COLUMBUS—State Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) today announced the passage of legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives that would establish a Perry County Municipal Court and seat a full-time judgeship to the court. The bill officially becomes law after it is signed by Governor Kasich.
"Today's passage is welcomed news for the people of Perry County," said Hottinger, who sponsored the bill in the Ohio Senate. "I look forward to carrying this bill across the finish line in the coming weeks."
Since 1990, the Perry County caseload has increased from 800 new cases annually to more than 4,000. The Ohio Supreme Court reviewed the issue in 2014 and recommended the creation of the Perry County Municipal Court and the conversion of the part-time judgeship into a full-time position.
“Creation of the Perry County Municipal Court will help to address the growing caseload and allow for more personalized attention to be given to drug-related cases, which has the potential to reduce recidivism,” said Hottinger.
Operating on a full-time basis as a Municipal Court with its own judgeship, cases could be adjudicated in less time and the court would have the capacity meet the time constraints set forth by local and state requirements.
When the Village of New Lexington ceased operation of its court in 2013, the increased caseload made the need for a Perry County Municipal Court apparent.
The proposed Perry County Municipal Court would also help to improve efficiency in the newly formed Perry County New Direction Court program, which seeks to address substance abuse, crime and recidivism of participants through intense supervision, treatment and judicial monitoring.
Senate Bill 25 now goes to Governor John Kasich to be signed into law.