THESE POLICIES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE CHECK THE COURT WEBSITE ON THE DAY OF YOUR HEARING TO VIEW THE CURRENT POLICIES.

The Summit County Domestic Relations Court is following Summit County Public Health and CDC guidelines. 

These Temporary Policies have evolved since March 9, 2020 when Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued Executive Order 2020-01D “Declaring a State of Emergency” in response to the growing COVID-19 public health crisis. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 to be a global “pandemic” requiring “urgent and aggressive action” to control the spread of the virus.

Based upon these circumstances, Summit County Domestic Relations Court has developed a continuum of flexible responses during this public health crisis. The continuum of responses is intended to protect public health, to maintain essential court functions, and to continue to protect the rights of all individuals subject to the authority of the Court.

FACIAL COVERING AND MASK POLICY – EFFECTIVE TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2021

All matters scheduled at the Summit County Domestic Relations Court will be in person unless the scheduling order specifies otherwise.  Parties and counsel shall not wear masks while speaking for the duration of the hearing and witnesses shall not wear masks while on the witness stand.  The purpose of this policy is to allow the Judges and Magistrates to effectively determine credibility and to ensure accurate transcription by the court reporter.  Should a party, counsel, or witness need to wear a mask while speaking and/or testifying during a hearing, a timely motion to appear with a facial covering/mask,  via Zoom or to continue the matter shall be filed.

The following changes in court policies and procedures are made effective Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

  • Effective Tuesday, August 10, all persons should wear a facial covering while in common areas of the Summit County Domestic Relations Court.
  • All court proceedings will be held IN PERSON, unless stated otherwise by the court personnel conducting the hearing, meeting or mediation. You may call the Scheduling Department at (330) 643-2365 to confirm if the matter will be held in person or by Zoom.
  • In order to avoid any confusion, any hearings, meetings or mediations previously scheduled as Zoom meetings and noticed as such, shall not be changed to in person. All future notices for hearings, meetings or mediations that do not specify the format will be in person. Failure to appear will result in the court moving forward with the case.

 

Zoom Hearings

Administrative Judge Katarina Cook Judge Susan Steinhauer
Initial Pretrial Conferences in Divorce Cases and Dissolution Hearings are held by Zoom. Initial Pretrial Conferences with attorneys representing both parties are held by Zoom.
    • All persons attending Zoom Meetings, Hearings or Mediations are to follow the Zoom Instructions.
    • Only counsel or parties or witnesses on a case with business before the court shall enter the Domestic Relations Court building. The only exception to this policy is that Parties may be accompanied by advocates or necessary support persons as NO CHILDREN SHOULD BE BROUGHT INTO THE COURTHOUSE UNLESS THE CHILD(REN) ARE SCHEDULED TO APPEAR AT THE COURT.
    • Any person who has been exposed to, or believes they have been exposed to COVID- 19, or any person who is feeling ill, has a fever, or is experiencing any symptoms of illness shall not enter the Domestic Relations Court building. All persons entering the building SHALL be subject to health screening by court or sheriff’s personnel. If any person who has a scheduled hearing is turned away, they must immediately notify the court by calling 330-643-2368 to make alternative arrangements for their appearance. COURT OR SHERIFF’S PERSONNEL ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR NOTIFYING THE COURT OF ANY PARTY’S INABILITY TO ATTEND THEIR
    • Once in the Domestic Relations Court Building, any person who enters the Domestic Relations Court building and who appears to be ill, coughing, sneezing, or has a fever may, at the Court’s discretion, be asked to leave the building and reschedule their
    • Any person seeking a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order who is ill and unable to come to the courthouse in person due to that illness shall contact the court at 330-643- 2365 to make alternative arrangements.
    • The Remember the Children Program will continue as an e-learning course and Positive Solutions is resuming. The Working Together Program will be CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Please contact Family Court Services at (330) 643-2355 for more information on these programs.
    • If any hearings are authorized for remote attendance, the parties attending the hearing remotely shall connect to the Zoom conference link for the assigned magistrate or judge at the scheduled time of the hearing. A list of Zoom links for judge and magistrate hearings can be found on the court’s website drcourt.org under the Zoom Hearing Attendance tab.  Parties must ensure that their Zoom name reflects their full legal name.
    • Before the day of the hearing, any parties or attorneys with scheduled hearings who are ill, in a high-risk category, or caring for a vulnerable person, or who are otherwise unable to attend a hearing in-person shall email the court to request either remote attendance or request a continuance of the Those requests shall be emailed to: hearings@drcourt.org with a copy sent to the opposing party or counsel. The assigned magistrate or judge will review the request and determine how to proceed.
    • Scheduled mediations or meetings with Family Court Services Evaluators will resume as IN PERSON.
    • Meetings with Guardians ad Litem (GAL) are to resume as IN PERSON.

     

    The current health crisis is a fluid situation and this policy is subject to change as the situation dictates. The Court will post any updates and changes to the court website at www.drcourt.org/wp/covid19/. A list of Zoom video conference links is available under the Zoom Hearing Attendance tab on the homepage.

     

    Revised August 10, 2021

    If you are attending your hearing via Zoom using a laptop or desktop computer, please download the Zoom client for Windows here. If you are using an Android phone, you can install the Zoom Cloud Meetings app from the Google Play Store on your phone. For iPhone users, you can install the Zoom Cloud Meetings app from the iTunes store. Once you have installed the app, you can enter the designated Zoom meeting at the time of your hearing.

    NOTICE – The Remember the Children Program has been converted to an online program. Click here for more info.