Portage County Municipal Court Judges
|Honorable Mark K. Fankhauser||Honorable Melissa R. Roubic||Honorable Kevin T. Poland|
TEMPORARY ORDER IN REPSONSE TO PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
The Judges of the Ravenna and Kent branches of the Municipal Court of Portage County have authorized measures to provide necessary services through the
COVID-19 public health crisis. Temporary emergency procedures were adopted March 19, 2020, by these Courts. These procedures authorize actions to maintain essential court functions and operations during the crisis. These procedures will allow the Courts to maintain necessary staffing levels. These procedures will minimize and avoid large crowds in the courthouse by restricting non-essential access to the facilities. The Judges will increasingly rely on technologies to reduce foot traffic in the courthouse. Specific actions include:
- Enhanced sanitation protocols are being followed in the courthouses
- Courthouse access is being restricted to essential parties, witnesses and personnel.
- Jurors who are summoned for trials through April 30, 2020 or after must call-in at the numbers of the respective court.
- All hearings involving incarcerated defendants may be conducted by video or continued on a case-by-case basis.
- All non-essential hearings shall be postponed or reset.
- All civil pre-trial hearings will be conducted by conference call.
- Judges will encourage all traffic/non-violent offenders that want to enter a plea of Not Guilty to do so by email or letter.
- Plans are being developed for limiting the number of court employees and/or rotating work schedules.
- Judges will continue to discuss matters with one another to re-evaluate needs and policies.
These procedures recognize that the essential functions of courts are heightened in a public health crisis. The Municipal Courts are responsible for handling and supervising misdemeanors, hundreds of local civil disputes, evictions, garnishments and a variety of other actions that concern many of the most vulnerable in our community. The emergency procedures help to ensure that the Ravenna and Kent branches of the Municipal Court can provide necessary essential services while minimizing exposure of litigants and court personnel and complying with the directives of state and federal officials.
The emergency procedures are temporary. These adjustments are well within the authority of the Court and intended to protect the rights of all court users. The above procedures are subject to change as this crisis continues to unfold.
Questions for the Ravenna Municipal Court Judges may be directed to Judge Fankhauser 330-297-3629 and/or to Judge Roubic 330-297-4276. Questions for the Kent Municipal Court Judge may be directed to Judge Poland 330-678-0947.
The Portage County Municipal Court is a court system responsible for adjudicating misdemeanor cases and setting bond on felony cases. The Municipal Court hears civil matters up to $15,000.00 in damages, small claims up to $6,000.00, and is committed to administering justice fairly, efficiently and professionally to ensure the rights of all persons are observed.