City Law Director John HatcherThe Law Director serves in two specific roles on behalf of Van Wert, Ohio. This official is both a legal advisor to the city and a prosecutor in Van Wert Municipal Court. Legal Advisor to the City
The Law Director is required to attend all city council meetings, prepare all legislation for the city, represent it in any litigation, review and approve contracts, issue legal opinions upon the request of city officials.
Within this role, several major projects include:
Total revision of city council's chapter 30, "Council's Rules and Procedures," which hasn't been addressed since the early 1960¹s.
Revision of Chapter 50, "Water and Sewer Connection Fees. "
Updating the format for city council's legislation, creating a log of all legislation for easy reference, and generally modernizing the way in which legislation is handled.
Prosecutor in the Van Wert Municipal Court
The Van Wert Municipal Court has county-wide jurisdiction on all misdemeanor cases, e.g., driving under the influence of alcohol, domestic violence, assaults, and traffic cases. The Law Director prosecutes all pending cases, attends all arraignments, and interviews victims. She also acts as an advisor for law enforcement officers.
Private filings of criminal charges require that a report of the offense be filed with law enforcement officials prior to the Law Director's reviewing the case with the complainant. Bad check procedure is an exception to this rule.
Due to the requirements of the Ohio Revised Code, a <bad check procedure> has been established locally for checks under $500 which must be followed before the bad check can be presented to the Van Wert Municipal Court for criminal prosecution.
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