Shaker Heights Municipal Court 3355 Lee Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120

Civil - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the court's jurisdiction?
The court district consists of the cities of Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, University Heights and the Village of Hunting Valley.

I am a landlord. How do I start eviction proceedings?
Best advice is to seek legal counsel. Proper notice needs to be served, and then a Complaint In Forcible Entry and Detainer needs to be filed with the court with proper service instructions. For your reference see Chapter 1923 of the Ohio Revised Code.

How do I file a small claims case?
Small claims cases may be filed at the Clerk of Court's office during normal business hours. You can file for monetary damages up to $6,000.00. Forms and a Small Claims Brochure are available at the Clerk of Court's office. Refer to the Civil Cost section on the Civil Page for filing fee information.

What is the monetary limit for the general civil cases?
Cases filed in the general civil division of Shaker Heights Court can be for damages up to $15,000.00.

Does the court provide legal assistance?
The court cannot provide legal assistance or advice to any plaintiff or defendant. The court cannot recommend legal counsel to anyone. Contact the Cleveland MetropolitanBar Association for recommendations. Links to the bar associations websites are on the "LINKS" page.

Does the court refund filing fees if the case is dismissed?
All filing fees that are collected for civil cases are considered normal operating costs for the court and are not refundable.

What is the court costs for rent cases?
Rent cases require no fee at the time of filing, however, one percent (1%) of all funds placed in deposit with the court will be withheld as court costs at the time of disposition. Normal monthly rent deposits must be filed with the court including your current monthly rent at the time of filing. No personal checks will be accepted for rent cases.

Can I appear for my corporation or company in a Small Claims action if I am not an attorney?

Yes, under limited circumstances. According to O.R.C. 1925.17, a corporation through any bona fide officer or salaried employee may file and present its claim or defense provided that such corporation does not engage in cross-examination, argument, or other acts other acts of advocacy. This statute was clarified per the holding in Cleveland Bar Ass’n v. Pearlman, 106 Ohio St. 3d 136 (2005), wherein a non-attorney who presents a claim or defense and appears in small claims court on behalf of a limited liability corporation as a company officer does not engage in the unauthorized practice of law, provided that the individual does not engage in cross-examination, argument, or other acts of advocacy.