MIAMI — “It’s going to be a change” for Robert Haney, who retires Jan. 14 as District 13 Judge.

The first item on Haney’s post-retirement docket is to do some traveling with his wife, Mary.

Haney, whose district includes Ottawa and Delaware counties, first took his seat on the bench Jan. 11, 1999 and turns his gavel over on Monday, Jan. 14.

Delaware County associate judge Barry Denney of Jay, who ran unopposed, will succeed him.

“I believe I have served the counties well,” Haney said during a retirement reception Monday, Dec. 31 at the Ottawa County Courthouse.

Haney previously had practiced law in Ottawa County for 23 years.

A Hominy native, he originally had come to Miami as a potential livestock buyer, but turned down the job.

He did wind up here at the request of another attorney, and then opted to run for the judicial seat.

“You think the 20 years has flown by, but you really don’t realize how fast it’s gone until it’s done,” Haney said.

“The biggest change is the lack of funding from the legislative branch of the government,” he said. “They basically want the judiciary to be self funded. Unfortunately to be that, they would require the judiciary to really get into the collection side of fines, costs and that area. Now not only do we get them in and adjudicate their case, but then we have to be able to make them pay the fines and costs.

“A lot of people say you should really do that. But it take time to do that.”