Judge Bios

About the Court

Mansfield Municipal Court has jurisdiction over all of Richland County, with the exception of Shelby, Shiloh, Plymouth (Richland County) and six Northern Townships. The Court handles traffic, misdemeanor criminal and civil cases.

The court has been a state and national leader in developing innovative approaches to reduce recidivism while lowering the cost to taxpayer of operating the court. By 2004 the court was operating two Specialized Dockets, among the first in the country. (Drug Treatment and Mental Health Court)

While some refer to these courts as “Problem Solving Courts”, a Specialized Docket is designed to hold offenders accountable while working with them to address challenges often contributing to their actions such as substance abuse, addiction and/or mental health issues. By addressing these problems utilizing monies from grants and other non-tax funding sources, the offenders often do not repeat the offense. Reduction of offenders repeating their offenses remains a significant goal of the Specialized Dockets.

During 2008 the court opened a Domestic Violence Specialized Docket and in 2009 a Veteran’s Court. Both along with the Mental Health Docket were one of the first in the United States. Today Specialized Dockets are common in Ohio and across the country.

Among other programs designed to better serve the public good while reducing the cost of incarceration include probation and house arrest programs such as TIDE, Diversion, Electronic Monitoring, and General Probation. On the civil side a new Mediation Program serves to expedite resolution of some cases while stream lining others to be heard by the court.

Honorable Judge Michael J. Kemerer

From his time as a Police Explorer to the honor of serving as a Delegate for Buckeye Boys State, Mansfield Municipal Court Presiding Judge Michael J. Kemerer has always had an interest in the law and serving the community. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University and his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law, Michael became an Assistant Mansfield Law Director in 2006. Prior to moving to Mansfield, he assisted with domestic violence prosecutions in the Toledo Municipal Court Prosecutor’s Office.

In 2007, he was promoted to the supervisory position of First Assistant Law Director, a position he held until taking the bench in 2024. Michael is also proud to have performed the duties of Criminal Solicitor for the Village of Bellville until his election to the bench and to have educated future members of the legal community as a North Central State College Adjunct Faculty Member.

Judge Kemerer is honored to serve his community and is especially proud to oversee two specialized docket programs created by his predecessor, the late Judge Jerry Ault: a Domestic Violence Court and a Veterans Court. These programs increase collaboration between the Court and treatment providers, which has been proven to be cost-effective and reduces recidivism.

Judge Kemerer’s wife, Carrie, is the Director of The Shelby Foundation and shares his desire to work towards the betterment of Richland County. In 2013, they welcomed their son, Jude, and, in 2018, they became the first and only married couple to each win the Richland Young Professionals 10 Under 40 Award in the same year.

Judge Kemerer is also proud to have served on the Sacred Heart School and Mansfield Memorial Homes Boards, volunteer as a Consultant for the American Legion’s Buckeye Boys State program, and to be a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Mansfield.

Honorable Judge C. Badnell


  • Ohio Northern University, 1994
  • Claude W. Pettit College of Law
  • Juris Doctor
  • The Ohio State University, 1991
  • Fisher College of Business
  • Bachelor of Science, Finance
  • The Supreme Court of Ohio 1994
  • Commonwealth of Kentucky 1996
  • District of Columbia 1997
  • United States District Court
  • Southern District of Ohio 1996
  • United States District Court
  • Northern District of Ohio 1997
  • Ohio Judicial Conference
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Richland County Bar Association

Magistrate John D. McCollister

Magistrate John McCollister has been a Magistrate with the Court since 2017. Prior to his appointment as Magistrate, Mr. McCollister was an associate attorney with the Columbus based law firm Koenig and Long, LLC, representing criminal clients in Common Pleas and Municipal Courts. Mr. McCollister began his career as an Assistant Law Director with the Mansfield Law Director’s Office, where he remained for nine years. Mr. McCollister received his Juris Doctorate Degree from Capital University Law School and his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Ohio University.