Rotarians hear from Supreme Court judge

SIDNEY — Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judy French addressed the Sidney Rotary Club, April 1.

French was appointed to the state’s highest court in January 2013 by then Gov. John Kasich. She was subsequently elected to her first full term on the court in 2014. Justices on the Supreme Court of Ohio are elected to six-year terms on a nonpartisan ballot.

In her remarks, “Judge Judy” shared some of her experiences as a Supreme Court justice and offered an overview as to how the court system functions in Ohio. She noted that the Ohio courts handle approximately 3.5 million cases per year. Most are adjudicated and decided through the first layer of the court system, the Ohio Courts of Common Pleas. She estimates that 10,000 or so of these cases are appealed at the Ohio Court of Appeals.

French went on to say that the Ohio Supreme Court is asked to review approximately 1,500 cases per year, however less than 5 percent of these are actually heard by the state Supreme Court. The Ohio Supreme Court has the option to hear a case or not based on its merits following a review by the justices. Most cases the justices review do not rise to the level of requiring a formal hearing by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Ohio comprises seven justices with the most tenured justice serving as chief justice. French is at present the third-most tenured justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio.