Magistrate Requirements


Under Civil Rule 53, Juvenile Rule 40, Criminal Rule 19, Traffic Rule 14 and Superintendence Rule 19 (A), a magistrate shall have been engaged in the practice of law for at least four years and be in good standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio at the time of appointment.

Appointment and Authority

Under Civil Rule 53, Juvenile Rule 40, Criminal Rule 19 and Traffic Rule 14, a court of record may appoint one or more magistrates who shall have been engaged in the practice of law for at least four years and be in good standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio at the time of the appointment.  Superintendence Rule 19.1 requires that all municipal courts having more than two judges shall appoint one or more magistrates to hear specified proceedings.  They derive their authority under the same Rules. Magistrates are also granted special authority to hear protection orders under Civil Rule 65.1.

Annual Registration

Magistrates are required to complete an annual registration pursuant to Rule 19 of the Rules of Superintendence and Rule 10 of the Rules for the Government of the Bar.

If your appointment occurred after 12/31/17, the administrative judge of your appointing court must notify the Office of Attorney Services of your appointment pursuant to Rules 4.01 and Rule 19 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio, before you can annually register.

Instructions for annual registration and for notification of the termination of an appointment

Administrative Judges Notification of Magistrate Appointments and Terminations

Please contact the Office of Attorney Services by either calling 614.387.9320 or by sending an email to if you have any questions.

For more information about Magistrate Registration contact:

Gina Palmer, Director
Supreme Court of Ohio
Office of Attorney Services
c/o Magistrate Annual Registration
65 South Front St., 5th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431
Phone: 614-387-9320

CLE Requirement

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements increased for magistrates to the same requirement as judges. All magistrates, including full-time and part-time magistrates, are required to earn 40 hours of continuing legal education, including 10 hours of instruction through courses offered by the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College, every two years.  Further, as part of the 10-hour Judicial College education requirement, three hours of instruction must be designated as “judicial conduct,” which may include courses on topics such as judicial ethics, judicial professionalism, and access to justice. Gov. Bar R. X, Sec. 10(C).

The increased CLE requirements first apply to magistrates whose last names begin with the letters A through L for the 2018/2019 compliance period ending Dec. 31, 2019. These magistrates are required to complete a prorated requirement of 32 hours. As part of the 32 hours, a minimum of 10 hours must be from courses offered by the Judicial College, including three hours of judicial conduct.

Magistrates with the last name starting with M through Z will be required to comply with the 40-hour requirement beginning with the 2019/2020 compliance period.

Attorneys appointed as a magistrate on or after Jan. 1, 2019, or sitting magistrates who change jurisdictions will also be required to complete the orientation and mentor program.

Any questions regarding the requirements should be directed to the Office of Attorney Services at 614.387.9320.

Magistrate Orientation

Effective January 1, 2019, and as part of the 40-hour requirement as a new magistrate (see #8 or #9 above), you will be required to complete the Magistrate Orientation Program, which is conducted by the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College.  The orientation program must be completed within 12 months of your date of appointment as a magistrate. This orientation is also required for those magistrates who have changed court jurisdictions. Please check the Judicial College course calendar for the dates of this program. Questions should be directed to the Judicial College at 614.387.9445 or  Please note that the orientation is approved for Judicial College credit hours.

In addition, any magistrate who changes court jurisdictions must complete the orientation program.  What does that mean?

The following chart provides examples in which a magistrate may or may not have to take the magistrate orientation program:

Former Court Appointment New Court Appointment Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, or later New Magistrate Orientation Required?
Municipal Court of Common Pleas Yes
Juvenile Juvenile/Probate Yes (probate portion only)
Domestic Relations in County A Domestic Relations in County B No


Pursuant to Rule X for the Government of the Bar, all new magistrates must also participate in a one-year mentoring program as part of The Magistrate Orientation Program. The Judicial College Mentor Program seeks to elevate the competence, collegiality, and success of Ohio’s judiciary. What is required of a mentor? The mentor’s responsibility is to provide information, assistance, and encouragement to the new magistrate during the first year on the bench. The program requires a minimum of four quarterly contacts over the course of a twelve-month period. What are the benefits to the mentor? Mentors often find that serving as a mentor gives them: · Renewed sense of purpose · Opportunity to give back to the judicial community and leave a legacy · Opportunity to reflect on one’s own practices.

If you would like to serve as a Mentor, click the following link:

For more information, contact Sam Campbell, Education Program Manager for the Ohio Judicial College at 614-387-9462 or email him at

Financial Disclosure

A magistrate serving on a full- or part-time basis any time during the year is required by R.C. 102.02(A)(2)(c) and Rule 3.15 of the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct to complete and file an annual financial disclosure statement. Effective in 2014, there is the option to complete the form electronically, but this option will become mandatory in 2016.

The online portal may be accessed at

If you do not choose to file electronically this year, a copy of the financial disclosure statement and instructions regarding completion of your form may be found at

Code of Judicial Conduct

Both Full and Part-Time Magistrates are subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct which may be found at