Warren County, County Court


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 1959-1960
Paul N. Herdman 1960-1988
Mark Clark 1970-1990
Dallas Powers 1989-2005
L. Kathleen Porter 1991-1995
James J. Heath 1995-2004
Donald E. Oda II 2005-2012
Joseph W. Kirby 2006-2013
Sources: Warren County Geneological Society
Title 19, Ohio Revised Code
(as of February 28, 2014)