Greene County judge asks commission to pay for case he’s filing against them

Greene County Courthouse in Xenia, OH
Greene County Courthouse in Xenia, OH

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

After voting last week to move Probate Court to the juvenile court building, Greene County commissioners have received two more court orders from Probate Judge Thomas O’Diam.

One order demands that the commissioners rescind their resolution to relocate O’Diam’s courtroom out of the historic courthouse in downtown Xenia and into the lower level of the juvenile court building, 2100 Greene Way Blvd., according to a release from County Administrator Brandon Huddleson.

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The other order demands the commission to use the county’s tax revenue to cover the costs of O’Diam’s legal counsel, at a rate of $350 per hour, during “litigation procedures against the county,” according to the release.

At issue is the use of courtroom three in the courthouse. Because of security concerns and other issues with the current probate courtroom, O’Diam proposed to move probate court operations to courtroom three, which is used by visiting judges and shared among the different Greene County court divisions.

That proposal was met with opposition from the general court division. The commission has been working with the two divisions to find a compromise, offering to modify the probate court’s layout or build a new courtroom on the second floor of the courthouse, according to the release.

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In response to court orders last week from both divisions of the common pleas court, Greene County commissioners voted to build a new probate courtroom in the juvenile court building. The cost for the new construction is estimated at $30,000, according to the release.

O’Diam declined to comment, citing Ohio Supreme Court rules prohibiting judges from commenting publicly on pending or impending litigation.

“No reason has been provided to the board as to why this solution will not allow the probate court to operate efficiently and effectively,” Huddleson’s release states.

This news organization is working to learn more about the new court orders.

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