Plans for proposed New Carlisle mayor’s court move forward

City wants court in order to have better control of minor matters.

New Carlisle City Council is moving forward with plans to establish a mayor’s court to handle minor misdemeanors, traffic violations and other violations to city ordinances that wouldn’t result in jail time.

Council has approved an ordinance to register the court through the Ohio Supreme Court, an endeavor the city has been undertaking for nearly a year. A similar court existed decades ago.

The city pursued the re-creation of a mayor’s court in order to have better control over violations of ordinance within the city, which, without a mayor’s court, often are kicked off the Clark County court system, Mayor Mike Lowery said.

“Really, they just have bigger fish to fry,” Lowery said. “This would help us have a better grip in dealing with city matters.”

Lowery said the hope for the city is to establish a mayor’s court by the end of this year.

The head of these courtrooms can either be the mayor of the city in which the courtroom was established or a magistrate.

In the case of New Carlisle, its mayor will not be serving as officiator. Rather, the same magistrate that oversees the mayor’s court of the Village of Enon, Stephen Hume, will likely look after New Carlisle’s expected mayor’s court. Joining Hume would be clerk Kristy Thome. Lowery noted the city hopes to establish a neutral party as head of the proposed court.

Ordinances to appoint both people to the mayor’s court positions were read at the July 19 council meeting, but both ordinances will be acted upon at the Aug. 2 meeting of city council.

Mayor’s courts exist in two states, Louisiana and Ohio, with nearly 300 existing among Ohio cities and villages as of 2019, according to the Ohio Supreme Court.

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In Clark County, several cities and villages contain mayor’s courts: Catawba, Donnelsville, Enon, North Hampton, South Charleston and Tremont City. New Carlisle studied Enon’s mayor’s court before deciding to pursue one.

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