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Magistrate

Benjamin Hoelzel

 
 

BIO

Magistrate Hoelzel became the Environmental Division's first Staff Attorney in 2014 and the first Magistrate for the Division in 2016. He presides over preliminary matters for the Division's civil docket as well as some hearings. He routinely handles pleas and other matters on the criminal docket. When not at the courthouse, Magistrate Hoelzel can be found escorting his rescue pup, Pete, on his mission to be the first dog to hike every Ohio State Park or cheering on the Columbus Crew.


Learn more about Environmental Court   

Continuances

Motions to continue a case must be filed five business days before the scheduled court date. The motion to continue must specify the reason for the request, whether the request is agreed or opposed, and the length of time needed. If the request is granted, then the case will be continued within the time frame set by the Rules of Superintendence. 

Decorum

All parties are expected to check in with the bailiff upon arrival. All parties are expected to show respect for each other, the Court, and staff. The Court will not tolerate disrespectful behavior from any party. Arrive on time and be prepared to move the case forward. Counsel should ask permission to approach the Court and any witnesses. No side conversations are to happen in the courtroom. For conversations with someone other than Court staff, please use the conference room. 

Motions & Briefs

Motions are to be submitted timely and served upon opposing parties. Motions may be ruled on without oral hearings unless requested. All motions should be submitted to the Court at least one week before any scheduled court dates. Parties should deliver an extra copy to chambers. 

General

For specific questions related to a case, parties should first contact the prosecutor assigned to the case. 

The general office number for the Columbus City Attorney is (614) 645-6232. For cases filed by Franklin County, the general office number for the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office is (614) 525-3520.

For general questions or concerns regarding procedure or a personal court appearance, contact the Court at (614) 645-8742. However, please note that the Court cannot directly discuss the details of the case. 

Motions & Briefs

Motions are to be submitted timely and served on opposing parties. Motions may be ruled on without oral hearing unless requested. All motions should be submitted to the Court at least one week before any scheduled court dates. Parties should delivery an extra copy to chambers. 

Pretrial/Status Conferences

The purpose of the initial status conference is to ensure that all parties understand the nature of the alleged violations. The parties and the Court will then work together to establish a reasonable timeline to address the alleged violations. The case will then be set for a follow-up status conference or set for a hearing in front of the Judge. 

Other

The Environmental Division encourages defendants to seek assistance when needed. View the list of available resources kept by the Court.

General

Environmental arraignments are held on Wednesdays. If no resolution is reached at arraignment, the Court will grant one 30 day arraignment continuance or the defendant or counsel for the defendant may enter a demand for jury/court trial. The Court will then schedule the case on the Judge's assigned docket. 

Motions & Briefs

Discovery between the parties should be exchanged timely. The Court encourages the parties to try and do this before the scheduled pretrial.

Motions are to be filed timely and served on opposing parties. All motions are to be submitted to the Court at least five business days before the trial date. Parties should deliver an extra copy to chambers.

Other

All pleas will be on the record. The Court will consider any mitigation and sentencing per-conditions before sentencing.

Contact Information