Mentor, Ohio. Home to the fighting cardinals, the Great Lakes Mall, and even a professional hockey team, the IceBreakers. In the heart of this suburban town just east of Cleveland, Ohio is the Mentor Municipal Court.
The Court is presided over by Judge John Trebets. The Clerk of Courts is Linda Bambic and the bailiff is Marc Collins. Judge Trebets was elected by the voters of Mentor, Ohio for the first time in 2002 and was just re-elected to begin a new term in 2020. He is the fourth judge to serve on the bench since the court was established in 1972.
There are times that the Judge will appoint experienced local attorneys as acting judges if the Judge needs to be absent. The acting judge must be a resident of Mentor or Mentor-on-the-Lake to serve in this capacity. One experienced attorney that serves in this capacity is Matt Bangerter of Bangerter Law.
The Court has jurisdiction over Mentor and Mentor-on-the-Lake. As in other municipal courts, the court hears civil cases under a certain dollar amount in controversy, traffic cases, misdemeanors and preliminary hearings for felony charges.
One of the programs that Judge Trebets initiated is the Mental Health Court. The Mental Health Court is unique to the Mentor Municipal Court. Other courts in Lake County Ohio may refer defendants to the Mental Health Court, but they do not have their own mental health court.
The Mentor Mental Health Court was established to assist in the treatment of mental illness that many defendants battle. The court works together with local health systems as well as local criminal justice officials.
In order to qualify for the Mental Health Court, a defendant must have a diagnosed mental health disorder that is classified as an Axis 1 (DSM-IV) disorder. The defendant must also be able to comply with the program requirements and not be a danger to the community. Additionally, the defendant must continue to comply with any and all treatment. This is a volunteer program, so the defendant cannot be ordered into the program but must agree to enter into the program. If the defendant was charged with DUI/OVI, a sex crime, or a crime against a child, the defendant will not be eligible to enter the program.
Mentor Municipal Court was also the birthplace of the Lake County Drug Court. The drug court in Mentor started in 2010 but in 2015 it expanded to become the Lake County Drug Court. This program is similar in nature to the mental health court in that it is voluntary in nature. The program is aimed at helping those who want to get help.
Mentor Municipal Court will also perform marriage ceremonies. These typically take place on Fridays and individuals seeking to get married in the Court must pay a $20 fee to the court and be certain to obtain a marriage license from the Lake County Probate Court prior to the ceremony.
If you find yourself involved in the Mentor Municipal Court, be sure to contact Matt Bangerter at Bangerter Law, a fellow Mentor, Ohio resident who can assist in all your needs.