Richard K. Schwartz has been the Civil Magistrate of the Elyria Municipal Court since May of 1998 and also the Traffic Magistrate since February of 2000. He succeeded J. P. Henderson, Esq., who retired after eighteen years of service.

The Civil Magistrate hears and decides civil matters referred by the Judges of the Elyria Municipal Court. All small claims cases, evictions, default hearings, and garnishments are automatically set on the Magistrate's docket. Civil cases in which an answer has been filed by a defendant are also generally referred to the Magistrate for hearing. The Elyria Municipal Court has jurisdiction to hear disputes in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $15,000.00.

The "Traffic" Magistrate hears arraignments and trials of minor misdemeanor offenses. These mostly consist of traffic cases, but may also include offenses which do not involve traffic matters, such as disorderly conduct, noise disturbance, and animals-at-large.

All decisions and orders by the Magistrate may be appealed to the Judges of the Elyria Municipal Court within the time and in the manner prescribed by Rule 53 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and by Rule 19 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedures.

The Magistrate cannot give legal advice to the litigants.

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Richard K. Schwartz received his law degree from Ohio State University School of Law in 1985. From 1990 to 1991, he was the Managing Attorney for Southeastern Ohio Legal Services in Steubenville, Ohio and from 1991 to 1998, Supervising Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Lorain County, Inc., in Elyria, Ohio. His areas of practice included consumer, bankruptcy, employment, domestic relations, and civil rights. He has authored the law review article, "A New Role for the Guardian Ad Litem," 3 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 117 (1986). For several years, he updated three chapters in the annual editions of Baldwin's Handbook Series on consumer law. In 1998, he revised two of the chapters into a single one, "Small Loan and Mortgage Loan Lending," which he continues to update along with the chapter on "Truth-in-Lending Law" in Ohio. See OHIO CONSUMER LAW, Williams, ed. (West 2000).