By Judge Zack Dolyk
Every year the Ohio Supreme Court requires that every Court in Ohio report its case load statistics. 2017 was again a very busy year in our Court. The Vermilion Municipal Court collected over 1.4 million dollars in fines and costs. Our goal is to continue to provide excellent service to our community within our budgetary constraints. The Vermilion Municipal Court has jurisdiction in the City of Vermilion, Vermilion Township, Brownhelm Township and Florence Township.
The Court collected a total of $1,443,238.39 in receipts for our traffic, criminal, civil and trusteeship accounts. Of these monies received $757,790.08 in fines and costs were forwarded to the City of Vermilion. The State of Ohio received $225,302.50, Erie County $97,403.48, Lorain County $31,101.88 and other agencies $77,668.69. The Court collected and disbursed $7,747.07 in restitution payments to victims. In our civil division $68,812.39 was forwarded to the City of Vermilion, $160,129.75 judgments disbursed and the State of Ohio received $9,888.12 in legal aid costs and disbursements of $5,515.85.
Ohio law mandates how and to what agencies the fines and costs are disbursed. The standard court costs, in 2017, for Vermilion Municipal Court were $95.00. From this amount $22.00 is forwarded to the City of Vermilion. The State of Ohio funds receive $39.00 and the special Court funds receive $34.00. The fines are disbursed to the County, State and City according to the arresting agency. The City of Vermilion receives 40% of the fine, 50% is forwarded to the State of Ohio and 10% 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.
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 is directly responsible for 50% of the Judge’s salary.
We were pleased to be recipients of the 2017 Supreme Court Technology Grant. These grants are designed to remove barriers to the efficient and effective administration of justice. The Vermilion Municipal Court was awarded $63,198.00. These monies were used to upgrade the courts case management system to include MergePro Paper on Demand system and to allow electronic retrieval of documents. The funds for this grant are made available under the Ohio Courts Technology Initiative. It was established to facilitate the exchange of information and warehousing of data by and between Ohio courts and other justice system partners through the creation of an Ohio Courts Network.
The roof and gutter were recently replaced at the Vermilion Municipal Court facility. This was a joint project with the City of Vermilion and the Municipal Court. The Court uses its special project fund to help maintain its building. These monies are collected through court costs on traffic, criminal and civil cases.
We continue to update our procedures to provide the most fair and efficient system possible. We are always actively working to maintain and upgrade our facility and equipment. The recent upgrades have been funded from the special project funds the court collects from court costs.
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 Tuesdays and Thursday afternoon. You can reach the Clerk’s office by calling 440 204-2430, facsimile 440 204-2431 or at http://www.vermilionmunicipalcourt.org.
Our goal remains to continue to provide justice to the citizens of Vermilion and the surrounding townships in the most efficient and professional manner possible.