The Warren County Court was created in 1958 by an act of the Ohio General Assembly to replace township justices of the peace. The court hears both criminal and civil actions.
The jurisdiction of the court lies within the county’s boundaries except for those areas whose jurisdiction falls within the Franklin, Lebanon, and Mason Municipal Courts. In criminal cases, the court has jurisdiction of all misdemeanors, conducts preliminary hearings in felony cases, binds over alleged felons to the court of common pleas, and takes other action in felony cases as authorized by law. In civil cases, the court has exclusive original jurisdiction for complaints up to $500.00 and original jurisdiction for complaints up to $15,000.00. The court has concurrent jurisdiction with Mayor’s Courts over violations of municipal ordinances and criminal traffic cases.
The office of Warren County Court Judge is an elected position. The Warren County Court began with one elected judge in January 1, 1959, and it was expanded to two judges in the 1970 election. Judges are elected to six-year terms, starting in January of the year following the election.
Portraits of the previous judges of the Warren County Court are displayed on the wall of the courtroom. Previous judges and their years of service are listed below:
|Robert G. Ray
|Paul N. Herdman
|L. Kathleen Porter
|James J. Heath
|Donald E. Oda II
|Joseph W. Kirby
Sources: Warren County Geneological Society
Title 19, Ohio Revised Code
(as of February 28, 2014)