How many court websites do we need in Montgomery County?

Franklin County Ohio Clerk of Courts siteFranklin County has one clerk of courts and one website.

Felony, misdemeanor, civil case, probate, appeal- it’s all in one place. You can file electronically for any and all of the above case types. Maybe it’s why Franklin County has been growing and Montgomery County, well… we’ve got more websites than they do.

Each website costs money. Each website requires administrators, security, backup and maintenance as well as a support team, never mind the learning curve for every attorney in the area.

We’ve received some preliminary data from two of the courts, that both hired the same local company to build their sites- at an initial price of between $100K and $150K. They pay $100 a month for their server and another $30K a year for the site. We’ll be posting contracts and invoices soon. None of the sites allow electronic filing.

If we extrapolate that to the 6 sites: that’s three quarters of a million to set up, $7,200 a year for servers, and  $180,000 a year for the software. Never mind the staffs at each court, the clerks, the office hours, overhead. This isn’t including the cost of the county clerk of courts common pleas site- which does allow efiling.

Doing background checks takes longer, costs more and has a higher chance that someone will miss something.

There is no justifiable reason for this mess. With your support, Reconstructing Dayton is doing an analysis of each courts systems, costs, and value proposition

Just because Lady Justice is blindfolded, it doesn’t mean she should be blind to the costs of carrying all these extra courts on our backs.

We’ll be updating this post with each of the municipal courts and the data that goes with them soon.

Dayton Municipal Court

Dayton Municipal Court Website screenshotThe Dayton Municipal Court is a limited jurisdiction court of record whose judicial function is to apply the law to specific controversies brought before it and to resolve disputes between people and other legal entities. The court operates under the rule of law to assure that the protections of law are available to all people.

Source: Dayton Municipal Court

Kettering Municipal Court

Kettering Municipal Court website screenshotThe Kettering Municipal Court provides justice services for the communities of Centerville, Kettering, Moraine and Washington Township.

Our Court handles misdemeanor traffic and criminal cases, as well as civil complaints up to $15,000 and small claims complaints up to $6,000. Preliminary hearings for felony cases are also conducted here.

This web site, provided by the Clerk of Court’s Office, gives you access to search the public record and court schedule, along with general information to help you navigate our court system.

Source: Kettering Municipal Court – Thank you for using our online web resources.

thumbnail of 2018 Kettering Municipal Court maintenance costs (enhanced scan)

Invoice for Kettering court site software. Click to download PDF

Kettering Municipal Courts uses a case management system called Civica CMI. Displayed at right is the invoice that includes the annual license, support and maintenance fees. All of which come to a total of $31,245.05, as of 2018.

 

Miamisburg Municipal Court

Miamisburg Municipal Court website screenshotThe Miamisburg Municipal Court is located in southwestern Montgomery County, and serves approximately 80,000 citizens. Miamisburg Municipal Court’s jurisdiction includes the cities of Miamisburg, Germantown, and West Carrollton, along with Miami and German Township. The judge of The Miamisburg Municipal Court is an elected official, and is the single administrative judge. The magistrate, clerk of court, chief bailiff, and other court staff are appointed by the judge and serve at his will.

Source: About Miamisburg Municipal Court

thumbnail of Miamisburg Civica CMI invoice 2018-1 (enhanced scan)

Invoice for Miamisburg Municipal court site software. Click to download PDF

Similar to Kettering’s Municipality, Miamisburg Municipal Court uses the vendor case management system, Civica CMI. As of 2018, they pay an annual fee of $28,204.49.

Montgomery County Municipal Court

Montgomery County Clerk of Court website screenshotThe Clerk of Courts office, as the “core of the Court,” plays a vital role in serving the interests of justice. This includes filing, docketing, indexing, and preserving all court pleadings for civil, felony criminal, domestic relations, and appellate cases.

The Clerk of Courts must also follow procedure required by law and issue writs to carry out Court orders. Some of these writs include summons, subpoenas, warrants to arrest and to convey to penal institutions, and signing the death warrant in capital cases.

Source: Montgomery County Clerk of Courts

Oakwood Municipal Court

Oakwood Municipal Court website screenshotOakwood has its own Municipal Court which is part of the County and State court system. The court is run by two clerks, Linda K. Young and Gina Urban. Court hearings take place in the same chambers which serve City Council.

thumbnail of Oakwood Henschen contract ENHANCED

Invoice for Oakwood Municipal court site software. Click to download PDF

Municipal Court hears all misdemeanor cases, arraignments and traffic violations, as well as preliminary hearings on felony cases. The court also hears small claims and civil cases.

Source: Oakwood Municipal Court

 

Vandalia Municipal Court

Vandalia Court website screenshotVandalia Municipal Court’s jurisdiction serves approximately 83.5 square miles, which includes the Cities of Vandalia, Englewood, Clayton, Union and the Townships of Harrison and Butler, located in the County of Montgomery, Ohio. The Court is one of the busiest single judge courts in the State of Ohio.

Source: Vandalia Municipal Court

thumbnail of Vandalia Henschen invoice (enhanced scan)

Invoice for Vandalia Municipal Court site software. Click to download PDF

Vandalia Municipal Court uses a case management system called Henschen & Associates, Inc. This corporation charges an annual maintenance fee of $500.00, monthly backup fees of $1,800, a service charge of $200.00 and an annual update subscription of $1016.60 for a total of $23,316.60 in 2018.

So… why have different vendors, contracts, maintenance fees, etc when we can have one?

 

 

 

 

And to extrapolate one step further, the entire court system in the State of Wisconsin is unified. One site, one system, one login for attorneys, etc. Imagine how much easier this makes background checks, and equal and fair treatment and access to the courts. A model for the State of Ohio, you think?

 

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tax more or spend less? Introducing Reconstructing Dayton – Esrati - […] How many municipal courts and websites do we need? […]
  2. First Montgomery County countywide citizen initiated referendum in the works – Esrati - […] County Clerk of Courts Russ Joseph said we need it. He didn’t bother to mention that the stupid system…
  3. Why the sales tax hike isn’t the answer – Esrati - […] in point- the number of municipal courts, their inadequate websites that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year,…
  4. Mike Foley- the only Republican who deserves a Dems vote – Esrati - […] Russ doesn’t give a rat’s behind about solving the problems of our clerk of courts system which is redundant,…
  5. Why do we elect a Clerk of Courts? And how much is the ransom to get a competent one? | Esrati - […] I’ve already questioned why we have so many court websites in Montgomery County and did a little research on…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other posts you might like

An Interview with David Brannon

We sat down and interviewed David Brannon, candidate for Montgomery County Probate court judge. David talked about some key initiatives he plans to implement as probate judge, which is refreshing to hear from a judicial candidate. He also discussed some issues that are important to Reconstructing Dayton, such as consolidating the municipal courts in Montgomery County and the odd partisan structure of judicial races. We’re not endorsing any judicial candidates, but we do think you should give this article a read before committing to either Arvin Miller or David Brannon.

Taxation Without Representation in Montgomery County

Your income tax goes to the local government where you work instead of where you live. This means you are being taxed without being represented. Our state coronavirus relief bill has a provision to keep this structure in place even if you work from home. Now that a repeal of this provision has been proposed, cities are fighting back. We support the repeal and going a step further: all income taxes should go to a government where you have a vote. This country was founded on the concept that individuals should not be taxed without representation. Ohioans shouldn’t put up with it.

Get the latest news to your inbox.

Subscribe