1. Under R.C. § 2953.25, the Court adopts the following procedure to obtain a Certification of Qualification for Employment (CQE).
    1. Residents of Richland County may seek a CQE from this court using the following procedure. Those residing in another Ohio county must file in their home county, even if they were previously convicted of criminal offenses in Richland County.
    2. All CQE applicants must first submit a petition electronically through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) website located at https://www.drccqe.com.
    3. After the petition for a CQE has been submitted electronically and it is determined to be complete by the ODRC and a DRC CQE Summary has been filed, the Petitioner shall appear at the office of the Richland County Clerk of Courts, within 30 days of the completion of the DRC CQE Summary, to complete filing and pay the required application fee. Failure to file the petition with the court and pay the application fee within 30 days will result in the court dismissing the petition for want of prosecution. A petition for a CQE is filed as a civil action. The application fee is $50.00.
    4. A petition filed with this court must include a copy of the fully completed Electronic Application as submitted to the ODRC. The Petitioner must complete a Petition Cover Sheet (Form A) and include their assigned ODRC Electronic Petition Identification number.
    5. The individual filing the petition for a CQE is responsible for removing personal and private information, such as the individual’s social security number and date of birth, from the petition, any exhibits or addenda attached to the petition, or from documents later filed in the proceeding. Personal and private information must be submitted on a Disclosure of Personal Identifier form, which is a non-public record. The information will be kept in a separate envelope within the case file and appropriately marked as containing personal and private information.
    6. Unless the assigned judge deems it unnecessary because sufficient information is known to justify denial of the petition, after receiving a CQE petition the court will perform an investigation. The following will be provided notice of the filing and a copy of the petition and granted the opportunity to agree, disagree or provide no comment regarding the request:
      1. The Richland County Prosecutor,
      2. Any common pleas court, municipal court or mayor’s court in the State of Ohio where the Petitioner has appeared to answer for any criminal or serious traffic matter.
    7. The Richland County Probation Department may perform an investigation into the Petitioner’s criminal history. In doing so, the Department may use any records of this court. The resulting report is not public record and shall be treated with the same level of confidentiality as a pre-sentence report.
    8. The judge may order any report or investigation concerning the Petitioner or disclosure by the Petitioner that the court believes is necessary to reach a decision on the petition.
    9. Unless the assigned judge has already denied the petition, following the completion of the investigation, the judge will be presented with an information packet and an “Investigation Completed” notice will be filed with the clerk. The packet shall include a copy of the petition, the criminal history, and other information obtained by the court in accordance with O.R.C. § 2953.25 and O.A.C. Rule 5120-15-01. The packet is not a public record and shall not be made a part of the Clerk’s file.
    10. A decision either granting or denying the petition shall be issued within sixty days of the filing of the “Investigation Completed” notice. The Petitioner may file a response to the prosecutor’s or another court’s response to the request for information prior to the granting or denial of the petition.
    11. The court shall notify the Petitioner of its decision to grant or deny the petition by judgment entry. The court will notify the ODRC of the disposition of each CQE petition as required. When a petition is granted, the court’s judgment entry shall order the ODRC to issue a CQE.
    12. Petitioners who have been granted a CQE by the court shall have a continuing duty to report, in writing to the court, any arrest or conviction of Petitioner for any felony offense after the issuance of the CQE. Such reports must be filed with the clerk within seven days of arrest, or if not released on bond, within seven days of conviction for a felony offense.
    13. If the petition has been denied, the judgment entry shall include conditions, if any, placed on subsequent filings. A denial of a petition for CQE is a final appealable order and may be appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals.
Certificate of Qualifications for Employment (CQE) Form Download