Medina County Common Pleas Court Judge Joyce V. Kimbler announced that she will be a candidate for re-election in 2020. “I am looking forward to continuing to work for the people of Medina County. I am proud of the programs that my court, working with the probation department and others, have instituted to further justice in Medina County. I am proud to preside over the county’s only two Supreme Court certified specialized dockets, our Drug Court docket and our Mental Health Court docket”, Judge Kimbler said.
Judge Kimbler’s Drug Court was recently featured in a documentary entitled Second Chances: One Year in Ohio’s Drug Courts. The documentary can seen by clicking here.
While Judge Kimbler has been on the bench the criminal docket has increased for the Medina County Common Pleas Court, General Division, by 52%. The criminal caseload went from 898 cases in 2014 to 1367 cases in 2018. Judge Kimbler’s own criminal docket has grown by 59%, going from 453 cases in 2015 to 721 cases in 2018.
Despite her docket increasing even faster than the court’s entire criminal docket, Judge Kimbler has been clearing criminal cases at a fast rate. “In 2019, for example, my court has cleared criminal cases at an average rate of 109% per month. Every month that a court has a clearance rate of over 100% it is closing more cases that are coming in. I attribute our clearance rate to the dedication of my staff and myself to providing the constitutional guarantee of a speedy trial to those defendants who come before me,” Judge Kimbler noted.
“I have presided over numerous criminal and civil jury trials. I am impressed by the willingness of citizens of Medina County to give of their time to fulfill their civic obligation to serve as jurors.”
Among those jury trials was State v. Tench, a capital murder case that resulted in the jury recommending a death penalty and Judge Kimbler agreeing with that recommendation. The Tench case was reviewed by the Ohio Supreme Court and Judge Kimbler’s sentence was affirmed by all the Ohio Supreme Court Justices who reviewed the case.
“Because Medina County is one of the state’s fastest growing counties, we have been one of the top five counties in the state for increases in our combined criminal and civil dockets,”, Judge Kimbler said. “In 2019 Magistrate James Leaver did an analysis of both the criminal and civil dockets for our two courtrooms. He found that on a per judge basis Medina County was in the top five of all counties for combined caseload per judge with a figure of 1305. Only two of Ohio’s eighty-eight counties had a higher caseload per judge for their criminal dockets, and only four counties had a higher caseload per judge for their civil dockets. Despite this workload, our courtrooms had a clearance rate of 98.645%, ranking us number one for clearance rates. Both Judge Collier and I are proud of the work we have done and of the justice that our courts are rendering for the people of Medina County”, Kimbler said.
Judge Kimbler finished with the following observation: “I am looking forward to making my case for re-election to the voters of Medina County in the upcoming election."