Jurisdiction of the Court

Lucas County Court of Common Pleas

The Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division was created by statute in 1977 to decide cases involving juveniles. The establishment of a separate, distinct Juvenile Division within the Lucas County Common Pleas judicial system was an acknowledgment of the specialization and greater community emphasis on juvenile justice.

The courts of common pleas, the only trial courts created by the Ohio Constitution, are established by Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution. The jurisdiction of courts of common pleas is outlined in Article IV, Section 4.

Court of Common Pleas Around Ohio

There is a court of common pleas in each of Ohio's 88 counties.

Courts of common pleas have original jurisdiction in all felony cases and all civil cases in which the amount in controversy exceeds $500. Most courts of common pleas have specialized divisions created by statute to decide cases involving juveniles, probate matters, and domestic relations matters.

Lucas County is one of 17 courts in Ohio that has only juvenile jurisdiction.

Juvenile Divisions

Juvenile Divisions hear cases involving persons under 18 years of age, and cases dealing with unruly, abused, dependent, and neglected children.

They also have jurisdiction in adult cases involving paternity, child abuse, nonsupport, visitation, custody, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.


Common Pleas judges are elected in odd-numbered years to six-year terms on a nonpartisan ballot.

A person must be an attorney with at least six years of experience in the practice of law to be elected or appointed as a common pleas judge.

The Governor makes appointments to fill vacancies in courts of common pleas that occur between elections.