ASHLAND — Another group of Amish people appeared before Judge John Good in the Ashland Municipal Court on Tuesday, where he once again ordered certificates of judgement against each of them to collect fines the Amish have refused to pay for violating Ohio's buggy law.
The certificates issued to Mose Glick, Mosie Gingerich, Elmer Hershberger, Levi Hostetler, Levi J. Hostetler, Andy Miller and Eli Yoder were for the costs of their fines plus statutory interest, which will continue to accumulate until the fines are paid off.
The Amish that appeared in court on Tuesday were ticketed — sometimes multiple times — for not having a flashing light on their buggies last fall. In subsequent hearings they have refused to pay their fines, saying it would go against their religious beliefs.
Good's ruling on Tuesday was "not just about" collecting the unpaid fines, he said.
"The court's authority is being flaunted and my ability to follow the law, enforce the law (is) being challenged and that's more than just $50," he said.
All of the certificates — except for Yoder's — will be sent to the Ashland County Clerk of Courts on Wednesday, where they will likely be imposed as liens on the Amish's real estate, Good said.
Yoder's certificate will be held by the municipal court for 30 days to allow him to seek legal advice, which Good suggested he do after Yoder asked if he could appeal his case.
Yoder's chance to appeal would have been within 30 days of his sentencing back in November, but Good said it would still be possible for him to object to the judgement or submit a request for relief from the judgement.
Good agreed to give Yoder 30 days, but still issued the certificate because he did not want to have any more hearings in Yoder's case, he said.
"(These hearings) accomplish nothing except taking up tremendous amounts of time and resources," Good said.
Yoder also appeared unsure if he would pay his fines or not, saying that the only reason he "might" pay it is because he "realized he made a mistake" by failing to turn in some paperwork to the court.
Another group of Amish who refuse to pay their fines will appear back in Good's court on May 22 and May 23.