The Cleveland Heights Municipal Court has jurisdiction within the corporate limits of Cleveland Heights. The subject-matter jurisdiction of the Court, that is, the types of cases that the Court can hear, includes preliminary hearings in felony cases, traffic and non-traffic misdemeanors, and civil cases in which the amount of money in dispute does not exceed $15,000. The Judge also has the authority to perform marriages.
Felony cases are not heard by the Court, except for the initial appearance, where an accused is informed of his or her constitutional rights and bail is set, and where there is also potentially a hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. The Court also does not hear cases involving persons under 18 years of age who are charged with acts that would be crimes if committed by an adult. Nor does the Court hear divorce cases or cases dealing with the administration of estates.
The Judge is elected to a six-year term on a nonpartisan judicial ballot. The Judge must be an attorney with at least six years of experience in the practice of law, and he or she must be a resident of the City of Cleveland Heights. The Judge must observe the rules of ethics set out in the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct. There are also provisions of that Code that apply to judicial candidates. The Code is not intended as an exhaustive guide for the conduct of judges and judicial candidates. Instead, it is intended to provide guidance and assist judges in maintaining the highest standards of judicial and personal conduct and to provide a basis for regulating their conduct through disciplinary agencies.