Clerk of Courts
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Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday
8:00 A.M.
4:30 P.M.

Legal Department
Street Address:
301 N. Main St.,
Lima, OH 45801
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1243,
Lima, OH 45802

Phone Number:
(419) 223-8513
FAX Number:
(419) 222-8427

Title Department
Street Address:
330 N. Elizabeth St.,
Lima, OH 45801
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1243,
Lima, OH 45802

Phone Number:
(419) 223-8529
FAX Number:
(419) 228-8562


The office of the Clerk of Courts of Common Pleas traces its origin to the medieval cleric. They maintained the records, were responsible for correspondence and had various powers to issue writs or other processes ordered by the Court. The cleric was generally one of the few educated persons in the community.

In creating a state judicial system, the 1802 Ohio Constitution provided for the appointment of a Clerk of Courts for each county. The judges of the Common Pleas Court made the appointments for a seven-year term.

Under the 1851 Constitution the office became elective for a three-year term which was extended to four years in 1936. The official title is Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas.

Many prominent Ohioans have served as Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas. For example, William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States, was a Clerk of Courts when he was elected President in 1840.

7 year appointment by Judiciary

Christopher Stark Wood
John Ward
John Alexander, Jr.
Richard Metheany

3 year Elected Term commenced

Joseph H. Richardson
1854 James Cunningham, Sr.
1857 John Meily
1863 Ormund E. Griffith
1869 Robert Mehaffey
1875 Daniel L. Crites
1881 Eugene Mackenzie
1887 David H. Tolan
1893 U.M. Shappell
1900 M.J. Sullivan
1903 Thomas J. Edwards
1908 Charles A. Graham
1912 D.A. Bowsher
1916 Ira F. Clem
1920 John T. Cotner
1925 Waldo H. Rose
1933 J. Herman Ruhlin

4 year Elected Term commenced

J. Leonard Schnabel
1941 A. Earnest Mills
1944 Clarence N. Breese
1953 Frank E. McClain
1965 Robert "Herb" Dunlap
1986 Raymond E. Coleson
1994 Anne E. Geiger
2005 Gina C. Staley-Burley

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