Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Meigs County to Host Ohio Supreme Court Session in April

The Ohio Supreme Court will soon hear oral arguments in Meigs County. The visit is part of the Supreme Court’s twice-a-year Off-Site Court Program.

In two months, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Terrence O’Donnell, Judith Ann Lanzinger, Sharon L. Kennedy, Judith L. French, and William M. O’Neill will hear oral arguments on April 20 beginning at 9 a.m. at Meigs High School. The cases include: Donald Caster v. City of Columbus, Ohio, and Kimberley Jacobs, Chief, Columbus Division of Police (Case No. 2014-1621), State v. Matthew Aalim(Case No. 2015-0677), and State v. Demetrius Jones (Case No. 2015-1427). Central argument previews in each of these cases will be released in the coming weeks.

This is the 72nd time the Court will travel outside of Columbus to hear oral arguments.

“The Off-Site Court Program helps to educate the public about the justice system,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “When the Court travels to different counties across Ohio, students and community members can watch the Court in action and observe how the judicial branch works. It’s not only an opportunity for the students and citizens of Meigs County but a welcomed change of scenery for the justices. I know all the justices enjoy the interaction with students, the bench and bar, and the public.”

In addition to Meigs High School, Eastern and Southern high schools will also participate in the Off-Site Court Program.

This is the first time the Ohio Supreme Court will hold Off-Site Court in Meigs County. Meigs County Common Pleas Court Judge L. Scott Powell extended a formal invitation to the Supreme Court and is hosting the event along with the Meigs County Bar Association.

“The Off-Site Court Program is a wonderful opportunity for rural counties such as Meigs County,” Judge Powell said. “Without this program, Meigs County wouldn’t have the access to not only meet these important state officials but witness them actually perform their judicial roles. I hope the students and citizens of Meigs County truly appreciate the historical value of this event, as it will be a once in a lifetime experience.”

Since 1987, the Off-Site Court Program has enhanced students’ understanding of the legal system by providing an opportunity for them to observe proceedings in person and to interact with justices, attorneys, and court staff.

Students and teachers receive curriculum material to study before oral arguments, including summaries of the specific cases to be argued. Local attorneys team with educators at each participating school to explain Ohio’s judicial system and to review case materials.

Before oral arguments, students will participate in a question-and-answer session with the justices.  After hearing the cases, students will meet with the case attorneys for a debriefing and discussion of the legal issues.

Access background information and a video illustrating the program, including footage from past Off-Site Court sessions.