|COMMON PLEAS COURT I|
|JUDGE CHRISTOPHER J. COLLIER|
ABOUT THE COMMON PLEAS COURT
As a trial judge I get the privilege to work in the courtroom nearly every day. Our system of justice ensures that anyone can come into a court of law and have his or her dispute heard and resolved by a jury comprised of Medina County citizens. The trial judge makes sure that the rules governing a trial are followed and that the proceeding is fair. Cases are divided into two categories, civil cases and criminal cases.
In a civil case, where money is in dispute, the jury determines who is at fault, and in most cases, decides what compensation is to be paid to the prevailing party. By the way, in the American system, each party is responsible for its own attorney fees. Automobile accidents, contract matters, employment issues, real estate disputes and professional malpractice cases are just some examples of the civil cases heard in my court.
In a criminal case, where liberty and sometimes life are at stake, the jury decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Punishment, if any, is imposed by the trial judge. The exception to this rule is in death penalty cases where the jury determines guilt and then deliberates to decide punishment as well. Rape, robbery, burglary and drug trafficking are some examples of criminal cases tried in my court last year.
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