Highland County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Kevin Greer is pictured with his wife, Kristy. (Submitted photo)
Highland County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Kevin Greer is pictured with his wife, Kristy. (Submitted photo)
Judge Kevin L. Greer has announced that he will be seeking a fifth term as judge of the Highland County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile and Probate Divisions.

Judge Greer first took the bench on Feb. 9, 1997.

During his first term, Judge Greer developed a monthly driver's improvement program held on Saturday mornings for first-time offenders. Greer, his Probation Department and members of the community traveled with juveniles and their parents to Columbus for the Scared Straight program.

Greer also started a community service program for delinquent and unruly youth who are required to work throughout the county. Since 2010, 990 miles of road have been covered and 4,668 bags of trash recovered.

As a result of various programs like those previously mentioned, combined with the hard work and dedication of the Highland County Prosecutor's office as well as various law enforcement agencies, the number of traffic tickets filed in Juvenile Court has been reduced from 505 in 1997 to 155 in 2018. In addition, the number of delinquent and unruly complaints has been reduced from 584 in 1997 to 190 in 2018.

Unfortunately, the illicit drug epidemic has caused a drastic increase in Children Services cases. Since 2014, 814 have been filed in Juvenile Court alleging abuse, neglect or dependency. The vast majority of those cases involve a parent or parents abusing methamphetamine or opioids. In 2019 alone, 171 cases have been filed.

“To the extent permitted by law, I will continue to remove and protect children from an environment of drug addiction,” Greer said. “They will not be returned unless and until it is safe to do so, which ultimately requires parents to realign their priorities from illicit drug abuse to raising their children.”

Judge Greer computerized the court in 1997. As a result, a system was developed in Probate Court wherein legal counsel receive a monthly report of all cases pending with timelines for due dates. This system has resulted in a more efficient and timely resolution of probate actions.

Enforcement of the financial obligations of the parties to a case has been another focus of Judge Greer during his first four terms. Those who owe court costs or fees are required to report on a regular schedule until their obligations are paid. As a result, over $3,742,100 has been collected since 1997, helping fund not only the court but also county government.

As an example, $234,000 has been collected as repayment of indigent legal fees and $2,308,130 has been paid to the county’s general fund and miscellaneous costs. Over $243,000 has been collected in restitution to compensate victims.

Judge Greer has been able to keep the expense of operating the court near 1998 levels by computerizing the office, cross-training employees and presiding over the majority of cases filed instead of appointing a magistrate to handle part of the caseload, a savings to the county estimated to be over $1,150,000 (23 years at $50,000 per year). Judge Greer and his excellent court staff have been able to keep the docket current, having no cases pending at year's end during his first four terms as set forth by the time guidelines of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Judge Greer has received special recognition from the Corrections Receptions Center for outstanding leadership to the youth of central Ohio. He received the GLAD award from the Highland County Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the Outstanding Service award from the State of Ohio Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

The Ohio Educational Service Center recognized Judge Greer for outstanding leadership in advancing the cause of the county school system, and Greer received the Highland County Friend of Education Award from the Highland County Educational Service District Governing Board.

Judge Greer and his wife, Kristy, received the Friend of Center Award from the Southern Ohio Pregnancy Center. Judge Greer has also participated as a mentor in the Ohio Supreme Court Judges Mentor Program.

Judge Greer attended Leesburg-Fairfield High School and was inducted into the inaugural class of the Fairfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was inducted into the Highland County Sports Hall of Fame. Judge Greer is a member of several civic organizations and a member of the Hillsboro First United Methodist Church.

Judge Greer and his wife just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and are proud parents of two sons, a daughter-in-law and four grandchildren.

"It has been my honor and privilege to serve as Highland County Juvenile and Probate Judge since 1997," Judge Greer said. "It has and will continue to be my goal every day to treat each person that comes before the court with respect and each case with the importance and attention necessary to reach a just result. If afforded the privilege of another term, I will continue to serve ethically and address each case timely and impartially.”