2013-08-24 / Editorials & Letters

Municipal Court explained

Editor:

Recently, I participated in the Hartford and the Pataskala Street fairs. What a pleasure to visit with so many people, renewing old friendships and meeting new people! I enjoyed talking with everyone! At the fairs it’s hard to have long conversations, but the conversations were informative.

A question I heard often was “is the Municipal Court a county wide court or just the City of Newark”? The Licking County Municipal Court was established pursuant to Ohio Revised Code and has county-wide jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal and traffic matters. The level of offenses is defined by statute in Ohio. We also have jurisdiction over civil cases where the amount in controversy is $15,000 or less, as well as eviction and landlordtenant matters. The Small Claims division monetary jurisdiction is limited to $3,000 or less.

The Clerk’s office is responsible for maintaining the public records on all court cases in the Licking County Municipal Court, as well as, collecting and distributing fines, court costs and fees associated with these cases. The annual collection for traffic/criminal cases averages $2-3 Million.

We are a county-wide jurisdiction court and clerk’s office serving and assisting all law enforcement agencies in Licking County. We receive violations from the Ohio State Patrol, Licking County Sheriff’s office, Newark, Pataskala, Heath, Union Township, Johnstown, Utica, St. Louisville, Granville, Alexandria, Hebron, Croton, Kirkersville, Buckeye Lake, New Albany and Reynoldsburg police departments. We also receive violations from Newark Animal and Licking County Animal Control, Division of Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and Dillon State Park.

We serve defense attorneys and prosecutors, landlords, tenants, bail bond agents and citizens that have action or seek action of the Licking County Municipal Court. The Clerk’s office is the major processing center through which all court and case documents flow. The Clerk’s office issues, records, and files these documents in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, local court rules and the Supreme Court of Ohio Rules of Superintendence. Our average case load is 22,000 cases per year.

The elected position of the Municipal Court Clerk is voted on by all residents in Licking County and as your current Licking County Municipal Court Clerk I am looking forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Licking County and all those who use our office.

Marcia J. Phelps
Licking County Municipal
Court Clerk

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