I hope you had a very merry Christmas!
We started two new traditions during the holiday season. First, we went for a journey on the Polar Express train ride. My daughter, who is now 5 years old, had a wonderful time.
Second, we had a lot of fun with our elf on the self. We were blessed with two elves and a reindeer. They all magically moved around our house every night and, usually, one or two times during the day. My daughter woke up early every morning and searched the house to discover their latest adventure.
We had a fun Christmas morning. We had told our daughter she could not go downstairs to see her presents until the sun was up. Around 5 a.m., my daughter started asking if she could see what Santa brought her. Finally, around 7 a.m., we allowed her to go downstairs to see all of the surprises.
She shrieked with excitement when she discovered the cookie was gone that she had made and left out for Santa. She also discovered the half-eaten carrot Santa shared with his reindeer, the snow Santa tracked in our house, and all of the presents under the Christmas tree.
Then, with the force and speed of a polar vortex, she opened all of her gifts. She proceeded to open the gifts my wife and I got for each other. I cherish these Christmas memories as I look forward to the upcoming new year.
Each New Year I reflect on the past and set goals for the future. This New Year marks the end of my first term as your Delaware County Domestic Relations Court judge. It is also the beginning of my second term as judge. I want to thank the citizens of Delaware County for trusting me to serve a second term.
As I reflected on the past, it struck me how significant several events were for the Delaware County Common Pleas Court during my first term as judge. I want to highlight a few of the major events.
First, in January 2017, the Delaware County Common Pleas Court created/unified the Domestic Relations Division. Changing the structure of the Common Pleas Court has only occurred a few times in the history of Delaware County.
In Ohio, Common Pleas courts now have four divisions: General, Domestic Relations, Juvenile and Probate. Early on, Delaware County had a single Common Pleas Court judge. In 1852, Judge David T. Fuller became the first Probate judge for Delaware County. I found it interesting a Judge Fuller was the first Probate judge, and I am the first Domestic Relations judge. To the best of my knowledge, we are not related.
And then, in 1904, the Juvenile Court Division was created in Ohio. In Delaware County, domestic relations cases were heard in two different court divisions until 2017. Termination of marriage, like divorces and dissolutions, were heard in the General Division and parentage and non-married custody cases were heard in the Juvenile Division. Since 2017, the Domestic Relations Division hears all types of domestic relations cases.
The second major event occurred in November 2017 when the Common Pleas General Division and Domestic Relations Division moved to our new courthouse. A new Common Pleas courthouse had not been built in our county since 1869, when what is now known as the Historic Courthouse was completed.
Third, in 2020, the Domestic Relations Court was able to conduct all court operations completely virtually and remotely. This major advancement in technology will have a long-lasting positive effect on the operation of the court.
I look forward to additional court advancements in my second term.
I hope you have a wonderful New Year. And, on a side note, Go Bucks!
Randall D. Fuller is judge of the Domestic Relations Division of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. Judge Fuller is a life-long resident of Delaware County.