Court Services Unit - 2008
The Court Services Division consists of a Civil Office, as well as Court Security. A Captain is assigned as the Unit Commander and supervisor of ten (10) deputies who provide security, two (2) deputies who serve legal papers and three (3) clerks who assist in the operation of the civil office.
The unit is headquartered in the Stark County Courthouse in downtown Canton, This unit is charged with the service of all court-related documents, such as subpoenas, writs, injunctions and other legal papers process by the clerks. Deputies must have knowledge in legal terms, as well as formal process of notification.
This unit covers the entire county and serves process not only in the incorporated areas of the county but in the municipalities and villages as well. Documents arrive from the following: Stark County Common Pleas Court, Stark County probate Court, Stark County Family Court, Alliance Municipal court, Canton Municipal Court, Massillon Municipal Court, other courts in the State of Ohio, as well as out of state documents. the documents pertain to Civil, Criminal, divorce, domestic, Grand Jury, and Jury Subpoenas, Juvenile, Probate and Traffic.
The clerks are trained in bookkeeping and maintain records, ledgers, a checking account and other records relating to the main function of the office. This includes Sheriff Sales and properties, service of process and fees related to these services, distribution of the proceeds of the properties sold at Sheriff Sales, preparation of legal process, as well as its return to the issuing court or agency, as well as numerous other duties. Two (2) uniformed deputies provide service within the entire county.
Deputies provide security for the Common Pleas Court, Family Court (Domestic and Juvenile Divisions), Probate Court and the Fifth District Court of Appeals. In addition, the deputies provide security to the County Office Building and respond to problems within the building at the Auditor's Office, Clerk of Courts, Commissioner's Office, Treasurer's Office, Recorder's Office, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, State Probation and Parole, the Veterans Administration, Law Library, County Prosecutor's Office, and Jobs and Family Services.
Deputies screened approximately 135,382 individuals entering the Stark County Courthouse in 2008, for an average of approximately 533 individuals daily. Deputies screened approximately 582,122 individuals entering the County Office Building in 2008 for an average of 2,293 daily.
The Captain assigns the security deputies to various posts on a rotation basis. Security coverage begins at 7:30 A.M. and runs through 5:30 P.M. or later if court is still in session. One (1) deputy assigned to Juvenile Court is required to handle all transportation of juvenile offenders from the Juvenile Attention Center to court and back to the center. They also transport juveniles to the State Juvenile Institution using a marked Sheriff's vehicle.
In 2008 there were three (3) capital murder trials which resulted in juries being sequestered during deliberations. Deputies provided security around the clock during the sequestering phase of the trial which is required by law. Capital case trials (death penalty cases) are conducted throughout the year along with other criminal and civil trials. Capital cases create a strain on budget for the county, the Sheriff's Office budget and the Court of Common Pleas.
In 2008 the Civil Office received 2,429 orders of sales for real estate foreclosures; some were cancelled due to the filing of bankruptcy and/or refinancing, however, 1,493 were sold at sale. These sales totaled $94,869,322 in value. The sheriff held all funds until the court ordered distribution of the proceeds.
In 2008 the Civil Office received 48,349 writs for service. The total of domestic fees billed for services totaled $554,139. The total amount paid into the General Fund by the Civil Office was $525,260. the deputies assigned to the Court Service Division took 437 reports in 2008.
In June of 2007, the County Commissioners, Judges of the Common Pleas Court, domestic/Family Court, and the Sheriff decided that deputies would no longer hold property that was taken and then returned to people when they left the building. Instead people would be given the opportunity to return the property to their vehicles or they would have to dispose of the items into a secured garbage can in the screening area. This saved time for deputies who would try to contact the owners of property that was left by the owners when they left without picking up the property. In most cases the property was unclaimed and would later be destroyed.