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Court to Begin Special Docket for Human Trafficking Cases: Judge Marilyn B. Cassidy to Oversee Docket Later This Year

Jun 02, 2014
(Cleveland) - The Judges on the Cleveland Municipal Court have voted to establish a specialized docket to deal with the growing amount of human trafficking cases in Northeast Ohio.

Contact:  Ed “Flash” Ferenc                                                                           
               ference@cmcoh.org  216 664 6787

(Cleveland) - The Judges on the Cleveland Municipal Court have voted to establish a specialized docket to deal with the growing amount of human trafficking cases in Northeast Ohio.

 “Cleveland is a hot spot for trafficking and we need to get ahead of the game,” said the Honorable Marilyn B. Cassidy, one of the judges on the municipal bench who has been passionate about the problem ever since attending a conference in Chicago two years ago dealing with immigration and trafficking relating to domestic violence.


“The discussion was all about power and control in domestic violence and how that fits in with human trafficking.  A victim could be here on a visa, and subsequently abused by the perpetrator who would threaten her with deportation if she went to police,” said the judge.

Judge Cassidy says the main problem with human trafficking is that people who are trafficked often don’t know they are victims.  They are vulnerable because they are young, suffer from a disability, they are dependent on drugs or all of the above.

Authorities report at least two million people around the world are victims of human trafficking every year with 15-18,000 in the United States.  75% are women and half are children, with the average age being just 13.

“I see at least two people every week that would be a candidate for this docket and right now there is not very much I can do about it,” said Judge Cassidy.

With the establishment of a specialized docket, possible victims would be screened and referred to Judge Cassidy’s treatment team which would include trauma counseling, shelter and help with possible substance abuse.  Law enforcement would also be involved to aid in tracking down the traffickers themselves.

Judge Cassidy hopes to start the new docket later in the year.  An advisory committee has already been created and the first training for judges and attorneys is set for September.

Once complete, the court will be the second such docket in the State of Ohio.  Columbus started what they call the CATCH Court in 2009, (Change Action to Change Habits).

Visit Cleveland Municipal Court Judges Vote to Establish Special Docket for Human Trafficking Cases to learn more.

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