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Ann Clare Oakar

For Judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court
Full Term Beginning 1/3/2022

*Top Vote-Getter in General Election

Candidate Details

  • Residence
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Education
    J.D. Case Western Reserve University; BA -Sociology University of Dayton
  • Work Experience
    16 plus years as private practice attorney specializing in criminal defense; 15 years Municipal Law Director and Prosecutor; 7+ years a Municipal Court Magistrate
  • Family
    Married, 3 children
  • Affiliations
    Roman Catholic

Question 1

List your judicial experience (courts and years)

Cleveland Municipal Court - Judge 12/2017 - present Parma Municipal Court - Magistrate 4/2011 - 12/2017

Question 2

What non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?

Prior to being elected Judge, I ran my own successful private law practice. My work specialized in criminal defense, taking on thousands of misdemeanor and felony indigent cases across nearly every court in Northeast Ohio. In addition, I worked part time as a municipal court Prosecutor and Law Director for several jurisdictions. I therefore sat on both sides of the courtroom. This experience helped me gain insight into the importance of hearing each individual, both victim and defendant and to balancing the protection of the community and the need for compassion and second chances. Through prosecuting and defending, I was able to help change and shape individuals future behavior by using the right amount of sternness and tolerance. I loved being a positive influence on individual defendants as well as the community. In addition, my work as law director helped me grown in my interpretation of laws as written. My writing laws in to legislation, I gained insight into specific wording and what it meant and how it was meant to be applied in practice.

Question 3

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

I have been sitting in this seat now for nearly four years. I truly love my time on the bench. I love working with individuals to help them restore driving privileges and giving them a new lease on life. We live in a community where driving is essential, so many people have given up on the ability to ever drive legally. This is burdensome and stressful in their every day lives. It seems minor to anyone who has always been able to drive but the joy the individuals receive from having privileges restored is second to none. In addition to traffic cases, i love working with so many different people from different walks of life every day. i believe that I am helping to better the lives of the citizens of Cleveland and helping my overall city. I am dedicated to making a difference and maintain the belief that municipal court is often people's first and only stop in the justice system. Here we have the ability to make or break their beliefs about how our system works. Giving everyone a fair shot and a chance to be heard, I believe, truly makes the world a better place.