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Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, term commencing 1/13/2023

Term: 6 yearsSalary: $155,485Incumbent Judge Francine Goldberg was first elected to this seat in 2014. A resident of University Heights, she is running unopposed or her second full term. Court of Common Pleas judicial candidates run in partisan primaries, but their general election races are nonpartisan. Their party affiliation will not be noted on the November ballot.Judicial Votes Count, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization based at the University of Akron, sends questionnaires to all Ohio judicial candidates. Candidates answers are uploaded to Vote411 as soon as they respond.

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    Francine Goldberg

Biographical Information

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Age 58
Occupation Judge, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court
Education Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., 1990; The Ohio State University, B.A., cum laude, 1986
Work Experience Judge, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, 12/22/14-present; Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, 11/1991-12/2014
Residence municipality University Heights
Affiliations Supreme Court of Ohio's 2022 Commission on Technology & Courts; Ohio Judicial Conference (2014-present); Ohio Judicial Conference Committees: Domestic Relations Law & Procedure; Court Technology; Public Confidence & Community Outreach; and Legislative (presently serving); Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges (2014-present); Association of Family & Conciliation Courts-Ohio Chapter (2014-present); American Inns of Court (2014-2019), Emeritus Status (present); Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (2011-present); West Shore Bar Association (2012-present); Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association (1991-2014); National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (2008-2011); Green Road Synagogue (2005-present); American Friends of Magen David Adom Advisory Council (present); Kosher Food Pantry Advisory Board (2020-present); Hebrew Free Loan Association of Northeast Ohio, Board of Directors (2018-2021); FBI Cleveland Citizens Academy Alumni Association (2019-present); Values-In-A
Endorsements Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, North Shore AFL-CIO; AFSCME Power in Action (Given that I am unopposed, I did not seek additional endorsements.
Bar Association Ratings I am unopposed this term and was not rated by Judge4Yourself in 2022.
Campaign email address
Judge, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court (December, 2014-Present). I am one of five Domestic Relations Court judges in Cuyahoga County. I have resolved thousands of domestic relations cases with issues including divorce, dissolution, legal separation, child custody, child support, spousal support (alimony), property division, asset/debt division, restraining orders, and domestic violence civil protection orders. I review and analyze financial issues such as business valuations, division of retirement/pension benefits, and tax implications when marriages terminate. My Court retains jurisdiction over cases even after divorce. I handle post decree issues that include enforcing and modifying existing orders and reviewing child custody, child support and spousal support agreements. I emphasize efficiency and effective case management. This focus has allowed me to maintain one of our Court's most successful dockets. I believe it is important to treat all litigants with compassion, dignity and respect.
I served as a Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney (APA) for 24 years, advocating for victims' rights to ensure justice. As an APA, I was assigned to the Domestic Relations, Juvenile and Common Pleas General Division Courts. As a Major Trial Unit prosecutor, I handled cases involving murder, rape, elder exploitation, robbery, burglary and felonious assault. As Director of the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, I investigated and prosecuted cases involving online child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and the manufacturing and trading of child pornography. I practiced extensively in the Eighth District Ohio Court of Appeals, including all phases of appellate litigation. I take pride in my reputation as ethical, fair and hard working.
As a current Domestic Relations Judge, I am dedicated to making our Court more family friendly and accessible. My approach to resolving cases that come before me is unique. I take a proactive approach to assist families in volatile, troubled times. As the initial pre-trial, I meet with attorneys and litigants in my courtroom or via Zoom, because every case involves the important resolution of family issues. I encourage alternative dispute resolution strategies such as mediation and family evaluation services to help families. Early case resolution is my objective - which achieves closure and keeps costs down. To accomodate litigants who cannot travel to court, I have conducted hearings in parties' homes, nursing homes and at assisted living facilities. I have also established "The Wall of Happiness" - photos of litigants satisfied with the court process even in the divorce setting. We have over 500 photographs of happily divorced individuals.

Given that 60% of our cases involve one self-represented party, I believed that there was a compelling need to provide meaningful "access to justice" to all families that would be helpful and cost effective. I was instrumental in supporting the creation and success of the Domestic Relations Court Help Center, established in May, 2017. This is an innovative approach to provide free assistance to self-represented litigants with Divorce, Dissolution, Child Custody, Child Support and Post-Decree proceedings in order to guide parties' through court procedures. Thousands of families have been assisted which has resulted in increased litigant and court satisfaction, time and cost savings, and improvements in procedural fairness.

As a judge I also saw the opportunity to adopt technological innovations as a way of improving the courtroom experience for litigants and lawyers. I led the efforts to develop CourtConnect, a free mobile app designed to connect litigants and attorneys to the Domestic Relations Court. CourtConnect provides the public with quick, easy, 24/7 on-the-go access to court-related information through mobile devices. This form of cutting-edge technology is the first of its kind for a domestic relations court in Ohio. I believe this will be a prototype for other courts. It provides litigants with a simple, easy method to obtain important information about the status of their case and to make payments - whether child support or court costs. Users can flag cases, receive push notifications regarding docket updates, and learn what is happening with their cases in real time.

I am honored to serve as a Judge in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court. I will continue to bring compassion, fairness, efficiency, innovation, and a strong work ethic to the bench.As