Speeches

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
Technology Grant Tour 2020 - Meigs County Courthouse
Jan. 22, 2020

(Remarks prepared for delivery on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, at the Meigs County Courthouse)

Thank you for that introduction, Judge Warner.

It’s one of my great honors to travel to courts across the state and deliver exciting news that can help you and your staff become more efficient.

I know how much work is involved in applying for the technology grants.

You took the time and effort to make your case for what you need.

It’s crucial today for courts to have updated technology, such as adding e-filing, video conference equipment, and having the ability to connect to the Ohio Courts Network.

You had the foresight to look at your court, and realize that you needed upgrades to create easier access to justice.

Six years ago, the Supreme Court of Ohio made grant money available to support technology projects throughout our state.

We call it the Ohio Courts Technology Initiative.

These funds from the Supreme Court are designed to address a variety of issues and situations where a lack of sufficient technology is a barrier to the efficient and effective administration of justice.

Whether it’s upgrades in case management or security measures, these grants are available to make your courts safer and more efficient.

Applications are accepted from any court of record.

We live in an age when the exchange of information and the warehousing of data are critical to many sectors of society.

Courts are no different. When it comes to technology, courts must remain in the game.

This initiative makes lots of innovations possible, including the enhancement of the Ohio Courts Network – a database that connects judges and courts around the state -- with each other and with law enforcement.

This year, the Supreme Court is awarding more than $3.2 million to more than 19 counties, and covering 54 projects.

This will bring our total disbursements over the five years to more than $17 million.

This was truly a group effort.

I want to recognize the following people:

Clerk of Courts for Meigs County Common Pleas Court Sammie Mugrage

Meigs County Common Pleas Judge Linda Warner

Meigs County Court Judge Michael Barr

Clerk of Courts Angie Bissell

Deputy Clerk of Courts Kelly Mailan

Deputy Clerk Penny Elam

Assistant Regina Life

This money will go toward a new case management system, e-filing, video surveillance, courtroom audio and visual equipment, and up-to-date computers.

I would like to present two checks for $217,733 to Judge Barr and a $78,901 check to Judge Warner.

Financial constraints at the local level can impede the upgrades in technology that would save money. So, we’re here to help break that cycle.

I can say without any hesitation that technology is one big answer to the funding needs our court system.

The money represented by this check will be very well spent, and I’m pleased that the Supreme Court can assist in addressing funding gaps around Ohio.

Congratulations again.

Thanks to all of you -- and God Bless.