Municipal Court Judges Need Extensive Experience In Municipal Court

The role of a Municipal Court Judge is comparable to an emergency room doctor. The court moves quickly, can see hundreds of cases weekly, and is the only encounter many residents will have with the judicial system. Municipal Courts handle a variety of cases, civil, criminal, housing, felony arraignments/preliminary hearings, and misdemeanors. That is why it is so important to elect the person with the most relevant experience to the bench. 

Having served local communities in a variety of high-level legal positions including as a prosecutor or law director gives me the advantage of not just knowing how Lakewood Municipal Court operates, but also how courts operate all across Northern Ohio including Federal, State, and multiple Municipal Courts. Knowing in detail how a courtroom functions is critical to the fair and equitable administration of justice, 

As the Plain Dealer says about me, “…she seems to have been preparing for the job of Lakewood Municipal judge during three decades of municipal work.” This is the job I want to perform and I assure you that this is not a stepping stone. I will not run for another seat after serving a year of my term.  

My knowledge of municipal court, its operations and the laws that apply, comes from having a broad range of experience. I have represented people, worked with clients, witnesses, and victims, in civil and criminal cases, on both sides of the cases. Judicial decisions can have a major impact on a person’s life and it is imperative that Lakewood’s next judge have up-to-date knowledge and understanding of what the law and how it should be applied.

In addition, a municipal court judge should have experience representing parties in court, arguing a case, and helping clients navigate the legal system. This requires staying abreast of the constant changes in the law across the spectrum of civil and criminal cases. Having spent much of my career in municipal court, I am deeply familiar with the types of cases that come before a judge and the laws that come into play. There is not a case that will come before the court that I am not familiar with; whether seeking monetary relief, a victim of crime, defendant in a criminal case, a landlord or tenant in an eviction proceeding, a property owner or the city regarding a building violation, a traffic matter or any other myriad of cases that come before the court.

My method has always been to thoroughly review every detail of a case, with the keen understanding that each circumstance is unique and deserves my attention. I hope to bring that, along with extensive real-world municipal court experience, and my sense of fairness, compassion and justice to the bench to serve the City of Lakewood and its residents. Having the right experience matters.  

Sara Fagnilli is a Candidate for Lakewood Municipal Court Judge, and her legal career spans 35 years, including as the City's Law Director. Sara Fagnilli and her husband settled in Lakewood Ohio 36 years ago where they raised their three children. Sara has been engaged with the Lakewood Community through work with voluteer, charitable organizations, and schools.

Sara Fagnilli

Sara Fagnilli is a Candidate for Lakewood Municipal Court Judge, and her legal career spans 35 years, including as the City's Law Director. Sara Fagnilli and her husband settled in Lakewood Ohio 36 years ago where they raised their three children. Sara has been engaged with the Lakewood Community through work with voluteer, charitable organizations, and schools.

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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021