The Judges of the Common Pleas Court take an oath upon being sworn into office "to administer justice without respect to persons and faithfully & impartially to discharge and perform all duties incumbent on him as such Judge…."
The duties of the Judge include the overseeing & disposition of criminal and civil cases.
If these cases are not resolved by a plea of guilty after all the facts are exchanged, again disposition and determination of guilt or innocence is determined normally by a jury panel of 12 individuals from Allen County. The determination of the sentence, if the person is found guilty, is the responsibility of the Judge alone.
The Judge also oversees the operation of the Allen County Probation Department and are members of the Judicial Corrections Board for the W.O.R.T.H. Center. This center is a rehabilitation facility that is an alternative commitment that the Judges can use at sentencing, rather than sentencing to the penitentiary or granting outright probation (community control). The Judges also hear & determine administrative appeals from various State and local agencies. These appeals, for example, come from decisions of the State Personnel Board of Review, Unemployment Relations Board, local zoning appeals and local governmental decisions.
It is now generally expected that the judges be heard outside of their opinions and decisions on a limited basis. Judges are often invited to speak to school groups and service clubs. Field trips by local schools to the court are encouraged. Topics involve the need for law-related education, public misconception about the operation of the Judicial Branch and elementary school mock trials.
By educating the public as to the duties & responsibilities of the court, the Judges believe that an informed public of citizens will be more responsive to the call for "Jury Duty" - the small price we pay for living in this great country.
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Download the Amended Local Rules of Court