Choose Becky Doherty acknowledges that the case load within the Portage County Frequent Pleas Court docket would in all probability be sufficient to maintain a 3rd choose busy. However she’s at a loss as to the place that choose’s courtroom is perhaps.
Extra:Portage choose asks for added employees to deal with elevated caseload
Earlier this yr, Choose Laurie Pittman got here to commissioners to ask for added employees to deal with an growing caseload in her court docket. Doherty mentioned she was unable to make that assembly due to household circumstances.
Doherty acknowledged that each her court docket and Pittman’s have annual case masses exceeding 900 instances every, greater than double or triple the load for commonest pleas judges. Most , she mentioned, have 300 to 400 instances on the most.
“Our docket is insane,” she mentioned.
Prior to now, commissioners have mentioned the necessity for a 3rd choose within the widespread pleas court docket. No different county in Ohio has an analogous variety of instances per choose, and courts with comparable caseloads have extra judges. Stark County has 1,919 instances and 5 judges; Clermont County has 1,604 instances and 4 judges, and Lucas County has 1,641 instances and 10 judges.
“We might in all probability use a 3rd choose, however the query is, the place are we going to place a 3rd choose?” she requested.
She additionally questioned whether or not the county’s widespread pleas court docket caseload ought to be as excessive as it’s, suggesting that the prosecutor’s workplace might do a greater job of holding some instances from being charged as felonies, however mentioned, “I solely strive the instances in entrance of me.” The county has three municipal court docket judges and courtrooms in Kent and Ravenna the place misdemeanor instances are heard.
Late final yr, Portage County Home Court docket Choose Paula Giulitto and Juvenile Court docket Choose Patricia Smith approached commissioners with a plan to increase the courthouse and simplify the best way household court docket instances are dealt with. That prompted a closed-door assembly of county officers to debate area wants within the courthouse.
Town of Ravenna has since bought the previous Ravenna Excessive Faculty property at East Most important and Clinton streets for a future metropolis corridor and security middle. The proposed constructing, which has not been designed or deliberate, would change buildings which can be throughout the road from the present courthouse.
Whereas Pittman mentioned she wanted extra employees to deal with the elevated caseload, Doherty mentioned her present employees, whereas stretched skinny, works nicely collectively and does not need assistance. Nevertheless, she mentioned, they do want wage will increase, noting that they stored working even by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I do not personally assume we want extra staff,” she mentioned. “However in addition they ought to be compensated for the work that they do.”