Thomas J. Moyer

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Thomas Joseph Moyer
Thomas J. Moyer at BGSU.jpg
Moyer in 2008
Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
January 1, 1987 – April 2, 2010
Preceded byFrank Celebrezze
Succeeded byEric Brown
Personal details
Born(1939-04-18)April 18, 1939
Sandusky, Ohio, U.S.
DiedApril 2, 2010(2010-04-02) (aged 70)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Resting placeGreen Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio[1]
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Mary Francis Moyer
Alma mater

Thomas Joseph Moyer (April 18, 1939 – April 2, 2010) was an American jurist and the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court from 1987 to 2010. A member of the Republican Party, he died suddenly on April 2, 2010, at age 70.[2]

Pre-Supreme Court[edit]

Until his death, Moyer was the longest-serving state chief justice in the United States. Born in Sandusky, Ohio, he attended Sandusky High School and went on to receive both his undergraduate and law degree from The Ohio State University. He served as chairman of the board of directors of the O.S.U. Alumni Association, as well as the board of trustees of Franklin University.[3]

From 1979 to 1987, Moyer served on the Tenth District Court of Appeals for Ohio, which covers Franklin County. Prior to his appointment, he served as the president of the Columbus Board of Education. During his tenure there, the board found itself in the middle of desegregation fights, chronicled in the book Getting Around Brown. He also served for four years as an executive assistant to Governor James A. Rhodes (R-Ohio) and eight years in private practice in Sandusky.[3]

Moyer was married and lived in Columbus. He was re-elected in 1992, 1998, and 2004.

As judge[edit]

Moyer presided over the DeRolph decision dealing with school funding, as well as the late 1990s' legal battle over tort reform.[citation needed]

Although a Republican, Moyer's strong belief in the principles of stare decisis. In 2001, he created a task force on guardians ad litem in Ohio. In 2004, when the court moved into new quarters, some controversy ensued over the cost involved. On May 15, 2004, the building was dedicated by U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The court now posts its oral arguments online through RealPlayer.[citation needed]

Under Moyer's leadership, the court:

  • Started the Off-Site Court program after taking office in 1987. The Court visits two local counties per year, and educates high school students about the judiciary. The Court has visited 50 counties, offering a chance to view proceedings to 28,000 Ohioans – 22,000 of whom are high school students.
  • Revamped, in 1989, the statistical case reporting system for judges in the Rules of Superintendence (Sup.R. 37 Appendix A) to increase the accuracy and efficiency of reporting. Created a separate statistical case reporting section at the Court.
  • Amended, in 1996, the Rules for the Government of the Bar to create a process requiring lawyer referral services to register with the Court so the Court can facilitate public access to lawyers by placing this information on its Web site (see [1]).
  • Revamped, in 2002, the rules governing the Rules for the Reporting of Opinions in Ohio to standardize the publication of opinions from the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals to increase public access and availability written opinions.
  • Began, in March 2004, broadcasting live all Supreme Court Oral Arguments on cable TV and on the Internet. The cable signal reaches more than 5 million homes across Ohio. Ohio's courts are among only a small number of courts in the United States that broadcast all arguments live. All cases are also archived on the Internet.
  • Put the Attorney Registration Database online in 2004 so citizens can access information about any Ohio attorney, including business address and phone number, date of birth, date of admission to practice, disciplinary history and CLE status.
  • Put the entire docket online in 2005, allowing anyone at any time to check the status of a case, learn about new filings, and locate counsel information.
  • Began, in 2006, the closed-captioning of all oral arguments to facilitate access by deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens and to enable public access to unofficial transcripts of all proceedings in a searchable database. Ohio is one of only two state courts in the country with this service.[citation needed]
  • In October 2009 declined to hear the ramifications of a lawsuit written by Ohio Special Counsel against a sole family provider of care of the appellant's mother. This arose in Ohio probate and concerned a cabin over which Ohio Probate lacks jurisdiction.


  1. ^ "Thomas Joseph Moyer". The Supreme Court of Ohio & The Ohio Judicial System.
  2. ^ Friday April 2, 2010 7:45 PM (2010-04-02). "Notice of death of Thomas J. Moyer". Archived from the original on April 5, 2010. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  3. ^ a b "Chief Justice Moyer's official biography". Retrieved 2014-01-07.
Political offices
Preceded by
Frank Celebrezze
Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Eric Brown