RAVENNA -- Portage County residents are encouraged to review new local rules being proposed by the Portage County Juvenile Court, which are set to take effect March 15.

The new rules may be reviewed on the court's website -- www.co.portage.-oh.us/juvenileprobate.htm. A copy also may be obtained at the juvenile court, 8000 Infirmary Road, Sha-lersville.

Ohio juvenile courts are governed by rules set down by the Ohio Supreme Court, but also allowed to make local rules to establish procedures and practices to fit the local court, Portage County Juvenile Judge Bob Berger explained.

"The rules of court are just how we operate, the procedure and process of it," he said.

He said it is the first time, as far as he can tell, that Portage County Juvenile Court will have local rules established. For attorneys, police and defendants, the rules state how cases may be filed and what is require, how exhibits may be presented, the timing of filings, and how motions, subpoenas and other documents must be served.

For the public, the rules describe expected courtroom behavior, security, how court records are kept and numerous other regulations.

"It's a guide like that," Berger said. "It's important to public when they file something 'pro se,' or without an attorney. It took a while for us to put it together, and basically what we're looking for is public comment, if someone has a question or a suggestion."

Comments may also be addressed by letter before March 15 to Judge Bob Berger, Re: proposed rules, 8000 Infirmary Road, Ravenna 44266.