About Tom Januzzi

Judge Thomas A. Januzzi is presently serving a second six year term until 12-31-13 as Judge of the Oberlin Municipal Court. He was first elected in November 2001 in a race that included a total of 11 candidates and was unopposed in 2007.

 

Tom was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio and is a graduate of the former Lorain Catholic High School, Ashland College, and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University.

 

Tom began his legal career in the Lorain County Prosecutor’s office where he was employed as a law clerk from June 1980-March 1981. After graduating from law school and passing the bar he worked part-time as a law clerk from 1982-1985 in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. He maintained a private practice from 1982 until he was elected Judge. During that time period he was a solo practitioner and then an associate with several law firms until becoming a partner in the firm of Trigilio, Stephenson & Januzzi.

 

 Tom practiced in a variety of areas during his approximately 20 years in private practice including Small Claims matters, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Criminal cases, Corporate and Business related matters, Domestic Relations, Probate and Estate Planning, General Civil Litigation and Personal Injury law. In addition, he served as an Acting Judge from 1991-2001 in the Oberlin Municipal Court, volunteer mediator in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Arbitrator in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Court Appointed Receiver in both the General Division and Domestic Relations Division of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas and Administrator in various decedents’ estates as well as guardian as litem in the Probate Division. His diversity in his private practice and his experience as a judicial clerk has helped him greatly in his position as Judge. While serving as Acting Judge and now sitting Judge he has attended over 300 hours of instruction with the Ohio Judicial College.

 

Over the years Tom has been very active in both the legal community and the general community as a volunteer. He served as President of the Lorain County Bar Association in 2001-2002, Vice-president and Secretary Treasurer of the Bar Association, member of the Advisory Committee for the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas Office of Dispute Resolution and member of the Lorain County Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee. Tom has also been a frequent speaker at seminars given by the Lorain County Bar Association and has been a volunteer Judge in the Bar Association’s annual Mock Court competition and a volunteer Judge for several years for the Oberlin Street Law Program. He was a member of the Amherst City Planning Commission from 1986-2001, coached summer softball and CYO basketball for 12 years, was been a catechist in the St. Joseph Church Confirmation program, a past member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Erie Shores and of St. Francis Residential Living, Inc., a member of the St. Joseph Church pre-cana team and an usher at St. Joseph Church. He is also a former board member on the Parish Council at St. Joseph Church in Amherst.

 

Tom believes that it is important to be active and involved in the community. Since becoming Judge Tom continues to participate in community events. He has been the keynote speaker at Memorial Day ceremonies both in Amherst and South Amherst as well as other community events including the Wellington Area Emergency Services Recognition Dinner and Oberlin NAACP and Oberlin Area League of Women Voters at Kendal of Oberlin. Tom has also spoken to local high school students about the various roles in the justice system and underage drinking.  

 

Tom and his wife Margie have been married for 31 years and have four daughters ages 29, 27, 25 and 23 and five grandchildren. Tom enjoys spending time with his family, both immediate and extended. His other interests include taking walks with Margie, jogging, participation in 5K runs, researching on the internet and growing figs. The fig tree that Tom has was given to him by his immigrant grandfather Enrico Januzzi who brought the fig tree from San Danato, Calabria, Italy in the 1930’s. One summer Tom harvested over 1000 figs from the tree. Tom has recently planted a fig tree outside the courthouse.

 

In the 11 years that Tom has been Judge of the Oberlin Municipal Court the Court has undergone many changes. A probation department was established in 2002. Video hearings were instituted in May 2003 for arraignments and certain probation hearings. Jury trials are now scheduled approximately 3 Mondays each month. Previously jury trials were only scheduled 2 weeks out of the year in Oberlin Municipal Court. A new computer recording system was added allowing attorneys and litigants to obtain audio recordings of proceedings so that they can listen to the proceedings and/or have them transcribed. The recording system also makes it possible to replay testimony both in the proceeding presently before the court or a past proceeding while the present proceeding is in progress. A metal detector was added in June 2004. Prior to adding the metal detector Oberlin Municipal Court was the only court in the County without a metal detection device. An additional court cost presently funds the staffing of the device. A web site has been created allowing public access to the docket.

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