Contractors Have a Vehicle to Remove County “Home Court Advantage”

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

Occasionally contractors performing construction work for Ohio counties have disputes that result in litigation, often in the home of the county who acted as the owner on the project. Some contractors believe this gives the county a "home court advantage" as jurors in the county also are taxpayers in that county.

An obscure state statute, O.R.C. § 2311.42, provides that in these circumstances a contractor can request that jurors be selected from an adjoining county to hear the dispute and eliminate any perception of a home court advantage. Contractors with claims against counties may need to consider utilizing this statute to request out-of-county jurors, and counties should be aware of its existence.