In 1916, the General Assembly of the State of Ohio created the Columbus
Municipal Court. Prior to this time, the court operated under the Justice
of the Peace System. On July 5, 1955, the Columbus Municipal Court was
given countywide jurisdiction and, in 1968, the State Legislature changed
the name of the court to the Franklin County Municipal Court.
The court has two (2) judicial divisions. The General Division operates with fourteen (14) judges, and six (6) magistrates. The Environmental Division, which began operations in 1992, has one (1) judge. In addition to performing all of the duties within the general division, the Environmental Division also has exclusive jurisdiction over criminal and civil actions to enforce building, housing, health, or safety codes applicable to premises intended for use as a place of human habitation. The Clerk of Court, serving both divisions, has a myriad of both financial and case management duties, as prescribed by law. The terms for the judges and the clerk are for a period of six (6) years.
The Court's administrative functions are overseen by Court Administration. Among these services are the Office of the Jury Commissioner, the Office of the Assignment Commissioner, Probation Services, the Small Claims Division, the Court Reporters, Court Security, the Service Bailiffs, the Courtroom Bailiffs, the Language Interpretation program, the Vehicle Immobilization Program and the Volunteer Coordinator's Office.
In 1979, the court moved from its facilities in City Hall to the Franklin County Municipal Court building, located at 375 South High Street. Currently, the court has two (2) traffic-arraignment courtrooms, two (2) criminal-arraignment courtrooms, two (2) record hearing courtrooms, one duty courtroom and sixteen (16) jury courtrooms in the General Division. The Environmental Division operates with one (1) courtroom for its arraignment sessions, as well as its record and jury trials.
The Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk's Office is divided into several divisions. The divisions occupying the first four floors of the Municipal Court Building are: Clerk Administration, Accounting/Finance, Civil, Collections, Criminal/Traffic, Quality Control, and the Traffic Violations Bureau. The Office of Information Services is located of the 16th floor.