THE TIMING OF THE CASE WLL VARY DEPENDING ON SERVICE OF PROCESS AND THE COURT’S DOCKET: If you are the Plaintiff (filing for divorce first), you must first “perfect service” of process and the court summons on the other party (Defendant) before the court (Greene, Butler, Montgomery, Clark, and Warren County Courts) will schedule a court date. The Court does not have jurisdiction over the opposing party until he/she has been properly served with the appropriate paperwork. Service is typically perfected via certified mail, issued by the Clerk of Courts shortly after the case is filed. Essentially, the Clerk gathers all of the documents filed, creates its own summons, and requests that the postal service deliver the documents to the defendant via certified mail. The Court will not consider service perfected until the U.S.P.S. sends the return receipt to the Clerk of Court’s office.
If the defendant refuses to sign or otherwise claim the certified mail, the clerk of courts will then notify your attorney that service was not perfected. The attorney will then ask the clerk to “re-issue” service via regular mail, as Ohio law allows service by regular mail if the certified mail was unclaimed or refused by the defendant. Service can also be perfected via personal service by the county sheriff or a special process server (although these methods are more expensive than certified mail). Regardless of how service is ultimately perfected, the court will not schedule the case for a hearing until service has been completed. Further impacting the scheduling of the case is the court’s own docket. Logically, if the court has a backed-up docket, your case will be scheduled out further than if the court’s docket is not as crowded. How quickly you receive a court date cannot be controlled by the attorneys.
Brought to you by the Miami-Valley law offices of Morrison & Nicholson. Author: Charles W. Morrison, Partner at Morrison & Nicholson. Call today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney by calling (937) 432 – 9775.