Information for Unrepresented Parties

This information is not a substitute for legal advice.  For legal guidance specific to your case, we advise consulting an attorney.

Scheduling

You must obtain and file paperwork with the Summit County Clerk of Courts before you can receive a hearing date.  Most paperwork can be filed online (E-Filing) and all paperwork may be filed in person.

View filing fees. 

After you file paperwork, the Court’s office may instruct you to call the court to set your hearing date.  Call (330) 643-2365 to schedule your hearing.

Financial Assistance

Filing Fees

If you cannot afford to pay your filing fee, you may file a Motion to proceed in forma pauperis.  If granted, this Motion allows you to file your case and delays payment of filing fees until your case is resolved.  Filing this form does not completely remove one’s obligation to pay filing fees.  Your assigned Judge or Magistrate may order a payment plan or other payment arrangement once your case is finalized. 

Court-Appointed Attorney (Contempt)

If you are in court for Contempt you may request a Court-appointed attorney.  This court does not offer court-appointed representation for other case types.  

Legal Representation

The Akron Bar Association’s (ABA) Lawyer Referral Service can match you with an attorney specialized in your case type.  You will receive up to a 30-minute consultation with an attorney for a non-refundable $30 fee.  Read more about ABA’s Lawyer Referral Service.

“Ask an Attorney” is a community outreach program offered by the Akron Bar Association.  Members of the community may call to receive free answers to brief legal questions.  The program is held 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. every month on the second and forth Friday.   Call (330) 253-5038 or (330) 253-5007

If your case involves domestic violence, you may be eligible to receive legal assistance from Community Legal Aid.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Legal Aid is not accepting cases related to child support, custody issues, and divorce or dissolution at this time.

Service

In legal terms, giving someone notice of any court action is referred to as serving or service.  Failure to obtain service may result in the case being continued or dismissed.  View instructions on how to proceed if a party on your case has not been served by the time of your hearing.

Transcripts

Transcripts are a typed record of court proceedings.  Transcripts may be requested by filing a Praecipe, signed by the Court Reporter, with the Clerk of Courts.  Pracipes can be emailed to the Court Reporters tvega@drcourt.org and mschilling@drcourt.org for signature.  The cost of a transcript depends on the length of the hearing. 

Audio Recordings

Audio recordings of court hearings are public records and will be provided upon request of any person.  Only recordings of hearings which were called “on the record” by the court will provided.  There is no charge for production of an audio recording.

You should make two copies of your audio recording request.  The original copy should be filed with the Summit County Clerk of Courts.  The second copy must be submitted to our court for processing. You can either deliver the form to the court administration office on the second floor of the Domestic Relations Court or email it to audio@drcourt.org

Please allow at least 3 business days for the production of an recording.

Forms:

Civil Protection Order:

  • Applies to family or household members, children, other adults, spouses, and romantic partners who live together. 

Dating Violence Order:

  • Applies to persons who are in a dating relationship or were in a dating relationship within the past 12 months.  

A person filing for a civil protection order or dating violence civil protection order is called the Petitioner.

The person against whom the dating violence civil protection order is sought against is called the Respondent.

How to Petition for a Civil Protection Order

What to Expect:

1. You will have an ex parte (one party) hearing the same day your petition is filed.  During the hearing you will provide evidence and testimony to a magistrate.  The magistrate will decide whether or not the order is granted based on information provided during the hearing. 

2. If the ex parte order is granted, the other party will be served with the order.

3. A full hearing will be set seven to ten (7-10) court days following the ex parte hearing even if the order is not granted.  The other party (respondent) will have an opportunity to present their testimony and evidence at this time.