Elected Officials > Judges Serving Erie County

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Donnelly

Official Website: Justice Michael P. Donnelly

January 1, 2019 - present
Last day of current term: December 31, 2024


Justice Michael P. Donnelly is the 160th justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. He took office January 1, 2019, following his statewide election in November 2018 to a full term on the Court. The last day of his current term is Dec. 31, 2024.

Prior to joining the state Court, Justice Donnelly served as a judge on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, General Division for 14 years, from 2005 to 2018. He was elected to the seat in November 2004 and re-elected in 2010 and 2016.

Before serving as a member of the local judiciary, Justice Donnelly was an assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor from 1992 until 1997. He then went on to practice civil litigation for seven years, representing plaintiffs and injured workers in asbestos litigation, personal injury lawsuits, and workers’ compensation claims. 

In recent years, Justice Donnelly served as chair of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism and currently is a member of both the Ohio State Board of Bar Examiners and the Ohio Jury Instruction Committee. He was appointed by the chief justice to the Ohio Supreme Court Death Penalty Task Force in 2013.

In addition, from 2010 to 2017, he was one of five judges on Cuyahoga County’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Court, which oversees criminal cases involving defendants who suffer from schizophrenia, schizophrenic disorder, or a developmental disability. He also has been a faculty member of the Ohio Judicial College, teaching both attorneys and judges at numerous continuing-legal-education seminars on professionalism and issues of civil and criminal justice reform.

He is a proud recipient of the Honorable William K. Thomas Professionalism Award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and also received the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) 2017 Public Service Award.

Justice Donnelly serves on the board of the Cleveland Baseball Federation, which helps inner-city boys and girls play baseball and softball in the summer at no charge. He also was involved with the development of the Western Reserve Fire Museum, which educates children about fire safety.

He is a graduate of St. Ignatius High School and John Carroll University, both in Cleveland, and received his Juris Doctor degree from Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 1992.

He and his wife, Nancy, reside in Cleveland Heights. They have two children.

Articles authored and/or co-authored
by Justice Donnelly

  • 12.14.2020 - How a Spreadsheet Could Change the Criminal-Justice System | A lack of data instills trial-court judges with enormous, largely unrestrained sentencing power | Pierre H. Bergeron, Judge with the Ohio Court of Appeals and Michael P. Donnelly, Justice with the Ohio Supreme Court | The Atlantic
  • 1.24.2021 - Judges On Race Lack Of Data Deters Criminal Justice Reform | On the heels of nationwide calls to address systemic racism and inequality, sitting judges shed light on
    the disparities that exist in the justice system and how to guard against bias | Pierre H. Bergeron, Judge with the Ohio Court of Appeals and Michael P. Donnelly, Justice with the Ohio Supreme Court | Law360

 

Admitted in Bar:
1992
Born:
August 30, 1966
Residence:
Cleveland Heights
High School:
St. Ignatius High School
College:
John Carroll University
Law School:
Cleveland Marshall College of Law

Legal Experience:

  • Former Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor (1992-1997)
  • Davis & Young (1997-1999)
  • Climaco, Lefkowitz, Peca, Wilcox & Garofoli (1999-2004) 

Appointments:

  • Appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to the Commission on Professionalism (2007 – 2012); Served as Chairman, 2012
  • Ohio State Board of Bar Examiners (2014 – Present)
  • Ohio Jury Instructions Committee (2013 – Present)
  • Appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court Death Penalty Task Force 2013
  • Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association Board of Trustees; Elected Third Vice President, 2015

Awards:

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Outstanding Service as a Trustee 2015
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Hon. William K. Thomas Professionalism Award 2015

Justice Michael P. Donnelly
The Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215-3436
614-387-9000

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody J. Stewart

Official Website: Justice Melody J. Stewart

January 2, 2019 - present
Last day of current term: January 1, 2025


Justice Melody J. Stewart was elected in November 2018 to a full term as the 161st Justice to serve on the Court. Justice Stewart was sworn into office on January 2, 2019 and her last day of this current term will be January 2, 2025. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Stewart served on the Eighth District Court of Appeals – elected to an unexpired term in 2006, and twice reelected to full terms. She served as the court’s Administrative Judge in 2013.

Justice Stewart has more than 30 years of combined administrative, legal, and academic experience. She was an administrator for a health care management company, a music teacher, a civil defense litigator, and a law school administrator and professor before being elected to the Court of Appeals. While on the appellate court, Justice Stewart was assigned to hear cases in other appellate districts and on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Justice Stewart earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati; her law degree as a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University; and her Ph.D. as a Mandel Leadership Fellow at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. She also was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Cleveland State University in 2018.

After practicing law as an assistant law director for the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, Justice Stewart worked as a lecturer, an adjunct instructor, and an assistant dean at Cleveland-Marshall before joining the full-time faculty. Her primary teaching areas were ethics and professional responsibility, criminal law, criminal procedure, and legal research, writing, and advocacy. Additionally, she taught at the University of Toledo College of Law and at Ursuline College. She also was director of student services at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law.

Justice Stewart has served on many boards of trustees and been a member of various professional, educational, civic, and community organizations. She also served as a commissioner and chair of the Board of Planning and Zoning for the city of Euclid. Recently, Justice Stewart completed serving as a member of the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee; on the board of the Supreme Court’s Judicial College; and as chair of the Ohio Capital Case Attorney Fee Council.

Justice Stewart is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Ohio, the District of Columbia, and the United States Supreme Court.

Of historical note: Justice Stewart is the first African-American woman elected to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Justice Melody J. Stewart
The Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215-3436
614-387-9000

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Brunner

Official Website: Justice Jennifer Brunner

January 2, 2021 - present
Last day of current term: January 1, 2027

PRIOR JUDICIAL PUBLIC SERVICE:

From 2014 through 2020, Justice Brunner served as an elected state appeals court judge of the Tenth District Court of Appeals located in Franklin County, Ohio. She previously served as a Franklin County Common Pleas judge from 2000 through 2005, founding its adult felony drug court, the TIES Program (Treatment is Essential to Success), still in operation today.

PRIOR ELECTIVE PUBLIC SERVICE:

Justice Brunner served as Ohio’s first female Secretary of State from 2007 – 2011, overseeing the first election of President Barack Obama in 2008. In 2008, then-Secretary Brunner received the bipartisan John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her public service. The award recognizes “a public official (or officials) at the federal, state, or local level whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership.” She is the only Ohioan to have received the award. In 2010, Judge Brunner was a candidate for the United States Senate.

PRIOR GOVERNMENTAL SERVICE:

Justice Brunner has served on state and local governmental boards, appointed by both Republican and Democratic governors and other local officials, including:

  • Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board
  • Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission
  • Ohio Student Loan Commission
  • Franklin County Board of Elections

Justice Brunner also served as an attorney in the Ohio Secretary of State’s office early in her legal career and as a committee secretary and legislative aide in the Ohio Senate following her graduation from Miami University.

PRIVATE PRACTICE EXPERIENCE:

Justice Brunner holds 17 years’ private law practice experience, having founded her own law firm in 1988 after gaining experience as an associate in a Cleveland law firm and clerking for several law firms as a law student. Justice Brunner’s solo and law firm private practice was centered in election and government law, including campaign finance and election litigation. She also has assisted clients with legislative and rule drafting, multi-state and federal FCC telecom compliance for providing low-income cellular service, computer law and government contracting, criminal appellate work and general litigation. She served as the administrative partner of her law firm for six years.

FOREIGN RULE OF LAW EXPERIENCE:

Following her service as Secretary of State, Justice Brunner assisted foreign governments with rule-of-law and self-governance matters as an expert for USAID of the U.S. State Department in matters of anti-corruption and judicial reform in the Republic of Serbia, election observation in the Arab Republic of Egypt, and legal training in the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Justice Brunner served for nine years on the Ohio advisory committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, based in Washington, D.C., an organization promoting adequate funding of the International Affairs budget to strengthen development and diplomacy alongside defense. She was selected as a Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for OxFam America, advocating alongside other U.S. women leaders for relief for global poverty, hunger, and injustice with a focus on empowering women and girls.

Justice Brunner has moderate fluency in Spanish. She is able to read the Cyrillic alphabet in Russian and Serbian with limited fluency in their spoken languages.

NONPROFIT BOARD EXPERIENCE:

Justice Brunner served for eight years as a member of the board of advisors of The Legacy Fund of The Columbus Foundation, an endowment fund created by and for the central Ohio lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, ally (LGBTQIA) community. The endowment provides grants, scholarships and technical support for the LGBTQIA community in central Ohio. Justice Brunner served for three years as the board’s first ally chair. Justice Brunner served for seven years on the board of the Cleveland-based Center for Community Solutions, a nonpartisan think tank focused on solutions to health, social, and economic issues. Justice Brunner served six years on the board of Mental Health America of Franklin County, a mental health advocacy organization in central Ohio.

EDUCATIONAL AND PERSONAL BACKGROUND:

Justice Brunner was born in Springfield, Ohio, the oldest of four children of parents who grew up in South Charleston, Ohio. As a child, she spent much time on her grandparents’ farm and in South Charleston, and saw places associated with her family roots in Jackson, Fayette, Madison and Clark counties.

Justice Brunner spent her formative and adult years in Columbus. She graduated from Columbus public schools, from college at Miami University, with a degree in sociology-gerontology, cum laude, and from law school at Capital University Law School, in Columbus, with honors, giving birth to her first child while in law school.

Justice Brunner has been married since 1978 to attorney Rick Brunner, who grew up on a farm in Columbiana County, near Alliance, Ohio. They have three adult children and six grandchildren and maintain a farm in the area where he grew up.

Justice Brunner has traveled extensively to destinations in Asia, Africa, Central America, Europe, and North America. She authored a memoir, Cupcakes and Courage, in 2012, about growing up in Ohio, her experiences in public life, and her 2010 U.S. Senate campaign. She loves dogs and cats, art, reading, and music and paints in encaustic medium.

GOALS FOR OFFICE:

Justice Brunner is committed to providing fairness, equality and respect for all Ohioans and persons who come before the state’s highest court. She will work to build effective and collegial working relationships with the other justices of the court, the court’s staff and other courts of Ohio whose work is affected and advised by the work of the state’s highest court. As a justice, she pledges to be fair, impartial, independent, kind, and conscientious in fulfilling her oath as a constitutional officer of the State of Ohio.

Justice Jennifer Brunner
The Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215-3436
614-387-9000

Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals - Judge Thomas J. Osowik * Judge Mark L. Pietrykowski * Judge Arlene Singer * Judge Myron C. Duhart

Website:  Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals 


Ohio Courts of Appeals are established by the Ohio Constitution and serve as intermediate appellate courts. The State of Ohio is divided into twelve appellate districts.

The Sixth District Court of Appeals has its principal seat in Toledo located in Lucas County. The Sixth District is comprised of Erie, Fulton, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams and Wood counties.

The court hears appeals from cases arising in the Courts of Common Pleas (except cases in which the death penalty was imposed for offenses committed after January 1, 1996), County District Courts, and Municipal Courts within the Sixth District. The court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Ohio Supreme Court to hear appeals from the County Board of Tax Appeals. The court exercises original jurisdiction in quo warranto, mandamus, habeas corpus, prohibition, and procedendo.

Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals
One Constitution Avenue
Toledo, OH 43604
419-213-4755 (office); 419-213-4844 (fax)

Erie County Common Pleas Court, General Division - Judge Tygh M. Tone

Erie County Common Pleas Court - General Division

EDUCATION
University of Toledo, B.A., 1984
University of Toledo, College of Law, J.D., 1987

PROFESSIONAL CAREER
Clerk to the Honorable Melvin L. Resnick (deceased)
Lucas County Common Pleas Court (1985-1989)

Assistant County Prosecutor, Criminal Division
Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, Toledo, Ohio (1989-1990)

Associate - William, Jilek, Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LPA
Toledo, Ohio (1990-1992)

Partner - Tone, Grubbe, McGory & Vermeeren, LPA
Sandusky, Ohio (1992-2004)

Assistant County Prosecutor, Criminal Division
Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office, Port Clinton, Ohio (1992-1994)

Assistant Prosecutor, Criminal Division
Sandusky City Law Department, Sandusky, Ohio (2000-2004)

Judge, Erie County Common Pleas Court - General Division
Elected to six-year term beginning January 1, 2005
Re-elected to third six-year term beginning January 1, 2017

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Ohio State Bar Association
Toledo Bar Association
Erie County Bar Association
Ohio Judicial College
       Committees:                      
            Court Administration
            Judicial Bench Book
Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association
Ohio Supreme Court of the Ohio Judicial College, Faculty Member

Judge Tygh M. Tone
Erie County Courthouse
323 Columbus Avenue, 3rd Floor
Sandusky, OH 44870
419-627-7731 (office); 419-627-6602 (fax)

Erie County Common Pleas Court, General Division - Judge Beverly K. McGookey

 

Erie County Probate Court

Judge Beverly K. McGookey
Erie County Courthouse
323 Columbus Avenue, 2nd Floor
Sandusky, OH 44870
419-627-7782 (office); 419-627-6600 (fax)

Sandusky Municipal Court Judge Erich J. O’Brien

Sandusky Municipal Court


EDUCATION 

University of Toledo College of Law
(Juris Doctor)- 1978 Swearing-In - TTone-ZDolyk-PLux-EOBrien

University of Toledo 
Master of Public Administration- 1976 

Bowling Green State University
Graduated Cum Laude with arts 
and science degree in Political
Science and History-1974

EXPERIENCE
1996 to present 
Judge of Sandusky Municipal Court 
     Elected in 1995 to 1st term (1996 to 2001) 
     Re-elected in 2001 to 2nd term (2002 to 2007) 
     Re-elected in 2007 to 3rd term (2008 to 2013) 
     Re-elected in 2013 to 4th term (2014 to 2019)

1982-1995 
Executive Director for Erie County Legal 
Aid and the Public Defender for Erie County

1979-1982 
Staff Attorney for Erie County Legal Aid 
and the Public Defender for Erie County

1978-1979 
Consumer Protection Agency-City of Toledo 

OTHER ACTIVITIES

  • Member, Association of Municipal/County Judges of Ohio, Inc.
  • Member, Founding Committee for Erie County’s Drug Court Program-Benchmark
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Erie County Bar Association
  • Member, Erie County Corrections Planning Board
  • Former Member, Exchange Club of Sandusky

Judge Erich J. O’Brien
Sandusky Municipal Court
222 Meigs Street
Sandusky, OH 44870
419-627-5920 (office)

Vermilion Municipal Court Judge W. Zack Dolyk

Vermilion Municipal Court 


The Honorable W. Zack Dolyk was elected Judge of the Vermilion Municipal Court in November, 2007 and is presently serving a six-year term that commenced January 1, 2008.Swearing-In - TTone-ZDolyk-PLux-EOBrien

The Vermilion Municipal Court is a single-judge municipal court created in 1965. Judge Dolyk had served a number of years as Acting Judge in the Vermilion Municipal Court.

Judge Dolyk earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Ohio Northern University and his Juris Doctor Degree from Ohio State University. He has been in private practice and has maintained a Vermilion office since having been admitted to the Ohio State Bar in 1978.

He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Erie County Bar Association and the Lorain County Bar Association.  Judge Dolyk has served as an officer and trustee of a number of local charitable organizations and foundations.

Judge W. Zack Dolyk
Vermilion Municipal Court
687 Decatur Street
Vermilion, Ohio 44089
440-204-2430 (office); 440-204-2431 (fax)