Since winning the Republican nomination for Delaware County Domestic Court Judge in March, Randall Fuller has been busy getting ready for the new court.
“This is just a very large undertaking,” Fuller said. “We’re doing something here that hasn’t been done in a extremely long time.”
Fuller is to be sworn in Dec. 28.
Fuller ran unopposed in the November general election which freed up his time from campaigning and allowed him to focus more on the new court. He closed his law practice in June and was hired as a magistrate by Judge David Gormley.
“This by far has been the most awarding experience I’ve had professionally,” Fuller said. “The amount I’ve learned has been amazing. It has been an absolutely wonderful experience.”
The court was created by state lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich last fall in order to address the growing needs of the county’s court system. The new domestic relations division in the Delaware County Common Pleas Court will hear cases regarding matters such as divorce, dissolution, separation, annulment, visitation and child support.
Domestic cases were divided between the juvenile and the general division courts. The caseload had become above-average and had the courts feeling uncomfortable with the length for cases to be resolved, officials said.
Earlier this year David Hejmanowski, county probate and juvenile court judge, said Delaware County’s juvenile court heard 5,000 cases last year, where the average Ohio juvenile court hears 3,000 case per year. “People expect to come to court, get their case heard, to get a fair resolution and to get it reasonably quickly,” he said.
“The domestic practice in Delaware County is much bigger than what people think,” Fuller said. “Delaware is the most affluent county in all of Ohio. More money means more litigation. In other counties people can’t afford the litigation cost.”
Fuller said he has had the opportunity to meet with another judge who created a domestic court about 15 years ago.
“It was nice to talk to him and hear his perspective,” Fuller said. “Everyone has been helpful, from the from the county to the state.”
Right now Fuller said they are doing all the preliminary work to be ready and it’s been a lot of work just merging everything together from the two other courts. He said he has been working with various people in the county and meeting with them at least once a week.
“I think there will be a couple of bumps, but everybody is going to be working together to make it as seamless as possible,” Fuller said.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.
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