Former judge named to state position

A former Marietta Municipal Court Judge has been named director of Judicial & Court Services for Ohio’s Supreme Court.

Milt Nuzum, 61, of Vincent, was named to the position Feb. 11.

“I love doing this job. I look forward to coming to work every day,” he said from his Columbus office on Wednesday.

Nuzum is already familiar with the job, having started in the position on a temporary basis in May 2011.

Nuzum and his staff work to create policies and coordinate services that affect all of the courts throughout the state.

For example, Judicial & Court Services oversees the Interpreter Services Program.

“We help the local courts when they encounter difficulties finding an interpreter. We also train and certify court interpreters,” Nuzum said.

Another program Nuzum will now officially oversee is the Specialized Dockets Section, a program which he had great success with as Municipal Court Judge.

“When I was judge in Marietta (from 1993 to 2005) I had a drug court program and I had great success with mine when I was there,” he said.

The specialized dockets don’t mean a separate physical court or even additional judges. It does mean that staff gets specialized training and sets aside time to deal with certain types of cases, such as drug cases, mental health cases or cases involving veterans, Nuzum explained.

Now he and his staff offer assistance and training to local courts who want to set up specialized docket programs.

Other programs Nuzum will now oversee include the Case Management section, the Children, Families & the Court section, the Dispute Resolution section and the Domestic Violence Program.

His time as a municipal court judge was the perfect preparation for Nuzum’s current position, he said.

“The municipal court handled a lot of different things that I help set policies for now. I had a specialized docket, so I felt pretty well prepared for that. I’ve handled cases where I needed an interpreter, so I was familiar with those rules,” he explained.

Now Nuzum can visualize how local courts will be affected by the policies he and his staff shape.

“These policies apply to our profession statewide. We try to do what makes sense for everybody,” he said.

Nuzum has split his time between Columbus and Vincent since being appointed to the Supreme Court as the director of the Judicial College in 2006. Nuzum will continue acting as Judicial College director, sharing his time between the two duties.

The college dictates curriculum for new judges and continuing education requirements for current judges. The college holds about 150 courses and events throughout the year aimed at training judges, magistrates and court staff.

“There are requirements kept in government concerning the judiciary, such as what kind of mandatory education should there be for judges. That is something my Judicial College Board of Trustees and I have been discussing,” he said.

Acting as Marietta Municipal Court Judge during the time that he did, Nuzum was largely responsible for bringing the court into the 21st century, said Marietta resident Rosanne Buell, who served as the Clerk of Courts at Marietta Municipal Court during Nuzum’s tenure.

“We did a lot of stuff with technology. We started imaging when he was there. We did video arraignments for the first time,” recalled Buell.

Nuzum’s new staff is in good hands, added Buell.

“He was wonderful to work for. I think what I really appreciated the most about him is he really let me do my job and only stepped in when I asked him to,” she said.

Nuzum is still interested in bringing new technologies to the local courts.

The Judicial College recently started doing a long distance education option for judges to make it a little easier to get the necessary training, he said.

“I like to look into the future and see how we can improve things, be more efficient, make our services better for the people we serve,” he said.