the landlord DOES NOT meet his responsibilities?
If the tenant believes that the landlord has not met his responsibilities under the law, he has a number of options available to him. Normally a tenant must make a written complaint to the landlord to rectify the problem and give him 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 5321.07.
What can the landlord do if the tenant DOES NOT meet his responsibilities?
Of course, the tenant has the responsibility to pay his rent on time, maintain the rental unit properly and fulfill his 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.
After a tenant moves out, the landlord subtracts from the deposit any past due rent and the cost of tenant-caused damages. He 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.