Ohio Court of Claims Lawyer – Claims Against the State
Any person seeking money damages from the State of Ohio, any agency, college, or university for damages must file exclusively in the Ohio Court of Claims in Columbus, Ohio. An Ohio Court of Claims lawyer at Graff & McGovern can provide experienced representation to help you meet your goals in your claim against the state.
Contact Graff & McGovern today at 614-228-5800, or use our online form, to schedule a consultation about your case and to learn your legal options.
The Ohio Court of Claims
State government, agencies, and employees enjoy constitutional immunity from lawsuits unless the government consents to be sued. In the 1970s, Ohio voters approved an amendment to the Ohio Constitution allowing for money damage claims against the state when a person suffered harm caused by the state.
These claims include suing a state agency in a contract matter as well as for a personal injury. For instance, in a construction contract administered by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, a contractor denied a Change Order must perfect that claim through the “Article 8” process, then timely sue in the Court of Claims.
As a specialty court, the Ohio Court of Claims uses its own unique rules and statutes in determining cases. For instance, a person must bring claims against the state within two years, even if another statute of limitations might otherwise provide for a longer time for other parties. In addition, the limited waiver against the state provides that a person has no right to a trial by jury.
The Court of Claims also is a court of general jurisdiction, with authority to issue injunctive relief if coupled with a claim. The first such injunction issued by the Court of Claims was obtained by one of our government affairs lawyers.
Recently, Ohio added public records mediation and adjudication to the Court of Claims’ duties. This process is expedited. Given the novelty of the new process, many issues will be “first impression” in the litigation and appeal.
How an Ohio Court of Claims Lawyer Can Help
Because of the particular nature of this court, an Ohio Court of Claims lawyer with experience litigating cases in the court will share those experiences in assisting with other cases.
Without a jury, a single judge hears all claims and renders a final decision. Precedent from prior state agency claim rulings may help, so a claimant should understand the body of case law from the court.
Given that Court of Claims precedent may affect subsequent claims against agencies, often the cases involve significant public policy. In certain instances, a claimant may consider an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief from trade associations interested in the outcome.
A claimant appeals all adverse decisions to the Franklin County Court of Appeals. This appellate court is influential in deciding public policy as a result of this singular jurisdiction.
Contact Graff & McGovern Today
Whether your case involves a government policy, personal injury, or a contract dispute, we offer counsel and advocacy based on decades of practical experience.
To learn more about how Graff & McGovern can help with your case, call us at 614-228-5800, or use our online form, to schedule an appointment with an Ohio Court of Claims lawyer.