Denise Rini Juvenile Court:The Most Important Court You'll Never Visit

Judge Denise Nancy Rini

Judge Denise Nancy Rini is on a mission to tell you about Juvenile Court. Since taking the bench, Judge Rini has worked to improve the efficiency and spotlight some of the challenges facing our youth. “I believe that Juvenile Court touches everyone in Cuyahoga County, whether it is the neighbor who mows your lawn, the teenager driving down your street, or the youth who bags your groceries.  Everyone is affected by the commitment of Juvenile Court,” states Judge Rini.

Judge Rini has established the Safe Harbor Docket which is dedicated to handling cases where youth are involved with Human Sex Trafficking. The docket grew to more than 60 cases within 75 days of initiation. Today, the project has obtained grant funding and continues the work to establish safe placements for youth that are at risk.

Judge Rini co-founded the Warrant Recall Program which streamlines the method by which parents with child support warrants can appear and make payments without facing arrest. The program enables a person to appear at the Juvenile Justice Center, pay $50 toward child support, recall the warrant, maintain the existing child support order and most likely obtain driving privileges, thus allowing them to maintain employment.

Due to the opioid epidemic, private custody cases and filings by Children and Family Services has increased substantially. Children in foster care have risen from under 2000 to 2500 who are in need of stable homes. Balancing the issue of keeping our children safe without the harm of being separated from their families is the goal.

Judge Rini is proud of these changes and hopes to continue these efforts.  

Judge Rini is passionate about the importance of knowing your local judges and voting responsibly. Often voters cast fewer votes as they move down the ballot, either due to non-recognition of names or ballot fatigue. 

The truth is, the candidates at the bottom of the ballot impact the community more directly than the candidates at the top. Therefore, Judge Rini encourages everyone to become aware of judicial races and become educated on the qualifications by making use of websites such as

Judge Denise Rini is seeking re-election and will be on the ballot on November 6, 2018. 

Brian Corrigan is a Lakewood Resident and Former City Council member and Law Director of the city of Lakewood.

Brian Corrigan

Brian T. Corrigan

Lakewood Resident

Former City Council and Law Director of Lakewood

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Volume 14, Issue 20, Posted 2:25 PM, 10.16.2018