The Honorable Judge Jay A. Meyer was elected by the Seneca County Voters to serve as their Juvenile and Probate Judge in 2008. Judge Meyer is a lifelong resident of Seneca County who grew up in a large family that included many foster children. Public service is a core family value that was passed down to him by his parents, the Honorable Gerald D. Meyer (Seneca County Juvenile and Probate Judge 1978-1998) and Jo Ann Meyer.
Judge Meyer is a graduate of Tiffin Columbian High School. He received his B.A. from Ohio Northern University and went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from Ohio Northern University. After Law School, Judge Meyer served as an Assistant County Prosecutor for Seneca County and worked with the Seneca County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) to pursue parents who failed to pay child support and the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services (SCDJFS) to prosecute those who would cheat the welfare system.
In 1998, Judge Meyer went into private practice working for the Shuff Law Offices until he became a partner in 1999. During his 10 years as partner of the law firm of Meyer & Kerschner, Judge Meyer focused primarily on business/institutional representation, litigation and probate.
Since taking the bench, Judge Meyer and his administrative team have aggressively sought grant opportunities to expand Court services resulting in the following:
- Seneca County Youth Center – In 2012, a new state of the art detention facility opened. This $3,130,000.00 center was built with 60% funding by the Ohio Department of Youth Services and 40% funding by the General Fund of Seneca County. This new facility affords appropriate space for enhanced programming and therapeutic care of Seneca County’s at-risk youth.
- Family Intervention Court (FIC) – FIC is an intensive therapeutic probation program designed to address mental health, alcohol and substance abuse problems in families which cause reoccurring negative contacts with the Juvenile Court. The program was initially funded by levy funds provided by Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot County Mental Health and Recovery Services. Judge Meyer, through efficient fiscal management, now funds this Program without levy support.
- Diversion Program – This valuable program was re-established by Judge Meyer through his proactive maximization of the RECLAIM Ohio Grant. The Diversion Program identifies appropriate non-violent first-time offenders and diverts them into programming. Diversion successfully prevents most juveniles from further penetrating the juvenile justice system.
- Community Service/Restitution Program– This essential program was also brought back to life by Judge Meyer through his proactive maximization of the RECLAIM Ohio Grant. Community Service is a valuable tool for the Court to teach our youth lessons in responsibility, accountability and community. Grant dollars allow the Court to employ a dedicated officer to maximize community service opportunities for kids. The Restitution Program protects our victims by allowing youth to work off their restitution obligation through community service resulting in grant dollars being paid directly to the victims.
- IV-D Contract– Starting in 2009, under Judge Meyer’s leadership, the Juvenile Court collaborated with the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services to enter into annual contracts to capture federal reimbursement dollars for the Court’s services related to child support. Beginning in April of 2009 through December 2017, the Court’s efforts under the IV-D contracts have brought $1,061,012.35 into the County’s General Fund.
- Solid Waste District Contract – In an effort to maximize the potential benefits of the Community Service Program, the Court has entered into agreements since 2010 with the Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca Joint Solid Waste Management District for highway litter clean-up. This opportunity allows juveniles to give-back to the community and the district provides supports for the supervision services of the Community Service Officer.
- Indigent Guardianship Program– At the direction of Judge Meyer, the Probate Court has successfully obtained grant money for the continued operation of the Indigent Guardianship Program in the amount of $525,000.00. This funding was obtained from the Allen Eiry Board since 2009 through a competitive grant application process. The Indigent Guardianship Program provides 24-hour, 7 day a week, on-call guardianship services for residents of Seneca County over the age of 55 that are indigent and who suffer from incompetency or mental illness.
- Behavioral Health Services Grant – Beginning in 2013, Juvenile Court applied for and obtained levy funding to provide behavioral health services to youth by licensed, master’s prepared therapists on site at the Seneca County Youth Center. From July of 2013 through June of 2018, Seneca County levy funds of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties provided $210,000.00.
- Supreme Court Technology Grant – the Court applied for and has obtained grant funding from the Ohio Supreme Court for enhanced security equipment.
Judge Meyer’s community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Seneca County Commission on Aging, the Board of Directors for the Tiffin-Bucyrus YMCA and on the Governing Board of the Northern Ohio Community Correctional Facility. He is a past member of the Tiffin Rotary Club where he has previously served as Auction Finance Co-Chair for the Tiffin Rotary Auction. He is a past member of the Support Service Committee for Tiffin City Schools and has served as a Celebrity Reader for area kindergartners. He is a past Director of the Christian Counseling Center, Community Hospice Care, and Tiffin-Seneca United Way.
Judge Meyer supports Seneca County youth. Meyer was the featured speaker at the 2013 National Machinery Citizenship Awards and also served as a Mock Trial Judge for Tiffin City Schools. In 2015, he was the keynote speaker for the Tiffin City Schools Academic Letter Breakfast. He has served as a Career Day panelist and as a drug awareness group discussion panelist at NCOESC. Meyer has served as a career day speaker for Tiffin City and Calvert Schools and as a mentor for the Seneca Area Career System Mentorship Program.
Meyer enjoys coaching youth and has served as a youth basketball and volleyball coach. He currently serves as the freshman boys basketball coach for Tiffin Calvert.
Judge Meyer’s professional associations include the Ohio State Bar Association, Probate and Juvenile Judges Association, Ohio Association of Probate Judges, American Judges Association, Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges, National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges, the Ohio Judicial Conference, National College of Probate Judges and the Seneca County Bar Association. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1996 and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court, Northern and Southern District of Ohio.
Judge Meyer and his wife Heidi, have four children.