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My Story

         I lived most of my childhood and young adult years in Minerva, Ohio and consider that to be my hometown. I come from a

humble and often difficult upbringing. I am proud of my journey and openly share it, hoping it sparks inspiration for any needing it. My background has provided me with a unique insight regarding the struggles facing many of the families appearing in Family Court. It has allowed me to decide over cases with a sense of accountability, compassion, and empathy.

          My biological father was rarely involved in my life. My brother, sister,  and I were raised by my mother and stepfather. My stepfather was an abusive alcoholic who would resort to anger, exposing my family to domestic violence. We relied heavily on public assistance to live. There were many days where food was scarce, and sometimes, not available. We had to rely on churches and/or food pantries, particularly around the holidays. My family often had utilities shut off and we moved frequently due to evictions. Family stability was not a luxury I would know until my teenage years.

          Two positive influences helped me to break the cycle of poverty and the trauma of abuse. First was my uncle, a veteran employed by the Timken Company until his retirement, role modeled a strong work ethic. He planted the seed of what can come from hard work and perseverance. Second was the family of my lifelong friend. They allowed me to live with them from my high school freshman year and well into my undergraduate years. Teaching me family values, work ethic, integrity, responsibility, and commitment, this family became my family, and provided me with the support and stability every child deserves. Support and stability created the foundation I needed to grow, and excel, as both a young man, and a promising professional.

          Their support led me to graduate from Minerva High School in 1991. I went on to complete my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Studies, with a Minor in Paralegal Studies from Kent State University. While working full time at Minerva Dairy, I enrolled in the University of Akron, School of Law. I graduated with my Juris Doctorate and obtained my law license in 2004.

Family 1.jpg
Family 1.jpg

Family Matters

Family does not require a blood relation. So, I suppose, given my upbringing, it comes as no surprise that family has become an integral part of who I am. My wife, Diane, a Certified Nurse Practitioner, whom I met in 2010, and married in 2016, shares a similar vision of family. Although I am quite proud of the professional I have become, it is the family Diane and I have created that I consider my greatest accomplishment. My daughter Madeline, stepchildren, Alex, Sydney, and Scott, along with our dogs Henry, Cora and Zeus make up my most valued possession, my family.


Work Ethic Matters

I am no stranger to hard work and dedication. During my undergraduate studies I worked at Minerva Dairy, attended class, and I did an internship at the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority. During my internship, I regularly attended court and administrative hearings on issues of housing as well as conducted research. During law school I continued to maintain several places of employment. I served as law clerk at a reputable personal injury firm that represented clients in personal injury, wrongful death, medical/legal malpractice, contract disputes, automobile accidents, dog bite injuries, and insurance claims. Also, during law school, I served as law clerk to the Law Director for the Village of Minerva where I conducted research and drafted documents. Finally, I continued to work at Minerva Dairy when I was able. During my years of private practice, I continued to work at Minerva Dairy while building my practice. After becoming an attorney with the Stark County Public Defender Office I took a position with Lowe’s and worked as an attorney during the day and worked at Lowe’s during evenings and weekends; I continued to work both jobs until becoming an attorney with the Child Support Enforcement Agency. To this day, I routinely come to work more than an hour early to prepare for the day’s hearings and other duties my position requires.


2004 - 2007

2007 - 2010

2010 - 2014

2014 - 2020

2020 - Present

General Practice

Handled matters that included domestic relations, custody, traffic offenses, contract preparation, probate, wills, property damage, and personal injury.

Attorney for Stark County Public Defender Office

Family Court division representing adults in Dependency/Neglect/Abuse cases, adults charged with contempt of court, and cases where adults were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and represented juvenile delinquency cases. Also assigned to the Municipal Court division representing adults with criminal charges.

Attorney for Stark County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA)

Represented the interest of the CSEA in matters of child support, including contempt actions, paternity actions, setting support amounts, issues of arrears, collection of spousal support, and in reviewing trusts to determine if the assets of the trust can be counted as available resources for Medicaid purposes. Provided legal advice and guidance to caseworkers and other CSEA staff.

Magistrate, Stark County Family Court                


Considered arguments of parties and counsel, taken testimony and evidence, considered the credibility of witnesses, ruled on objections during trials, impartially applied the law to the facts of a case, issued interim orders, and, rendered final decisions in all areas of law handled by the court. Provided access to justice for all those entering my courtroom; promoted and provided education to the public as to the services of the Family Court; and, updated local rules and policies.

Chief Magistrate, Stark County Family Court  


In addition to the responsibilities of a magistrate, as Chief Magistrate I provide supervision and guidance to assigned court departments and personnel; evaluate requests for expedited hearings; consider Ex Parte requests when Judges are unavailable; create and manage the magistrates’ schedule ensuring docket coverage; continuously apprise magistrates of procedure and/or statutory changes during regularly scheduled magistrates’ meeting. Attend regularly scheduled Judges meeting to provide feedback and input regarding the administrative responsibilities of the court, i.e., policy and procedure development and/or changes; personnel; finance; asset allocation; and local, state, and national initiatives of the court.

Knowledge Matters

My time spent in general practice, as a public defender and as a child support attorney, coupled with my experience as a Family Court Magistrate/Chief Magistrate, gives me the well-rounded experience needed to understand all angles of the court system.
Stark County Family Court | Serving the community by protecting families
I was honored to assist the Stark Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Board with Stark Help Central’s creation of educational videos designed to inform the community of how the Family Court operates.
*Video filmed in 2022
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  • Stark County Bar Association

  • Stark County Bar Association Family Law Committee

           – Bench Chair for the Committee

  • Ohio Child Support Advisory Council 

  • Ohio Bar Association

  • Ohio Association of Magistrates

  • United Way of Greater Stark County Board of Directors

  • Stark County Community Corrections Planning Board

  • 35th class of the Leadership Stark County Signature Program

  • Stark County Bar Association Executive Committee

  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Security and Logistics Committee

  • Arika’s Angels Advisory Board

  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Additional Experience

  • Working Together for Kids seminar – provided education to non-married parents regarding co-parenting skills to reduce conflict between parents and trauma to children.

  • STAR Court program – Presided over hearings for the specialized drug court docket.

  •  Informal truancy docket – Presided over the informal truancy docket, designed to assist the schools in meeting the tenants of House Bill 410

  • Part of the Committee that created the current Parenting Time Schedules

  • Developed and recorded a truancy process explanation video for Stark County School Districts.

  • Annually participate in Stark County Fatherhood Coalition’s “Father’s Walk Your Kids to School” initiative.

  • Routinely present information regarding Family Court to rotary clubs, schools, and organizations


  • Votes for Woman

  • Stark County Bar Association - "Highly Recommend"

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