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Cleveland Launches Veterans Treatment Docket

Oct 19, 2011
The docket is designed to address the special needs of veterans of the U.S. Armed Services and National Guard, who become involved with the criminal justice system in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

The Cleveland Municipal Court on Thursday, September 8, 2011, opened a new Veterans Treatment Docket as Judge Lynn McLaughlin-Murray presided over the first cases.

The docket is designed to address the special needs of veterans of the U.S. Armed Services and National Guard, who become involved with the criminal justice system in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

The Supreme Court of Ohio has adopted a new rule that allows local courts to receive Supreme Court certification of a specialized docket. The rule takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The new Cleveland docket has not yet undergone this procedure.

Judge McLaughlin-Murray and several court officials traveled to Buffalo recently – where the first such court started in 2008 – in an effort to get a better handle on the management of the specialized docket.

The Veterans Treatment Docket brings together all parties that assist veterans with their substance abuse, mental health, housing, employment, education and health issues. The criteria used to select the individuals will be the same criteria used by the municipal court for other specialized dockets.

Judge McLaughlin-Murray said somewhere between 85 and 100 defendants currently on probation with the Court now qualify for the new program. The Court will also partner with the Veterans Services Commission and the Veterans Administration to take advantage of the resources they have available for veteran defendants.

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