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Portrait of Joseph P. O'Malley
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Joseph P. O'Malley

Candidate insights
  • Regained law license after it was suspended following a 2011 federal conviction for lying to the FBI and failing to report a federal crime.
  • Brother of Juvenile Court Administrative Judge Thomas F. O'Malley and the late Domestic Relations Judge Kathleen O'Malley.
  • Co-owns bar Fat Little Buddies in Olmsted Falls.
Sitting Judge?
Admitted to practice law in Ohio
Previous jobs
Private practice (civil)

You asked. They answered.

Joseph P. O'Malley's responses to questions from the community.

As a judge, one tool you have is discretion. In one or two sentences, how will you use it?

In dealing with juveniles, discretion will be critical when it comes to discretionary bindovers (transfers to the Common Pleas Court for trial as an adult). It will be one of the most important decisions I will make as a Judge. Also, the careful use of discretion when placing children in abusive or neglect situations with other family members, foster care, or a different parent will be equally as important.

How would you keep your own biases and personal beliefs in check when deciding cases involving people of different races, economic or social backgrounds, identities or life experiences?

Every person that would come before me would be treated the same regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or social or economic background. This is how I have chosen to live my life and so it will be no different if I am elected.

Cuyahoga County transfers more children to adult court than anywhere else in the state. Under current laws, do judges have enough discretion in deciding whether to transfer children or to keep them within the juvenile system?

I think the debate about transfers to adult court could last hours. I would say that my duty as a judge is to follow the law that is in place. The legislature has created a category of cases that fall under discretionary bindovers. So as a judge, I will use the criteria that is established by law to determine the appropriate path relative to transfer for each and every case that falls under the discretion of the judge.

Do you believe juvenile court judges should directly select private attorneys to represent children in delinquency or other cases? If yes, explain why. If not, what system would work better?

I think juvenile court judges should directly select qualified, skilled, and competent attorneys to represent children in delinquency and other cases. I believe a necessary mix of private attorneys and Cuyahoga County Public Defenders is required to meet this goal.

Do you feel the juvenile court system has enough resources or the right types of resources to get children the help they need? If not, what is missing?

My experience and review of the juvenile court system makes me believe we have great resources and programming at our disposal. From early intervention through supervision, programs and resources are designed to reach the ultimate goal of lowering the rate of recidivism amongst juveniles while at the same time teaching meaningful life lessons. If we had unlimited resources we could always do more, but we are doing what we can within the financial constraints that are imposed.