Adult Probation Department

The Ottawa County Common Pleas Court Adult Probation Department is located on the 3rd Floor of the Courthouse.

The role of the Probation Department is to supervise Offenders placed on Community Control/Probation, Intervention In Lieu of Conviction, Judicial Release, and the Specialized Dockets Programs. The Department is responsible for upholding community standards of safety and protecting the public, along with rehabilitating Offenders. Probationers are referred to services with local agencies to assist with substance abuse treatment, mental health issues, physical health care, group recovery support and other support systems, housing needs, vocational services, educational needs, parenting and family concerns, financial resources, crisis resolution, and recreational involvement.

All Probation Officers also serve as Bailiffs of the Court, perform all drug testing services, and conduct all Pre-Sentence Investigations and Reports.

Staff

Judy Flood

Judy Flood is a graduate of Seneca East High School in Attica, Ohio and graduated magma cum laude from the University of Toledo, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.  After completing college, Judy attended the University of Toledo College of Law and earned her Juris Doctorate, graduating cum laude.

Prior to working for the Court, Judy worked in a juvenile detention center and as a Juvenile Probation Officer, along with adjunct faculty positions with the University of Toledo and Owens Community College. Judy is a practicing attorney specializing in probate, real estate, business formation, bankruptcy, and juvenile law. She is a member of the Ottawa County Bar Association.

In 2009, Judy began working with the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court and accepted the position of Chief Probation Officer in 2011.  As Chief Probation Officer, Judy is responsible for the operation of the Adult Probation Department, which supervises individuals on Bond, Diversion, Intervention in Lieu of Conviction, Probation, Intensive Probation Supervision, Drug Court, and Mental Health Court. In addition, the Adult Probation Department is responsible for preparing Pre-Sentence Investigation Reports and Reports for the Court regarding Motions for Judicial Release and Motions to Seal Records.

Judy can be reached by email at jflood@co.ottawa.oh.us.


Melany Smythe

Melany Smythe attended Bowling Green State University earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

Melany has worked as an investigator for the Erie County Department of Human Services as well as serving as a Program Coordinator for the Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board of Erie County.  Melany also has significant experience working for 10 years within the Sandusky City Schools serving as the Career Development Coordinator at EHOVE.

Melany accepted the position of Intensive Supervision Probation Officer with the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court in 2009.  As the Intensive Supervision Probation Officer, she supervises individuals who are placed on probation, most who have serious substance abuse issues.  She supervises these individuals and assists them with obtaining counseling and treatment, as well as assisting the individual to seek and maintain employment.  In many instances has daily or weekly contact with the individuals to ensure compliance with the terms of his or her probation.

Melany can be reached by email at msmythe@co.ottawa.oh.us


Michael Patterson

Michael Patterson is a graduate of Findlay High School and Bowling Green State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.  After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, Michael attended the University of Toledo College of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate.

Prior to accepting a position with the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court, Michael was employed as Title IV-D counsel with the Ottawa County Child Support Enforcement Agency.  He represented the Child Support Enforcement Agency in various proceedings against individuals who owed child support.  Michael also has experience working with the Wood County Public Defender’s Office and the City of Findlay Law Director’s Office.

Michael accepted the position of Probation Officer and Deputy Bailiff with the Common Pleas Court in 2010.  As a Probation Officer, Michael supervises various individuals who are sentenced to probation by the Common Pleas Court Judge.  He assists the individuals with obtaining any necessary counseling services, completing community service, and seeking and maintaining employment.  In addition to his duties as a Probation Officer, Michael also acts as a Deputy Bailiff for the Court and is responsible for calling court and preparing various entries for criminal cases.

Michael can be reached by email at mpatterson@co.ottawa.oh.us


Richard Dale

Richard Dale is a graduate of Anderson High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He earned both an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. He has served in and was honorably discharged from the Ohio Army National Guard.

Prior to working with the Court, Richard worked with federal and state halfway houses for the State of Kentucky Bureau of Prisons and for the United States Cabinet of Corrections. He also served as Senior Paralegal for Manley Burke, LPA, a law firm in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Richard accepted the position of Probation Officer in 2012. He is responsible for overseeing the Courts, Probation, Pretrial, and Pre-Sentencing drug and alcohol testing. In addition to these duties, he also completes pre-sentence investigations for individuals who have been found guilty or have plead guilty to various crimes that have occurred in Ottawa County. He also supervises individuals whom live outside of Ottawa County and facilitates probation transfers.

Richard can be reached by email at rdale@co.ottawa.oh.us


Andrea Cochran

Andrea Cochran earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the Tiffin University. Prior to working with the Court, Andrea worked with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office in both the corrections and administrative division.

Andrea accepted the position of Probation Officer in 2018. She is responsible for overseeing the pre-trial services and supervises Offenders on bond for the Court. She is also responsible for managing the drug and alcohol testing program.

Andrea can be reached by email at acochran@co.ottawa.oh.us


Collin Salyers

Collin Salyers is a graduate of Port Clinton High School and a lifelong resident of Ottawa County. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tiffin University. He is also an OPOTA Certified Police Officer.

Prior to working with the Court, Collin worked the Seneca County Drug Task Force Metrich Enforcement Unit. He is currently a member of the Port Clinton Fire Department.

Collin accepted the position of Probation Officer in 2018. He is responsible for overseeing the Court, Probation, Pretrial, and Pre-Sentencing drug and alcohol testing.

Collin can be reached by email at csalyers@co.ottawa.oh.us


Jean Deis

Jean Deis is a graduate of Port Clinton High School and a life-long resident of Port Clinton.Prior to working for the Adult Probation Department, Jean worked in the legal profession as a secretary for Moon, Moon, and Norbirtt for 17 years.  She has worked as a paralegal specializing in of law in real estate, probate, and adoptions with Cooper, Straub, Walinski and Cramer in Toledo, Ohio. She has also served as the Clerk of the Ottawa County Municipal Court and a Clerical Specialist with the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services.

Jean was hired as the Adult Probation Secretary in 2003. Her various duties telephone management for the Probation Department, contacting and communicating updates to other law enforcement agencies, assisting in the completion of records checks, maintaining and managing all probation files, ensuring payment of bills for the Probation Department, preparing penalty sheets for new indictments, and assisting in the drug testing program.

Jean can be reached by email at jdeis@co.ottawa.oh.us.


Drug Testing

The Adult Probation Department utilizes innovative technologies and programs to assist in the supervision of Probationers. These include ensuring community service completion, utilizing electronic monitoring devices, and case planning with each Probationer.

Following each drug test, Offenders and Defendants will be informed if the result of the test was positive or negative. Positive tests will be sent to an independent lab for verification. The cost associated with each test is $5.00. For each positive result, an addition $10.00 is charged per substance for lab verification. All costs will be added to a probationer’s or Defendant’s Court costs.

All Probationers and Defendants with pending criminal cases are subject to drug testing. The Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy is signed by Defendant and provides additional information and instructions. The testing line can be reached at 419-734-6893.

Pretrial Services and Sentencing

Prior to sentencing, Defendants are supervised using bond services and monitoring, and are subject to a Presentence Investigation.

Bond Services and Monitoring

All Defendants are subject to a recommendation from Bond Commissioner. Defendants are given standard conditions of bond, which include a curfew and random drug testing. Special conditions may be added to include GPS or SCRAM monitoring, no contact with a victim or Co-Defendant, no driving, surrendering of passport, daily reporting, and medication compliance. Bond monitoring involves the daily, weekly, or monthly reporting of Defendants released on bond.

Presentence Investigations

Overview

Once a Defendant enters a plea of guilty to a felony offense or is convicted at trial, a Pre-Sentence investigation is ordered and conducted by the Probation Department. The ORAS (Ohio Risk Assessment) tool is also used to determine an Offender’s risk to reoffend, as well needs, in order to assist the Offender in changing behavior.

Process

Defendants will first be asked to complete paperwork and return it to the Probation Department. Next, the Offender is interviewed and information is gathered on the Defendant’s criminal history, education, employment, financial situation, family and social support, neighborhood, substance use, peers, and attitudes toward the crime committed. Finally, all information in the report is verified and relevant information from a variety of parties, including law enforcement and other probation departments, the victims, family and friends of the Defendant, medical and mental health and addiction treatment providers, and employers is obtained. In addition, reports are collected from various sources, including school reports, financial reports, and criminal background data.

A Pre-Sentence report is prepared for the Court utilizing this information and provides a sentencing recommendation. This report enables the Court to ensure a just sentencing and that the public is protected. Pre-Sentence reports are confidential documents.

Diversion

The Prosecutor’s Office oversees the Diversion Program of the Court. They can be contacted at 419-734-6845 for additional information, or by the website.

Intervention in Lieu of Conviction

Intervention in Lieu of Conviction (IILC) is utilized when the drug and/or alcohol usage by the Defendant was a factor of the criminal offenses that the Defendant has been charged with. It is also available to Defendants, who at the time of committing that offense, had a mental illness or were a person with intellectual disability. Defendants must be motivated to participate in and want treatment. In addition, the following conditions must apply to qualify:

  • Drug use, alcohol use, mental health, or intellectual disabilities are a factor leading to the offense
  • The Defendant is not changes with a Felony of the 1st 2nd or 3rd Degree, along with no Felony 4 Trafficking charges
  • The Defendant is not charged with an offense of violence and/or an offense against the elderly

In order to apply, a Motion for Intervention in Lieu is filed by Defense Attorney and the Defendant’s Affidavit is completed, notarized, and turned into Adult Probation. The Adult Probation Department will interview the Defendant and administer the ORAS. In addition, they will determine if the Defendant statutorily qualifies and is appropriate and will make a recommendation to the Court.

If the request for IILC is granted by the Court, the Defendant’s plea of guilty is entered. Generally, Defendant are expected to comply with general conditions of community control and special conditions, such as complete treatment, group recovery meetings, medication compliance, restitution, and community service.

If IILC is successfully completed, the case against the Defendant will be dismissed. If the Defendant fails to comply with any term or condition, a hearing will be held to determine if a violation occurred. If the Court determines there was a failure to comply, a finding of guilty will be imposed and the Court will proceed to sentencing.

Basic Community Control

Defendants are eligible for community control, provided they are not convicted of an offense requiring a mandatory sentence. There is a presumption of community control if offense is Felony 4 or 5 and there is no exception, such as the following:

  • Sex offenses
  • Previous felony (s)
  • Violation of Bond
  • Defendant on Community Control at time of offense
  • Crime of violence

After entering a plea or pleas, Defendant is referred for Pre-Sentence Investigation, where he/she meets with a Probation Officer and the ORAS is administered. Defendants are placed on Community Control for typically 3 years.

While on probation, Defendants must comply with General Conditions of Community Control and other special conditions, which may include SCRAM/GPS monitoring, treatment, and Thinking for a Change.

If Defendants fail to comply with these conditions, a Complaint of Community Control can be filed by the Adult Probation Department or a Motion of Violation can be filed by the Prosecutor’s Office. The matter will proceed to Hearing and Disposition.

Intensive Supervision Program

The Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) is generally for Offenders who have failed at standard Community Control and require more intensive supervision. These Defendants are likely enrolled in other programs such as Specialized Docket Court, Intensive Outpatient Programming, and Thinking for a Change.

Judicial Release

Defendants whom are sentenced to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections may be eligible for Judicial Release. Depending on the sentencing offense, Judicial Release may be granted if the legal eligibility is met, a favorable institutional report is provided, and appropriate resources are available in the community.

Sealing of a Record

Defendants may make application for the sealing of their Court record in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code. The Probation Department investigates such applications, verifies that the Defendant meets the statutory requirements, and reports the finding to the Court. Please contact the Probation Department for further information regarding record sealing.