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Common Pleas Court I

Judge Christopher J. Collier

As a trial judge, I get the privilege to work in the courtroom nearly every day. Our system of justice ensures that anyone can come into a court of law and have his or her dispute heard and resolved by a jury comprised of Medina County citizens. The trial judge makes sure that the rules governing a trial are followed and that the proceeding is fair. Cases are divided into two categories, civil and criminal cases.

Judge Collier on the bench

In a civil case, where money is in dispute, the jury determines who is at fault, and in most cases, decides what compensation is to be paid to the prevailing party. By the way, in the American system, each party is responsible for its own attorney fees. Automobile accidents, contract matters, employment issues, real estate disputes, and professional malpractice cases are just some examples of civil cases heard in my court.

In a criminal case, where liberty and sometimes life are at stake, the jury decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Punishment, if any, is imposed by the trial judge. The exception to this rule is in death penalty cases where the jury determines guilt and then deliberates to decide punishment as well. Rape, robbery, burglary and drug trafficking are some examples of criminal cases tried in my court.

Get Jury Duty Information & Call Schedules

Jury Duty Information Call Schedules

Judge Christopher J. Collier
330-725-9131

James Leaver, Magistrate
330-764-8740
jleaver@medinaco.org

Terry George, Bailiff
330-725-9731
tgeorge@medinaco.org

Therese Wyrzykowski, Early Intervention Program Administrator
330-725-9131
twyrzykowksi@medinaco.org

Keith Brenstuhl, Magistrate
330-725-9729
kbrenstuhl@medinaco.org

Every three months a new Medina County Grand Jury is sworn in. Judge Kimbler and I rotate as the judge responsible for the quarterly panel. I thought you might be interested in understanding a little more about how a grand jury works.

Each county common pleas court has a grand jury. These jurors are selected randomly, in the same manner as petit or trial jurors. The grand jury is established by the Constitution of the State of Ohio which provides that no person shall be brought to trial for a felony without first being indicted by a grand jury. Our grand jury meets once every two weeks to consider cases brought to it by the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office.

The function of the grand jury is not to determine guilt or innocence. That is the function of the trial jury. The grand jury determines whether there is sufficient evidence or probable cause to require an accused to stand trial. The proceedings of the grand jury are secret. Neither the prosecuting attorney nor anyone else, except the grand jurors themselves, are permitted to be in the room with the grand jury when they deliberate or vote. Likewise, the grand jurors may not state or testify as to the opinions expressed or the votes of the grand jurors. The proceedings before a grand jury are forever secret.

If the grand jury finds probable cause, they issue a written charge called an indictment. The Medina County Sheriff then serves the indictment on the defendant. The defendant is brought to court for his arraignment and the criminal proceeding begins.

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