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Judge Ann Clare Oakar
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Judge Ann Clare Oakar
Courtroom:  14-A
Bailiff:  Deirdre Mueller
Phone:  (216) 664-4979
Fax:  (216) 664-4949

On Friday, December 7, 2017, Ann Clare Oakar was sworn in as Judge on the Cleveland Municipal Court bench, a month to the day after she won election to an unexpired term.

A graduate from Magnificat High School in Rocky River, Judge Oakar attended the University of Dayton where she obtained a degree in Sociology.  Judge Oakar then attended law school at Case Western Reserve School of Law back in Cleveland. 

“I knew I wanted to become a lawyer from a very young age, probably around five years old.  I watched my father in action and always wanted to use law to help people”.     Beginning around age 10, Judge Oakar spent countless hours at her father’s law office and ultimately joined his practice after she passed the Ohio bar in 2001. Throughout law school, Judge Oakar worked at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland working in both the civil and criminal divisions. There she worked with the attorneys to support the most vulnerable and needy citizens in the Cleveland area. In private practice, she specialized in criminal defense, representing defendants in nearly every municipal and county court in this region.

It was this experience which led her into the public service arena. From the years 2003-2011 Judge Oakar served as the Assistant Law Director and Prosecutor for the City of Broadview Heights. In 2008, she was also appointed as the Law Director and Prosecutor for the Village of Bentleyville.   In 2011, Judge Oakar was appointed as a Magistrate in the Parma Municipal Court where she handled both criminal and civil dockets.

Apart from her extensive qualifications to serve as a municipal court judge, Judge Oakar comes from a family with a long history of community engagement and service. Her father, James L. Oakar is a former U.S. Attorney as well as a former county and municipal law director and prosecutor. Her aunt, Mary Rose Oakar, served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (Ohio’s 20th District) from 1977-1993, was a former Cleveland City Councilwoman, Member of the Ohio House of Representatives (13th District) and a State School Board Member.

Judge Oakar’s desire is to continue that tradition, using her strengths and experience to better her own community.

“The municipal court level is the face of the criminal justice system to the average citizen, this is where I can help put individuals on the right path and best improve the community directly” she said.

After spending several years living downtown in the Edgewater neighborhood, Judge Oakar now calls Westpark her home where she and her husband are raising three children.

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