Judge Angela R. Stokes Courtroom: 15-C
Bailiff: Deputy Bailiff
Phone: (216) 664-4987
Fax: (216) 664-6737
Judge Angela R. Stokes was born and raised in the greater Cleveland community and comes from a family of distinguished public servants. She is the daughter of retired U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes and Jay Stokes, and former educators Mildred and the late Rufus Foster. Judge Stokes is also the niece of the late Carl B. Stokes, former U.S. Ambassador, Mayor of Cleveland and Judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court.
Judge Stokes graduated with honors from the University of Maryland, College Park, receiving her bachelor of arts degree in psychology. She received her juris doctor from the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. and was admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of Ohio, the United States District Courts of the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
As an assistant attorney general for the State of Ohio, Judge Stokes served from 1984 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1995 in the Federal Litigation and Employment Services sections respectively. Prior to that, she was employed with BP America, Inc.’s corporate law department, where her areas of expertise included employment, labor, and benefits law. She was first elected judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court on November 7, 1995, to an unexpired term and was re-elected to a full six-year term in 1999, 2005 and 2011.
During her term of service on the Cleveland Municipal Court bench, Judge Stokes was instrumental in establishing Project HOPE (Holistic Opportunities and Preventative Education), which is the Cleveland Municipal Court’s program for prostitution offenders. Project HOPE’s mission is to use the criminal justice system not only to stop the commission of these crimes, but also to see the offenders as victims in need of serious life changes to reduce recidivism and help them become positive, productive members in the community with legitimate gainful employment. Through Project HOPE, referrals are made for the following services: alcohol and drug abuse assessments for recommended treatment and counseling (residential, intensive out patient and out patient), mental health assessments and recommended counseling, HIV and other STD screening, recovery support groups, vocational skills assessment and training, GED classes, social services, and temporary housing services.
Judge Stokes presides over Project HOPE’s monthly compliance dockets where the participants are awarded certificates of achievement for their progress. Judge Stokes also established the “Come and See” Speakers Bureau where distinguished community speakers address the Project HOPE participants at the monthly compliance dockets. These speakers volunteer their services and their agencies have partnered with Project HOPE for the benefit of the participants. Some of the partners are the Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County’s Child Support Enforcement Agency, Cleveland Scholarship Program, Cornerstone of Hope, Dress For Success, and many motivational speakers including, but not limited to, State Senator Shirley A. Smith and Dr. Robert DeMaria, a renowned advocate of drugless health care solutions. Judge Stokes also serves on the Project HOPE Advisory Board, which consists of Pastors Arthur and Ella Fowler of Lighthouse International Ministries, along with former graduates of Project HOPE.
Judge Stokes is a member of the Association of Municipal and County Judges of Ohio and the Northern Ohio Municipal Judges Association, along with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, and Norman S. Minor Bar Association.
Judge Angela R. Stokes is a member of Gateway Church located in Ashtabula, Ohio.
Click the video on the left to view Judge Stokes' court in action, excerpted from a Cleveland Justice episode.