Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Chief Justice Moyer: Abolish Mayor's Courts

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer called for the elimination of mayor's courts and part-time judges in Ohio in his annual address to the members of the Ohio State Bar Association yesterday. Chief Justice Moyer urged the General Assembly to change Ohio law to eliminate mayor's courts and part-time judgeships in Ohio and reallocate their cases to municipal and county courts.

Chief Justice Moyer said that mayor's courts are an inherent conflict of interest because the revenue from fines goes into the budget controlled by the same entity adjudicating the fine.

“ Louisiana and Ohio share a dubious distinction,” Chief Justice Moyer said. “They are the only two states that continue to permit one person to serve as executive and as judge in the same city.”

There are 333 mayor's courts in 67 Ohio counties. About 25 percent of these are in the three largest counties of Franklin, Cuyahoga and Hamilton. Nearly 60 percent of the 325,079 mayor's court cases are handled in these counties.

The full text of the Chief Justice's remarks can be found here.

Later


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