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Judges & Magistrates
Judge Leslie Ann Celebrezze
Honorable Leslie Ann Celebrezze, Judge
Mark E. Vittardi, Bailiff, 216-443-8806
Georgeanna Semary, Scheduler, 216-443-8822
Third Floor, Courtroom 4
Scott D. Kitson, Trial Magistrate
Patrick R. Kelly, Motion Magistrate
Prior to her election to the Domestic Relations Court, Judge Leslie Ann Celebrezze served as a magistrate in the Cleveland Municipal Court, presiding over a variety of cases. It has been her mission to treat everyone who enters the court with the dignity and respect that they deserve. She has built on that basic philosophy and integrated her experience as a registered nurse to serve the citizens of Cuyahoga County as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations.
From the beginning of her legal career, Judge Celebrezze aspired to continue the path that her family had begun in public office. She considers it a great privilege to serve in this way and has accepted this responsibility with the dedication that judicial office demands. She has researched and edited the 2005 edition of Ohio Domestic Relations Law.
Judge Celebrezze was admitted to the Bar in 1999. She is a graduate of Kent State University and the University of Akron School of Law. She is a member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association, and a Trustee of the Justinian Forum.
Calendaring and Continuances
Each contested pre-decree case will get final pre-trial and trial dates at the first pre-trial (counsel and parties are expected to bring their calendars). The final pre-trial and trial dates will not be continued for the unavailability of counsel. If counsel is unable to attend he or she is required to provide substitute counsel.
All continuances must be in writing and must comport with the Rules of Superintendence. Litigants must consent, in writing, to any continuance filed by their counsel. Moreover, any continuance due to a scheduling conflict with another court must provide a notice of the conflicting hearing that demonstrates the date that the conflicting hearing was scheduled.
Scheduling Orders will include a fact discovery cut-off date. All discovery is to be completed by that date. If a dispute arises requiring a Motion to Compel, said motion must be filed by the fact discovery cut-off date.
In the event that it becomes necessary to file a Motion to Compel, the movant shall provide a proposed judgment entry.
All motions shall comply with the local rules and be accompanied by an affidavit. Unopposed motions are not granted automatically, but will be ruled upon expeditiously.
In the event that an evidentiary hearing is required in order to resolve a pre-trial motion, counsel for the movant is expected to contact opposing counsel (or the litigant if he or she is pro se) and obtain proposed agreed dates for the hearing prior to filing the motion with the Court.
Counsel and litigants are expected to be present at all pre-trials. A party must obtain prior approval of the Court by written motion in order to appear telephonically at a pre-trial. Moreover, counsel and litigants should be prepared to discuss all issues related to their case and be prepared to discuss the possibility of settlement.
At the first pre-trial in a contested divorce the Court will put on a scheduling order providing discovery dates, pre-trial dates and trial dates. Consequently, all parties and litigants are expected to bring their calendars to the first pre-trial.
Final pre-trials are typically set in the afternoon. Parties or their counsel are expected to bring copies of witness lists and all exhibits that they intend to use during the trial. Exhibits will be marked and exchanged at the final pre-trial.
Judge Celebrezze believes that the attorneys and parties should view the litigation process as a vehicle to resolve a conflict. Accordingly, she expects counsel to earnestly engage in settlement discussions throughout the litigation. Pre-trial conferences may be used as settlement conferences and the parties and counsel are required to attend these conferences prepared to discuss settlement.
Absent good cause, all contested pre-decree cases will be set for a settlement conference. Parties and counsel are expected to attend and bring proposed Agreed Judgment Entries, Separation Agreements and Shared Parenting Plans, if applicable.
All trials and hearings will proceed on a day-to-day basis. Trials start at 10:00 a.m. and recess at 4:00 p.m. Counsel and litigants should be in the courtroom prepared to proceed at 10:00 a.m.
1 W. Lakeside Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113
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