The overall security of the Franklin County Courthouse Complex is primarily the responsibility of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Security Operations Division
, and consists of the Facility Security Unit and the Court Services Unit. The FSU employs both sworn Deputy Sheriffs and Facility Security Officers who are responsible for screening people entering the Courthouse Complex and responding to emergencies in the Courthouse. The Probate Court Bailiff/Court Security Department’s court officers work directly for Judge Montgomery and are primarily responsible for the security of the Probate Courtrooms, Court personnel and those members of the public who have business with the Court.
The Bailiff/Court Security Department consists of a Chief Bailiff and several Deputy Bailiffs, who are also appointed as Court Constables. These trained professionals provide courtroom security, serve legal papers for the Court, conduct investigations on behalf of the Court, and ensure the protection of the Court’s judicial and other officers. The Court’s bailiffs also work closely with the Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies in order to perform their duties. All bailiffs have had extensive education, training and experience in their field and are certified as armed court officers by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission
. The bailiffs also regularly attend training offered by the Ohio Bailiffs & Court Officers Association
and other groups, including topics like judicial protection, crisis intervention, tactical medicine, court security, active shooters, impact weapons, and defensive tactics. The bailiffs also serve on the High Rise Safety Team and assist in the evacuation of the Complex when required.
In an emergency in the Franklin County Courthouse, please call the Sheriff’s Courthouse Control Room at (614) 525-6000
. However, if you are aware of a potential security issue concerning the Probate Court, please call (614) 525-3894 and ask to speak to a Bailiff. For information on proper conduct in Probate Court, review Local Rule 54, Conduct in Court, which is below. For information about security in the Courthouse Complex, please the Common Pleas Court, General Division’s
security page or the Common Pleas Court’s Domestic Relations Division and Juvenile Branch
LOCAL RULE 54: Conduct in Court (eff. August 2018)
LOC.R. 54.1 General Decorum
The Franklin County Probate Court is charged with dispensing justice, resolving disputes, and protecting the constitutional rights of those who appear before the court. Appropriate levels of security should exist in the court to protect the integrity of court procedures, protect the rights of individuals before for court, sustain the decorum and dignity of the court, and assure that court facilities are secure for all those who visit and work there. Any conduct that interferes or tends to interfere with the proper administration of the court’s business is prohibited. No person shall enter or remain in any restricted area without permission of an appropriate court official. Restricted areas include: the chambers of the judicial officers, the bench area in courtrooms, the judges’ elevator, conference rooms, the jury room, employee spaces, and any other area designated by signage or order of the court as restricted. Entry into such spaces may constitute criminal trespass and/or contempt of court. The court’s officers, including its judicial officers, bailiffs, constables, the Franklin County Sheriff, and any of their deputies, as well as any other involved law enforcement officer, shall enforce the court’s orders and rules and may direct persons present in court to behave in a manner which complies with this rule. The court may issue general, special, administrative, or standing orders to implement the provisions of this rule.
LOC.R. 54.2 Attire
All persons entering the court’s facilities shall be appropriately dressed. The court may order those not appropriately dressed to leave the court facility until they are appropriately dressed.
LOC.R. 54.3 Courtroom Conduct
Spectators and non-participants in court proceedings shall be seated in the designated areas and conduct themselves in a manner that is not disruptive to the proceedings. Only officers of the court and others authorized by the court are permitted in front of the railing or bar in the courtrooms. There shall be no eating or drinking in courtrooms, unless permitted by the court. There shall be no smoking, vaping, use of electronic cigarettes, or use of any form of tobacco in the court.
LOC.R. 54.4 Electronics
No electronic recordings or transmitting devices, including but not limited to audio, videos, and/or still images, shall be made in any courtrooms or during any court proceedings or mediations without advance permission of the court. No covert electronic recordings shall be made whatsoever in the court’s facilities without approval of the court. No juror, witness, or litigant shall have their image taken while in the court’s facility by any party or member of the public. Cellular telephones and other electronic devices shall be turned off or silenced during court proceedings. At the discretion of the presiding judicial officer or any assigned court officer, electronic devices can be barred from a courtroom and temporarily impounded for return to the owner.
LOC.R. 54.5 Security Screening
Although the Franklin County Sheriff is primarily responsible for security screening in the Franklin County courthouse complex, the probate court may conduct appropriate secondary screening at its facilities when deemed necessary. Dangerous items or contraband may be temporarily or permanently seized and the involved person(s) may be barred and/or removed from the courtrooms or facility. At the Franklin County Probate Court’s courtroom at Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare, the probate court may order such security screening as is necessary.