cleveland cleveland.com 22 Dec, 2020 14:45 am

Ohio Supreme Court rules in favor of city in case brought by South Euclid Municipal Court

Ohio Supreme Court rules in favor of city in case brought by South Euclid Municipal Court
The Ohio Supreme Court sided with the city of South Euclid in the case brought against it by the South Euclid Municpal Court and Judge Gayle Williams-Byers. Williams-Byers took the city to court when she did not reeive the funding she requested for the municipal court's 2019 budget.

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio -- The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled in the city’s favor in the case in which the South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers sued South Euclid for not providing the full funding the judge requested.The Ohio Supreme Court, in its ruling, stated, “When a statute grants the legislative authority discretion to determine funding for a particular budget item, a city may refuse to fund even reasonable requests by a court -- The burden is on the court to establish that the city’s allocation constitutes an abuse of discretion.” It was further stated in another portion the supreme court decision that, “The judge’s request for this funding increase came at a difficult time for the city.” Judge Gayle Williams-Byers Williams-Byers had asked the Ohio Supreme Court to give the municipal court the difference between what she had requested and what the court had thus far received.

The supreme court stated that it questioned “the judge’s sincerity” with regards to her statements regarding attempts to conserve discretionary funds for a future system upgrade.” In reasoning its decision, the supreme court stated that it understood that a municipal court, in some situations, may exercise its power to compel essential funding, when necessary, to preserve judicial independence.

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