Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Governor Signs Mayor’s Court, Youngstown Judgeship Legislation

Gov. John R. Kasich signed 42 bills into law Thursday resulting from last week’s final sessions of the 129th Ohio General Assembly. Among them was House Bill 606, which eliminates one judgeship in Mahoning County, as well as 9 mayor’s courts.

H.B. 606 eliminates one judgeship in the Youngstown Municipal Court – an entity that previously had three judges.

During testimony on the legislation, it was noted that Youngstown’s population dropped from about 100,000 to about 60,000, which made it the only Ohio city of its size to have three judgeships in its municipal court. State Rep. Robert Hagan said the legislation would save the city of Youngstown about $150,000 a year. Case statistics maintained by the Ohio Supreme Court showed that in 2011 the municipal court’s judges saw an average of 4,421 incoming cases each, compared to the statewide average of 10,008 incoming cases per judge.

The court currently has one vacant judgeship, so no sitting judge will lose a judicial position.

Additionally, H.B. 606 will eliminate nine mayor’s courts in the state by setting the minimum population to operate a mayor’s court at 201. Put-in-Bay, a municipality that exists entirely on an island in Lake Erie, is exempted.

Currently, Ohio has 325 mayor’s courts registered with the Supreme Court. By law, mayor’s court officials only hear cases involving violations of local ordinances and state traffic laws.

Probably most well-known among the mayor’s courts impacted by this legislation is Linndale in Cuyahoga County. With a population of 179, Linndale’s mayor’s court cleared more than 4,600 cases in 2011, the most recent year data is available.

Mayor’s courts expected to cease operation due to the population threshold of the legislation are:

Municipality County 2010 Census Population
Brice Franklin 114
Summitville Columbiana 135
Mifflin Ashland 137
Belmore Putnam 143
Amesville Athens 154
West Millgrove Wood 174
Linndale Cuyahoga 179
Nashville Holmes 197
West Elkton Preble 197