How to Navigate the Mayor’s Courts
Mayor’s Courts in Central Ohio
The mayor’s courts throughout Ohio handle misdemeanors and traffic violations in communities that have over 200 people but do not have a municipal court. A magistrate or mayor will hear the case, however, in my experience, it is generally a magistrate. Some of the mayor court hearings are held in the evenings and most are in the late afternoon. Mayor’s courts may still impose fines, court costs, probation, community service and jail time. The mayor’s court will not hear cases violation of a civil protection order. If you are unhappy with a mayor’s court decision, generally you may appeal within 10 days of the judgment and have the case transferred to the local municipal court.
The mayor’s courts do not have juries. If you do not plead guilty, then you have to enter a not guilty plea and transfer the case to the local municipal court for jury trial. Do not ever feel pressured to enter a plea to a case where you are entitled to a jury, you still have options.
I practice in several mayor courts throughout central Ohio such as Grove City Mayor’s Court, Upper Arlington Mayor’s Court, Obetz Mayor’s Court, Reynoldsburg Mayor’s Court, Canal Winchester Mayor’s Court, Pickerington Mayor’s Court, Shawnee Hills Mayor’s Court, Whitehall Mayor’s Court, Grandview Heights Mayor’s Court, Hilliard Mayor’s Court, Westerville Mayor’s Court, Commercial Point Mayor’s Court, Lithopolis Mayor’s Court, Pataskala Mayor’s Court, Gahanna Mayor’s Court, and Dublin Mayor’s Court.
If you have a CDL and are a commercial driver, a mayor’s court may offer options that some of the municipal courts will not. For example, Franklin County Municipal Court will not offer the traffic diversion program (TDP) to commercial drivers. When they previously offered this, the commercial driver could take an online course to have the case dismissed. However, in the mayor’s courts, the prosecutor has discretion to reduce the charge or allow the driver to engage in a diversion program.
If you have a mayor’s court traffic case, please call me at 614-929-3164 to discuss.