Everything You Need to Know About the Ohio Mayor's Courts


Arrested for DUI or a misdemeanor in Ohio? There’s a chance your case could be handled in one of Ohio’s Mayor’s Courts. Learn everything you need to know about these state courts from the attorneys at Koffel Brininger Nesbitt.

In Ohio, municipalities have the authority to set up their own state courts called “Mayor’s Courts.” These courts typically handle DUI/OVI cases, misdemeanors, and city ordinance violations. There are a total of 260 Mayor’s Courts in the state of Ohio. While not all jurisdictions have set up Mayor’s Courts, some counties contain multiple. For example, Franklin County, where we are located, has 17 Mayor’s Courts while Fulton County has none.

How Mayor’s Courts Are Different from Other Courts

The Mayor’s Courts of Ohio differ in two main ways from other state courts:

  1. They do not have juries
  2. They are not courts of record (not supervised by the Ohio Supreme Court)

For these reasons, some defendants request that the jurisdiction of their case be moved to County / Municipal Court where they can get a trial by jury or have their case handled in a court of record.

Mayors and Magistrates

In some jurisdictions, the Mayor presides over all cases handled in the Mayor’s Court, while other counties have designated a Magistrate to preside over all hearings. Whether the cases are heard by a Mayor or Magistrate depends on the preference of the jurisdiction.

Koffel Brininger Nesbitt is centrally located in Columbus, Ohio – within close proximity to major Central Ohio Mayor’s Courts such as:

Mayor’s Court Schedules

Because the Mayor’s Courts are much smaller than other state courts, they do not hold hearings every day. Most courts will schedule their hearings weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Many jurisdictions also hold sessions in the evenings to accommodate people with normal 9am-5pm working hours. Check your jurisdiction’s court schedule or your arrest/citation notice to learn when your hearing is scheduled.

We are here to help you if your case is slated for a Mayor’s Court hearing or if you want to transfer the jurisdiction to Franklin County Municipal Court or another court. Contact us today to discuss your legal options and how we can help!