High School Students Advance to Regional Mock Trial Competition
On January 18, 2019 more than 3,000 High School students entered courtrooms across the state to take part in the Ohio Center for Law Related Education’s (OCLRE) 36th Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition The Coshocton County Court of Common Pleas and Juvenile Court have sponsored Coshocton county teams for the past 5 years. District Competition for the local teams was held at the Licking County Courthouse, where Coshocton Scarlet and Coshocton Gray faced competition from Zanesville High School, Granville High School, Northridge High School and Zanesville Rosecrans, with 8 teams competing.
After a grueling day of students assuming roles as witnesses and attorneys to present both sides of an original, unscripted case based on a constitutional issue, the Coshocton Scarlet Team scored well enough to advance to Regional Competition on February 15. This is 3rd Coshocton county team in 5 years of competition to advance to the Regionals. Jenna Stonebraker and Kevin Lobo were voted Best Attorneys for their role in the case while Evelyn Hire, Jenna Renalli and Will Fortube were voted best witnesses.
The 2019 Ohio Mock Trial case focuses on Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures as it applies to technology. Fictional defendant Quinn Woolf is charged with aggravated theft and telecommunications fraud for allegedly using a private, alphanumeric code to steal $120 million from the state pension fund. The catch is, the state used an aerial drone to obtain images of the defendant in the Woolf’s backyard.
Team Participants included:
SCARLET: Gage Haines, Jenna Renalli, Jenna Stonebraker, Kaitlyn Richard ,Rachel Simpson, Justin Conner, Ka’Leah Kreis and Evelyn Hire.
GRAY: William Fortune, Judah Nelson, Javin Robinson, Kevin Lobo, Tyler Nicely, Jack Sorrell, Lilly Whitcomb, and Caleb Shriver.
Coaches and Advisors for the Coshocton County Teams were:
Judge Robert Batchelor, Judge Van Blanchard, Prosecutor Jason Given, and Assistant Prosecutor Christie Thornsley.
The Juvenile Drug Court and Family Dependency Court of the Coshocton County Juvenile Court have earned final re-certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets, effective December 14, 2018 through December 31, 2021.
In order to receive the certification, the local court had to submit an application, undergo a site visit, and provide specific program materials in response to certification standards that went in to effect in January 2014.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Coshocton County Juvenile Court and Judge Van Blanchard II for receiving final certification.
“Specialized dockets divert offenders toward criminal justice initiatives that employ tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society,” said Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.”
Specialized dockets are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders and use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior. There are more than 210 specialized dockets in Ohio courts that deal with issues such as:
• Drugs and Alcohol
• Mental Health
• Domestic Violence
• Human Trafficking
The standards provide a minimum level of uniform practices for specialized dockets throughout Ohio, and allow local courts to innovate and tailor to meet their community’s needs and resources.
“This certification allows us to continue to operate a valuable program both to participants and the community,” according to Coshocton County Juvenile Judge Van Blanchard II. “It brings together mental health, child welfare, and substance use disorder providers and the Court to collaboratively address an epidemic on an individual basis for children and families”.
The certification requirements include establishing eligibility requirements, evaluating effectiveness of the specialized docket, and assembling a treatment team for implementing daily operations of the specialized docket. The team can include licensed treatment providers, law enforcement, court personnel, and is headed by the specialized docket judge.
The Commission on Specialized Dockets has 22 members who advise the Supreme Court and its staff regarding the promotion of statewide rules and uniform standards concerning specialized dockets in Ohio courts; the development and delivery of specialized docket services to Ohio courts; and the creation of training programs for judges and court personnel. The commission makes all decisions regarding final certification.
Coshocton County Juvenile Court has operated a Juvenile Drug Court program since 2002 and a Family Dependency Court Program since 2014.