Vermilion Municipal Court Judge Zack Dolyk recently submitted his annual report for 2016. This report on case load statistics is required every year by the Ohio Supreme Court for every court in Ohio. The Vermilion Municipal Court has jurisdiction in the city of Vermilion, Vermilion Township, Brownhelm Township, and Florence Township.
According to judge Dolyk, the year 2016 was again a very busy year in the court. Once again the court collected over 1.3 million dollars in fines and costs. “Our goal is to continue to provide excellent service to our community within our budgetary constraints,” said the judge. “We strive to continue to provide justice to the citizens of Vermilion and the surrounding townships in the most efficient and professional manner possible.”
The year-end report stated there were 5,222 traffic and criminal cases filed in 2016 with 5,484 being completed in 2016. A total of 151 felonies were bound over to either the Erie or Lorain County Grand Juries. A total of 482 new civil cases were filed in 2016. Included in these numbers were 62 new evictions.
The court collected a total of $1,357,331.88 in receipts for the traffic, criminal, civil and trusteeship accounts. Of these monies received $727,229.95 in fines and costs were forwarded to the City of Vermilion. The State of Ohio received $213,415.14; Erie County received $84,214.61; Lorain County, $24,194.72; and other agencies $64,505.25. The court collected and disbursed $5,580.41 in restitution payments to victims. In the civil division $71,400.85 was forwarded to the City of Vermilion, and The State of Ohio received $9,781.20 in legal aid costs.
With the assistance of the court, the City of Vermilion continues to invoice and receive reimbursement for both Lorain and Erie counties portion of the costs to operate the Vermilion Municipal Court. The city is reimbursed for a portion of the judge and clerk’s wages and health care, a portion of the wages for the bailiff, visiting judges, and prosecutor by both counties. In addition, the State of Ohio is directly responsible for 50 percent of the judge’s salary.
Ohio law mandates how and to what agencies the fines and costs are disbursed. The standard court costs, in 2016, for Vermilion Municipal Court were $95. From this amount $22 is forwarded to the City of Vermilion. The State of Ohio funds receive $39 and the Special Court funds receive $34. The fines are disbursed to the county, state and city according to the arresting agency. The City of Vermilion receives 40 percent of the fine, 50 percent is forwarded to the State of Ohio, and 10 percent to the county where the violation occurred on all Ohio State Highway Patrol cases.
When a person is convicted of an OVI the court will collect additional mandatory costs for the State of Ohio, the county where the offense occurred, and the City of Vermilion. The cost for a civil action varies according to the type of filing.
This past year the Vermilion Municipal Court completed its data and electrical work needed for new cubicle units installed in the clerk’s office. These units provide for an ergonomic workspace that helps the employees work more efficiently and comfortably. “We continue to update our procedures in order to provide the most fair and efficient system possible. We are always actively working to maintain and upgrade our facility and equipment,” said judge Dolyk. The recent upgrades have been funded from the Special Project Funds the court collects from court costs.
Also new last year, the Vermilion Municipal court began receiving e-citations from the Ohio State Patrol on March 15, 2016. The e-citation program has greatly reduced the former time intensive process of physically entering a citation. The new process has also improved the accuracy of important data information which is transferred by our office to various agencies. “We are now able to upload the citations from the Ohio Department of Public Safety to our case management system. This allows citations to be uploaded with only a few key strokes vs manually typing in all of the information,” explained the judge.
“We also began the E-Stats program initiated by the Supreme Court of Ohio. This provides a detailed report of all cases filed and completed in the Vermilion Municipal Court,” stated the judge. This report is submitted electronically each month to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Court employees include Tami Horton, Michelle Fiegelist, Liz Henderson, Stephanie Lukovics, Cindy Holovacs, Beth Beatty, Dick Baker, Eric Longbrake and Steve Hammersmith.
The Vermilion Municipal Court is open Monday through Friday. Court is in session on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. You can reach the clerk’s office by calling 440-204-2430, facsimile 440-204-2431 or at http://www.vermilionmunicipalcourt.org.