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Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge

Responsibilities: To rule in cases involving persons under 18 years of age. The Juvenile Court has authority in cases of delinquency, unruliness, juvenile traffic offenses, abuse, neglect, and dependency. Term of office: 6 years.Additional information about judicial candidates may be available at

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    Steve Abshire

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    Julie Bruns

Biographical Information

What do you think is the best judicial approach to help young offenders make positive changes in their lives?

Describe your experience that qualifies you to be a juvenile court judge.

Among judges, who would you identify as a mentor or role model, and why? (Please choose one individual.)

Campaign Phone 937-312-4290
Education/Experience U.S. Army Veteran Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs from Wright State University Masters in Arts in Applied Behavioral Science for Wright State University Juris Doctorate from Toledo School of Law
Providing individualized dispositions for families and juveniles who are before the juvenile court while balancing the need to protect the community is the key to positive change. It is imperative for judicial leaders to “meet the juvenile where they are” and understand what issues the family and the juvenile are facing, which are often different in every family. Poverty, lack of educational resources, access to drugs and weapons and mental health issues are common reasons juveniles and their families are before the court. It is important to have in-depth knowledge about the familial-situation because the family structure shapes a child by providing security and developing their values and skills.

My experience in active duty military and serving in Desert Storm provided me with the necessary leadership and training that is required to serve large organizations, such as the Montgomery County Juvenile Court. Additionally, prosecuting child abuse as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney combined with my 12 years in private practice, focused exclusively on family law matters makes me well-qualified to serve as Montgomery County’s juvenile court judge. As a private attorney, I have served minor children and their families in all roles involving juvenile court, which include the role of Guardian Ad Litem and focusing on the best interest of the child in custody disputes. I also have represented juveniles in delinquency cases, truancy cases, unruly matters and traffic citations as well as representing parents who are involved with custody issues.

I admire Judge Capizzi's advocacy for youth and their families. Among many of his significant accomplishments, Judge Capizzi has overseen and implemented individualized treatment plans needed for youth and was instrumental with the implementation of the Drug Court and the Juvenile Mental Health Court and Family Treatment Court. Additionally, Judge Capizzi recognized a need to incentivize youth who were before the court and recognized that the juvenile court’s budget did not allow him to do so. As a result, he started the Montgomery County Juvenile Court Foundation. Contributions to the foundation are directed to juvenile court programs and ensure youth receive recreational, educational and enrichment services.
Education/Experience Miami Univ. graduate 1993; Univ. of Dayton School of Law graduate 1996; Admitted to Ohio Bar 1996; Montgomery County Prosecuting Atty 1996-2019. Worked in Juvenile Ct. for 17 of my 23 years at the Pros. Office. Magistrate in Juv. Ct. 2019-present
Understanding that juvenile offenders often act out because of their environment is the first step toward rehabilitating them. Determining why they did what they did is how to get to the root of the problem. Addressing environmental factors that contributed to their delinquent behavior is vital and the goal with every juvenile that is charged with criminal act. Juvenile offenders will continue to be part of our community. While there clearly is a punishment factor that must be considered in serious felony cases, rehabilitation will always be the goal when possible. Engaging community leaders to be involved in programs for delinquent youth is key to changing the environment most offenders grow up in. Juvenile Court has developed many programs that engage the community to help rehabilitate the youth in our county in a way that will make them successful adults. My goal is to continue these programs already in place and to develop new ones where the need exists.
I have been an attorney for 26 years. I was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for 23 years. For 17 of the 23 years I was an Assistant Prosecutor, I was assigned to the Juvenile Division of the Prosecutor's Office in Juvenile Court. For the last 3 years I have been a Magistrate in Juvenile Court presiding over cases involving child custody issues. During my career as an Assistant Prosecutor, I prosecuted hundreds of juvenile delinquency cases including everything from truancy to murder and also trained new attorneys. I served on an Ohio Supreme Court committee which developed the current juvenile competency laws. I was part of the team in Juvenile Court that participated in JDAI (Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative), an initiative designed to develop programming that provides alternatives to detention for delinquent youth. I also developed a nationally recognized sexting diversion program that diverted youth from official action after they engaged in sexting acts.
Judge Anthony Capizzi has been a mentor and a role model for me. I have worked with him for approximately 17 years. He is a fair and compassionate Judge, he tirelessly works to develop programs that will benefit delinquent youth and our community, and he truly cares about the youth and the citizens of our county. Judge Capizzi has been a mentor for me since I was assigned as the Juvenile Division Chief while at the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office. Judge Capizzi has always encouraged me and his staff in Juvenile Court to think outside the box to develop programs for the youth of Montgomery County that not only help rehabilitate the youth, but also make the victims feel heard. Judge Capizzi truly cares for the youth that pass through the doors of Juvenile Court and I plan to continue that legacy if I am elected. In my career as an attorney I have learned from two of the best Judges I know..Judge Anthony Capizzi and the late Judge Nick Kuntz. I hope to continue their legacy.