Court Services is a multi-faceted operation with diverse responsibilites including; court security, building security, service for Common Pleas Court, Probate Court, public auction of foreclosed and tax default properties, felony warrant and indictment service, prisoner transportation, fugitive extradition, explosive detection canines, contracted security services for other county departments, registration of convicted arsonist and sex offenders and court ordered electronic monitoring of offenders.
County buildings that house court functions attract a diverse group of people and it is the responsibility of Court Services to address problems that frequently generate intense emotion. The Court Services Security Unit’s primary task is to provide a safe and secure atmosphere so the Court functions can be conducted with proper dignity and decorum. These services are provided at 1000 Main Street (Hamilton County Courthouse), 800 Broadway (Hamilton County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court), 230 Ninth Street (Hamilton County State of Ohio First Appellate Division Court) and 1000 Sycamore Street which is the Hamilton County Justice Center and the location of Municipal Courtrooms A & B.
Court Services Security Unit
The Court Services Security Unit also provides security for the Job & Family Services Department based upon a contract that reimburses the Sheriff’s Office for deputy services. Sheriff Deputies operate metal detectors and x-ray machines at 222 E. Central Parkway and provide an outside security presence with a deputy on patrol throughout the business day in and around the county campus.
Security for the County Administration Building which houses the majority of the county administrative offices including the Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator, Auditor, Building Inspections, Personnel, Engineer, Recorder, Treasurer, Zoning, and the Clerk of Courts Auto Title Division, is the responsibility of the Court Services Security Unit.
Fugitive Warrant Unit
The Fugitive Warrant Unit is responsible for service of Grand Jury Indictments and capias warrants from the Common Pleas Courts. It also handles Hamilton County extraditions to and from other jurisdictions. Several deputies within the Fugitive Warrant Unit have a working relationship with the United States Marshals via a specialized unit known as the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST). Deputies assigned to SOFAST have been deputized as United States Marshals and have multi-state arrest power. SOFAST’s mission is to coordinate warrant service with other local, state, and federal agencies with the intent to concentrate on the most serious wanted fugitives.
Child Support Enforcement Unit
The Child Support Enforcement Unit is responsible for child support warrants for the Domestic Relations and Juvenile Courts and deputies are assigned to apprehend child support violators.
The Transportation Unit is responsible for transporting convicted prisoners to the Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and return wanted fugitives from other jurisdictions.
The Probate Unit is responsible for service of Probate Court warrants and capias warrants, transportation of subjects between hospitals and the Court. The deputies assigned to this unit maintain security in the courtroom during probate hearings. This is a very sensitive assignment due to the nature of being directly involved with mentally ill individuals.
The Execution Unit represents the Sheriff’s Office in the area of property sales (mortgage foreclosure, tax foreclosure and tax lien certificates) and property seizures (possession orders, replevin orders, attachments and levies of execution).
Explosive Detection Canine Unit
The Explosive Detection Canine Unit is trained extensively to maintain peak efficiency. Training is conducted at Greater Cincinnati Airport and throughout Hamilton County with various bomb disposal units. These canines are trained to detect explosive materials at events that attract a large number of citizens.
The Process Unit is responsible for processing summons, complaints, indictments, stalking orders, domestic violence protection orders, stay away orders, vacate orders, subpoenas, garnishments, orders for judgment, notary subpoenas, and probate papers. Additional responsibilities include Foreign County and out of state process. All processes received are entered into a database and given to uniformed deputies for service.
Electronic Monitoring Section
The Electronic Monitoring Section serves Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and Hamilton County Municipal Court by providing alternative sentencing options in the way of home incarceration, Global Positioning Satellite (G.P.S.) monitoring, and Alcohol monitoring services. Due to the dual nature of Electronic Monitoring, uniformed deputies assigned to this Unit hold the title of Deputy Sheriff and Probation Officer. Civilian employees provide support to the Unit by conducting preliminary background interviews with offenders and victims.
Sex Offender and Arson Registration Unit
The Sex Offender and Arson Registration Unit operate by decree of the Ohio Revised Code which mandates the duty and responsibility for sex and arson offender registration as a responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office. The Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification System (e-SORN) was developed in response to the 1994 passage of Megan’s Law and its functions and requirements are part of this Unit’s responsibility.