MAHONING CO. Courts to change days of operation

The court will still be in session three days a week.
BOARDMAN -- Mahoning County Area Court here is changing its ways in an attempt to improve operations.
Judge Joseph M. Houser said the changes should have no effect on long-term plans to move area court judges from part-time to full-time status.
Judge Houser has changed hearing days to Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesdays will be reserved for a magistrate to hear civil cases.
Previously, the Boardman court heard cases Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
"On Mondays we were doing too many different things and did not have a place for the magistrate, so we decided to make a couple of changes," said the judge.
Among those changes, court sessions will start earlier Monday and Thursday and last longer Mondays.
"By starting earlier, we can get people out of there faster if they need to do other things like get back to work," he said.
"This is also better from the clerk and other employees standpoint. We still have three days of court and they can still get other things done on the days we are not in operation."
Making Tuesday civil day eliminates overlap with criminal proceedings Monday, the judge said.
The only exception will be Monday holidays. During those weeks, all criminal and civil cases will be heard Tuesday.
Elsewhere: Michele Yurcho, administrative clerk in the court in Austintown, said similar changes there have come in the last two months.
Tuesday court sessions have been eliminated and a second Monday session added. Civil cases are heard Wednesday there.
The changes, said Judge Houser, will have no affect on plans by the Mahoning County Corrections Planning Board to change the four area courts in Boardman, Austintown, Canfield and Sebring from part time to full time.
Legislation is required to make that change
Sen. Robert F. Hagan of Youngstown, D-33rd, said he was set to present the legislation, but he hasn't yet because of county commissioners' concerns about the cost of operating the courts full time.

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