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Environmental Court

Our Story


 

The Environmental Division was created by the Ohio General Assembly in 1991 as a specialized, housing-focused court to streamline the judicial oversight and adjudication of housing code violations.

 

Richard C. Pfeiffer, Jr. was the first judge of the Court, taking office on January 8, 1992 and presided over the Environmental Division for eleven years before taking office as the City of Columbus' City Attorney.

Harland H. Hale was appointed to take the bench on February 14, 2003 and served ten years as the Court's jurist. Judge Daniel R. Hawkins was appointed to the bench on July 29, 2013, and was elected by the citizens of Franklin County to complete the unexpired term ending in 2015 and then was elected to a full 6 year term before being elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in November of 2018.

Judge Stephanie Mingo is the presiding Judge of the Environmental Division. She was appointed by Governor John Kasich to take the bench in December of 2018. She was elected in 2019 to complete the unexpired term ending in 2021 and is running for a full 6 year term in 2021.

Our Jurisdiction

Columbus city map

The Environmental Division has exclusive jurisdiction over civil and criminal actions pertaining to local building, housing, sanitation, fire, zoning, property maintenance, and safety codes, ordinances, and regulations.

 

The Environmental Division also exercises concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Common Pleas with regards to actions related to air, water, ground pollution, and administrative appeals, including felony criminal actions. Unlike many other Municipal Courts, the Environmental Division has an unlimited monetary cap on civil cases.

The geographic venue of the Environmental Division encompasses all of Franklin County, including those portions of the City of Columbus outside of Franklin County. The Court regularly hears cases from the 17 townships and 26 municipalities within Franklin County in addition to certain cases brought by the Ohio Attorney General's Office from communities outside Franklin County.  

Contact the Staff

BAILIFF

Kellie Carson

CHIEF ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST

Kyle Kirker

ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST

Craig Rees

MAGISTRATE

Ben Hoelzel

SECRETARY

Mandy Cain