The Barberton and Medina courts will be able to update their case-management systems thanks to recent technology grants from the Ohio Supreme Court.
Barberton Municipal Court was awarded a $52,270 grant, while Medina County Common Pleas Court received a $200,000 grant. They were among 47 courts across Ohio that received $2.9 million this month from the Ohio Courts Technology Initiative. The grants will help fund computer and security upgrades.
“Courts today must do more with less, and technology can go a long way toward filling that gap,” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said in a prepared statement.
O’Connor, a Summit County native, will visit the Medina court at 2:30 p.m. Monday to present Judge Joyce Kimbler with the court’s check. Medina’s grant was among the largest awarded in this round of funding under the program, now in its fifth year.
"We appreciate that Chief Justice O'Connor, as a former trial court judge, recognizes the need for local courts to have access to new technology,” Kimbler said. “A big part of doing justice is managing the cases. New technology allows us to manage cases more efficiently, saving litigants' time and money."
Barberton will use its grant to improve a 20-year-old case-management system. The court’s current system uses an outdated image format that produces documents that can only be viewed with the use of a third-party viewer. The new system will convert documents to more modern PDFs that will be more easily accessible to the public.
Judge David Fish said the grant comes at a good time for Barberton, which is under financial constraints because of the impending loss of Babcock & Wilcox, one of the city's largest employers. The company is moving to Akron.
“We are happy to receive this generous grant so as not to further financially burden our host city or raise court costs on the citizens who have occasion to interact with our court for civil, criminal or traffic matters,” Fish said.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, email@example.com and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.