Magistrate Joseph Quatman shakes hands with newly hired Magistrate Christina Steffan. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Magistrate Joseph Quatman shakes hands with newly hired Magistrate Christina Steffan. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – On Friday afternoon, friends, family, and coworkers of Magistrate Joseph Quatman gathered in the Common Pleas Court Courtroom to wish Quatman a happy retirement. After 19 years in Van Wert County, Quatman’s final day was Friday.

Quatman is wrapping up a 40-year career that included work as a county attorney in Allen County for civil, neglect, and abuse cases. Eventually, he found his way to Van Wert County thanks to a phone call from then-judge Chuck Steele asking him to take the Magistrate position.

He said one of the reasons he stayed in the position for nearly 20 years was because he felt that he was making a difference. He noted that one of the most rewarding aspects of the job was “coming over here to try to make a difference with the kids both in domestic relations cases and the juvenile court.”

The most common cases that Quatman saw were divorces and disillusions.

“That means that families are parting and their goods and debts need to be divided equitably,” said Quatman. “But most importantly, the children need to be accounted for and their best interest has to be paramount in the determination in who they are with, how long they are there, and what the parents’ rights and responsibilities are in regard to continuing parenting beyond the breakup of the marriage."

Quatman resides in Lima and graduated from Shawnee High School. He attended Villanova University outside of Philadelphia and gained his law degree from Ohio Northern.

Law runs in his family as Quatman’s father was a Court of Appeals and Juvenile Probate Judge in Allen County.

In retirement, Quatman said he plans to regroup and decompress. He has three sons and six grandchildren that he plans to see more.

Despite living outside of the county, Quatman said he loves Van Wert County and plans to continue to frequent the area regularly.

“It’s been very fulfilling and I couldn’t be happier with how everything came together and allowed me to work with such wonderful people with both the staff there, who are top-notch professionals, the County Bar Association, and seeing how much they care and fight for their clients,” said Quatman. “I was just happy to contribute and do my best in making sure everyone got a fare shake.”

Quatman has been training incoming Magistrate Christina Steffan. Steffan is originally from Ottoville. She graduated from law school at the University of Toledo in 2002. From there, she worked in Delphos as an associate attorney and at the prosecutor's office in the juvenile division.

Prior to stepping into Van Wert County Magistrate position, Steffan was a Magistrate at the juvenile court in Allen County.