(A) Applicability. This Rule applies to all complaints and cases filed on or after July 1, 2015, in which a child is alleged to be abused, neglected and/or dependent.
(B) Separate Complaints. A separate complaint shall be filed with respect to each child alleged to be abused, neglected and/or dependent.
(C) Birth Record. A copy of the child’s birth certificate shall be filed with the complaint, or within 60 days, if unavailable at the time of filing.
(D) Related Cases. Upon filing a complaint, the complainant shall have determined if there are any Related Cases and shall identify any Related Cases to the Clerk. “Related Cases” are:
- Cases filed at the same time regarding children who have a common biological or adoptive mother;
- Cases which meet both of the following criteria:
a) children who have a common biological or adoptive mother; and
b) with respect to any of such mother’s children in a previously filed abuse, neglect or dependency case, the Court has not made disposition under R.C. 2151.353 (A)(3-5) of legal custody, permanent custody or planned permanent living arrangement; or
- Cases concerning children who have the same legal custodian.
(E) Case Numbers and Case Files.
The Clerk shall:
- Assign consecutive case numbers to Related Cases which are filed simultaneously;
- Ensure that identification of any one Related Case in the Court’s computerized docketing system also identifies all other cases related thereto.
- On the outside of each case file of Related Cases, note the case number(s) of any other Related Cases.
(F) Consolidation. Related Cases are hereby consolidated for purposes of hearings and trials. Such consolidation need not occur if the Court determines that the interests of justice or efficiency warrant otherwise. Separate Decisions, Orders, Entries, Summonses and other notices shall issue under each Related Case number, unless otherwise determined by the Court. Motions and other filings by parties or other interested persons shall be filed separately under each Related Case number unless otherwise directed by the Court.