Login | February 19, 2019

9th District Court of Appeals relocation plans on track

Legal News Reporter

Published: February 12, 2018

A plan to relocate the 9th District Court of Appeals from the Oliver R. Ocasek building to an upgraded space on S. Main Street is moving ahead, said 9th District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Hensal.

Since the mid-1980s the court’s offices, courtrooms and more than 20 employees have been working out of a large space on the fifth floor of the Ocasek building, which is located at 161 S. High St. in Akron.

In December 2017, the Summit County Council passed a resolution authorizing the county executive to enter into a lease agreement with Akron Main Place Development for a space on the second floor of 121 S. Main Street.

“Since then, the Ohio Supreme Court security manager has reviewed the building plan to make sure it complies with established security protocols,” said Judge Hensal. “The manager has determined that it would indeed allow us to meet all the court’s security goals.

“One of the reasons this move is necessary is that the current building is not meeting the appropriate security goals because of its structure.

“We’ve also had ongoing problems with leaky ceilings as well as heating and cooling issues.”

Judge Hensal said the new location would provide about 15,000 square feet of space, which is equivalent to what is being utilized now.

In addition the new space will contain a dedicated secure area for a mediation department.

“We currently do not have facilities for mediation,” she said. “We do have a mediator who has an office, but there are no secure facilities for mediation sessions.

“The public is entitled to a certain level of security when they have their matters heard, which will be the case in the new facility.”

If all goes according to plan, Judge Hensal said she expects the move to take place this summer.

“Many individuals at the office of the Summit County Executive have been instrumental in bringing about this change,” said Judge Hensal. “Representatives of Lorain, Medina and Wayne counties took the time to visit the court’s current facilities, as well as the proposed new space, and to review the proposals necessary to understand the court’s needs now and in the future.

“We are thankful for everyone’s hard work.”