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About Judge Binette

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Judge Roger E. Binette is married with three children and a number of grandchildren. He is a 1979 graduate of Perkins High School; obtained an Associates of Arts Degree in 1983 from Firelands College; obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1986; and obtained a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1990. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1991.

Legal Experience

Judge Binette began his journey through the criminal justice field over 25 years ago. At the age of 20, he became a Child Care Worker (Corrections Officer) at the Erie County Detention Home. At the age of 21, he was then promoted to Assistant Director of the Detention Home with duties that included assisting in the supervision of twenty-seven (27) staff members. At the age of 23, he became a Juvenile Probation Officer, which entailed truancy duties for the Sandusky City School System.

In 1991, after passing the Ohio Bar Exam, Judge Binette became an Erie County Prosecutor assigned to the Erie County Drug Task Force. During his tenure at the Drug Task Force, he garnered many accomplishments. He was actively involved in helping to make Erie County’s neighborhoods safer by participating in “board up” of local bars, apartment buildings, and crack houses where drugs were sold via Project Phoenix/Operation Crack Down.

He is the creator and author of Ohio’s Forfeiture Law Manual, a manual that was widely utilized by prosecutors within the State of Ohio. In addition, he has been a guest lecturer at dozens of Forfeiture and Warrantless Search and Seizure seminars around the State of Ohio.

From 1992 to 2004, he operated a civil practice in a part-time capacity, which included Probate, Domestic Relations, Civil and business related cases.

In 1995, he was honored with a Certificate of Achievement for outstanding performance of duties as an Assistant Prosecutor.

In May of 2008, the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recognized Judge Binette as a “Patriotic Employer”. They acknowledged him for his contributing to the National Security and Protection of Liberty and Freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.

Organizations

Judge Binette is currently a member of the Ohio Common Pleas Judge Association, Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges, Ohio Judicial College, Ohio Jury Management Association, Ohio Bar Association, and Ohio Bar.

Judicial Experience

In 2004, Judge Binette was the “first ever” judge to be elected to the newly created fourth judgeship in Erie County, Ohio. He was elected to a six-year term.

In his first year on the Bench, the first jury trial he presided over was a “cold case”, which involved a rape that had occurred ten (10) years earlier. The jury convicted the defendant with DNA evidence being the lynchpin that linked the defendant to the crime, in spite of the fact that the victim was unable to identify her assailant. The Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed the conviction.  Judge Binette was re-elected in 2010 for a second term, and during his two terms on the bench Judge Binette has presided over 70 Jury / Bench trials.  These include both Criminal and Civil trials.  The Criminal trials include cases for murders, rapes, shootings,  criminal gangs and drugs.  His most recent Civil trial resulted in a verdict of over one million dollars against an insurance company for acting in Bad Faith.  
 
In addition to his Judicial duties at court, since 2012 Judge Binette has been the Administrative Judge over the Erie County Adult Probation since 2012.  During that time Judge Binette has been instrumental in securing numerous grants from the State of Ohio in amount over one million dollars.  Those grants have been used to expand the Adult Probation Department to include Probation Officers for Intensive Supervision, Electronic Monitoring, House Arrest, Thinking for Change, Community Service, and Non-Support of children cases.   Currently he is seeking a grant to provide better security at the Probation Department.  Judge Binette has been linked with many groups and committees in support of substance abuse rehabilitation, include the Sober Living home.  Judge Binette is, and has been since 2006, a Judicial Board member of a Community Based Correctional Facility (CROSSWAEH).

As a former Probation Officer,  and having a vision of seeing defendants change their lives to fulfill their purpose in life,  Judge Binette has played a very significant role in the essential improvements made to the Erie County Adult Probation Department.  He did this by working in conjunction with Chief Adult Probation Officer Karen Volz,  Court Administrator Vicki Fitzgerald,  and Judicial Administrator Lori Rickenbaugh.

Judge Binette believes that law-abiding citizens should not be made to feel like prisoners in their own homes. In that regard, he strongly believes that those citizens who deviate from a law-abiding lifestyle that impinges upon the security of other citizens should be held legally accountable for their actions through the Criminal Justice System.

For citizens seeking relief through our justice system by the filing of civil actions, he believes those matters should be resolved in a timely manner, without lingering for years unanswered. Resolution of most cases hinges on the expeditious manner in which a Court sets filing dates, conducts Case Management Conferences, rules on Motions, and establishes Trial Dates. Judge Binette has and will continue to make it a priority that these obligations are efficiently and expeditiously managed.