Judge Cheryl S. Karner retired from the bench November 30, 2016 after serving for 28 years. Judge Karner was appointed to the Domestic Relations Court bench in February 1989 by Governor Richard F. Celeste. She held that seat in subsequent elections. Before her election to the bench, Judge Karner served as a court referee (1984-1986) and was a practicing family law attorney. During her judicial tenure, she was elected Chair of the Ohio Judicial Conference (2002-2004) which represents all judges in the state of Ohio. Ascending to Chair required a ten-year commitment to the board of that organization. Judge Karner is Past President (1995-1997) and Vice-President (1993-1994) of the Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges (OADRJ). She served as a member of the Ohio Child Support Guidelines Advisory Council, the Ohio Task Force on Family Law and Children, and the Ohio Supreme Court’s Domestic Violence Task Force. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center (ASTAR) in Washington, DC. During her years at the Court, she frequently lectured on family law for the National Judicial College, the Ohio Judicial College, the American Bar Association, and local bar associations.
In celebrating her retirement, Judge Karner remembered the friendship and assistance of her staff and judicial officers and the many hours they worked together over the years. “The Court has been a family for all of us. I am blessed with all of my friends, the great attorneys and the wonderful staff.”
Judge Tonya R. Jones assumes the open seat created by Judge Karner’s retirement in January.
Magistrate Gregory C. Fuss retired November 30, 2016, after 35 years as a referee and magistrate with the Domestic Relations Court. Magistrate Fuss was a charter member in 1990 of the Ohio Association of Magistrates (OAM), a statewide organization dedicated to the education and professionalism of magistrates. During his tenure, Magistrate Fuss served on a variety of working and advisory committees for that organization, the Ohio Supreme Court, the Ohio Judicial College, and the Ohio Judicial Conference. He was a frequent lecturer on domestic relations issues for the Ohio Judicial College, the OAM, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA), Divorce Equity, and the Ohio Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). He has been a member of the AFCC, the CMBA, the Center for Principled Advocacy (CPFA) and the Mediation Association of Northern Ohio (MANO). He is also a member of the judicial organizations, Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges (OADRJ) and the OAM. He is a former Trustee of the Ohio Family Support Association, and served as an advisor for the Center for Divorcing Families of Jewish Family Services in Cleveland.
As Administrative Judge Rosemary Grdina Gold recalled, “Judge Karner and Magistrate Fuss have worked tirelessly and selflessly for the benefit of the Court, the bar, the parties, and the citizens of Cuyahoga County. Their contributions on so many levels for so many years are a tribute to each of them, and the Court will genuinely miss these wonderful members of our Court.”
The Court wishes Judge Karner and Magistrate Fuss well as they begin the next chapter of their lives.