(Extensions of Remarks - September 13, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1513]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                        HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH

                                of ohio

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, September 13, 2012

  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the Cleveland 
Municipal Court which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this 
Saturday evening, September 15, 2012, with a Centennial Gala.
  The Cleveland Municipal Court was established by an act of the Ohio 
General Assembly in 1911. The Court, originally located on the 
northwest corner of Public Square, opened its doors at 9:30 a.m. on 
January 2, 1912. Court was gaveled to order that morning by Chief 
Bailiff Charles Selzer following opening remarks by Cleveland Municipal 
Court Chief Justice William H. McGannon and Judges David B. Cull and 
George P. Baer. The other judges on the original municipal court bench 
were William B. Beebe, Samuel E. Kramer, Manuel V. Levine, and Fielder 
Sanders. Peter J. Henry was the original Clerk of the Court who served 
in that position for 35 years.
  The Cleveland Municipal Court is the second oldest municipal court in 
the nation. Unlike the Justices of the Peace it replaced, the judges 
were required to be legally trained and were elected by the people 
rather than appointed by politicians. Also groundbreaking for its time, 
the Cleveland Municipal Court paid its judges and staff salaries which 
did not depend on the fines they levied on those they found guilty.
  Today, the Cleveland Municipal Court is located in the Justice Center 
Complex in Downtown Cleveland and consists of 13 elected judges and 14 
magistrates, along with bailiffs and other administrative and support 
staff. The court handles misdemeanor crimes, including traffic, 
domestic, nuisance and other offenses, as well as civil cases if the 
total damages are $15,000 or less. Its housing court has jurisdiction 
over criminal cases involving violations of Cleveland's housing, 
building, fire, zoning, health, waste collection, sidewalk, agriculture 
and air pollution codes. The housing court also hears civil cases 
involving landlord/tenant disputes.
  Prominent judges who have served on the Cleveland Municipal Court 
include the late Carl B. Stokes who drew national attention as the 
first African-American mayor of one of the ten biggest cities in the 
United States. Our late colleague Stephanie Tubbs Jones also served as 
a Cleveland Municipal Court judge prior to her election as Cuyahoga 
County Prosecutor and later as a Member of the U.S. House of 
Representatives. I am proud to have served as Clerk of Court from 1975 
to 1977.
  Mr. Speaker and colleagues, please join me in recognizing the 
important work that the Cleveland Municipal Court does. The Cleveland 
Municipal Court is one of the great institutions of our democratic 
system in bringing impartial justice to the people of Cleveland for the 
last 100 years and well into the future.