Last updated: December 6, 2013
The Ohio court system is divided into two levels -- the big-time Common Pleas Court and the small-time Municipal Courts. Common Pleas Court handles felonies and civil lawsuits worth more than $15,000, while Municipal Courts handle misdemeanors, traffic cases, smaller lawsuits and small claims court. Furthermore, the Common Pleas Court is split into specialized divisions for particular types of crimes.
Knowing which court is proper for your case is essential to victory, so FindLaw has prepared this guide to Dayton courthouses.
Good to know: The General Division of the Common Pleas Court is the highest trial level court in Dayton. They handle all felony criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits worth over $15,000. If you aren’t sure which court is right for your issue, this courthouse is a safe bet. Browse through their list of useful forms online, or file your documents online to save some time.
Good to know: The Juvenile Division hears cases where minors have allegedly committed what would be criminal offenses. They also hear most paternity actions. The goal of juvenile justice is rehabilitation, not punishment, so speak with the prosecutor about educational programs as alternatives to Juvi Hall.
Good to know: The Domestic Relations Division has jurisdiction over all divorce, dissolution, legal separation and annulment cases, as well as civil domestic violence cases. In addition, the court handles post-decree matters such as child custody, child support, parenting time issues and spousal support. Check out their thorough Citizen’s Guide to domestic relations law and court procedure.
Good to know: The Oakwood Municipal Court is only in session the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month.
Good to know: The Dayton Federal Building houses a branch of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. This court exclusively handles federal cases at the trial level. This branch takes cases from Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties. The Southern District of Ohio lies within Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is headquartered in Cincinnati and has jurisdiction over Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. Make sure you leave your cell phones and laptops in your car, as you cannot bring electronics of any time into this federal courthouse. Browse their extensive list of helpful forms, or get high-tech and file your documents online.