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Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas - Probate Division (term commencing 2/9/2021)

Salary: $121,350Term: 6 yearsResponsibilities: the administration of decedent’s estates, consent for medical treatment, the appointment of guardians for minors and incapacitated adults and the supervision of their property, civil involuntary commitments of the mentally ill, adoptions, birth record corrections and registrations, changes of name, issuance of marriage licenses, supervision of testamentary trusts (those created by will) and interpretation and enforcement of inter vivos trusts (those created during a person’s lifetime), land appropriations, and will constructions.For more information on judicial candidates visit:

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  • Candidate picture

    Pavan Parikh

  • Candidate picture

    Ralph Winkler

Biographical Information

What kinds of policies, if any, will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our community? (500 characters)

Would you approve requests for no-knock warrants from law enforcement? If so, what considerations influence your decision? (500 characters)

How will you work to provide all defendants coming through your courtroom equal treatment, regardless of race, gender, ability to pay, or mental status? (500 characters)

Twitter @pavanforjudge
Occupation Assistant Vice President, Government Relations Officer & Legislative Counsel, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (2015-Present); Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Reserve (2013-Present)
Education Xavier University: B.A. Philosophy (Minors in Natural Sciences and Economics); St. Louis University School of Law: J.D. (with a Certificate in Health Law, a Certificate in International & Comparative Law, and a Concentration in Criminal Litigation)
Experience Adjunct Professor, UC Law (2016-2018); Adjunct Professor, Xavier University (2016-2018); Chief Legal Counsel, Ohio Senate Minority Caucus (2011-2015); Staff Attorney/Bailiff, Judge Nadine Allen – Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas (2011)
Family Wife, son, and dog.
Endorsements Hamilton County Democratic Party, Ohio Young Democrats, Equality Cincinnati Political Action Committee, Cincinnati AFL-CIO, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, UFCW Local 75, Ohio AFSCME Power in Action, CWA Local 4400, LiUNA! Local 265, IBEW Local 212, Greater Cincinnati UAW-CAP Council, Bold New Democracy,, Run for Something, 1889 Friends of the Sentinels, Working Families Party, Our Revolution - Greater Cincinnati, Indian-American IMPACT Fund
Affliations American Legion (Paid-Up-For-Life Member); Ohio Ballot Board (Board Member); Cincinnati Bar Association (Board of Trustees); River City Correctional Facility (Facilities Governing Board); American Constitution Society – Cincinnati Lawyers Chapter (Co-Chair); Potter Stewart American Inn of Court (Barrister); Xavier University Mentorship Program (Mentor); Cincinnati Bar Association – Veterans & Military Law Committee (Chair); Truman National Security Project (Partner); Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Southwest Ohio (Board Member); Xavier University State Politics Internship (Co-founder and Advisor); Ohio Center for Law Related Education (Volunteer Competition Judge); Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce C-Change Class 11 (Member); Venue Magazine – Great Leaders Under 40 (Award Recipient); Cincinnati Business Courier Forty Under 40 (Award Recipient)
Political Party Affiliation Democratic Party
I will engage in education with community partners to remove barriers to accessibility to the Probate Court. I will develop legal clinics to provide low-cost or free estate planning services low-income individuals to protect their families. I will work with local law schools to found clinics to encourage Black law students to working as mental health law attorneys to guarantee counsel or estate planning attorneys to address the under-representation of Black attorneys in these fields.
While the Probate Court would not handle no-knock warrants, in the realm of justice reform the Court does have a responsibility to reform its mental health docket to reduce contact of individuals with health issues with the police. We need to reduce reliance on inpatient services. We can expand outpatient services to work with case workers in community agencies to improve treatment outcomes. I will also be dedicated to working with lawmakers to remedy the gaps in services and accessibility.
I will audit all functions of the Court to determine any disparities that exist and work to eliminate them in utilization of services, timeline delays, or outcomes. I will reform wide-ranging indigence policies to ensure that people of limited income can still access the Court. And in order to ensure a diverse workforce who respects everyone, I will institute a process for all vacancies to ensure diverse candidates are considered and I will require implicit bias training for all employees.
Twitter @Judgewinkler
Occupation I have been the Hamilton County Probate Judge since 2015. Adoptions, guardianships, mental health court, marriage licenses and estates are among the 80 unique functions I oversee. I manage all probate court staff and set a yearly budget.
Education University Of Cincinnati - Bachelor of Business Administration, NKU Chase College of Law - Juris Doctor, American Academy of Judicial Education - Diploma of Judicial Skills
Experience From 1999 – 2020 I have served our community as a Judge in the Hamilton County courts. I have presided over 70,000+ cases. I served as an Assistant County Prosecutor, practiced private law and served as a judicial law clerk before taking the Bench
Family I have been married to my wonderful wife Teresa for 39 years. We have 3 lovely and intelligent daughters, 3 great son-in-law’s and 7 super fantastic grandchildren.
Endorsements Cincinnati Pipe Fitters and Plumbers Local 392, Cincinnati Ironworkers Local 44, Cincinnati Firefighters Local 48, Cincinnati Police FOP lodge 69 .
Affliations American Judges Association, National College of Probate Judges, Ohio Association of Probate Judges, Ohio Judicial College, Ohio State Bar Association, Cincinnati Bar Association, Vineyard Westside Church, High School Sunday school teacher and sports coach.
Political Party Affiliation Ohio Judicial races are non partisan in the general election . I am endorsed by Republican, Democratic and independent individuals and organizations.
As a judge, I have presided over 70,000 cases. I seek to treat all community members equally with dignity and respect. As probate judge, I have promoted access to justice by implementing Zoom hearings and creating e-filing for 24/7 access to the court. I work with partner agencies to increase diversity among adoptive families. I engage in outreach by speaking at high schools, volunteering to help the homeless, and leading my church outreach. Visit to meet my Magistrates.
While not typically a probate function, I would consider approving a no-knock warrant in extreme circumstances such as human trafficking or high-level drug dealers. Because no-knock warrants create an inherently high risk to citizens and law enforcement, the parameters of their use should be carefully scrutinized and regularly reviewed. Through my years as a criminal judge, I am acutely attuned to protecting citizen's constitutional rights, while balancing the needs of law enforcement.
During 20 years as a judge and having worked for the public defender and prosecutor, I encountered people from diverse races, religions, LGBTQ and national origins. In probate, I meet those with mental illness and those who need guardians. Employing kindness, compassion, and dignity, and expecting the same of my staff, I seek to give equal treatment to every person . Anticipating the historic recognition of same-sex marriage, I prepared to immediately issue licenses to same-sex couples.