The Judge's Notes - June, 2015


As the summer rain dampens our outdoor activities, the courthouse lawn pays no attention.  Some much needed fertilizer and care has provided us with a fuller and thicker lawn.  Judge France and friends are also well into the season of flowers.  Please feel free to come by and stroll through the court square.  I think that you will find a walk through the shade trees and the summer bloom to be a rather peaceful and enjoyable experience.  That is, of course, if you can find a dry sunny day.

Indoors, the court docket plows forward with the exception of an annual summer lull.  This brief vacation interval usually means less court news, but I grin as the Supreme Court's recent decisions come to mind.  I eagerly defer local headlines and social media focus to the US Supreme Court.  Interestingly, I have already received requests to perform marriage ceremonies.  Regretfully, I cannot perform marriages.  I am flattered that anyone would want me to perform such a task, but the bottom line is that Ohio law does not allow Common Pleas Court General Division Judges to perform marriages.  No one has ever explained why, but I assume its because we do the divorces.  I am sure Judge France and Judge Blanchard will be available to perform official ceremonies upon request.

Just as the rain can be a curse or blessing depending on your point of view, so it is with the decisions that come from the Supreme Court.  The blessing for us is that we live in the United States of America, where you can express your opinion without fear of arrest or worse.  As ISIS attempts to cling to power by executing those who disagree, America becomes stronger through public debate and discourse that comes from our freedom of speech.  Even though you may not agree with every decision that is handed down from the high court in Washington, D.C., the fact remains that you may still vocally support your point of view.  That is freedom, and it is something that we should keep in mind as we weather a new series of SCOTUS decisions ranging from gay marriage to health care and the death penalty.  Once again, in an era of fear and intolerance exemplified by organizations such as ISIS, America stands as a beacon of freedom and hope for all.  We are still "The People" and there is still "Justice for All."

If you get tired of voicing your opinion and arguing about Supreme Court decisions, please mark your calendar to come and visit during our open house on August 1, 2015 from 4-7.  Music, food and tours of the courthouse are on the docket!  More information will be coming.  Have a great summer!!!!

The Judge's Notes - October, 2014


In an era of constant change and concern, the Courthouse remains an anchor of tradition in our community.  A walk along the courthouse lawn, among the autumn hues, provides a sense of peace and strength. Along the same line of thinking, perhaps the best cure for a case of Ebola hysteria is a trip to the apple butter stir, or the Warsaw chili cook off.  Maybe even a hayride and a haunted house.  The more things change out there, the more we need to strengthen our sense of pride and tradition.  That's another reason why the Grand Lady is worth saving.   Bids for the renovation of the courtroom ceiling and balcony have been opened.  The contracts will soon be signed, and we will be embarking on the construction phase.  Please feel free to stop by.  I plan on providing hard hat tours whenever possible.  You might want to call first.  May God bless you and keep you, as you enjoy the remainder of 2014.

-Robert J. Batchelor, Judge 

Continuing Changes in the American Legal Experience


Law School Enrollment Declines


Prison Overcrowding Strikes Again


After several attempts at felony sentencing reform in Ohio, the General Assembly's latest attempt to reduce the prison population has brought about a different result.

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