Trumbull judge, others have ‘misgivings’ on plan to combine courts

Staff report


Judge Thomas Campbell has responded to Trumbull County commissioners’ proposal to consolidate the county courts in Cortland and Brookfield into one Cortland location.

Judge Campbell said he consulted first with the Ohio Supreme Court and the new judge in Eastern District Court elected one week ago, Robert Platt.

The judge said he, Platt and the Ohio Supreme Court “have some misgivings” about combining two part-time judgeships into the Cortland location.

For one thing, it would apparently be the only place in Ohio in which two part-time courts operate out of the same location, Judge Campbell said.

“Why would you have two part-time courts when you could have one full-time court?” Judge Campbell said.

He noted that his proposal for combining the two part-time courts into one full-time court would have saved enough money to outweigh the additional travel distance for some people in the court district.

But with the reduced savings in the commissioners’ proposal, Judge Campbell said he questions whether a consolidation still makes sense.

Judge Campbell said discussions with Platt have produced another option: Moving Eastern District Court of Brookfield to a part of the Brookfield Township Administration Building that is mostly used just for township trustee meetings.

“We believe that it may be worth exploring whether leasing that facility is still a viable option which may save Trumbull County as much as a consolidated facility, and which would benefit Brookfield Township as well,” Judge Campbell said.

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