Secretary of State Jon Husted administered the oath of office Friday in the rotunda of the Scioto County Courthouse and Matthew McFarland began his third term as judge of the Fourth District Court of Appeals. McFarland was first elected in 2004 and each term served on that court is six years long.
“It’s a blessing,” McFarland said. “I was very fortunate to win 14 counties by the percentage that we did win. So I’m hopeful that the voters and the citizens appreciate our job that my staff and I are doing and I’m honored to be able to serve the judiciary in a small part for the next six years.”
As a part of his remarks to the crowd in attendance, McFarland quoted John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
“Judges are like umpires. We call balls and strikes. We don’t get to pitch. We don’t get to bat,” McFarland said. “Sometimes in doing that, they take offense to the umpires, but no one ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”
McFarland took the opportunity to explain the uniqueness of the Court of Appeals.
“The Supreme Court only takes a select few number of cases. Their’s is a discretionary jurisdiction, except for death penalty cases, so they pick and choose cases that involve a constitutional question, or a case of great public concern for all Ohio,” McFarland said. “The Court of Appeals in the twelve districts, on the other hand, have no choice but to accept every case on appeal. So for many Ohioans, they get one appeal and it may stop with their geographical district, and for us, that’s the Fourth District.”
McFarland has served as a visiting Judge on the Supreme Court of Ohio and on the 10th District Court of Appeals. The Judge previously served as the Magistrate in Scioto County Common Pleas Court Probate/Juvenile Division, and as Chairman of the Ohio Association of Magistrates, Juvenile Section. Prior to serving on the bench, he was a Scioto County Assistant Prosecutor and acted as Special Counsel for the Ohio Attorney General. He also was a Licking County Assistant County Prosecutor and had his own private practice.
“I look forward to serving the citizens of Ohio again hopefully for many more years,” McFarland said.
McFarland will begin his new term on Feb. 9.