YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The outdated and inadequate Youngstown Municipal Court will be moving soon after years of complaints and a lawsuit filed against the city by Youngstown Municipal Court judges.
“This was a long time coming,” Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Kobly said.
In the next 18 months, the court will move out of City Hall and into the City Hall Annex at the corner of Front Street and Market Street.
“This building was totally inadequate and it did not meet our needs. And it certainly was not safe to protect anyone in our court system,” Kobly said.
The space became such a problem and safety hazard that judges filed a lawsuit against the city in 2009.
“We just couldn’t keep anybody apart downstairs. We couldn’t keep the defendants from the victims. There was no way we could do that,” Kobly said.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night and things are resolved.
“It is the best way to resolve the case,” Youngstown Law Director Martin Hume said.
All city council members at the meeting voted in favor of the move. The new courtrooms will cost about $7 million, with most of that being paid with court fees.
“This is a very positive step for Youngstown,” Hume said.
Kobly said the new space will provide state-of-the-art safety for everyone.
“There are different threats that are out there now. Different safety concerns that we have that did not exist years ago,” she said.
Several different offices will move into the new space, including the municipal court judges, the magistrate, prosecutor’s office, Clerk of Courts and probation office. City officials are hoping to bring some departments in other buildings back to City Hall once the court vacates the space.