At the end of the strip in downtown Willoughby sits a majestic and relatively new building. Inside the building you will find all the hustle and bustle of a very busy municipal court, presided over by Judge Marisa L. Cornachio. Judge Cornachio was elected in 2018 and her term will last for six years.
Willoughby Municipal Court has jurisdiction over Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, Timberlake, Kirtland, Kirtland Hills, Eastlake, Willowick, Wickliffe, Lakeline, Waite Hill, and Lakeland Community College. The court also has jurisdiction over additional state agencies, including the Metroparks located within the court’s jurisdiction.
The court hears a multitude of different cases. These include civil cases where the amount at issue is less that $15,000 and small claims where the amount at issue is less than $6,000. Per the court’s 2018 annual report, there were 2,852 new civil cases filed in the court that year. Similar to many other municipal courts, the court also tries all misdemeanor cases, ordinance violations and traffic cases that occur in one of the towns or cities or state agencies that are under the jurisdiction of the court. Preliminary hearings on felony cases are also heard at the court. If the court finds probable cause, the case will be bound over to the county common pleas court. Per the Court’s 2018 annual report, there were 16,159 criminal and traffic cases filed in 2018.
But that’s not all the court handles. Inside the Court you’ll also find the Bailiff’s department as well as the Probation department. Ever wonder who the person is that demands “all rise” as the judge enters the courtroom? Well, that’s the bailiff. The bailiffs are in charge of keeping the court in order. But they don’t just say “all rise” when needed and then go home at the end of the day. They also handle vehicle immobilization and may also supervise any move-outs ordered after an eviction hearing.
The probation department is led by Chief Probation Officer David Tompkins. There are two additional probation officers and a probation coordinator. Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or having pled to a misdemeanor may find themselves involved with the probation department. The probation officer will help to set up any required classes or possible treatment programs that are required for probation. The officer will also go over the rules of probation that must be followed during the time on probation.
On a happier note, the Court can also perform weddings. Before you get to the ceremony, be sure to head over to the Lake County Probate Court to get your marriage license. This Court will have no ability to conduct a wedding without a valid marriage license. This Court also charges $50 for the wedding which must be paid at the clerk’s office.
If you find yourself needing help working through your case with the Willoughby Municipal Court, contact Bangerter Law for an experienced criminal law attorney with an office just down the road from the Court in the heart of downtown Willoughby.