High ticket rates in Clark County mayor’s courts: 3 things to know

Two mayor’s courts in Clark County gave out more tickets than they had residents in 2016, placing them among the areas with the highest ticket rates in the state, according to a recent report.

Here’s three things to know about the report and mayor’s courts in the region.

» RELATED: 2 Clark County mayor’s courts rank among highest ticketed areas in Ohio

1. North Hampton, Tremont City ranked high in the state

The village of North Hampton ranked sixth in Ohio and Tremont City ranked 11th for tickets given out per capita in 2016, according to a report from the Ohio Supreme Court.

North Hampton Mayor Dave Young said the tickets are needed to protect residents and make people slow down when they drive through the village. He said people drive too quickly on Ohio 41 — the state route that cuts through the town — which play a big role in its ranking.

» TRENDING: Yellow Springs principal on medical leave told to stay off school property

2. Nearly 1,500 cases between two municipalities

North Hampton had 933 mayor’s court cases in 2016, an average of 195 cases for every 100 residents in the town. Tremont City had 116 cases per 100 residents. Both figures are down slightly from 2015.

Tickets are issued correctly in North Hampton, Young said, and the court plays an important role for justice in the area.

» DETAILS: Former Springfield RV dealer faces up to 15 years in prison

3. Total mayor’s courts in Ohio under 300

Ohio has 297 mayor’s courts, down from 320 in 2012, according to the data from the Ohio Supreme Court.

A municipality with a population of 200 or more may establish a mayor’s court in Ohio in which the mayor acts as judge. They may hear traffic cases and other violations of state and municipal laws within certain limits.

» READ MORE: Troopers urge caution after 5 die in Clark, Champaign crashes

Opponents of mayor’s courts say village leaders can abuse their power and attempt to finance municipal operations through the court system. Legislation to abolish the courts has been attempted over the years.

“It’s so small it looks like they are using it as a village ATM, that’s how they fund their town or village,” said Tom Billing, a Clark County resident who often drives through the local villages and opposes mayor’s courts.

» MORE COVERAGE: Teacher charged with manslaughter due in court this week

About the Author