The provisions in this rule are being adopted to protect the integrity of court procedures, protect the rights of individuals before it, deter those who would take violent action against the court or litigants, sustain the proper decorum and dignity of the court, and ensure that court facilities are secure for all those who visit and work there. The term “court” includes the courtroom, clerk’s office, probation department and all other court facilities and the building in which the court is located. Any person who refuses to submit to a search shall be denied access to the building, regardless of the purpose.
A) Search of person. All persons entering the courthouse and other court facilities are subject to security procedures, including but not limited to search by magnetometer and/or electronic wand equipment operated by Court security staff and search of the person or person’s property, including, but not limited to any clothing, bag, briefcase, backpack, or other package or container. Attorneys in good standing with the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court who have been issued a photo identification card exempting them from security procedures at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center and other court facilities may be exempt from screening upon presentation of this photo identification card. By entering Lakewood City Hall where the court is located, all persons consent to a search of their person and items in their possession. If the person objects or refuses to be searched, the person shall not be permitted to enter the building. If the person is in possession of any deadly weapon, firearm, dangerous ordnance, knife (regardless of size), drug paraphernalia or other contraband, the court bailiff or other officer providing security to the court shall consider the totality of the circumstances and the type of items involved and use his or her discretion whether to pursue the issue or allow the individual to either leave the building or remove the item from the court facility.
B) Confiscation of items. Any deadly weapon, firearm, dangerous ordnance, knife, (regardless of size), drug paraphernalia or other contraband seized by court staff shall be considered forfeited and shall not be returned without a written court order. The court staff person taking possession of the item shall log:
1) the date,
2) name, address and phone number of person,
3) a brief description of the item taken.
If the item is otherwise illegal to possess, the court staff person shall detain the person if reasonable under the circumstances and notify the Lakewood Police Department for further investigation.
All items seized shall be turned over to the police on a weekly basis, unless, based upon the nature of the item seized or the circumstances of the seizure it may be returned earlier. Items turned over to the police shall be held by the police for regular destruction in accordance with the customary police inventory procedure, unless by court order the item is to be released or otherwise used by the police. A person from whom an item is seized may apply to the court in writing within ten (10) days from the seizure of the item for its return. Any item not claimed within twenty (20) days of being seized may be deemed forfeited and disposed of by the police.
C) Weapons. No person, with the exception of a judge, court security bailiff, Lakewood Police Officer, or other law enforcement officer as set out in R.C. 2923.123 who is acting within the scope of his/her official duties while at the court and individuals conveying a deadly weapon, firearm, or dangerous ordinance to be used as evidence in a pending criminal or civil action or proceeding and who have provided prior written notice and permission from the court, will be permitted to possess a deadly weapon, firearm, or dangerous ordnance at the court or in any court facility. If a person is either carrying a valid concealed handgun license or is an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States and is carrying a valid military identification card and documentation of successful completion of firearms training, the person shall give the weapon to the court security officer to secure until the person leaves the building. R. C. 2923.123.
D) Additional provisions. The court has appointed a court security advisory committee to develop, review and revise court security procedures and a court security plan in accordance with the Rules of Superintendence of the Supreme Court of Ohio.