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Final dates set for EL Muni Court

LISBON — The last day for any hearings or to receive payments at East Liverpool Municipal Court will fall on Sept. 20, but the last day to file any civil cases, such as small claims or evictions, will be Aug. 31. Those are some of the important dates to know for the transition when East Liverpool Municipal Court ceases to exist and the docket is absorbed into the county Municipal Court.

Starting Sept. 22, any new cases in East Liverpool, Liverpool Township and St. Clair Township jurisdictions will be filed directly with the Columbiana County Municipal Court. Beginning Oct. 3, the county will begin setting new hearing dates for the East Liverpool court’s existing cases, which will be transferred to the county Municipal Court.

Columbiana County Chief Deputy Clerk Shane Patrone announced the dates Monday, noting that Sept. 21 will be the last day to work for the East Liverpool Municipal Court employees to close out the court and clear out their desks.

Notices are being sent out to defendants, advising them the East Liverpool Municipal Court will no longer be in operation and cases will be transferred to the county Municipal Court. The notices also make clear that defendants remain responsible for completing court-ordered community service and paying all fines and court costs. After Sept. 20, those payments will be made through the county Municipal Court, 38832 Saltwell Road, Lisbon, Ohio 44432.

Notices of future hearing dates will be sent by the county Municipal Court beginning in October. Defendants will be responsible for notifying the court of any address change and contact number. People with questions about their hearing date or who have not received a notice by Oct. 30 should call county Municipal Court by Oct. 30 at 330-424-5326.

Patrone said the end of month reports will be done for both courts, then they’ll do the conversion to assimilate all of East Liverpool’s cases into the county Municipal Court system.

If a notice for a new court date isn’t received, Patrone said people should call the county Municipal Court.

“I want to keep the people and defendants informed all that I can. We’ll try to work with people to get cases scheduled in a timely manner,” he said.

Patrone has been working with the employees of East Liverpool Municipal Court on the transition.

“They’re very professional. It’s a hard situation for them, but we’re working well together to make sure the court closes correctly and everything’s transferred over,” he said.

Last month, he had announced what he calculated as the court’s last day, counting 90 days from Gov. Mike DeWine signing legislation which abolished the court. Now that day is definite.

East Liverpool Mayor Greg Bricker approached the county commissioners about folding the city’s municipal court into the county municipal court in February, citing costs as the reason. East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Dominic Frank, whose name remains on court paperwork, passed away in January. The commissioners discussed the issue and eventually there was legislation written to abolish the court. The move was then piggybacked onto House Bill 518, which addressed courts in other counties.

mgreier@mojonews.com

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