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Methods of Judicial Selection: Ohio

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 7
Court of Appeals: 68
Court of Common Pleas: 391
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: --
Court of Appeals: 12
Court of Common Pleas: 88
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Court of Appeals: appellate district
Court of Common Pleas: county
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: partisan primary; nonpartisan general election
Court of Appeals: partisan primary; nonpartisan general election
Court of Common Pleas: partisan primary; nonpartisan general election
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Appeals: 6 yrs
Court of Common Pleas: 6 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: reelection
Court of Appeals: reelection
Court of Common Pleas: reelection
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Appeals: 6 yrs
Court of Common Pleas: 6 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment*
Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment*
Court of Common Pleas: gubernatorial appointment*
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: at the first general election held more than 40 days after the vacancy occurs; hold office for remainder of unexpired term**
Court of Appeals: at the first general election held more than 40 days after the vacancy occurs; hold office for remainder of unexpired term**
Court of Common Pleas: at the first general election held more than 40 days after the vacancy occurs; hold office for remainder of unexpired term**
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: popular election
Court of Appeals: peer vote
Court of Common Pleas: peer vote
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Appeals: 1 yr
Court of Common Pleas: 1 yr
Qualifications
Supreme Court: 6 yrs practice of law; maximum age of 70
Court of Appeals: 6 yrs practice of law; resident of district; maximum age of 70
Court of Common Pleas: 6 yrs practice of law; resident of county; maximum age of 70

Selection and retention methods and judicial term lengths are prescribed in Article 6 of the Ohio Constitution. 

*In 2007, Governor Strickland created a judicial appointments recommendation panel to evaluate the qualifications of applicants for judicial vacancies and make non-binding recommendations for appointment. 

**When the unexpired term ends within one year immediately following the next general election, the appointment is for the unexpired term.