Judge Michael K. Murry

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1 Judge Michael K. Murry Personal Copy of: 1

2 Table of Contents Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Pages 8 ff Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Pages Page Municipal Court Judge, Michael K. Murry Acting Judge, David P. Mesaros Clerk of Court, R. James Pete Creamer XMC Court Staff Staff Supervisors Bailiffs Court Reporter Probation Officers/Staff Deputy Clerks XMC Jurisdiction Cities & Townships XMC Law Enforcement Agencies / Charges Filed Charges Filed Graph 7 Year Comparison State of the Court Judge s Report New Cases Filed Cases Disposed Graph of New Cases Filed Graph of Cases Disposed Cases Over Time Limits 7 Year Comparison Caseload Comparison (w/ 4 local Municipal Courts) Criminal Traffic Receipts & Distribution Civil Division Receipts & Distribution Recap of Income/Expenses for City of Xenia Probation Court Improvements Prosecutor s Office Victim Advocates / Restitution Public Defender Conclusion/Summary 2

3 Judge Michael K. Murry has served as the Xenia Municipal Court Judge since January 1, Prior to his election, Judge Murry was a practicing attorney for 24 years in the Montgomery/Greene county area. Judge Murry is a lifelong resident of Greene County having been born and raised in the Jamestown area. He graduated from Greeneview High School and taught, coached basketball, and served as a guidance counselor at Cedarville High School. Judge Murry graduated from the University of Dayton Law School in He and his wife Patte have been married for 36 years and enjoy two sons, both of whom are now licensed attorneys working in the Ohio Attorney General s office. The Murrys are blessed with a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. Judge Murry has been active in civic and charitable organizations as well as his church. David P. Mesaros has served the Xenia Municipal Court as an Acting Judge since August He has been an attorney over thirty years and previously served as First Assistant Greene County Prosecutor. He currently practices domestic relations law, plus criminal defense and civil litigation. David is a graduate of Marquette University and Capital University Law School. He and his wife Kathy have been married for twenty-nine years and reside in Sugarcreek Township. They have a son who is an attorney with his father s firm, a daughter-in-law, and a daughter who is a registered nurse. David is a volunteer for several Bar Association committees and community organizations. R. James Pete Creamer was appointed Clerk by Judge Murry on January 1, He holds both a BA and a double Masters degree from Kentucky Christian University, Grayson, Kentucky. His Masters degrees are a Masters in Ministry and a Masters in Christian Leadership. Pete and his wife Marla are deeply rooted in the Xenia area. Prior to coming to XMC, Pete served as a local pastor for twenty-nine years. Marla is a retired school teacher in the Xenia Community Schools, having served in that capacity for over thirty-five years. They have three adult children, several grandchildren and even one great-grandson. Pete serves on a leadership team with the SouthBrook Christian Church, Miamisburg, Ohio. 3

4 Supervisors: (L-R) Bob Coy, Chief Bailiff; Bobbie Shackleford, Chief Deputy Clerk (Operations); Diane Bryan, Chief Deputy Clerk (Fiscal); & Carlos Walker, Chief Probation Officer Deputy Bailiffs: (L-R) - Dickie Walker, Barbara Hodge. Court Reporter: Kim Ramey Probation Staff: (L-R) Chris Ferguson, PO, Molly Countryman, PO, Carlos Walker, Chief, Yvette Mullikin, Deputy Clerk/Community Service, Jason Parsons, PO & Sam Smith, PO. 4 Deputy Clerks: (L-R) - Dannette Donatelli, Sherry Johnson, Cendee Bailey, Jan Bailey, Jodi Reed, Sheryl Wakefield, Jessica Stutes, Larry Page, & Terry Allen.

5 The jurisdiction of the Xenia Municipal Court includes the following cities, towns, villages and townships and their populations: * (figures from 2012 American Community Survey. No new data is available.) Bellbrook, City of 6,987 Bowersville, Village of 261 Cedarville, Village of 3,366 Cedarville Township 5,546 Caesar s Creek Township 1,146 Jamestown, Village of 2,040 Jefferson Township 1,020 Miami Township 4,822 New Jasper Township 2,584 Ross Township 988 Silvercreek Township 3,755 Spring Valley Township 2,591 Spring Valley, Village of 446 Sugarcreek Township 8,027 Xenia, City of 25,746 Xenia Township 6,663 Yellow Springs, Village of 3,478 TOTAL: 79,792 * This figure differs from the figure provided by the 2013 Supreme Court report on Page 11. We have no explanation as to the discrepancy other than they are from two different sources and different years. 5

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8 8 XENIA MUNICIPAL COURT YEAR END REPORT FOR 2014 The following information is submitted as mandated by O.R.C. Section (A)(4). THE VISION AND MISSION OF THE XENIA MUNICIPAL COURT The vision of the Xenia Municipal Court is to provide innovative and exemplary court services to the people of Greene County. The mission of the Xenia Municipal Court is to be an exemplary court. Exemplary in promoting fair and efficient justice under the law for all people the way every single person is treated with courtesy and respect the way our employees work with professionalism and diligence being accessible to all resolving matters and disputes in a fair and timely manner being culturally diverse partnering effectively with City departments, our community, attorneys and other courts utilizing technology effectively to expedite cases as accurately and efficiently as possible providing a safe, rewarding, motivating and enjoyable work atmosphere for our employees demonstrating fiscal accountability with integrity to the City and County finance departments and ultimately the taxpayers of Greene County and State of Ohio pursuing a standard of excellence when recording and preserving legal records and documents creating and maintaining an environment that is safe and secure for court officials, court employees, persons conducting court business, defendants and visitors a trained and prepared court security team and staff for all potential threats, disasters or emergency situations, including proper response procedures COURT PERSONNEL The vision and mission of Xenia Municipal Court are carried out by the following staff: The elected Judge of Xenia Municipal Court (Michael K. Murry), an Acting Judge who serves ½ day per week (David Mesaros), the Clerk of Court (R. James Pete Creamer), two (2) Chief Deputy Clerks (Roberta Shackleford and Diane Bryan), seven (7) full-time Deputy Clerks (Terry Allen, Cendee Bailey, Sheryl Wakefield, Jan Bailey, Jodi Reed, Jessica Stutes, Dannette Donatelli) two (2) part-time Deputy Clerks (Larry Page and Sherry Johnson), the Chief Bailiff (Robert Coy) and two (2) Deputy Bailiffs (Richard Walker and Barbara Hodge), the Court s Chief Probation Officer/Program Director (Carlos Walker) and four (4) full-time Probation Officers (Sam Smith, Molly Countryman, Jason Parsons and Chris Ferguson), one (1) Deputy Clerk who serves as the Community Service Coordinator (Yvette Mullikin) and one (1) Court Reporter (Kim Ramey). The Court also employs a part-time summer clerk. Two of the Probation Officer positions, House Arrest and Intensive Supervision positions are largely funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Division of Parole and Community Services. The Court s personnel have a total of approximately 270 years combined service at Xenia Municipal Court, not including court experience prior to employment at XMC. Each staff member has a specific job description for which he/she is primarily responsible but are also cross-trained to ensure that all job duties are covered during vacations, illnesses or other absences. Additionally, the staff has received up-dated job training and has participated in educational seminars relevant to Court operations, including topics such as Probable Cause and Providing Legal Advice. All employees are required to read and re-sign the annually revised and updated XMC Employee Handbook.

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10 CASE LOAD (See previous pages) During calendar year 2014 Xenia Municipal Court disposed a total of 11,710 cases, a decrease of 628 cases under Included in the 2014 disposed cases were 352 Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) charges (an increase of 63 OVIs over 2013), 2,716 other misdemeanors, 7,260 other traffic cases (a decrease of 214), 647 contract cases and 289 evictions. The Court, consistent with its mission of resolving matters and disputes in a fair and timely manner, strives to get cases resolved as quickly as feasible. Additionally, the Ohio Supreme Court requires a monthly report that outlines the status of all cases pending in this Court. The Ohio Supreme Court desires that criminal and traffic cases are resolved within six (6) months and that civil cases be resolved within twelve (12) months. CASES OVER THE SUPREME COURT RECOMMENDED TIME LIMITS TRAFFIC/CRIMINAL CIVIL JANUARY 0 0 FEBRUARY 0 0 MARCH 0 0 APRIL 0 0 MAY 0 0 JUNE 0 0 JULY 0 0 AUGUST 0 0 SEPTEMBER 0 0 OCTOBER 0 0 NOVEMBER 0 0 DECEMBER 0 0 There are multiple factors that impact the Court s ability to meet these guidelines suggested by the Supreme Court the sheer volume of cases this Court handles, witness availability, illness, scheduling conflicts for attorneys and law enforcement officials, and a myriad of other conflicts. As can be seen from the chart to the left, the Court continued its progress in 2014 in reducing the number of cases that were resolved beyond the time limits recommended by the Supreme Court. For the fourth year in a row, there were zero cases of any kind over the recommended time limit. These figures reflect significant effort on the part of all parties, the Prosecutor s office, attorneys and law enforcement officers for the timely resolution of cases. 10

11 OVERALL CASELOAD COMPARISONS (2013 Ohio Supreme Court Report) Court Population New Filings, transfers Terminations Clearance Cases Pending & Reactivation Rate Beyond Time Xenia 69,558 12,480 12, % 0 Fairborn 91,548 17,037 17, % 4 Miamisburg 72,307 13,669 13, % 3 Kettering 119,077 17,843 17, % 8 Vandalia 78,580 19,297 19, % 3 11

12 PROBATION The Xenia Municipal Court Probation Department is responsible for the supervision of individuals the Court places on probation. Individuals placed on probation have typically been convicted of drug, alcohol, domestic violence, assault, and/or theft offenses. The Probation Officers monitor probationers for compliance with the law, completion of drug/alcohol treatment, batterer s education, anger management, theft education, help them to obtain employment, housing, higher levels of education, and other requirements as ordered by the Court such as community service. As of this writing, there are 626 individuals on active probation. 636 probationers were placed on supervision in probationers were released from probation in 2014 and 95 cases were revoked and ordered to serve jail sentences. In addition to this, 135 probationers were placed on Electronically Monitored House Arrest (EMHA) and 36 were placed on Secured Continuous Random Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM). 12

13 EMHA continues to be a valuable tool for the Court due to the limited jail space available at this time. Probationers who are employed when placed on EMHA are allowed work release privileges. Costs associated with indigent probationers are paid for by the Community Corrections Act grant received from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, which was re-awarded for the 2015 Fiscal Year. (See Graph Below) Another aspect of the XMC Probation Department is the Community Service Program. Community Service may be ordered as part of a sentence in a case or as a means to work off fines and Court costs. 84 individuals were assigned to community services in hours of community service were performed at various charitable and nonprofit organizations throughout the community, by the 44 individuals that successfully completed the program to work-off fines and Court fees. The total monetary value of sanction community service hours completed in 2014 was $9, (See Graph Below) The XMC Probation Department is fortunate to have access to programming as an alternative to jail through the Greene Leaf Therapeutic Community, Christopher House, and the Women s Recovery Program. XMC contributes significantly from the Indigent Drivers Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) Fund for participation in Greene Leaf, which is in collaboration with Greene County Common Pleas Court. Greene Leaf has a 180 and 90 day program to provide intensive inpatient drug and alcohol treatment to probationers. XMC Chief Probation Officer Carlos Walker and Officer Sam Smith also facilitate the Thinking for a Change Program (T4C) which saw 4 successfully complete in T4C helps to develop cognitive self-change, social skills, and problems solving skills with the probationers through homework, role playing, check-ins, and group discussions. XMC Probation Department continues to develop and improve their approach to supervision with training, conferences, and staff meetings. COURT IMPROVEMENTS With discussions underway regarding City Hall renovations and the possibility of the Court and/or City Offices relocating, we did not focus on any major facility improvement for the court in 2014, but focused more in the area of technology and processes. These improvements include upgrading all XP computers to Windows 7; utilizing computerized payroll time-keeping software and adding a new audio recording system to the courtroom. The Jefferson Audio & Visual System (JAVS) product was selected for this audio system which also can be expanded to include video recording if desired later on. We are currently in the testing phase for the E-Citation project which will allow citations to be entered electronically by law officers and interfaced directly into the Court s Case Management System. The court continues to scan all documents electronically. In the near future a work flow system will be utilized allowing cases to flow from one department to another electronically resulting in a more efficient processing of documents is the year the Court plans to begin offering online payments options. All such improvements were paid from the Court s computer and special projects funds. 13

14 PROSECUTOR S OFFICE Again this year the Court wants to acknowledge the service provided through the City Prosecutor s Office. While not a part of the Xenia Municipal Court staff and not under the control of the Court, no discussion of the operations of XMC would be complete without mentioning Prosecutor Ronald Lewis and his secretary Kim Luttrell. The Prosecutor is responsible for the preparation of cases to be tried. The Prosecutor s office must have witnesses present at Court and must be prepared to proceed to trial on the dozens of cases that are set for hearings every week in the courtroom. Realistically, the majority of cases settle without a trial, but that fact does not lessen the preparation necessary so that cases are ready for trial or other resolution. An important branch of the Prosecutor s office is the Victims Assistance Program. The two victim advocates, Wendy Hoff and Leah Lind, provide assistance to victims of crimes. This assistance includes answering questions about Court procedures and accompanying such individuals to all Court appearances. Additionally, the victim advocates provide information to the Court that assists the Court in setting bonds, issuing Temporary Protection Orders and taking other steps to maximize the safety of victims of violent acts. VICTIM ADVOCATE CASES - RESTITUTION In 2014 the victim advocates opened 454 new cases. Of these new cases, 252 were to assist victims of Domestic Violence. Through the Victim Assistance Program and the efforts of the staff of XMC, the Court collected $27, in restitution that was paid to individuals and businesses who were victims of crime. PUBLIC DEFENDER S OFFICE Another independent agency that provides valuable services to Xenia Municipal Court is the Public Defender s Office. Public Defender Arthur Sidell and a few private attorneys provide legal defense for individuals who cannot afford to retain their own attorney. The legal services provided by the Public Defender s Office assure that every person facing possible jail time receives his/her constitutionally guaranteed right to counsel. In 2014 the Public Defender s Office provided legal services for 1,190 individuals facing possible jail time through Xenia Municipal Court, a decrease of 227 cases than were handled than in It is noteworthy that as recently as 2007 the PD s Office handled only 658 cases. This dramatic increase in the Public Defender s caseload in this short period of time impacts another aspect of the Court s operations. Realistically, many of the people who use the Court s resources are economically disadvantaged and frequently unable to pay fines and court costs. SUMMARY This year s Summary primarily will focus on the Court s probation department which underwent some major changes in Due to a job change and a retirement, two new hires were made last year. The former Chief Probation Officer accepted a position with the United States Federal Probation Department. Carlos Walker was promoted internally to lead the probation department. Carlos has worked in the Xenia Municipal Court s Probation Department since The two new probation officers are Jason Parsons and Chris Ferguson. Jason, a Xenia resident, is in the Army National Guard and he spent nine months in 2013 and 2014 in Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Jason comes to this court with nearly 6 years experience in the Warren County Common Pleas Court Probation Department. Chris Ferguson, a Springfield resident, is a 2014 graduate of Wilmington College. While not having prior work experience, Chris is well-acquainted with courts as his mother has worked for many years in the Clark County court system. Chris played football for four years at Wilmington College and was elected captain his senior season. As a result of his recent graduation, Chris brings to the probation department some of the most recent best practices in probation work. 14

15 In October the probation department held its first-ever department retreat on the campus of Cedarville University. The retreat was led by Dr. Patrick Oliver, chair of the university s Criminal Justice Program. Before his association with Cedarville University, Dr. Oliver spent 27 years in law enforcement, including as Chief of Police in the cities of Fairborn, Grandview Heights and Cleveland. The court s probation officers read two books and answered written questions in preparation for the retreat. Dr. Oliver s presentation included the topics The Constitutional Purpose of Criminal Justice, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Developing Leaders. From my perspective, 2014 was the year that this court and its probation department were hit full blast with the heroin epidemic that affects our entire nation. Ask any of the probation officers to name the drug of choice for their probationers and without hesitation the answer will be heroin. Heroin is a highly addictive, potentially lethal drug that is widespread throughout our county. Collateral results we see in the court system are increases in Theft cases and offenses of violence against businesses and individuals as people who are in the grips of heroin use will go to extreme measures to get the money necessary to support the addiction. A couple stories will illustrate my point. A woman recently appeared in court for stealing blue ray DVD s from Wal-Mart. She explained, My heroin supplier tells me what DVD s he wants. I steal them. I take them to him. He gives me heroin. What struck about this woman s comments was that they were spoken as matter-of-factly as if she were describing any lawful business arrangement. A couple weeks ago I released a young woman from jail a few days ahead of her actual release day because a bed was available for her at the Women s Recovery Center. Except when she got out of jail, instead of going to the WRC, she met up with a friend and that night she died from a drug overdose. I cannot overstate the negative impact heroin is having on individual lives and our community. But despite the challenges and setbacks, this court and its probation officers keep offering help, offering alternatives, offering a better life. With the most capable assistance of places like the Christopher House, Greene Leaf, the Women s Recovery Center, and the dedicated counselors at TCN, we try to educate and support people out of destructive behaviors. And successes do occur. I get to read letters that have been written to this court s probation officers stating things like, Thank you for saving my life, Thank you for believing in me, Thanks for pushing me to do better. Such letters are the stuff that fuels the very souls of the probation officers. And such letters encourage all court staff to keep on keepin on. Some days we really do make a profound difference. So it is with excitement that we move into As a probation department and staff we will continue to learn and grow professionally as we strive to maximize this county s resources in our attempts to support people out of drug and alcohol addictions. And I speak on behalf of all of Xenia Municipal Court when I say thank you to the City Council and County Commissioners for your support of our efforts. Partnering together as separate but equal branches of government, we will continue our efforts to help keep Greene County a great place to live and a great place to raise a family. Sincerely, 15

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