SIDNEY – Ohio’s Third District Court of Appeals heard oral arguments for two cases in the Shelby County Courthouse on May 3.
The first was for a child custody case, and the second was for New Technology Products Pty LTD v. ScottsMiracle-Gro Co. et. al. in which New Technology Products Pty LTD said that ScottsMiracle-Gro Co. stole its trade secrets for a wetting agent.
The judges on the Third District Court are Judge John R. Willamowski, Judge William R. Zimmerman, Judge Stephen R. Shaw and Judge Mark C. Miller. All but Miller heard the cases.
There are 12 intermediate appellate courts in Ohio, and the Third District Court oversees 17 counties. The Court’s office is in Allen County, but the judges travel to different counties throughout the year as decided by the current presiding judge. They try to travel to five new counties every year in an attempt to visit all 17 counties.
Zimmerman was elected as the presiding judge for 2022, and since he is from Shelby County, he decided to choose the county as one of the visiting locations. The Third District Court has not been held in Shelby County since September of 2006. Other counties that the Court will travel to this year are Hardin, Mercer, Defiance and Logan. Zimmerman is also the first Shelby County judge to serve on the Third District Court, dating back to 1885.
“I am very humble to be the first Shelby County judge to serve on the Third District Court,” Zimmerman said in an email. “Currently I serve with two Allen County judges (Shaw and Willamowski) and one Hancock County judge (Miller). However, I feel it is essential to the success of our Court to have representation from smaller sized counties.”
Zimmerman also said that the importance of a traveling court is to form better connections with the people of each county.
“I feel it is important to travel to stay in tune with the judges and lawyers in our District. By that I mean our one on one personal contact gives judges and lawyers a chance to discuss cases that we have decided in greater detail,” Zimmerman said in an email.
The audience for the cases heard on May 3 consisted of local attorneys, elected officials and members of the public. In the end, Zimmerman recognized the attendance of Commissioners Julie Ehemann and Tony Bornhorst as well as students from Piqua.