A guide to the Portage County court system

Published:

Portage County

Common Pleas Court

200 W. Main St., Ravenna

Office hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays

GENERAL DIVISION

n Court of jurisdiction in felony criminal cases, civil lawsuits, administrative cases and "equity" cases involving restraining orders or injunctions. In order to serve, judges must have worked as licensed attorneys for at least six years prior to election or previously as a judge in any jurisdiction in the United States. In 2012, the Portage County Prosecutor's Office filed 893 new felony cases in common pleas court.

Magistrates: Robert Berger and Kent Graham

Mediator: Richard Steinle

Jury commissioner: Marie Kunka

Judge John A. Enlow

n First elected to common pleas bench in 1996. Served as municipal court judge from 1979 to 1996.

Office: 330-297-3866

Bailiff: Shirley Siciliano

Assignment commissioner/administrator: Pam Krysiak

Court reporter: Linda Rumsey

Judge Laurie J. Pittman

n First elected in 2005 after serving as a municipal court judge. Re-elected to a six-year term in November 2010.

Office: 330-297-3858

Bailiff: Robert Burgess

Assignment commissioner/administrator: Vicki Bennett

Court reporter: Amanda Goldberg

DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION

n Court of jurisdiction for divorces, dissolutions and annulments of marriage, child custody cases, child or spousal support and civil protection orders.

Judge Paula C. Giulitto

n Elected to first term in November 2010.

Office: 330-297-3880

Bailiff: Anthony Stankiewicz

Administrator: Beverly Lowe

Magistrates: Richard J. Badger and Timothy D. Ludick

Mediator: Benito Antognoli

Compliance officer: Tammy Dolin

Court reporter: Darla Bragg

JUVENILE/PROBATE DIVISION

Juvenile Division

8000 Infirmary Road, Shalersville, 330-297-0881

n Hears criminal and traffic cases involving juveniles, Department of Human Services cases involving child abuse and neglect, delinquent and unruly juveniles and cases of adults who contribute to juvenile delinquency. Also has jurisdiction over parental custody, visitation and financial support.

Probate Division

203 W. Main St., Ravenna, 330-297-3870

n Jurisdiction over issues regarding estates of deceased persons, guardianship of minors and adults ruled incompetent to handle their own affairs, adoptions, name changes and commitments for involuntary mental health and mental retardation issues. Also issues marriage licenses.

Judge Thomas J. Carnes

n First elected in 1989.

Chief Magistrate: James Aylward

Magistrate: Joseph Szymanski

Court administrator/court reporter: Denise Tharp

Chief deputy clerk: Sheila Cecora

Director of youth rehabilitation: Lenny Sorboro

Probate court administrator: Laura Aylward

Portage County

Municipal Court

n Court of initial appearance on all criminal and traffic charges filed by Portage County law enforcement. Handles all civil cases with damages less than $15,000, small claims civil cases (less than $3,000) and other matters. Judges also issue search warrants in criminal cases. In 2012, the Portage County Prosecutor's Office filed more than 6,000 misdemeanor criminal cases in the municipal courts in Kent and Ravenna.

n 20,789 criminal and traffic cases filed in the Ravenna Division in 2012, an increase of 320 over 2011.

n 4,103 civil cases filed in 2012, increase of 266

n More than $3,293,000 in criminal and traffic costs and fines collected in 2012

RAVENNA DIVISION

203 W. Main St.

Judge Mark Fankhauser

n First elected in 2009

Office: 330-297-4277

Bailiff: Teri Barry

Deputy bailiff: Debbie Jones

Judge Kevin T. Poland

n First elected in 2009

Office: 330-297-3632

Bailiff: Heather Wise

Deputy bailiff: Laura Poe

KENT DIVISION

214 S. Water St.

n 7,250 criminal and traffic cases filed in the Kent Division in 2012, an increase of 617 over 2011

n 1,680 civil cases filed in 2012, decrease of 203

n More than $1,313,000 in criminal and traffic costs and fines collected in 2012

Judge Barbara R. Oswick

2013 Presiding and Administrative judge

n First elected in 2005 after being appointed by former Gov. Bob Taft to fill an unexpired term

330-678-6170

Bailiff: Tami Scott

Deputy bailiff: Pam Witkosky

Other municipal court staff

Court administrator: Nicole Jones

Magistrate: John O'Neill

Bailiff: Lou Ann Fisher

Judicial assistant: Amanda Casto

Court reporters: Peggy Collins and Elizabeth Morgan

For more information:

Ohio Association of Magistrates: www.ohiomagistrates.org

Online Portage County court records, 1992 to present: www.co.portage.oh.us/courtsearch.htm

Ohio Legal Services: www.ohiolegalservices.org

Portage County website: www.co.portage.oh.us

Sources:

Ohio Association of Magistrates

Ohio Revised Code

Portage County website

Portage County Municipal Court 2012 annual report

Portage County Prosecutor's Office 2012 annual report

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.

  • Just what are the duties of the Magistrates? I know that they hear cases, yet they were not elected, they are appointed. How can they make rulings? They do not have to answer to the people they serve.