Delaware Muncipal Court
Municipal Court
Authority/Jurisdiction 

 

The Delaware Municipal Court was established in 1952 as authorized by Section 1901.01 of the Ohio Revised Code.

The Delaware Municipal Court has jurisdiction throughout Delaware County. Delaware County is the fastest growing county in Ohio. The following are census figures for the past thirty years showing the dramatic growth.

1970 42,908
1980 53,840
1990 66,929
2000 109,989
Estimated 2001 121,848
Estimated 2002 129,026
Estimated 2003 136,671
Estimated 2004 144,703
Estimated 2005 151,386
Estimated 2006 156,573
Estimated 2007 160,865
Estimated 2008 173,642

TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION

Corporate Limits:

City of Delaware Village of Galena
City of Dublin Village of Ostrander
City of Powell Village of Shawnee Hills
City of Westerville Village of Sunbury

Village of Ashley

Delaware County Townships:

Berkshire Delaware Liberty Porter Trenton
Berlin Galena Marlboro Radnor Troy
Brown Harlem Orange Scioto Washington
Concord Kingston Oxford Thompson

The legislature establishes the territorial as well as the subject matter jurisdiction of the Court. Additionally, the Court is subject to properly enacted administrative rules of various state agencies, as well as the Ohio Supreme Court. Generally, Municipal Courts in Ohio have subject matter jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases; traffic cases; limited proceedings in felony cases; civil cases where the amount in controversy does not exceed $15,000.00; and Small Claims cases where the amount in controversy does not exceed $3,000.00.
Misdemeanor cases are criminal cases where the penalty does not exceed one year in jail and/or a fine in excess of $1,000.00. Examples of misdemeanor cases are domestic violence, assault, petty theft, resisting arrest, criminal damaging, menacing, and stalking.
Felony cases, such as murder, robbery, grand theft, etc. may be heard at the preliminary hearing level in the Delaware Municipal Court. If the prosecutor chooses to file felony charges with the Court rather than filing the case directly with the Delaware County Grand Jury, the defendant appears before the Delaware Municipal Court to have bail set and to demand or waive a preliminary hearing. The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether probable cause exists to charge the defendant with the felony offense. If the defendant waives his right to a preliminary hearing or if probable cause is found at the hearing, the felony case is transferred to the Delaware County Common Pleas Court for further proceedings.

Traffic and parking violations from the City of Delaware, the Division of Wildlife, and those transferred from all Mayor’s Courts in the geographic jurisdiction of the Delaware Municipal Court are heard by the Court. In some cases, a person who receives a traffic ticket may plead guilty and pay the fine without coming to Court. This is called “waiving” the ticket. Go to www.municipalcourt.org to find the Court’s waiver procedure and schedule of fines. Persons who wish to plead “not guilty” or “no contest” with an explanation must appear in Court before the Judge.

Civil cases are limited to $15,000.00. If the amount of money being sought by either party exceeds $15,000.00, the case may be dismissed or transferred to the Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Small Claims are civil claims for money damages only and may not exceed $3,000.00. Small Claims Court is designed to be a quick and inexpensive way of resolving civil claims, often without hiring an attorney, although any party may be represented by an attorney if they like.