Garfield Heights Municipal Court Help Center Extending Hours

Garfield Heights - The Garfield Heights Municipal Court has a satellite facility with extended and weekend hours to better serve the public.

The Court has partnered with the Cuyahoga County Public Library Maple Heights Branch to establish the Court Help Center. The Court found it can be difficult for people to get to the Clerk’s Office before it closes at 4:30 pm weekdays. 

A Deputy Clerk will be at the Court Help Center to provide online assistance on Tuesdays at 4 - 8 pm and Saturdays 11 am - 3 pm. “The idea is to make the Court more efficient and user-friendly,” Garfield Heights Municipal Court Presiding Judge Deborah Nicastro said. 

The Help Center does not replace The Court. But, all court matters that can be handled at the Clerk’s Office can be done online at the Help Center. “They still have to come to court for their hearing and the judge still has to hear the facts and see the evidence. But, up until that time, they can file everything online and save a few trips to the courthouse,” Judge Nicastro added.

At the Court Help Center, one can file a Small Claims case online. Drivers with suspended licenses can pay their fines online and receive notice when the BMV will release their license. A landlord could file an eviction. For tenants who have received Notice of Eviction, the Deputy Clerk can explain the eviction procedure and offer resources for help. “We’re trying to remove barriers for people to have their cases and issues resolved. Sometimes people need more time than a few minutes at the clerk’s office to have their questions answered. So we want to give them more time and more convenient hours,” Judge Nicastro said. 

The Court Help Center at the Maple Heights Library located at 5225 Library Lane will be operational for the next six months. Then, this pilot program will be evaluated. Judge Nicastro said that if the Court Help Center proves to be very useful, then the plan is to add extended hours on one more weekday. 

The jurisdiction of the Garfield Heights Municipal Court cover eight communities: Garfield Heights, Maple Heights, Brecksville, Cuyahoga Heights, Independence, Newburgh Heights, Valley View and Walton Hills. More information on Garfield Heights Municipal Court and the Court Help Center can be found on the court website: ghmc.org.

Photo courtesy of the GHMC Help Center

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