Hearing on future of muny court won't be moved to Youngstown - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Hearing on future of muny court won't be moved to Youngstown

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - A hearing that could determine whether or not Youngstown municipal court facilities will be upgraded will not be held in Youngstown.

A special master appointed by the state supreme court has denied a motion to move the scheduled March 17 hearing from Columbus.

Last month, the attorney representing city hall officials filed a request to move the proceeding from Columbus to Youngstown because it would save money and cause less disruption to the operations in the court and city hall due to the absence of officials called to testify in the hearing.

In a one page order, the special master did not specify the reason for denying the motion to move the hearing.

The Ohio Supreme Court is considering complaints from city judges that current court facilities are among other things, too dirty, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter and not well maintained.

In 2009, the judges asked the Ohio Supreme Court to force the city to pay for improved court facilities, which the judges say are not in compliance with safety and legal standards set by Ohio law.

In an earlier deposition taken for the case, Municipal  Court Judge Elizabeth Kobly suggested that the city use a tax windfall from the  Vallourec pipe mill to help upgrade court facilities.

According to the deposition, Kobly said, "we've been stonewalled, we've been pooh-poohed, we have been ignored, and otherwise just refused."

After the March hearing, the special master will make his recommendation to the supreme court justices.

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