Justices Travel to Portage County for Off-Site Court
For its biannual Off-Site Court Program, the Ohio Supreme Court traveled to Portage County on September 24 for an official court session held at Ravenna High School.
The justices travel across the Buckeye state twice a year to enhance students’ understanding of the legal system. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor told the students that the program is usually held in county courthouses, but said it was smart to hold this session in the school auditorium.
“The goal of the Off-Site Court Program is to teach students a little bit more about our judicial system, so holding court on a high school campus not only makes a lot of sense, but we have a captive audience,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.
Nearly 1,000 students – the most ever for an off-site court session – from a dozen area high schools heard three appeals in person and were able to interact with the justices, attorneys, and court staff.
Before oral arguments, the students studied case material with local attorneys to have a better understanding of what they were hearing. After sitting in on the cases, they were able to ask questions and talk about the legal issues with the attorneys who argued the cases.
“It was a really big honor to be able to see this,” Leannah Frances, a senior from Crestwood High School in Mantua, said. “We ended up really appreciating to actually apply what we were learning in class.”
This is the first time Portage County had hosted the program.