Searching for Court of Appeals Records in Ohio’s Eighth District
The Eighth Appellate District in the State of Ohio includes only one county, Cuyahoga. This appellate district is one of only three in the state of Ohio comprised of a single county.
In the Eighth District Court of Appeals, unless a file has been sealed, which is a rare occurrence, the appellate court records are matters of public record and can be accessed by members of the public in person. Additionally, the docket, or names and dates of matters filed with the court, can be accessed by members of the public online.
When an appeal is filed from a lower court case within the county of Cuyahoga, that file is transmitted to the Eighth District Court of Appeals. From this point forward, unless the matter is appealed again to the Ohio Supreme Court or remanded to the lower court, all court files for both the appellate case and the lower court case from which the appeal was taken can be found in the possession of the Eighth District Court of Appeals. This file will therefore contain any pleadings, motions, entries, orders or judgments that were filed in the lower court case, as well as any new matters before the Court of Appeals, such as briefs filed by the parties, any preliminary motions or entries, and the final decision entered by the Court of Appeals.
If you desire to view the original copies of documents in an Eighth District Court of Appeals file, the physical location of the Eighth District Court of Appeals is Cuyahoga County Courthouse, 1 Lakeside Avenue #202, Cleveland, Ohio. When parties to an appeal present oral argument before the court, that argument will take place in this courthouse as well. To view a calendar of upcoming oral arguments before the Court of Appeals, visit the Eighth District Court of Appeals website, found here: http://appeals.cuyahogacounty.us/calendar/calendar.htm .
If you wish to view an Eighth District Court of Appeals file in person, it is a good idea to have the case number ready before arriving at the courthouse, so that it will be easier for courthouse personnel to locate the file. Remember that the case number that the case bore before being appealed is not the same as the case number that the case was assigned after being appealed. If you do not already know the case number of the appellate case file you wish to view, this information can be obtained by accessing the docket for that file online before going to the courthouse.
If the Eighth District Court of Appeals has already rendered a decision, this decision can also be accessed online. To do so, begin at the main web page for the Eighth District Court of Appeals, found at http://appeals.cuyahogacounty.us/ , then click on “Court Opinions.” You will then be given two options; you may either elect to search the opinions by clicking on the first option, or your can view all of the opinions by year in text format by clicking on the second option. For an easier search, select the first option, which will take you to a search screen. Next to “Source,” select Eighth District Court of Appeals, and next to “Decided,” select the year in which the decision was made. This information can be found in the court docket.
Then, input one of the names of the parties next to “Full Text” to pull up a list of search results. Do not attempt to input the case number next to “WebCite No.,” since this is a separate number assigned by the database that is not related to the case number.
The search results will be returned showing the case names as clickable links. Clicking on one of these links will allow you to view the court’s decision.
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