The office of the Portage County Prosecuting Attorney represents the interests of the citizens of the State of Ohio, the residents of Portage County, and Portage County Government in many aspects of civil and criminal law. The Prosecutor's Office operates with four divisions: a Criminal Division, a Civil Division, an Appellate Division, and a Victim/Witness Assistance Division.
The Criminal Division represents the citizens of the State of Ohio and Portage County in prosecuting criminal cases in our County's three Municipal Courts, two Common Pleas Courts and the Juvenile Court. The Portage County Prosecutor is responsible for all felony and misdemeanor criminal and traffic cases filed each year in these Courts. This Division also renders legal advice and assistance to our County's sixteen different Police agencies. A Domestic Violence Unit, funded with Federal Grant dollars consists of an assistant prosecutor dedicated to domestic violence cases and an outreach advocate dedicated to assisting victims of domestic violence. A Special Victims Unit consisting of an assistant prosecutor and an investigator prosecutes crimes against children, the elderly, and the disabled. A criminal Child Support Enforcement unit locates and criminally prosecutes deadbeat parents with large child support arrearages. This unit is fully funded by Federal Title IV-D funds. The criminal division is staffed by a total of eleven Assistant Prosecutors, six investigators, and clerical support staff.
The Civil Division provides legal representation to all eighteen of our County elected officials and their respective offices. It also provides legal representation to the County Commissioners, all County Boards and Commissions, the County's eighteen Townships, their Trustees, Clerks, and Zoning Boards. This Division represents all of these entities in matters of litigation in State and Federal Courts, contracts, personnel matters, and collection of real estate taxes owed to the County. It represents the Department of Job and Family Services in matters of abused, neglected, and dependent children, and renders general legal advice to all of the County and Township officials. This Division is staffed by eight Assistant Prosecutors, a paralegal, and clerical support staff.
The Appellate Division provides legal representation in all legal matters of the Criminal and Civil Divisions involving appeals from local court decisions to State and Federal Appellate Courts. This division is staffed by two Assistant Prosecutors.
The Victim/Witness Assistance Division provides assistance and information to victims of crime and witnesses in criminal cases, together with referrals to other quality support services offered in Portage County. Advocates are available twenty-four hours a day to assist victims of crimes such as domestic violence, stalking, assault, sexual abuse, child abuse, drunk driving, etc. and to assist the families of homicide victims. These services are available to all residents of Portage County, or anyone who becomes the victim of a violent crime in Portage County. This division's trained advocates are available to lend immediate support to victims of crime, to accompany them to court appearances, provide information and guidance concerning the criminal justice system, make referrals to appropriate social service agencies and counselors, provide information concerning compensation from State funds, and to notify victims and witnesses concerning important hearing dates and the status or outcome of criminal cases in which they are involved. This division is staffed by five Victim Advocates along with a clerical assistant. This division is funded by federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant money along with county general funds.
Internships are available to university students for course credit in all divisions of the Prosecutor's office.
YEAR 2021 STATISTICS OF INTEREST
- The Criminal Division was responsible for over 6,000 misdemeanor criminal and traffic cases, including 924 impaired driving cases (OVI) and 329 misdemeanor domestic violence cases.
- The Criminal Division received 1,925 felony reports from the sixteen police agencies serving Portage County, including 7 homicide or attempted homicide cases, 6 Vehicular Homicide cases, 110 felonious assault cases, 86 felony domestic violence cases, 116 special victim unit (SVU) cases, 96 felony burglary cases, 126 felony theft cases, 17 robbery cases, 87 receiving stolen property cases, 16 felony child non-support cases, and 973 felony drug related cases.
- 1,373 new felony cases were filed in the Portage County Common Pleas Court in 2021, each representing one individual who was charged with one or more felony level crimes. This represents a 34% increase over 2020 felony cases and a new record since statistics have been maintained over the past 28 years.
- The Civil Division opened 148 new case files and 53 administrative files in 2020. 372 county contracts were prepared and/or reviewed by this Division. In its representation of the County's Department of Job and Family Services in matters of child abuse, dependency and neglect, the Civil Division opened 257 new files in 2021.
- In 2021 the Appellate Division handled 89 new cases in the Ohio 11th District Court of Appeals, 18 cases in the Supreme Court of Ohio, 3 cases in the United States Supreme Court, and 2 cases in the 6th Circuit Federal District Court. 81 percent of the Appellate cases arose from criminal matters.
- The Victim/Witness Assistance Division rendered assistance to a total of 2,469 victims of crime in 2021 in the Portage County Municipal, Common Pleas and Juvenile Courts.
The Portage County Prosecutor's Office
241 South Chestnut Street
Ravenna, Ohio 44266
Office: (330) 297-3850
Criminal Division: (330) 297-3856
Civil Division: (330) 297-4594
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Updated February 8, 2022