Evaluate judges

Please Mr. Judge Mark Repp, Tiffin Municipal Court, short of an apology which I know would never be forthcoming, would you offer up a written explanation made public so we can test and judge its validity why my $875 unpaid rent claim filed in your court has gone on now for 818 days without being concluded by you, why to this date 618 days after you held a summary (expedited) judgment hearing to hopefully resolve important issues early, I still have not received a written ruling?

The Ohio Supreme Court directs municipal court judges to try to dispose of their general civil cases within 12 months and to file reports on status of cases. If Judge Repp explains in my case that he has a heavy caseload and is very busy, the counter to such an explanation is: 1) all judges can say this, but the Ohio Supreme Court obviously has taken this argument well into consideration over the past years and has declined to grant 18 months, 2 years or more as a time frame; 2) it may be the judge simply is not capable of doing the job; 3) it may be the judge does not work overtime to keep up; 4) it may be the attitude is only the electorate, not just a few litigants, can kick me out, and the elctorate is not going to do that.

The Ohio Supreme Court’s judicial canons require a judge to dispose of all judicial matters promptly, efficiently and fairly.

Gladstone wrote more than 130 years ago, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

More than a year ago, Judge Repp took on the administrative judge duties in the Fostoria Municipal Court, and said at the time, “I agreed to do some additional work.” Then, later, he spent how many hours speaking up, even in Columbus, for legislation combining the two courts, with one new judge to be elected this fall. He’s a candidate. I’d suggest there’s more than enough for him to do right in the Tiffin court. How is he going to handle “additional work?” Plaintiffs in his Tiffin Small Claims Court are being asked to consent to about a one-month delay. I know I’m certainly not the only party in TMC who has had to wait or is waiting like this.

Also, judicial canons state a judge must not be biased or prejudiced and must faithfully and competently carry out the law. Judge Repp has had against him at least nine higher court reversals in nine police cases, six phenomenally by my husband, Richard. One appellate judge corrected him for allowing himself to decide in favor of the police in a criminal matter where the evidence made a “close case,” as Judge Repp said on the record. The higher judge pointed out if it’s a “close case,” the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Before, this appeals judge also pointed out, over the prior years how many criminal defendants were convicted wrongly if all the prosecution did was present evidence making out a “close case?” And once Judge Repp gave an outdated instruction of law to a DUI jury with the appellate court sending the case back for jury re-trial, whereupon the new instruction of law, much less favorable to the police, led the jury rather early in deliberations to acquit the defendant.

Having to be fair, no judge should dare side with the police contrary to the law and the evidence.

To believe all judges are equally adept is Pollyannish and not realistic. Are there differences in football quarterbacks, in M.D.s?

A judge must also be dignified and courteous.

Any person who has an ethical complaint against any judge may write to Disciplinary Counsel, 250 Civic Center Drive, Suite 325, Columbus, OH 43215-7411.

The state legislature has substantially raised the salary of a full-time judge in municipal court, the idea being the pay will bring out the best-qualified attorneys to serve the public. In the private sector, if a position holder doesn’t do his work as expected, he’s let go. With a public employee, he can still be paid his salary even when the job is not fully done or done right. Judge Repp’s salary is $114,100 per year.

Rose L. Kahler,