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Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas - General Division (term commencing 2/12/2021)

Salary: $121,350 Term: 6 yrs Responsibilities: To preside at trials of both civil and criminal cases; to supervise the jury commission, grand jury, and other departments of the court.

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    Ethna Marie Cooper

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    Wende Cross

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 @JudgeCooper1
Occupation Judge, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, 2003 to Present; Presiding Judge, Hamilton County Felony Veterans Treatment Court, 2011 to Present
Education A.B. Smith College, J.D. University of Notre Dame, Instructional Program for Lawyers Mediation Training, Harvard Law School
Experience Private Practice-Litigation, Arbitration, and Mediation, 1980 to 2001; Judge, Hamilton County Municipal Court, 2001 to 2003; Judge, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, 2003 to Present; Presiding Judge, Hamilton County Felony Vet Court 2011-present
Family Married, 3 adult children, I grandchild
Endorsements Equality Cincinnati; Hamilton County Republican Party; Fraternal Order of Police, Queen City Lodge #69; Cincinnati Right to Life; Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 392
Affliations Ohio Association of Common Pleas Judges; Notre Dame Club of Greater Cincinnati; St. John Fisher Parish, Newtown, Ohio
Political Party Affiliation Nonpartisan judicial election
The best way for me to promote justice in the community is to make sure i promote social and racial justice every day in my courtroom by upholding my oath of office. Justice must be blind to race, gender, religion, and politics. Everyone who appears before me is treated with dignity, fairness and respect by me and I insist on that from everyone in my courtroom.
No knock warrants are governed by statute and only the Legislature can change it. I was never presented with a no knock warrant request on the Municipal Court bench. Since 2003, on the Common Pleas bench, I have been presented with hundreds of requests to suppress search warrants but have never been asked to suppress a no knock warrant. Every search warrant before me is meticulously reviewed to ensure they fully comply with the statute. I am not a rubber stamp.
I work hard every day to be the best person and judge that I can be. Every defendant who appears before me is a unique individual who deserves to be treated with basic human dignity and a good judge respects that human dignity in all of us. If people are treated with dignity, they will receive equal treatment under the law regardless of who they are.
Twitter @CrossWende
Occupation Magistrate, Hamilton County Juvenile Court
Education I have a Juris Doctor degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University.
Experience In addition to serving as a Magistrate in juvenile court, I have served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice. I have experience in civil litigation, and have served as a criminal defense and civil rights litigator.
Endorsements Hamilton County Democratic Party, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Equality Cincinnati PAC, AFL-CIO, The Collective PAC, Greater Cincinnati UAW Cap Council, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, AFSCME Ohio Council 8, United Food & Commercial Workers Labor Union, Bold New Democracy, and Cincinnati Women's Political Caucus.
Affliations Cincinnati Bar Association, NAACP, Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, Impact 100, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Madisonville Community Council
Political Party Affiliation Democratic
I will work to eliminate disparities so that justice is for everyone. Improving the culture of the court system by treating everyone with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender, class, identity or nationality is my primary goal. I will seek to build public confidence by promoting transparency in sentencing so as to hold judges accountable and eliminate mass incarceration. I will work to strengthen bail reform so that people are not treated differently because of their income status.
Ohio has a long standing "knock-and-announce" rule. The rule protects the physical safety of people and property from the sudden entrance and against any shock or embarrassment that may follow. Violation of that rule can form the basis of a Motion to Suppress evidence. I will follow the law as codified by the Ohio Revised Code and other legal precedent.
I will first recognize the humanity of the every person coming before me. Judges have the power to make people feel better or worse when they are most vulnerable. I will seek to improve the lives of all people before me. I will Issue orders and judgments fairly and impartially. Everyone coming before me will be treated with respect and dignity. I will seek to understand and give litigants the ability to be fully heard. I will also give consistent application of the law in an unbiased manner.