State Senator Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) announced the Senate's recent passage of legislation clarifying the legal authority of probate judges to issue search warrants in criminal cases. The bill passed the Ohio Senate with a unanimous, bipartisan vote.

"The bill makes a simple clarification to existing state law that would give probate judges the authority to issue warrants in criminal matters—a practice already widely utilized," said Senator Oelslager. "This legislation will greatly benefit our judicial system."

The law change was prompted by an Ohio Supreme Court case that originated in Senator Oelslager's district, challenging a local judge's statutory authority to issue a search warrant. 

Proponents of the clarifying language claim that the exclusion of probate judges was an oversight made decades ago.

In 1968, Ohio voters approved Issue 3, also known as the Modern Courts Amendment making probate courts a division of the state's common pleas courts. The language was never changed to include probate judges in the legal definition of "judge."

The proposed legislation now goes to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration. 

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