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FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT Columbus, Ohio NINETY-EIGHTH ANNUAL REPORT 2013
Table of Contents
FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT CLERK’S OFFICE INTRODUCTION LETTER FROM THE CLERK OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT AND MISSION STATEMENT HISTORY OF THE COURT FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT ORGANIZATION
SECTION 1 FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT CLERK STAFF ORGANIZATIONAL CHART FUNDING OF THE FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT CLERK’S OFFICE
SECTION 2 CLERK ADMINISTRATION DIVISION
SECTION 3 OFFICE OF INFORMATION SERVICES/IMAGING
SECTION 4 QUALITY CONTROL DIVISION
SECTION 5 COLLECTION DIVISION
SECTION 6 CIVIL DIVISION
SECTION 7 CRIMINAL DIVISION COURTROOM SERVICE GROUP ENVIRONMENTAL AND EXPUNGEMENTS
SECTION 8 TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS BUREAU AND CORRESPONDENCE
SECTION 9 ACCOUNTING/FINANCE DIVISION
SECTION 10 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Table of Contents FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT
SECTION 11 LETTER FROM ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT ANNUAL REPORT 2012 MAGISTRATES COURTROOM BAILIFFS COURT ADMINISTRATION
SECTION 12 COURT SUPPORT SERVICES COURT SECURITY PROGRAM INTERPRETER SERVICES VEHICLE IMMOBILIZATION PROGRAM ASSIGNMENT OFFICE COURT REPORTERS JURY COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE LEGAL RESEARCH DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION SERVICES SERVICE BAILIFFS SMALL CLAIMS DIVISION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROGRAM SPECIALIZED DOCKETS SPECIAL PROJECTS FUNDS
SECTION 13 COST SAVINGS AND EFFICIENCY INITIATIVES * ASSIGNMENT OFFICE * JURY COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE * DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION SERVICES * MAGISTRATE’S DEPARTMENT * INTERPRETER SERVICES * COURT-APPOINTED COUNSEL PROGRAM * DISPUTE RESOLUTION DEPARTMENT * SERVICE BALIFF’S DEPARTMENT
4 Letter from Clerk Lori M. Tyack Welcome to the Ninety-Eighth Annual Report of the Franklin County Municipal Court and Clerk’s Office. As Clerk, my commitment is to re-engineer and apply new Competences , continue to find new ways to improve operations and cultivate cooperation with other government agencies and the community. The Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk’s Office serves as the bridge for Municipal, County and State initiatives. The Clerk’s Office provided continuous assistance to Crime Stoppers, on-site support during the Vice Operation of the Columbus Division of Police and Operation Shield 3, a collaborative effort between the Ohio Highway Patrol, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Columbus Division of Police. One of our collaborative efforts was recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court in an online story entitled “Municipal Court Clerk Assists with Game Day Enforcement.” Additionally, the Clerk’s Office provided imaging services to the Franklin County Municipal Probation Department allowing the entire department to become paperless. Other collaborative efforts include participating on the Franklin County E-Governance Board, the Franklin County Criminal Justice Planning Board, the Task Force for Funding of Ohio Courts, and the Traffic Rules Committee of the Ohio Supreme Court. The Ohio Traffic Records Coordinating Committee will be conducting a pilot for a statewide e-citation program in Franklin and Clermont County, beginning in May of 2014. The Clerk’s Office is pleased to have been invited to participate in this initiative. The Clerk’s Office annual audit for 2013 performed by Plante & Moran, PLLC, had a result of “zero infractions” with our financial record keeping and internal controls. New fraud protections have been implemented including the purchase of specialized checks for bond/bail refunds for improved security for all Clerk’s Office checking accounts. In May of 2013, two representatives from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Bureau of Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) visited the Clerk’s Office to view the process of capturing digital fingerprints of those defendants charged with reportable misdemeanors. Based on the success of our program, NCSC and BCI&I are modeling a statewide fingerprint capturing initiative for other clerk’s offices.
One of the strategic priorities for 2014 will be to create and implement an office-wide electronic filing system. This initiative will begin with Environmental Civil case files and will be slowly expanded to cover all civil case files by year’s end. Thank you for taking the time to review our 2013 Annual Report.
Lori M. Tyack, Clerk Franklin County Municipal Court
OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT The Clerk’s Office is entrusted with the responsibility of processing and archiving all Court records in accordance with file retention requirements established by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Additionally, the Clerk’s Office calculates and fully details all financial transactions involving the Court. The Clerk’s Office compiles and publishes an Annual Report each year that details the various categories of Court case filings and all financial transactions connected with all Court cases and statistically reports all relevant data regarding the same.
Lori M. Tyack, Clerk MISSION STATEMENT The Mission of the Franklin County Municipal Court, Clerk of Court’s Office is to accurately maintain, safeguard and store all Court documents as well as collect and disburse all monies as directed by legal mandates. This will be accomplished through a knowledgeable and diverse staff that will strive to serve all who use this office through competent customer service, communications and community outreach.
6 FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT The Franklin County Municipal Court has jurisdiction over traffic citations, criminal misdemeanor charges and civil case filings regarding disputes that range up to an amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00), as well as actions regarding building, health, housing or safety codes. The Franklin County Municipal Court has county-wide jurisdiction and is divided into two (2) Divisions. The General Division is served by fourteen (14) Municipal Judges and the Environmental Division is served by one (1) Municipal Judge. Six (6) Magistrates also serve the Franklin County Municipal Court. Judges serve for a term of six (6) years. COURT ADMINISTRATION Administrative and Presiding Judge
Honorable James E. Green General Division Judges Honorable Honorable Honorable Honorable Honorable Honorable Honorable
Ted Barrows Michael T. Brandt Carrie E. Glaeden Paul M. Herbert Mark A. Hummer James P. O’Grady Andrea Peeples
H. William Pollitt, Jr. Amy Salerno Anne Taylor David B. Tyack Scott D.VanDerKarr David C. Young
Environmental Division Judge Honorable Harland H. Hale Honorable Daniel R. Hawkins Magistrates Honorable Kathleen E. Graham Honorable David S. Jump Honorable Danielle Sparks
Honorable Kirk Lindsey Honorable Denise Mathews Honorable Antonio Paat
Clerk of Court Honorable Lori M. Tyack Court Administrator Emily Shaw
FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT CLERK OF COURT MANAGEMENT STAFF 12.31.2013
Lori M. Tyack Obie Lucas Jerry O’Shaughnessy Marilynn Stephens Michelle LaMarr Crystal Ross Ken Euman Susan Johnson Jasmund Pugh Judy Vance Melissia Fuhrmann Mike Cherry Rhonda Ferguson LeeAnne Sheppard Ahmed Kasheer James Brad Laver Matt Pendy Laura Ricker Sancha Young Debra Jones Mike VanGundy Mindy Varga Colleen Peckens James “Pete” Brim Jerome Kemp Rick Kramer Mike Pizzurro Robyn Johnson Jeff Dever Matt Davenport
Clerk of Court Chief Deputy Clerk Director, Human Resources/Strategic Planning Director, Public Relations Payroll Administrator Director, Fiscal Administration Assistant Fiscal Administrator Administrative Assistant Quality Control Analyst – Criminal/Traffic Division Quality Control Analyst – Civil Division Manager, Civil Division Manager, Collection Division Manager, Accounting/Finance Division Manager, Quality Control Director, Office of Information Services Deputy Director, Office of Information Services Manager, Criminal/Traffic Division Manager, Courtroom Services Group Manager, Traffic Violations/Communications Assistant Manager, Traffic Violations Bureau Supervisor, Civil Division Supervisor, Civil Division Supervisor, Civil Division - 11.08.13 Supervisor, Criminal/Traffic Division Supervisor, Criminal/Traffic Division Supervisor, Criminal/Traffic Division Supervisor, 2nd Shift Criminal/Traffic Division Supervisor, 3rd Shift Criminal/Traffic Division Supervisor, Accounting/Finance Division Supervisor, Accounting/Finance Division – 11.24.13
Ticket 1st Shift Courtroom Initiation 2ndShift Services 3rd Shift Group Mail Room
Collections of Unpaid Costs Fines, Bond Forfeitures
Civil Filings Civil File Room
Accounting Finance Manager
Quality Control Manager
Collecting and Disbursing Monies
Office of Information Services/ Imaging Director
Process Review Audits
Serves the Court and Clerk’s Office
Funding of the Franklin County Clerk’s Office Municipal Court Clerk’s Office 2013 General Fund
Personnel Services Materials and Supplies Services for Operations and Maintenance Other Expenditures
$10,130,854 126,572 712,710
Municipal Court Clerk’s Office 2013 Special Revenue Fund Personnel Services Materials and Supplies Services for Operations and Maintenance Other Expenditures Capital Outlay Transfer Out-Operating
318,266 78,203 594,815
Clerk Administration Division
The Administrative Division of the Clerk’s Office is comprised of the Office of the Clerk, Chief Deputy Clerk, Director of Public Relations, Fiscal Administrator, Payroll, and Human Resources/Strategic Planning which includes education and training. This Division oversees the day to day operations of the Clerk’s Office and is governed by directives as set forth in the Annual Budget and the Ohio Revised Code. Additionally, all new programs, contracts, projects, and grants are created and implemented within the Division. It conducts all public relations and internal communications for the Clerk’s Office. Accomplishments for the Administration Division in 2013 are as follows: • • • • • • •
Restructured internal training methodology Created Six (6) new Deputy Clerk positions for Assigned File Group in Criminal/Traffic Worked with the Court to assume assigned case file responsibilities Created Two (2) new Courtroom Service Group Deputy Clerk positions in Civil Division Formed an electronic filing task force Established a new awards and recognitions program Continued to enhance professional development opportunities for leadership team members Two (2) Deputy Clerks have been accepted into The National Center for State Courts’ Institute for Court Management through the Supreme Court of Ohio
Participated in Community Outreach Programs • St. Vincent Family Center Toy Drive • Sponsored a Book Fair to benefit the Combined Charitable Campaign • Collected food for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and supported Operation Feed • Facilitated Three (3) Red Cross Blood Drives • Provided career path tours and internships for local high school and college students
Office of Information Services
IT Mission Statement The Office of Information Services provides services related to information technology to the Franklin County Municipal Court and Clerk’s Office staff. This Division’s responsibilities include: Maintaining a stable electronic work environment, collaborating with other staff to use information technology to better serve the Franklin County Municipal Court, identifying emerging technologies to the Court’s investment in technology, and providing training to staff on the proper use of software programs and equipment. Accomplishments for OIS in 2013 are as follows: Accomplishments for OIS in 2013 are as follows: • Upgraded all Desktop (Virtual) Machines to Version 5 • Upgraded Firewalls to increase data security • All internal CourtView upgrades current
• Performed Microsoft Office 2013 upgrades for 400+ Clerk/Court users • Relocated Database to new storage SAN for better performance • Built a real-time training computer lab • Upgraded the Integrated Document Imaging Solution to OnBase • Redesigned Imaging Batch Scan Workflow to integrate with CourtView
• Over 30,000,000 page views on Website in 2013 • Over 6,000 internal Help Desk Tickets completed in 2013 • Internal testing on CourtView E-filing module • Beta testing secure portal for viewing Case File Images • Provided Hyland OnBase System Administrator training to an OIS Deputy Clerk resulting in two certified OIS staff members • OnBase Certified System Administrator and • OnBase Certified Workflow Administrator
Quality Control/Assurance Division The Quality Control/Assurance Division is responsible for minimizing erroneous data through a system of real time process monitoring, audit reporting and Total Quality Management Strategies. Through business process improvement and change control programs, the Quality Control team has elevated efforts toward reengineering business processes and is better positioned to identify and leverage new technologies. As a result, the Quality Control/Assurance Division has been able to improve the services that the Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk’s Office provides to both its internal and external customers while saving taxpayer dollars through helping to make the office more efficient. Accomplishments for Quality Control/Assurance in 2013 are as follows: •
Assigned new Division Manager
Lead External Audit conducted by Auditing Firm, Plante & Moran, PLLC, zero infractions
Assigned new Staff Accountant position
Worked cooperatively with Civil Manager to improve processes
Completed Feasibility Study for Clerk’s Office and other external stakeholders
All Quality Control staff completed a variety of Fred Pryor, Supreme Court Seminars and Citywide Training
Partnered with Director of the Franklin County Law Library to review and analyze the disbursement process
Created new incident/error reports submitted to Division Managers
Collection Division The Collection Division oversees and coordinates the collection of debts owed to the Court, the City of Columbus, Franklin County, and the State of Ohio. In 2013 the Clerk’s Office contracted with Three (3) outside Collection agencies for the purpose of recovering those funds. Additionally, the Collection Division is responsible for securing surety bond agent registration, monitoring compliance of State and Local Statutes and processing monthly billing statements. Accomplishments for Collections in 2013 are as follows: •
Continued generating past due notices in-house for payable tickets
Bond money forfeited by the Court for 2013 - $59,747.00
Bond Forfeiture Judgments paid for 2013 - $8,041.38
Managed billings and compliance for seventeen (17) active bond companies and over one hundred (100) surety agents
TOTAL AMOUNT SENT IN 2013
TOTAL COLLECTED 2013
COMMISSION PAID 2013
CAPITAL RECOVERY Bond Forfeitures
CAPITAL RECOVERY Enforcement Cases
Civil Division The Civil Division is responsible for accepting, filing, issuing service, docketing, processing, and maintaining records for Civil cases. Civil cases include: contract disputes, personal injury, property damage, evictions, small claims, certificate of judgment transfers, foreclosures, declaratory judgments, housing and safety code issues. Accomplishments for the Civil Division in 2013 are as follows: • Updated Garnishment and BMV forms on the Clerk’s web site • Assumed responsibility for the Court’s assigned Civil case files • Created a new training program for incoming Civil Deputy Clerks
• Revised the Comprehensive Contingency Plan for the Civil Division • Cross-trained with BVM Clerks on BMV issues • Completed a comprehensive review of Certified Mail procedures and improved procedures for better tracking
• Implemented Two (2) Courtroom Service Group Deputy Clerks to assist in Evictions Court and BMV Court
Transfers to Common Pleas Court Civil Appeals Processed Notice of Final Order Issued Notice of Failed Service Issued Exemplified Copies
Mail Payments Processed Total
The Criminal Traffic Division processes and maintains Criminal, Traffic, and Environmental cases. The Criminal/Traffic Division provides a multitude of services to the general public, law enforcement, and the Court. This Division plays an integral role in the promotion of public safety by providing support twenty-four (24) hours per day to law enforcement agencies throughout the County. The Criminal/Traffic Division is also responsible for collection and disbursement of bail/bond monies for defendants who are in custody. This process includes providing documentation to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office so that defendants may be released from custody. The Criminal/Traffic Division is responsible for electronically reporting several types of Traffic violations to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). The Division also processes applications for the expungement of case records as well as maintaining and securing records which have been ordered by the Court to be sealed. Other examples of service include administering oaths, accepting criminal and traffic charges, filing motions, filing search warrants, providing information about court cases, dispositions, future court dates, as well as assisting in the courtroom. Accomplishments for Criminal/Traffic in 2013 are as follows:
Successful migration of all Criminal/Traffic Assignment files
Implemented Six (6) new Deputy Clerk positions and One (1) Controller position for the Assigned File Group
Implemented Remote Clerking at Jackson Pike Jail
Modified 2nd shift hours to 4:30 – 11:30 p.m.
Improved communications between Courtroom Service Group and both jail regarding bail sheets
Criminal/Traffic Forms -- available on website in PDF format
Human trafficking Forms -- approved by Judge Herbert
Participated in Franklin County’s Operation Feed Volleyball Tournament – 1st place
Electronic filing of all Bindovers and Expungements with Common Pleas Clerk of Courts
Accomplishments for Criminal/Traffic in 2013 continued …..
Recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court for support services provided during the STOP Program
Operation Shield 3 – Provided off-site support to multiple law enforcement agencies for 48 straight hours for program held at Jackson Pike Jail
Vice Operation – provided off-site support to Columbus Division of Police for two-day program
Participated in multiple training initiatives: Bond Calculation Class; Jurisdiction Training; Sovereign Citizen Training; Generation’s Class
Coordinated staff swaps with Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Worked in conjunction with Court to create new Expungement Forms; New Firearms Expungements Packet
Extended new Deputy Clerk training to eight weeks
Expanded timeline for Civil filings from 4:30 to 5:00 weekdays
Criminal Cases 2013 Type A-Felony
Traffic Cases 2013 Type C-OVI
Type D-All Other
Five Year Comparative Review of Cases Filed
155,967 128,915 125,322 146,343
Five Year Comparative Review of Charges Filed 2009
182,288 143,727 127,964 151,708
234,892 197,041 192,615 213,827
COURT SERVICES GROUP The Courtroom Service Group (“CSG”) is a select group of highly skilled Deputy Clerks in the Criminal/Traffic Division responsible for the daily processing and updating of all cases on the Criminal/Traffic dockets. A CSG Deputy Clerk is assigned to each of the Fifteen (15) Judges as well as, the Arraignment courtrooms (4C, 4D, 1A, 1B, 15C). On a daily basis, CSG Deputy Clerks docket subpoenas and motions, process unpaid fines and costs, enter sentencing information, issue warrants, process continuances, enter limited driving privileges, add Temporary Protection Orders, update bond information, and update all entries on CourtView. Additionally, CSG Deputy Clerks are responsible for routing files to the Assignment Office, Probation Department, Accounting/Finance Department, Expungement Department, Prosecutor’s Office, and to the Vehicle Immobilization Coordinator. They also time stamp, docket, pull and route Statement of Violations filed by the Probation Department. In addition, CSG Deputy Clerks run and process case management reports. Each CSG member acts as a liaison between the Court personnel and the Clerk’s Office. After court, CSG Deputy Clerks provide assistance to other Divisions of the Clerk’s Office. In 2013 the Courtroom Services Group accomplished the following:
• Increased the number of Training Classes attended • Developed a new Work Release violation procedure for after hours in cooperation with the Probation Department • Participated in various Operation Shield events involving other agencies • Developed a Jeopardy themed training game for CSG • Participated in the annual volleyball tournament • Established new termination codes for arraignment courts 4C and 4D
• Participated in tours of the BMV on Broad Street • Continued to work on dismissing old cases for the Prosecutor’s Office
Expungements & Sealing of Cases in 2013 Number of Applicatons Received For Expungement Proceedings
Number of Cases That Were Ordered Expunged By The Court
Number of Applicatons Denied For Expungement
Number of Expungement Applications Withdrawn
Number of Cases Expunged By Order Of The Common Pleas Court
Environmental Division The Environmental Division of the Court began operations in 1992. This division has exclusive jurisdiction over criminal and civil actions to enforce building, housing, health, or safety codes applicable to premises intended for the use as a place of human habitation.
Environmental Cases 2013 Type A-Felony Type B-Criminal Type C-OVI Type D-All Other Total
DRUG PARAPHERNALIA DECEPTION TO OBTAIN DANGEROUS DRUGS ILLEGAL PROCUREMENT OF DRUG DOCUMENTS
MANUFACTURE OF DRUGS
POSSESS/SELL FAKE DRUGS
POSSESSION OF DRUG INSTRUMENTS
ROBBERY,BURGLARY & TRESPASSING AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
BREAKING & ENTERING SAFECRACKING & TAMPERING WITH A COIN MACHINE
AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL TRESPASSING TOTAL
27 WEAPONS CCW/FELONY CCW IMPROPER HANDLING OF FIREARM WEAPONS UNDER DISABILITY WEAPON USE WHILE INTOXICATED DISCHARGING WEAPONS IMPROPER HANDLING / DISCHARGING/ POSSESSION FIREARM (FELONY) FAIL TO INFORM OFFICER (CCW / FIREARM) POSSESSION OF CRIMINAL TOOLS POSSESION OF CRIMINAL TOOLS (FELONY) POSSESION/UNSECURED OF DANGEROUS ORDINANCE ATTEMPT/FELONY ATTEMPT COMPLICITY TOTAL
3 1 6 32
1 243 43 199 26 18
3 1 5 2
5 56 68 135 1162
3 9 30
82 29 4,635
THEFT & FRAUD GRAND THEFT FELONY THEFT THEFT/PETTY THEFT FELONY THEFT BY DECEPTION THEFT BY DECEPTION THEFT IN OFFICE EXTORTION UNAUTHORIZED USE OF MOTOR VEHICLES FELONY UNAUTHORIZED USE OF MOTOR VEHICLES-48 HOURS UNAUTHORIZED USE OF PROPERTY FELONY UNAUTHORIZED USE OF PROPERTY FORGERY & UTTERING PASSING BAD CHECKS RSP MISUSE OF CREDIT CARD MIS. MISUSE OF CREDIT CARD FELONY DEFRAUD, COUNTERFEIT & TAMPER WITH RECORDS CRIMINAL SIMULATION FELONY CRIMINAL SIMULATION FELONY TAKING IDENITY OF ANOTHER TAKING IDENTITY OF ANOTHER TRAFFICKING IN FOOD STAMPS TOTAL
65 1 1
1 674 686 856 18 10
3 15 3
81 48 7353
OFFENCES AGAINST PEACE OFFICERS DISORDERLY CONDUCT
Traffic Violations Bureau The Traffic Violations Bureau manages all complaints issued by the following jurisdictions within Franklin County: Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Franklin County Sheriff, Ohio State University Police, Port Columbus Police, Eight (8) Townships, and Twenty-one (21) Municipal law enforcement agencies. Our Office has jurisdiction in Three (3) Counties; Franklin, Delaware, and Fairfield. Within the Traffic Violations Bureau, is the Communications Department. The function of the Communications Department is to further promote ongoing communications and the delivery of excellent public service to the general public, law enforcement agencies, attorneys, court personnel, other courts, and governmental agencies. The responsibilities of the Traffic Violations Bureau and Communications Department include the following:
Initiating payable and mandatory offenses; this includes traffic, criminal, and environmental cases
Scanning all original tickets, complaints and confidential identifiers
Sending out notices and summonses for new court dates on traffic, criminal and environmental cases
Referring cases to the Prosecutor for determination
Storing payable traffic cases with future court dates and payable cases 30 days after the original court date
Preparing cases to be processed for the Court’s signature
Opening, logging and processing mail for all divisions
Processing payments to ensure accuracy prior to being receipted
Referring cases to Magistrates and Judges for payment determinations
Sending out letters for invalid car insurance and payments for traffic, criminal and or environmental cases
Processing cases transferred from Mayor’s Courts, which may include bond money and slated defendants
Assisting the public, employers, City, County and State Agencies by providing case dispositions pertaining to public record requests
Preparing the daily traffic court docket sheets
Entering Identification Tracking Numbers (ITN’s) into CourtView
In 2013, the Traffic Violations Bureau accomplished the following:
Implemented a new hire training schedule for deputy clerks to ensure they have knowledge of their respective department and also other departments within the office
Cross-trained staff to ensure all daily responsibilities were met
Held weekly staff meetings to keep the lines of communication open due to policy changes, questions and or concerns
Continued effective communication with Police Agencies, Prosecutors, Mayor Court Clerks and Courtroom Clerks to ensure quality work
Attended Internal Office Training Classes to gain additional knowledge of professionalism and customer service to successfully attain our mission statement
Assisted the Criminal/Traffic Department with the end of the year file control
In 2013, the Communications Department logged over 100,000 pieces of mail and payments, which include civil and criminal/traffic mail. The Traffic Violations Bureau initiated over a total of 114,000 cases including traffic, criminal and environmental. On an average, there were 9,500 cases initiated per month which include, payable/mandatory tickets and or complaints. There were also over 700 criminal and environmental summonses mailed out by certified mail per month.
34 CITY OF COLUMBUS TRAFFIC CASES FILED IN 2013 ACDA Appr Pub Safety Veh w/Lts Disp Back Across Center Line
Fail to Register Failure to Comply w/Officer
Failure to Control
Backing from Alley/Priv Dr/Bldg
Failure to Display
Backing on a Freeway
Failure to Display Headlights
2,896 92 522
Backing Without Safety
Failure to Display Two Plates
Bicycle Bell Required
Failure to Reinstate License
Bicycle Brake Required
Failure to Signal
Bicycle Lamps/Refl Req at Night Bicycle Operate w/out Safety Proh Bicycle Parking on Sidewalk Restr Bicycle Riding on Sidewalk Proh
209 32 6
Failure to Display License
Failure to Stop Accident Failure to Stop School Bus Failure to Yield Funeral Process
495 40 4
Failure to Yield Private Drive
Bicycle Signal Device
Failure to Yield Pub Saf Veh
Bicycle to Ride on Right Side
False Info to Issuing Officer
Bicycle Yield Right of Way Xing Blue Light Prohibited Board/Alight in Motion Proh
CITY OF COLUMBUS TRAFFIC CASES FILED IN 2013 Manner of Signal
Ped Outside Brdge/Tunl to Yield
Manner of Signal-Bicycle
Ped Outside Crswlk to Yield
Marked Lanes Mirror Unobstr View
Ped Solicitation from Rdwy Proh
Ped to Face Traffic
Ped to Yield Right of Way
No Motorcycle Endorsement No Motorcycle Headlight No Operators License
2 40 1
Ped Soliciting Ride Proh
Muffler,Excessive Gas or Smoke No Moped License
Ped Under the Influence Proh
Ped Use of Crosswalk Required
Ped Use of Shoulder Required
Ped Use of Sidewalk Req
No Ops License Exp < 6 Months
Pedestrian Control Signal
Non Trans Mat on Window Proh
Pedestrian on the Roadway
Obscured Windshield Prohibited
Obstruct Inter RR Cross/Comm
Proh Riding In/On Vehicle
Obstructed View Driver
Proh Use of Mobile Comm
Obstructed View Passenger
Prohibited Attaching to Veh
One Way Bicycle
Prohibited Nmbr of Headlights
Prohibited Right Turn
One Way Highway/Rotary
Open Door in Traffic
Open Door w/o Safety
Operate MV w/o Title
Operate w/Foreign Tag
Rear License Plate Light
Rear View Mirror Clear View
Operate w/Tag from Prev Owner
Operating w/Outside Rider Proh
Red Light/Flag Req on Ext Load
Operation of Moped Requirements
Red Reflectors Req on MV
Reflectorized Mat on Window
Operation of MV/MC on Sidewlk Operation w/Proh Window Tint Order of Officer-Pedestrian
Repeat Offender Suspension
Other Lights Intensity/Direction
Req: Dist of Headlight Beams
Park Failure to Register
Resisting Traff Enf Official
Park Handicap Space
Riding Bicycle/MC Abreast
Park Obstructing Street/Crossing
Riding Bicycle/MC Restrictions
Park on Sidewalk
Riding on Outside Proh
Right of Way at Intersection
Park Right of Way Control Access
Right of Way Pedestrian
Passing Left of Center
Right of Way Turning Left
Passing on the Left
Right of Way/Stop/Yield
Passing on the Right
Safety Lighting on Comm Veh
Sell/Buy Traffic Device
Passing Veh Stpd at Crswlk/Proh
Ped Cross w/o Safety
Side Cowl,Fender,Backup Light
Ped Crossing Prohibited
Ped Diagonal Crossing Proh
Signal Terms/Lights Bicycle
6 133 2
CITY OF COLUMBUS TRAFFIC CASES FILED IN 2013
Signal-Stopping Skates,Coaster,Toy in Rdwy Proh Slow Moving Veh on Right Side
Slow Speed Speed
2 12 6
Speed/School Zone < 35 MPH
Speed/School Zone > 35 MPH
Spotlight/Aux Driving Light Proh
Stop Light Required
Stop Sign Stop-Sidewalk Area Street Racing Tag Violations
2,154 132 3 3,069
Tail/License Plate Light Required
Tampering w/Traffic Cntrl Device
Temp Permit w/o License Driver
Temp Plate Display
Temporary Permit Violation
Temporary Permit/MC Violation
Traffic Dir Emerg/Xing
Traffic Control Device
Traffic Control Device-Pedestrian Traffic Device-Pedestrian Turn From One Way Street Turn into Priv Drive,Alley or Bldg Turn on Red Turn/Stop Signals Turning at Intersections
111 5 13 22 259 51 1,249
Two Lights Required
Use Fictitious Plates Use of Headphones Use Tag to Another Vehicle Valid Ops/Exp Ops
Windshield Required Wrong Side Divided Road Wrongful Entrustment Yield Sign
28 424 14
3 41 101 46
STATE OF OHIO TRAFFIC CHARGES FILED 2013
ACDA Apply Registration Bicycle Lamps/Refl Req at Night Bicycle to Ride on Right Side Brake Equip Required Certain Acts Proh-False Display Certain Acts Proh-Fict ID Certificate of Title Violation Chg Course w/o Safety Child Restraint Consumption in MV Counterfeit Plates Dealer Tag Display Dr Thru Safety Zone Drag Racing Drive Across Grade Crossing Drive on Curb/Walk Drive Over Fire Hose Drive Closed Highway Driver License Restr Driving Action Appr Emer Veh Driving in Center Lane Driving Left of Center Proh Driving on Right Side of Roadway Driving Outside License Restr Driving u/FRA Susp or Cncld Driving u/OVI Suspension Driving u/Repeat Traff Off Susp Driving u/Suspension Driving u/Susp-FTP Child Supprt Driving Unsafe Vehicle Driving w/o Valid License Driving w/o Valid License Exp Driving Within Lanes Duties/Non-Working Signal Emrg Veh FT Slow Down Engine Noise Viol Equip Turn Signals Erect Stop Sign Private Fail to Display License Fail to Report Accident Failure to Comply-Traffic Failure to Control
Failure to Display Headlights Failure to Display Two Plates Failure to Register Failure to Reinstate License Failure to Signal Failure to Stop-Accident Failure to Stop-School Bus Failure to Yield Bicycle Failure to Yield Private Drive False Info to Issuing Officer False Statements/License Flashing Traffic Signal Focus and Aim of Headlights Follow Safety Vehicle Following Too Close FTY Pub Safety Veh FTY to Ped in Xwlk/Sidewalk Handicapped Parking Hazard/No Pass Zone Hit Skip-Per/Property Hit Skip-Pub Street Improper Bumper Improper Passing Install/Sale Safety Belt Interfere w/Officer Inter w/Non-Wrk Traf Cntrl Dev Lights Req on Slow Move Veh Manner of Signal Marked Lanes Motorcycle/Bicycle Reg Muffler, Excess Gas or Smoke No Motorcycle Endorsement No Operators License No Ops Lic Exp < 6 Months Non-Transparent Mat on Wndw Noncommercial MV Use Obscured Lights Obstructed View-Driver Obstructing Intersection/RR Xng One Way-Highway/Rotary Open Container Traffic Open Door in Traffic Operate W/Foreign Tag
Operate w/Tag from Prev Owner Operating w/Outside Rider Proh Operation w/Proh Window Tint Park on Sidewalk Park on the Roadway/Freeway Park to Obstruct Traffic Park Within One Foot Park-Double Park-Driveway Park-Fire Hydrant Park-Fire Station Park-GVT Regulation Parking in Fire Lane Parking Near Curb Parking on Highway Parking Wrong Direction Park-Intersection Park-Private Rules Park-Rail Crossing Park-Safety Zone Park-Traffic Control Device Pass on the Right Cars in Opp Dir Passing Left of Center Ped Sudden Crossing w/Out Safety Pedestrian Control Signal Pedestrian on Freeway Pedestrian on the Roadway Pedestrian Outside Crosswalk Pedestrian Soliciting Ride Proh Pedestrian to Face Traffic Pedestrian Yield Right of Way Pedestrian Under Influence Proh Pedestrian Use of Shoulder Req Pedestrian Use of Sidewalk Req Permit Minor to Operate Vehicle Permit Oper By Unlicensed Driver Permit Oper w/o Valid License Permitting Riding in Cargo Area Proh Against Pass Left on Cnterln Proh CDL Susp/Revkd/Cncld Proh CDL Suspended OVI Proh Number of Headlights Prohibited U Turn
Proof of FRA Rear View Mirror, Clear View Red Light/Flag Req on Ext Load Red Reflectors Req on MV Refl Mat on Window Proh Removal of Keys Removed Parked Vehicles Req: Distr of Headlight Beams Resisting Traffic Enf Official Riding Bicycle/Motorcycle Restr Riding On Outside Prohibited Right of Way Intersections Right of Way Pedestrian Rules For Passing on the Right Safety Glass Safety Lighting on Comm Veh Seatbelt-Allow Passenger Seatbelt-Operator Seatbelt-Passenger Seatbelt-Taxicab
STATE OF OHIO TRAFFIC CHARGES FILED 2013 Temp Plate Registrar Texting While Driving Tinted Windows Title & Reg Transfer Traffic Control Device Traffic Control Device-Pedestrian Turn on Red Turning at Intersection Two Lights Required Unattended Motor Vehicle Use Fictitious Plates Use of Headphones Use Tag to Another Vehicle Veh Stop/Grade Crossing Windshield Placard Viol Parking Windshield Required Windshield Wiper Required Wrong Side-Divided Road Wrongful Entrustment Yield Sign
Accounting/Finance Division The Accounting/Finance Division oversees the collection of and accounting for all fines, court costs, fees, bail, garnishments, and judgments issued by the Court. The Division oversees the disbursement of collected funds to the appropriate parties, and releases funds in satisfactions, judgments, attachments, garnishments, and executions. The Accounting Division also has three internal payment programs in compliance with the Ohio Revised Code and Local Court Rules. The programs are as follows: Time Payment Program This program under authorization by the sentencing Judge allows a defendant to make monthly payments on court fines and costs up to twelve months or until balance is paid in full. Cases filed in 2013: 3213 Total number of authorizations in 2013: 3342 Rent Escrow Program This program allows tenants with complaints regarding their residential housing conditions to deposit rent due into an escrow account until the matter has been resolved. Cases filed in 2013:
Trusteeship Program This program allows a debtor to deposit a portion of the personal earnings with the Clerk of Courts to avoid legal proceedings by creditors. The funds collected are disbursed to creditors equally until all debt is paid in full. Cases filed in 2013:
EPAY Online Payment Service This is an online payment convenience that is offered by the Clerks office for payments of payable citations, and also payment of fines and costs incurred once adjudicated. There was a total of 38,256 cases paid, collecting $6,404,660.00 in 2013.
The Accounting/Finance Division is responsible for preparing a monthly general accounting for all funds received and disbursed by the Clerk’s Office. These records are audited annually by a licensed certified public accounting firm and approved by the State Auditor’s Office. Accomplishments for Accounting/Finance in 2013 are as follows:
Purchased new check stock with increased fraud securities. In addition with the Huntington Positive Pay fraud protection, there have been a total of $61,915.10, in prevented frauds for 2013.
Added Rent Escrow to the electronic check file that includes Civil, Criminal, and Trust that is sent to Huntington. This aides in the Positive Pay fraud prevention.
Processed a total of $14,338,090.44 in Garnishments for 2013.
Improved the Unclaimed Fund process by working closely with OIS to set up specific docket codes for the returned notices.
Continued training initiatives for our civil and criminal/traffic backup positions and exceeded our goals for total cross-trained employees.
Implemented a “split shift” between first and second shift for improved customer service and work flow.
Maintained the copy debit card collection and disbursement for the courtroom floor copiers.
Implemented a Leadership Training Program for employees to develop skills in leadership, communication, motivation, and team building.
Employees participated in the offsite BMV Training in September/October.
Implemented a new procedure to redirect paid traffic files to the scanning staging area.
Third year running with zero infractions on the annual audit, performed by Plante & Moran, PLLC
Statement of Civil Fund Receipts For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 City of Columbus Administrative 1% Legal Aid Fees Civil Contempt Fine Civil Court Cost Civil Environmental Fines Civil Security Facilities Fees Civil Specialty Docket Programs Copier Debit Cards Municipal Clerk Computer Fees Municipal Court Computer Fees Return Check Fees Small Claims Dispute Resolution Sub-Fund
Statement of Criminal/Traffic Fund Receipts For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 City of Columbus Appearance Bond Costs City Jury Fees Collection Account 14450 Columbus City Code Fines Columbus Health Department Fines Court Costs CR/TR Clerk Computerization Fund CR/TR Collection Fee CR/TR Court Computerization Fund CR/TR Environmental Fines CR/TR Probation Services CR/TR Security Facilities Fee CR/TR Specialty Docket Program Criminal Diversion Fee DUI Education Fund Home Incarceration Equipment Cost Home Incarceration Program Immobilizing/Disabling Devices Fine Indigent Driver's Alcohol Treatment Fund DUI Local Expungements City Share Local Witness Fees Ohio Highway Patrol Fines 14050 Prosecutor's Check Resolution Program Returned Check Fees Total City of Columbus State of Ohio Bail Surcharge-Indigent Defense Support Child Restraint Law State Fund Drug Law Enforcement Fund Indigent Defense Support Fund Indigent Driver's Alcohol Treatment Fund Justice Program Services Fund Local Expungements State Share Ohio Highway Patrol Fines State Share Public Defender-Indigent Defense Support Fund State Expungements State Share State Highway Safety Fund State Liquor Fines State Share State Seatbelt Fines Trauma and EMT Fund Victims of Crime
Statement of Criminal Traffic Fund Receipts Continued For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 State of Ohio-BMV BMV License Suspension/Reinstatement Fee BMV Warrant Block Reinstatement Fee
State of Ohio-DUI Ohio Highway Patrol DUI Education Fund
State of Ohio-ODNR State Watercraft Fund State Wildlife Fund
Total State of Ohio
Bureau of Motor Vehicles Captial Area Humane Society Columbus Development Center Columbus Regulation Division Columbus State University County Road & Bridge Fund Department of Animal Control Franklin County Development Center Municipal Police Ohio Department of Natural Resouces Ohio Department of Public Safety Ohio Department of Taxation Ohio Ethics Commission Ohio Highway Patrol Ohio State Agencies Ohio State University Otterbein College Port Columbus Airport
Indigent Application Fee State Expungements-County Share State Jury Fees State Liquor Fines-County Share Law Library Resources Fund State Witness Fees
Townships County Share Blendon Clinton Franklin Madison Mifflin Perry Sharon
Statement Of Criminal/Traffic Fund Receipts Continued For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 State Traffic Other State Other State 4511 & 4513 Traffic Violations Violations $28,722.45 $4,448.25 $826.50 $10,698.10 $7,476.25 $856.50 $11,549.79 $6,938.75 $1,049.90 $18,885.75 $5,403.50 $368.25 $7,753.50 $4,188.75 $29.98 $40,200.50 $11,135.50 $0.00 $8,919.50 $2,097.50 $0.00 $126,729.59 $41,688.50 $3,131.13
Total Township County Share
Franklin County Sheriff Sheriff Blendon Sheriff Brown Sheriff Clinton Sheriff Franklin Sheriff Hamilton Sheriff Jackson Sheriff Jefferson Sheriff Madison Sheriff Mifflin Sheriff Non-Township Sheriff Norwich Sheriff Perry Sheriff Plain Sheriff Pleasant Sheriff Prairie Sheriff Sharon Sheriff Truro Sheriff Washington
Total Franklin County Sheriff Total Franklin County Receipts
Statement Of Criminal/Traffic Fund Receipts Continued For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 Other Entities Central Ohio Crime Stoppers CR/TR Crime Stoppers Fee Columbus Airport Authority Port Columbus PD DUI Education Fund Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks Metro Parks Police Fines Columbus Development Center Col Develop Center DUI Education Fund Franklin County Sheriff Sheriff DUI Education Fund DUI Offender Housing Fund
Ohio Department of Agriculture Ohio Department of Agriculture
Ohio Department of Public Safety ODPS Drug Law Enforcement Fund
The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy State Drug/Pharmacy Fund The Ohio State University Ohio State University DUI Education Fund Overpayments Criminal/Traffic Overpayment Deposits Criminal/Traffic Applied Overpayment Deposits Time Payments Time Payment Receipts Applied Time Payments Total Other Entities
$810,961.85 ($810,413.09) $500,516.70
Franklin County Municipal Court Financial Report
Statement of Bail Fund Receipts For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 Appearance Bonds Appearance Bond Receipts Applied Appearance Bonds
$1,158,623.10 ($187,839.39) $970,783.71
Bond Costs Bond Cost Receipts Applied Bond Costs
$128,735.90 ($121,080.40) $7,655.50
Bond Surcharge Bond Surcharge Receipts Applied Bond Surcharge
Franklin Franklin County County Municipal Municipal Court Court Financial Financial Report Report
Statement of Disbursements Treasurer City Of Columbus For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 Civil Fund Administrative 1% Legal Aid Fees Civil Contempt Fine Civil Court Costs Civil Environmental Fines Civil Security Facilities Fees Civil Specialty Docket Programs Copier Debit Cards Municipal Clerk Computer Fees Municipal Court Computer Fees Return Check Fees Small Claims Dispute Resolution Sub-Fund
Criminal/Traffic Fund Appearance Bond Costs City Jury Fees Collection Account 14450 Columbus City Code Fines Columbus Health Department Court Costs CR/TR Clerk Computerization Fund CR/TR Collection Fee CR/TR Court Computerization Fund CR/TR Environmental Fines CR/TR Probation Services CR/TR Security Facilities Fee CR/TR Specialty Docket Program Criminal Diversion Fee DUI Education Fund Home Incarceration Equipment Cost Home Incarceration Program Immobilizing/Disabling Devices Fine Indigent Driver's Alcohol Treatment Fund Indigent Driver's Alcohol Treatment Fund DUI Local Expungements City Share Local Witness Fees Ohio Highway Patrol Fines 14050 Prosecutor's Check Resolution Program Returned Check Fees
Statement Of Disbursements Treasurer State Of Ohio For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 Civil Fund State Legal Aid Fees
Criminal Traffic Fund Bail Surcharge-Indigent Defense Support Child Restraint Law State Share Drug Law Enforcement Fund Indigent Defense Support Fund Justice Program Services Fund Local Expungements State Share Ohio Highway Patrol Fines State Share Public Defender Indigent Support Fund State Expungements State Share State Highway Safety Fund State Liquor Fines State Share State Seatbelt Fines Trauma and EMT Fund Victims of Crime Total Criminal Traffic Fund
$5,566,790.69 Statement Of Disbursements Franklin County Treasurer For the Year Ending December 31, 2013
CriminalTraffic Fund Agency Bureau of Motor Vehicles Captial Area Humane Society Columbus Development Center Columbus Regulations Division Columbus State University County Road & Bridge Fund Department of Animal Control Franklin County Development Center Municipal Police Ohio Department of Natural Resouces Ohio Department of Public Safety Ohio Department of Taxation Ohio Ethics Commission Ohio Highway Patrol Ohio State Agencies Ohio State University Otterbein College Port Columbus Airport
Indigent Application Fee State Expungements-County Share State Jury Fees State Liquor Fines-County Share State Witness Fees
Townships County Share Blendon Clinton Franklin Madison Mifflin Perry Sharon
Statement Of Disbursements Franklin County Treasurer Continued For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 State Traffic Other State Other State 4511 & 4513 Traffic Violations Violations $28,614.95 $4,368.75 $739.00 $10,551.50 $7,438.75 $841.50 $11,580.29 $6,901.75 $924.90 $19,262.75 $5,516.00 $393.25 $7,694.50 $4,128.83 $29.98 $40,127.50 $11,073.00 $0.00 $8,964.50 $2,137.00 $0.00 $126,795.99 $41,564.08 $2,928.63
Total Township County Share
Franklin County Sheriff Sheriff Blendon Sheriff Brown Sheriff Clinton Sheriff Franklin Sheriff Hamilton Sheriff Jackson Sheriff Jefferson Sheriff Madison Sheriff Mifflin Sheriff Non-Township Sheriff Norwich Sheriff Perry Sheriff Plain Sheriff Pleasant Sheriff Prairie Sheriff Sharon Sheriff Truro Sheriff Washington
Criminal Traffic Fund Central Ohio Crime Stoppers CR/TR Crime Stoppers Fee Columbus Airport Authority Port Columbus PD DUI Education Fund Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks Metro Parks Police Fines Columbus Development Center Col Develop Center DUI Education Fund Franklin County Sheriff Sheriff DUI Education Fund DUI Offender Housing Fund
Franklin County Municipal Court Financial Report
Statement Of Disbursements Other Entities Continued For the Year Ending December 31, 2013 Franklin County Law Library Law Library Fund
Ohio Department of Agriculture Ohio Department of Agriculture
Ohio Department of Public Safety ODPS Drug Law Enforcement Fund
The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy State Drug/Pharmacy Fund
The Ohio State University Ohio State University DUI Education Fund
State of Ohio-BMV BMV License Suspension/Reinstatement Fee BMV Warrant Block Reinstatement Fee
State of Ohio-DUI Ohio Highway Patrol DUI Education Fund
State of Ohio-ODNR State Watercraft Fund State Wildlife Fund
Rent Escrow Fund Rent Deposit Payments
Trusteeship Fund Trust Deposit Payments Trust Disbursements
Total Other Entities
$15,523,345.77 Statement Of Bail Fund Disbursements For the Year Ending December 31, 2013
Appearance Bonds Bond Costs Bond Surcharge Cash Bonds Moving Violations Non-Moving Violations Public Defender Victims-Of-Crime
Notes to the Financial Statements Notes A - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies Reporting Entity The Franklin County Municipal Court (the court) was created and operates under the authority of Section 1901.01 of the Ohio Revised Code. Under the present law, the Court operates with 15 elected Judges and an elected Clerk of Court, each whom serves a six year term. The court has been granted jurisdictions for the entire area of Franklin County. For financial reporting purposes, the Court is an agency fund group which consists of the agency fund of the five divisions of the Court: Criminal/Traffic, Bail, Civil, Trusteeship and Rent Escrow. The operating expenses of the Court are funded by the City of Columbus and Franklin County and are not; therefore, part of the reporting entity. Basis of Accounting The Court prepares its financial statements on the basis of cash receipts and disbursements. Under this method of accounting, revenues are recognized when received in cash rather than when earned and disbursements are recognized when paid rather than when incurred.
Note B - Civil Fund Receipts In addition to the Civil Fund total receipts and disbursements, cases are processed for the City of Columbus, State of Ohio and Franklin County agencies at no cost at the time of filing. Additional Amount Breakdowns See statements for summary totals of this information Note C - Statement of Disbursements to Municipalities The DUI Education Fund fine amounts are included in the totals for each municipality and township.
Franklin County Municipal Court Financial Report
FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT Columbus, Ohio NINETY- EIGHTH ANNUAL REPORT 2013
FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT 375 South High Street Columbus, Ohio 43215-4520 Chambers of Judge Michael T. Brandt Administrative & Presiding Judge Telephone: 614/645-8296 February 28, 2014 Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk Citizens of Franklin County Ladies and Gentlemen: In accordance with section 1901.14 of the Ohio Revised Code, it is my pleasure to provide you with the 2013 Annual Report of the Franklin County Municipal Court. From all indications, the Franklin County Municipal Court remains the largest and busiest municipal court in Ohio. We continually strive to improve our services to every citizen who appears in this Court and to be wise and efficient stewards of taxpayer resources. We appreciate the financial support that we receive in these difficult economic times and hope that this continued support is a reflection of your trust in the way we conduct our operations and expend taxpayer dollars. The increasing complexity of the laws, and the desire to meet the needs of every citizen who appears in this Court all present substantial challenges to our judges and staff. As you will see from the details in the report that follows, our judges and staff remain fully committed to meeting the needs of our citizens and our community. As the largest and busiest municipal court in Ohio, we continually strive to improve our services and fulfill our obligation to fairly interpret the laws of Ohio. Please feel free to contact me or Court Administrator Emily Shaw at 645-8214 if you have any questions or would like any additional information.
/s/ Michael T. Brandt Michael T. Brandt Administrative and Presiding Judge Enclosure
THE FRANKLIN COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT 375 South High Street Columbus, Ohio 43215-4520 614-645-8214
2013 ANNUAL REPORT The Franklin County Municipal Court traces its origin to the creation of the Columbus Municipal Court in 1916. Now, the geographic jurisdiction of the Court is all of Franklin County and those portions of the City of Columbus that extend beyond the boundaries of Franklin County. The Court has 14 judges in the General Division and one judge in the Environmental Division. Judges serve six-year terms, unless appointed or elected to fill a vacancy. Annually, they elect one of their peers to serve as the Administrative and Presiding Judge. The judges who served the Franklin County Municipal Court during the year 2012 were Judge James E. Green, who served as Administrative and Presiding Judge, and Judges Anne Taylor, Scott D. VanDerKarr, H. William Pollitt, Jr., Michael T. Brandt, Ted Barrows, Paul M. Herbert, Carrie E. Glaeden, Amy Salerno, Andrea C. Peeples, David B. Tyack, Mark A. Hummer, David Young, James P. O’Grady and Environmental Court Judge Daniel Hawkins. Judges preside over civil, criminal, and traffic cases and conduct both jury and non-jury or court trials. In jury trials, judges interpret the law and the jury determines the facts. Court trials are the most common trials in this Court. In these trials, judges have the dual role of interpreting the law and determining the facts. The judges also conduct criminal arraignments and preliminary hearings on felony cases; set bond on criminal charges; issue search warrants; and impose sentence when a defendant is found guilty of a traffic or criminal charge. The judges hear civil cases with an amount in controversy of $15,000 or less, and cases that are transferred from the Small Claims Division to the General Division of the Court. Other civil disputes resolved in this Court included evictions, rent escrow proceedings, and proceedings to aid in the collection of judgments. The Environmental Division has exclusive jurisdiction to enforce local codes and regulations affecting real property, such as fire and building codes. The Environmental Division has injunctive powers, and there is no monetary limit on those cases that fall within the Division’s exclusive jurisdiction. Each week a different judge is assigned to the Duty Session to handle a variety of responsibilities, such as applications from law enforcement officers for search warrants, probable cause hearings, and civil wedding ceremonies.
MAGISTRATES The Court employs an Administrative Magistrate, five full-time magistrates and one part-time magistrate who preside over traffic arraignments, landlord-tenant actions, wage garnishments, small claims cases, and other civil matters. Judges may refer a specific case to a magistrate to take testimony, make legal rulings, and render a decision that is subject to final approval by the judge. Magistrates have the authority in misdemeanor cases to accept guilty and no contest pleas. If the parties agree, they may also hear contested criminal cases and preside over civil cases heard by a jury. Consent is not required from either party for a magistrate to hear a minor misdemeanor criminal case. BAILIFFS Bailiffs coordinate activities in the courtrooms, schedule cases, provide docket management, provide information to the public about the status of cases, and act as liaisons between their assigned judge or magistrate and attorneys, court personnel, and the general public. Each judge has an assigned courtroom bailiff, there is an unassigned or “floater” bailiff who rotates among the judges when a judge’s bailiff is absent, and there is a Duty Room Bailiff. Each magistrate also has a bailiff. COURT ADMINISTRATION Court Administration oversees the administrative and operational functions of the Court. It carries out the non-judicial policies of the Court. In addition to providing overall support and direction to the Court’s nearly 200 employees, some of its specific functions include personnel management, budgeting and fiscal management, purchasing, liaison with other courts and agencies, public information, appointment of counsel, court support services, court security, interpreter services, vehicle immobilization, and volunteer services. The Court Administrator is the chief non-judicial officer. The Court’s General Fund Operating budget for 2013 was $15,837,911 with an additional $1,449,114 Secure Facilities Fund budget and $653,136 Computer Fund budget. Breakdown of General Fund Operating Budget 2013 Personal services Materials and supplies Services Other expenditures Total General Fund Expenditures
$14,129,392 38,200 1,330,319 340,000 $15,837,911
COURT SUPPORT SERVICES Court Support Services is a two-person unit that helps defendants resolve matters such as extensions of time to pay fines and court costs, delaying the start of court-ordered incarceration, issuance of or change in limited driving privileges, withdrawal of warrant or order-in that has been issued, assistance with impounded vehicle, assistance with Bureau of Motor Vehicle problems, and continuance of a court date. In 2013, Court Investigation assisted approximately 13,835 individuals – 11,335 in-office interviews, 1,350 telephone interviews, and 2,275 other requests for information and assistance. COURT SECURITY PROGRAM The Court Security Program was established to maintain a safe environment in the courthouse for elected officials, Court employees, and all others having business in the courthouse. The staff consists of a Security Director, Security Supervisor, Administrative Assistant, Control Room Operator, and 17 Security Officers on the first shift, plus a control room operator on the second and third shifts. In addition, the Court contracts with a private security company that provides evening, weekend, and holiday coverage. During 2013 approximately 1.1 million visitors to the Court were screened at the Court’s entry points by Security Officers.
INTERPRETER SERVICES During 2013, the Court employed two full-time Spanish language interpreters and contracted for one part-time Somali language interpreter. Together they completed an estimated 8,175 requests for service (7,020 in Spanish and 1,155 in Somali). The Court has multiple contracts with outside vendors to provide foreign language and ASL interpreters. There were 672 requests for 40 other languages. The top foreign languages for which interpreters were requested were Spanish, Somali, Arabic, French, Amharic, and Tigrinya. Additionally, the Court filled 155 requests for American Sign Language interpreters. VEHICLE IMMOBILIZATION PROGRAM State law mandates the immobilization or forfeiture of vehicles operated by defendants who are convicted of the following offenses: repeat OVI offenses (operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs) and driving under certain court or BMV-issued suspensions. Immobilization or forfeiture of vehicles involved in suspension cases of Financial Responsibility/Accountability and wrongful use of a vehicle are at the Court’s discretion. A steering wheel locking device is used to immobilize vehicles. In 2013, the Court processed 8,067 driving under suspension cases and 9,165 OVI cases. The driving under suspension case filings held steady from 2012, but the OVI case filings experienced a 35% increase. The program’s two employees provide the communication from and to the courts, law enforcement and defendants to ensure compliance with the court’s orders involving the defendant’s vehicle.
ASSIGNMENT OFFICE The Assignment Office is responsible for the judge assignment of criminal, traffic, and civil cases. The Rules of Superintendence for Municipal Courts, promulgated by the Supreme Court of Ohio, require that cases be assigned to judges in a random manner. Random assignment occurs at the time a defendant enters a “not guilty” plea in criminal and traffic cases, and upon the filing of a motion or an answer in civil cases. Local Court Rules 1 and 8 define the assignment process for cases. The Court employs a single assignment system. This means that when a person is charged with a criminal or traffic offense and already has a pending criminal or traffic case, or the person is on probation to this Court, the new charge(s) will be assigned to the judge who presided over the previous case. Once a case is assigned to a Judge, the Assignment Office is responsible for the management of the case as it proceeds through the Court system. The Assignment Office generates the daily Court dockets for the Judges and distributes case listing reports to various Departments throughout the Court System. In 2013, the eight Assignment Coordinators processed 2,682 new or reactivated civil cases and 48,015 new or reactivated criminal or traffic cases, with approximately 100,000 judicial proceedings and a minimum of 250,000 Court appearance notices. The Assignment Office is responsible for completing the monthly Judges’ report for the Ohio Supreme Court, preparing other necessary reports used to manage cases, the monitoring of cases assigned to Visiting Judges when needed, scheduling and managing of Sealing of Records cases, and for the monitoring of assigned specialized docket cases. The Court has one Environmental Judge and currently has 2 of its 15 Judges conducting specialized dockets. The specialized dockets consist of the Solicitation Docket (CATCH), Veteran’s Docket (MVSSD), Alcohol and Drug Docket (ADAP), and Mental Health Docket (MHPD). The Assignment Office’s eight Case Coordinators, one Case Coordinator Floater, and two Assignment Clerks monitors all of the judicial case proceedings.
COURT REPORTERS Court Reporters make a verbatim record of court proceedings, prepare a transcript from the record of court proceedings upon request, and maintain records of exhibits introduced at court proceedings. The Court has an obligation to provide a transcript of all proceedings upon request of a party, and there must be a court record of all pleas and waivers. In 2013 there were 14 full-time Court Reporters and they produced 202 requested transcripts. JURY COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE It is the duty of the Jury Commissioner’s Office to summon, orient and assign prospective trial jurors to courtrooms when needed. The Jury Commission tracks voir dire (a preliminary examination of prospective jurors to determine their qualifications and suitability to serve on a jury, in order to ensure the selection of fair and impartial jury) results and trial verdicts, and collects demographic data to ensure the jury venire (those summoned for jury service) is a true sampling of all cognizable groups in Franklin County’s qualified population. Jury service is limited to two weeks, except in those cases for which additional days are required to reach a verdict. In certain instances, jurors will serve for one week only. Several different reporting times are offered to accommodate parking issues and work schedules. The number of jurors summoned in 2013 was 3,608. The reporting percentage for 2013 was 87.30% while the failure to appear rate was 6.49%. Jurors are paid $20.00 per day as well as travel expenses for each day they are in attendance.
LEGAL RESEARCH The Court employs a Legal Research Supervisor who provides legal research, supervises the work of part-time law clerks, and serves as a part-time magistrate. The Supervisor and Law Clerks research and prepare memoranda on issues pending before the Court, maintain research and reference materials, review new case law to ensure the Court’s compliance with the decisions, review pending legislation that may affect the Court, and advise the Judges and Employees regarding new legal developments and applications of current law to court procedures. DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION SERVICES The Department of Probation Services works for the 15 Franklin County Municipal Court Judges under the immediate direction of the Court Administrator to promote public safety by accountable rehabilitation. At year’s end 50 officers were working with intensive caseloads, general caseloads, and specialty docket caseloads. The Department also employs 22 additional staff who provide essential support services. General Supervision Unit Officers constructively enforce all court ordered conditions of probation, which typically require probationers being assessed and receiving needed treatment for addiction and/or mental health problems; paying fines, fees and court costs; participating for a limited time in the work release program, being placed under electronically monitored house arrest, attending a driver intervention program, or county jail; attending the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel presentations; submitting to drug or alcohol testing; performing community service work; paying restitution to victims; completing anger management counseling; and complying with a wide variety of other court orders. Two officers work intensively with repeat and high risk OVI offenders. Eight Domestic Violence Officers specialize in domestic partner abuse cases, requiring that any probationers with substance abuse and/or mental health matters be addressed first, and then followed by a thorough domestic violence counseling. Two Victim Assistants work exclusively with victims of crime while the probationer serves their term of probation. Four Specialized Dockets are functioning in this Court, with at least one or more Officers assigned to each. The Alcohol and Drug Addiction Program (ADAP) Officers supervise addicted offenders, with a concentrated focus on the persistent and growing heroin addicts. The Mental Health officers supervise severely mentally ill persons, many within the Mental Health Specialty Docket Program, monitoring participants’ compliance with counseling, medication, and abiding by the law in general. The Changing Actions to Change Habits (CATCH Court) Specialty Docket Officers works extensively with repeat solicitation offenders. Veteran’s Court is focusing on the needs of veterans who are in trouble with the law. Two specially trained officers supervise dedicated caseloads of either sex offenders or those who victimize children. Our Evaluation Specialist diagnoses and refers indigent and self-pay probationers for treatment, in cooperation with Franklin County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board requirements. During 2013, the Electronically Monitored Home Incarceration program officers continuously monitored the exact locations of 155 offenders as they served 9,000 days under community supervision. The State and City funded Work Release Program required 208 offenders to serve a total of what would have been 6,674 jail days, and collected payment of $85,912 from the offenders during their time served as their share of the costs. This program avoided $520,572 in jail costs that would have otherwise been spent, and the offenders reentered society already employed. The Community Service Officers arranged completion of 31,429 hours of labor out of 41,043 ordered. $336,903 in Restitution was ordered in 500 cases last year, and $212,794 was collected and disbursed, with 293 successful case closures. 5
There were 6,646 Supervised Provided No Conviction (PNC) cases were monitored for compliance, including 2,629 new cases during 2013. In addition, the Pre-Sentence Investigation Officers researched and prepared 3,644 sentencing and Sealing of Record reports. During 2013 the Department supervised a total of 11,971 cases, including 6,933 new probation placements. At year’s end 17,540 cases remained assigned or on warrant to the Probation Department. Funding has been secured to subsidize indigent probationers with alcohol monitoring devices; camera mounted ignition interlocks to prevent impaired driving; and assessment and counseling for addiction, mental illness, positive parenting, and domestic violence. Probationers paid $604,788 in probation user fees, holding down probation costs to taxpayers. In partnership with the Clerk of Courts, the Department has gone partially paperless during 2013, and plans to complete the transition during 2014. 15 new work stations were built into existing space, all paid for from Probation User Fees. Broader use of technology to further improve efficiency and public safety are scheduled for implementation this year. SERVICE BAILIFFS Service Bailiffs assist litigants, attorneys, and the Court by delivering court documents to parties and enforcing both pre-judgment and post-judgment remedies. Responsibilities include service of complaints, summonses, criminal and civil subpoenas, garnishments, juror letters, and probation revocation hearing notices. Writs of replevin are enforced through seizure of property to be returned to the rightful owner, and writs of execution through levy and sale of personal property for the purpose of satisfying a judgment. Additionally, Service Bailiffs supervise the set-out of tenants’ property during an eviction. The Service Bailiffs’ Department processed or served in excess of 46,400 legal documents in 2013 and supervised over 1,500 set-outs. The Department currently employs 17 full-time individuals: a Chief Service Bailiff, 2 Deputy Chief Service Bailiffs, 13 Service Bailiffs, and a Secretary/Receptionist. SMALL CLAIMS DIVISION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION DEPARTMENT The Small Claims Division (Division) helps individuals and businesses file claims for money damages up to $3,000. Small Claims Court is less formal than the General Division of the Court; Small Claims Court may also resolve cases more quickly. Usually, an attorney is not required in small claims cases. The Division provides comprehensive forms and instructions about every phase of a Small Claims case including information about collecting a judgment. Information is also available at the Court’s web page: www.fcmcclerk.com. In 2013, public use of the web page increased significantly; more than 27,000 visitors looked at more than 58,000 page views. The majority of views were of the forms section. The Division has six full-time employees. The staff managed a small claims docket of more than 6,100 cases in 2013. The staff initiates, assigns, and schedules each case for trial. The Small Claims Division Staff also sets new hearing dates based on requests for continuances and the need to re-issue service. The Small Claims Division staff use the Court’s case management program to manage the dockets of five magistrates. In addition to managing and processing cases for the small claims docket, the Division staff serves as a centralized intake and referral unit for citizen inquiries about this court and other courts, agencies and services. In 2013, the Small Claims Division staff handled more than 12,000 telephone calls.
In the Dispute Resolution Department (Department) parties may request mediation before filing a claim or to resolve disputes about an outstanding unpaid check or account. In 2013, there were 25 pre-filing mediation sessions. The Department scheduled 831 mediations and mediated 215 disputes. During mediation, 127 cases (59.0%) reached a formal resolution. Parties resolved 138 cases (22.4%) before the scheduled mediation date. Of the total requested mediations, 478 cases (57.5%) had one party who declined mediation or failed to appear at the appointed time. The mediators for this program are volunteers. Mediators come from the community at large, Nationwide Insurance Company, Capital University Law School and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Each mediator is specially trained to mediate in this program. Volunteer mediators contributed more than 500 hours to this program in 2013. Volunteer mediators also serve the Eviction Docket. Mediators are available three days per week. These volunteers contributed more than 300 hours of service to the Court. In addition, Mediators from Community Mediation Services of Central Ohio provides mediation and referral services in Eviction Court every day. Mediators from both law schools mediate on the day of trial in Small Claims Court. These mediators provided more than 750 hours of service to the Court in 2013. Without services from volunteer mediators, the Court would have paid more than $60,000 in mediators’ fees to staff these three programs. During 2013, Judges and Magistrates referred 824 civil cases to mediation. From these referrals, 201 case were resolved during mediation and 185 settled prior to the mediation date. There were 114 cases where one party failed to appear for the scheduled mediation. Since November 2008, the Court has operated the Franklin County Foreclosure Mediation Project (FCFMP) for the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. FCFMP provides mediation services that bring borrowers and lenders together to discuss resolution of their cases. In 2013, there were more than 1,100 requests or referrals to foreclosure mediation. SPECIALIZED DOCKETS In January 2013, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted new Rules of Superintendence, which required certification for any court operating a specialized docket and established minimum standards while recommending best practices. Without certification, a specialized docket cannot exist, and any judge operating a non-certified “specialized docket” could face disciplinary action. Throughout 2013, the Court’s Specialized Docket Committee, chaired by Judge David Young, and staff members from several Court departments worked diligently to document the specialized dockets’ practices, modify procedures and forms, and submit applications for certification to the Supreme Court. As of January 1, 2014, each of the five Specialized Docket Programs operated by the Franklin County Municipal Court has received initial certification. The Mental Health Program Docket (MHPD), established in 2004, continues to achieve remarkable success in not only saving lives but in saving taxpayers’ money. Since its inception, the MHPD has saved over $1.2 million in total costs savings in jail nights and last year celebrated the achievement of its largest graduating class with 26 individuals graduating the two-year, voluntary program. The Program provides a mechanism to promote effective treatment as an alternative to incarceration for a person whose symptoms of mental illness, history of non-compliance with treatment, and/or refusal to accept treatment results in a recurring pattern of misdemeanor offenses. The MHPD goal for these participants is to decrease criminal recidivism, improve public safety, and improve the defendant’s quality of life.
The Changing Actions to Change Habits (CATCH) docket is focused on establishing a process that restores women trapped in street prostitution to lawful, productive citizenship. It is a voluntary two-year Program offering outreach, connection, advocacy, and counseling to women with multiple solicitation charges who desire to end their lifestyle of addiction and street life. By uniting women with a diverse and dedicated team as well as to other participants for the treatment of specific issues related to this crime, CATCH helps them change actions to change habits that have long bound them to a dangerous and deadly way of life. The Program benefits not only the women who participate, but also the local community through cost savings attributed to family reunification, reverse of neighborhood decline and blight, and the development of citizens who are able to contribute in a positive way to society. In 2013, there were 50 women referred to CATCH, of which 32 were accepted into the Program. For 2013, the CATCH docket eliminated $134,726 in probable jail costs alone. In 2009, the Court and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office entered into an agreement to provide expedited court arraignments and prosecution of low-level drug offenders. In many cases, a defendant charged in Common Pleas Court with a fourth or fifth degree felony ended up entering a plea to a misdemeanor offense. Under this program, a defendant charged with a fourth or fifth degree felony may be referred to the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Program 101 Program (ADAP) if both the prosecutor and defendant agree. This reduces the time and money spent processing these cases in Common Pleas Court. During 2013, there were 279 defendants referred to ADAP. The Court estimates that those 279 clients spent an average of 3.0 nights in jail, instead of an average of 16.6 nights in jail without the Program, for a savings to the taxpayers of $331,840. The ADAP Docket Program is a two-year specialty docket that allows defendants to be connected to longterm treatment, with intensive monitoring and support services offered through the ADAP staff and the specialized docket judge. The Court calculates that the ADAP Long Term Program resulted in a 73% reduction in jail nights for those accepted into the program. The ADAP Opiate Extension Program is a collaborative effort between the Franklin County Prosecutor and the Columbus City Attorney, to assist defendants charged with felony drug possession to receive education, support and treatment. This program is one of the few drug specific programs in the United States of America. Clients’ voluntary enroll in this two year program and attend weekly. Currently, 81% of the participants test clean of any illicit drug use. The most recent addition to the problem solving courts is the Military and Veteran’s Service Specialized Docket (MAVS). The MAVS docket is intended to promote effective treatment as an alternative to incarceration for people whose criminal charges may be directly or indirectly connected to military service or combat. The arrests, summons, and charges obtained by these individuals have a negative impact on their quality of life, future job prospects and the safety of the community. Many of these individuals have suffered from drug addiction, poverty, and a lack of community support. The program is only in its third year; however, we anticipate the same significant costs savings as the other specialized docket programs.
Special Projects Funds Dispute Resolution & CARS Fund – 2013 - Revised Code section 1901.262 Beginning balance Revenue Total funds Expenses Ending balance
Cost Savings and Efficiency Initiatives: The Franklin County Municipal Court continually strives to improve its programs and operating procedures to increase efficiency and save valuable public dollars. Over the last several years, the following have been undertaken in pursuit of those objectives. Assignment Office
The modification of the mailing of notices to suburban prosecutors’ law firms. We have a number of suburban prosecutors that either pick up their notices or have the assignment office fax them in an effort to save postage and the time elapsed between scheduling and notification of the court date. We are also asking large law firms to pick up their Court notices instead of mailing them.
With the new phone system installed, it has allowed for quicker transfer of calls to appropriate parties. This public service has allowed for the public to have their question answered more efficiently and for assignment clerks to utilize time on assignment tasks. The Assignment Office also uses the “My Status” feature available, allowing parties to know whether a person is available or not.
Jury Commissioner’s Office
Official letterhead and envelopes are printed on desktop printers instead of purchasing print-quality stationery.
Several years ago we lowered the total summons mailed and the number of days jurors were required to be in attendance, thereby reducing the per diem allocation by $39,000.00. This action had the same cost savings effect on postage, juror badges, stationery, and envelopes.
The jury program is a “mixed” program, which means that a percentage of the jurors can report at 1:30 pm instead of 10:30 am which is the start of the morning court session. Jurors will report earlier to cover special jury requests and earlier jury trials if needed but only the amount needed to start the trial. This helps all sectors of private business as well as government to save due to the fact they do not have to cover their employee’s absence for a full day.
Juror badge covers are reused.
Department of Probation Services
Instead of using an employee almost full-time to shred documents, we entered into a shredding services contract with a vendor who provides services more economically. Our average weekly cost to shred all of our confidential court documents is now only $25.00. In addition, other Court Departments may make use of this service fir their confidential document shredding needs, including Service Bailiffs and the Jury Commission. The estimated savings on shredding costs over two years are $70,000.
The Department completed the scanning and purging of closed files that provided much needed floor space. According to the building engineer, the filing system for these records had become overloaded and was causing excessive stress and cracking to occur on the floors. Staff sorted through the files, removing over 20,000 pounds of paper from the overloaded system. All the files have been rearranged and are much more retrievable. The cost of additional storage would have been prohibitive since no extra space was available within the building, and off-site storage would have also been costly and inefficient. 10
The Court revised the Probation User Fee structure to cover Probation expenses that would have otherwise had to be paid out of the City’s General Fund. The Probation Department covers the majority of its operating costs as well as costs for probationer rehabilitation programs for indigent offenders out of this User Fee funding. Essentially, the Probationers who use the Department’s services are paying for a portion of these services. Estimated savings to the General Fund are accruing at the rate of over $200,000 annually.
The reinstituted Work Release program is saving approximately $70,000 annually for taxpayers by avoiding jail costs of $79 per day and paying for transitional housing at $62 per day. This Program provides for supervised residential housing for employed non-violent offenders who need a stable housing environment and support as they re-integrate back into society. The additional savings of keeping people employed is incalculable but real.
The Magistrates Department continue to work with the Franklin County Public Defender, the Columbus City Prosecutor and the Clerk’s office to use the arraignment courtrooms to reduce the number of traffic cases being individually assigned to the judges. Savings is related to taking the time to resolve cases in the arraignment courts instead of referring them through a not-guilty plea to the judges’ assigned dockets. The costs saved include overtime for law enforcement officers called for pretrials or trials.
The magistrates assumed the additional responsibility to preside over the environmental division arraignments for several months following the resignation of one judge and before the appointment of a new judge. The use of the Court’s magistrates limited the need for the Court to request visiting judges.
The Interpreter Program has been totally revamped and updated to reduce unit costs, allow for increased accuracy in billing, utilize electronic communications and publish scheduling to allow more use of interpreters, minimize continuances due to unavailability of an interpreter, and provide greater ability to collect information on past interpreter needs to increase planning for the future.
A formal bid process was undertaken for both foreign language and American Sign Language interpreters. Contracts were entered into with three foreign language agencies and three ASL agencies. This reduced the cost per hour of service from $50 to approximately $28. The prioritization of the use of the three foreign language agencies from lowest to highest cost, in that order, has also reduced our overall costs for interpreter services. These contracts provide that interpreters are paid for “actual” hours and eliminated a standard minimum hourly fee of four hours, regardless if hours worked were less. Also, a billing system was created that requires all agencies to submit invoices with all Interpreter Verification forms attached to allow us to more accurately reconcile their bill with requested assignments.
A form was created for bailiffs and others to request the services of an interpreter via e-mail. This allows them to submit requests right from their desktops and from the courtroom. It also allows the coordinator to relay the request to our contract agencies faster and keep better records of assignments.
The coordinator created a weekly schedule for interpreters that is e-mailed to all users and posted on the Intranet. It allows our two primary agencies to more accurately fill our requests, allows the coordinator to check their work faster and find problems in their assignments, and allows requestors to know that their requests have been filled.
The Interpreter Services Department has implemented a survey used to provide feedback from judges, attorneys, and court personnel about the performance of the Interpreters that we contract with for services. The Court employed Interpreters also mentor and shadow the contract Interpreters to provide orientation and training to ensure that these Interpreters understand and adhere to the ethical and performance standards of the Court. The Court’s Lead Interpreter has assisted the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College present various educational seminars and workshops to judges, magistrates, mediators, court personnel, and advocacy groups about how to work with interpreters.
The Supreme Court adopted Amendments to the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio (Sup.R.80 and88) during 2011 with an effective date of implementation of January 1, 2012. These new rules impose additional duties on judges when an interpreter is used. The Interpreter Program created a new entry to be filed that documents all instances when a Supreme Court certified sign language or foreign language interpreter is present.
Court-Appointed Counsel Program
Logging in and date stamping of receipt of motions for payment to increase ability to answer inquiries from provides and the court which decreases reductions in payments for late submission and allows the coordinator to assist in finding lost bills.
Started electronically storing scanned conflict entries which allows for improved accessibility and easier retrieval of information.
Increased the use of electronic communications to allow for decreased time in obtaining reconciliation of monthly Ohio Public Defender reports. Usually reconciled by the coordinator and received by the County budget office within one day instead of one week.
Increased use of electronic storage of paid bills via spreadsheets to allow searching on one database to find payments when inquiries are made from attorneys or the Court. This increases the confidence of service providers (attorney) in our system of payment
Decreased from one month to one-to-two weeks the time from bill submission to receipt of payment by attorneys.
Reviewing and re-establishing the Volunteer Program. The application and release forms have been revised and the Court started two volunteers in 2013.
Small Claims Division Forms, instructions, brochures and guides about proceeding through every phase of a Small Claims case are available in paper form to the public in the Division offices. Forms are also available electronically through the Clerk’s web page: www.fcmcclerk.com and directly through the Division’s webpage http://smallclaims.fcmcclerk.com/ In 2012, the Division improved its web page by creating tabbed pages to quickly link citizens to the information they seek. Since the launch of this specifically tailored web page, the Division reports 27,567 visits to the page during calendar year 2013. Of these visits, 76.6% were new visitors. Desktop computers were used for 80.4% of all visits; 13.6% of the page visitors used a mobile device; 5.9% utilized a tablet. From these visits, there were 58,233 page views. The most visited tab on the page was “Court-Forms” (36.7%), followed by “Filing-a-lawsuit” tab (13.0%). 12
In 2013, Division staff worked closely with the Clerk’s Office of Information Services to improve the efficiency of Courtview in the case initiation process. One major improvement in Courtview made the case number visible in the window of each envelope. This simple change saves time as staff processes each document. Division staff also completed a project to identify and close over-age small claims cases. Small claims staff facilitated an agreement for the Clerk’s staff to scan civil and small claims complaints. Beginning in 2014, easy access to the entire case files in Courtview will save clerk and court staff time in searching for missing files. Finally, in 2013, The Division Manager supervised six law students who provided volunteer services to update information for landlords and tenants about rent escrow and eviction. Other students completed a project involving surveys, focus groups and interviews with judges to formulate recommendations for improvements to the mediation programs. Dispute Resolution Department Cases that magistrates and judges refer to mediation result in case resolutions that require less attention from judges and their staffs. On average, only 4% of referred cases resulted in a trial. Dispute Resolution Staff, contract mediators, student interns, and volunteers provide high levels of mediation service for a much lower cost than the time and cost of involving multiple court staff in multiple departments to process the cases. Further, cases resolved after they are referred to mediation reduce the work for the Assignment Office, Bailiffs, Secretaries, Magistrates, Judges and Clerk of Court Staff. The Dispute Resolution staff processed 824 cases in 2013. The Department continues to work with both Capital University Law School, Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, Nationwide Insurance Company, and Community Mediation Services to coordinate mediation services for the pre-filing, small claims, and eviction mediation programs. Without services from volunteer mediators the Court would have paid more than $60,000 for services in these three programs. In 2013, the Department scheduled 831 pre-filing and rent escrow mediations; volunteer mediators contributed more than 500 hours to these programs, a cost savings to the court of approximately $20,000.00. Volunteer mediators also serve the Eviction Docket. Volunteer Mediators from Nationwide Insurance Company are available to the court three days per week. These mediators contributed more than 300 hours of service to the Court, a cost savings of approximately $12,000.00. In addition, Mediators from Community Mediation Services of Central Ohio provides mediation and referral services in Eviction Court. Finally, mediators from both local law schools mediated on the day of trial in Small Claims Court. These mediators provided more than 750 hours of service to the Court in 2013, saving the court over $30,000.00.
Service Bailiffs Department
By outfitting each Service Bailiff with a personal computer, required forms are now being prepared by each individual, rather than management. We have realized savings in paper products and increased efficiency in by-passing the involvement of management in the preparation of their paperwork. Increased the limit of the amount of service stops, from 2 to 3, for an evening or weekend route resulted in reducing mileage and cost savings for the Department. 13