Medina Municipal Court Judge Dale H. Chase announced he will not seek re-election to a sixth term in November.
“I thought it was important to make a public announcement so attorneys who might be interested have time to circulate petitions to run for the position,” Chase said in a news release.
“The next person to serve in this office should have significant and extensive experience in municipal courts. Before I was first elected, I served as an acting judge for six years and practiced law in municipal courts for a dozen years, so I had a clear understanding of the job and its responsibilities before I took office.”
Chase first was elected municipal court judge in 1987. He was re-elected four times, most recently in 2011, when he was unopposed. Judges in Ohio serve six-year terms.
He will have served as judge for 30 years when his term ends Dec. 31.
“I appreciate that voters gave me the opportunity to serve as judge,” he said. “Every day I get to work to make our communities a safer place and to have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
In the years he has served as judge, Chase has resolved 21,103 cases of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
“I am proud to have maintained the policy that OVI cases are not reduced to lesser offenses,” he said. “I believe the voters have a right to expect that whoever is elected this year will maintain that policy because it makes our streets and highways safer and protects the families of the people who live, work and visit here.”
Chase has been trying to get a new municipal courthouse for several years, first next to city hall on the east side of North Elmwood Avenue. Then talk centered on refurbishing the courthouse at 135 N. Elmwood Ave. To date, nothing has been agreed upon.
The court handles felony and misdemeanor criminal cases; traffic and civil cases including personal injury, contract disputes, small claims and evictions; and acts in thousands of cases to enforce and collect civil judgments for individuals and businesses. During his tenure, he has resolved 489,825 such cases.
“It will be over half a million cases by the time I finish,” Chase said.
“This is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year job. I had officers at my house at 2 a.m. New Year’s morning to obtain a search warrant.”
The court’s jurisdiction includes the cities of Brunswick and Medina; Spencer and Chippewa Lake villages; and Liverpool, Brunswick Hills, Hinckley, Litchfield, York, Medina, Granger, Spencer, Chatham, Lafayette, and Montville townships.
Chase could not be reached Monday for comment beyond what was included in the news release.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.