What are Magistrates?

The Lake County Domestic Relations Court Magistrates are judicial officers appointed by the Judge to hear cases that come before the Court. A Magistrate has the authority to conduct trials, decide motions, and issue Civil Protection Orders. A magistrate can also conduct mediation sessions and hear child custody and support cases.

How is a hearing before a Magistrate different than a hearing before a Judge?

Once a Magistrate issues a decision or order, parties have the opportunity to object to it. All objections to Magistrate’s Decisions must comply with Ohio Civil Rule 53. The Judge then decides the objections.

 

Lake County Domestic Relations Court Magistrates

Trial

Margaret Campbell

Margaret Campbell

Margaret Campbell joined the Domestic Relations Court as a Magistrate in December 2014.  Prior to that she was an Assistant Lake County Public Defender for more than 20 years, the last 15 of which were in the felony division.

She obtained a BS in Business from Miami University in 1991 and a JD from Ohio Northern University Petit College of Law in 1994.

James Farrell

Magistrate James K. Farrell began serving as a Magistrate in the Lake County Domestic Relations Division on January 2, 2003. He was in private law practice from 1981 to 2003 and was an assistant prosecuting attorney from 1979 to 1981.

Magistrate Farrell earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio and a Juris Doctor Degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois.

Dorothy Lee

Magistrate Dorothy H. Lee has been a Magistrate for 18 years. She was appointed to the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division bench effective March 2013. Before her appointment in Lake County, she served as a Magistrate at the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas since March 1999. Prior to that, Magistrate Lee practiced law for 13 years. She was an associate at Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder and at Bender & Associates. Her private practice was devoted primarily to family law. In 1984, Magistrate Lee created and became the first Director of the Victim Witness Program for the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office.

Magistrate Lee received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism and Political Science from Hiram College and her Juris Doctorate from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1986.

Lynne Yohe

Magistrate Lynne A. Yohe began serving as a Magistrate in the Lake County Domestic Relations Division on January 6, 2003. She previously worked as a Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, supervising those responsible for establishing and enforcing paternity and support orders. Her experience also includes five years in private practice, as well as working as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office.

Magistrate Yohe earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1982, and her Juris Doctorate in 1985, both from The University of Akron.

Child Support (IV-D)

Frederick Audi

Magistrate Frederick R. Audi began serving as a magistrate in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division in July 2008.  He was in private law practice from 1988 to 1998, and was an assistant prosecuting attorney from 1998 to 2008.

Magistrate Audi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1988.

Wendy Smither

Magistrate Wendy J. Smither began serving as a Magistrate in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division on March 23, 2003. Before serving as a Magistrate, she worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Lake County from 1995 to 2003, and a Staff Attorney for the Honorable Martin O. Parks from 1991 to 1995.

Magistrate Smither earned her Law Degree from Cleveland Marshal College of Law in 1990.

Mediation

Julie Mitrovich-King

Magistrate Julie Mitrovich-King has been employed by the Lake County Domestic Relations Court as a Mediation Magistrate since 2003. She is a member of the Lake County Bar Association and has been a Certified Mediator since 2006. Prior to joining the Court, she was employed by the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Magistrate King is also an adjunct faculty member at Lakeland Community College and teaches in the Paralegal Program.

Magistrate King earned her B.A. in International Affairs at George Washington University, Washington DC (1991). Earned her J.D. at Cleveland Marshall School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio (1994).

 

Marie Umholtz

Magistrate Marie Umholtz joined the Court as a Mediation Magistrate in 2003. Prior to joining the Court, she was in private practice with an emphasis on Family Law. Magistrate Umholtz did extensive Guardian Ad Litem work while in private practice.

Magistrate Umholtz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Miami University in 1974 and a Juris Doctorate degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1988.