The Court is served by two judges, Judge Kim Hoover and Judge Lisa Coates, who are elected to six-year terms on odd-numbered years. The Court is also staffed by a number of magistrates and an elected Clerk of Courts.
The Stow Municipal Court covers sixteen jurisdictions in Summit County: Boston Heights, Boston Township, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Macedonia, Munroe Falls, Northfield, Northfield Center Township, Peninsula, Reminderville, Sagamore Hills, Silver Lake, Stow, Tallmadge, Twinsburg and Twinsburg Township.
The Stow Municipal Court district also includes large portions of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and cases from there can go to either the Stow Municipal Court or United States District Court. The Stow Municipal Court district also features several mayor's courts, where traffic offenses and low level misdemeanors may be heard by an official appointed by the mayor of the city or village.
The Stow Municipal Court will handle felony cases only at the arraignment stage, which is when the defendant is formally notified of the charges against him or her. At this stage, the judge will also set an initial bond, as well as issue temporary orders regarding bond, such as no contact orders or Temporary Protection Orders. The Municipal Court will then notify the defendant as to the date of their grand jury hearing, as well as the date that they are to report to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. The Court will then formally bind the case over to the Summit County Grand Jury.
The Stow Municipal Court also handles misdemeanors at all steps in the process. Initially, a person will appear before the Court at an arraignment, where he/she can enter one of three pleas: guilty, not guilty, or in certain cases, no contest.
If the person pleas guilty, the judge will usually immediately proceed to sentencing. The judge may also order a Pre-Sentence Investigation, or PSI. This is designed to give the judge some background about the defendant, such as their criminal history, mental health needs or substance abuse issues.
If the person pleads not guilty, the case will be sent to the courtroom of one of the judges. If this happens, the Court may schedule pretrial conferences, motion hearings (such as motions to suppress or motions to dismiss), trials and sentencing hearings. The decision as to which judge receives a case is completely random, and is determined by drawing from the judges.
As a general rule, if a person does not plead guilty or no contest at their arraignment, misdemeanor cases will take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete. In extraordinary cases, the matter may take up to six months to get resolved, but that is very rare.
The Stow Municipal Court also handles all traffic matters from the cities it serves, including matters from law enforcement agencies like the Ohio State Highway Patrol or the Summit County Sheriff's Department for incidents that occur in the Court's jurisdiction.
The Stow Municipal Court also handles traffic offenses that occur within the Court's jurisdiction. Examples of such offenses include speeding, driving under suspension and operating a vehicle under the influence/driving under the influence (OVI / DUI).
The Stow Municipal Court also handles civil matters under $15,000. These matters can be heard in either the small claims court, which can hear matters under $3,000, and the civil division, which can hear general matters, including evictions.
If you would like to look up information about a case, you can check out the Clerk of Court's website. The Clerk's website can provide you information, such as the offense an individual was charged with, court dates and the final resolution of the case.
As with all courts, in all cases before the Stow Municipal Court a person is entitled to be represented by an attorney. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the legal process, as well as help keep you from making mistakes along the way.
If you would like to contact Attorney Adam VanHo to discuss your case in the Stow Municipal Court, please feel free to call him at (330) 253-7171 or click here.