Municipal court announces daily docket changes


In an effort to streamline operation of the court, Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David McKenna has announced changes to the daily docket schedule that will take effect on Oct. 16.

“I don’t consider it to be a big change, except that the order we have had … goes back many years,” McKenna said. “In essence, in the past we reserved Tuesday for jury trials and nothing else, and we don’t have many jury trials. The clerks looked at it as a catch-up day to get their never-ending work done while I have meetings and other things to address.

“What we’ve done, instead of designating Tuesday as jury trial day, we’ve designated that for Friday. Cases that were normally heard on Friday will now be heard on Thursday. Cases that in the past were handled on Thursday are felony preliminary hearings and now they will be on Tuesday instead of Thursday.”

The new daily docket schedule that McKenna announced this week is as follows:

• Friday shall be set aside for jury trials and other matters that the court may set;

• Thursdays shall be set aside for criminal and traffic pretrials, arraignments and other matters that the court may set;

• Wednesdays shall be set aside for the civil and small claims dockets, arraignments and other matters that the court may set;

• Tuesdays shall be set aside for preliminary hearings on felonies, pretrials on misdemeanors related to the felony and/or the defendant, court trials on criminal and traffic cases and arraignments and other matters that the court may set;

• Mondays shall be set aside for probation reviews and hearings, arraignments and other matters that the court may set.

McKenna said he checked with Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, the prosecutor’s office, law enforcement, local attorneys and others before announcing the changes.

“It didn’t have any negative impact on their schedule. They seemed to like the idea,” McKenna said. “It just seemed like a logical way to change that schedule, and it fits in a little better.”

Mondays are the same, McKenna said, with weekend court matters and probation reviews being handled. Wednesdays are the same with landlord/tenant small claims and civil matters. And arraignments will continue to be handled every morning the court is in session.

One of the reasons the changes were made, McKenna said, is because with felony cases, when someone is in jail on bond, the court is required to hold a hearing within 10 days. He said that in the past, when those hearing were held on Thursday, they could present some problems.

“If someone is arrested over the weekend or on Sunday evening, and it’s a serious crime where they’re held in custody, if I see them on Monday (for an arraignment) and have to schedule the same case for a hearing on Thursday, it makes it hectic to get subpoenas out and notify officers and others,” McKenna said. With the new schedule, he said he can set the hearings for the following Tuesday and have a week to process all the paperwork without violating the 10-day rule.

“I don’t have a problem holding people in jail,” McKenna said. “I do have a problem holding them in jail longer than I am supposed to.”

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or jgilliland@timesgazette.com.

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McKenna
http://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2017/09/web1_McKenna-mug.jpgMcKenna

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com