CNOtes – Optimist 2.0 June 20, 2019 – Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy

Guests and Members in Attendance

Michelle Apolito
Denise Christie
Amelia Cordonnier
Colton Dickerson
Gwen Dickerson
Nora Dickerson
Jerry Gehards
Sharon Kennedy
Joe Poelking
Courtney Taylor
Miles Taylor
Frank Weikel
Dan Apolito
Diane Arehart
Pat Arehart
Marge Back
Harry Bossey
Alan Brown
Jeff Brown
Wayne Christie
Joan Cordonnier
Mike Cordonnier
Brendan Cunningham
Andy Dickerson
Erin Dickerson
Emily Duke
Greg Fay
Stan Fronzaglia
Jesse Gaither
Evelyn Griffin
Greg Griffin
Mark Karns
Scott Langer
Vida McDowell
Brian Nolan
Jean Pummill
Brent Richburg
Ashley Simeone
Gary Smiga
Jayne Weikel
Jerry Stahley

All Photos from the Meeting are here

CNO 2.0 Venue and Details

The venue for tonight’s CNO 2.0 meeting was at Poelking Lanes South in Miami Township, Ohio. Thank you to Joe Poelking, the owner of the venue, for donating the VIP Bowling Lounge for our meeting with complimentary bowling and for obtaining and introducing tonight’s speaker, Ohio Supreme Court Judge Sharon L. Kennedy.

There was a 50/50 drawing won by Greg Fay who donated it back to the Optimist International Foundation.

There were 41 people at the meeting (29 members and 12 guests).

Greg Fay, the chair of CNO 2.0, thanked everyone for attending tonight. He introduced and thanked tonight’s host, Joe Poelking.

New Member Induction

President-elect Greg Griffin inducted CNO 2.0’s newest member, Alan Brown.

Speaker tonight was Ohio Supreme Court Judge Sharon L. Kennedy

Tonight’s venue host Joe Poelking introduced our speaker, Ohio Supreme Court Judge Sharon L. Kennedy. Prior to serving on the Ohio Supreme Court she served as a Judge at the Butler County Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations Division since 1999. From 2005 until December of 2012 she served as the administrative judge of the Division.

Judge Kennedy came to speak to us tonight about The Ohio Judicial System and how it impacts your life. She handed out her booklet “The Ohio Judicial System & You”.

Part of the checks and balances of power in the U.S. and Ohio is the judicial system.

There are several types of courts with varying purposes in Ohio.

Mayor’s courts handle things like traffic tickets and misdemeanors. They don’t have trials. The cases they can’t hear are transferred to other courts.

Municipal courts are the worker bees, hearing as many as 3 million cases per year in Ohio.

The Court of Claims hears cases of civil actions filed against the state.

The Court of Common Pleas includes the Probate court. She called the Probate Court the Happy and Sad court. They handle adoptions as well as handling estates.

There are 12 Appeals Courts. There are as many as 3 million cases heard in the Ohio courts system. Only about 7000 to 9000 are appealed. The court system is nowhere near perfect. The number of appeals cases should be higher. The number is as low as it is because it is very expensive to appeal a case.

The Ohio Supreme Court hears about 2200 cases per year.

A detailed description and chart of the Ohio Judicial Structure can be read here.

Elected Judges in Ohio

Ohio in 1851 was unstable and essentially bankrupt. Until 1851, Ohio judges could be fired, and they were every time new leadership was elected. Judge Kennedy said we should read about the great debates of 1851. She found these debates to be very exciting. The debates led to 6-year terms for Ohio Supreme Court judges and helped stabilize Ohio.

Judge Kennedy told us that as citizens of Ohio, we are the judicial system since we choose the judges. She said we should know our judges. Judges now are more accessible than ever. She said we should know who all of our government representatives are. You should have them on your speed dial and call them when you want them to do something or to do something different.

There are no term limits for a judge, but you cannot run for judge if you will be 70 or older before your term begins.

Thank you, Judge Kennedy, for taking the time to come and speak to us today.