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Cleveland Housing Court has jurisdiction over criminal cases filed by the City of Cleveland and the Village of Bratenahl against property owners and/or persons in control of property located in these areas.

These criminal cases involve violations of city or state laws relating to housing, building, fire, zoning, agriculture, health, sidewalks, waste collection, safety and air pollution. Fines and jail time are punishable outcomes if found guilty. These offenses are minor misdemeanors or first degree misdemeanors. Convictions on these offenses are punishable by fines and/or jail time.

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Housing Court's Role in Criminal Cases

As outlined by Judge Patrick Carroll in City of Lakewood v. Krebs, 150 Ohio Misc.2d 1, 901 N.E.2d 885, 2008-Ohio-7083:

Ex Parte Contacts and Communications

In general, a judge may not initiate, receive, permit, or consider ex parte communications.  See Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct 2.9.  “Ex parte” means a communication from only one party to a dispute, without notice to or the presence of the other party.

There are new rules that apply to Judges and specialized dockets.  When administering a specialized docket, such as the Housing Court, a judge may initiate, receive, permit, or consider an ex parte communication, provided that the judge reasonably believes that no party will gain a procedural, substantive, or tactical advantage while in the specialized docket as a result of the ex parte communication.  See CJC 2.9(A)(6).  In this capacity, judges may assume a more interactive role with parties, probation officers, social workers, and others.  See CJC 2.9 Comment 4A.


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