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Judge Jazmin Torres-Lugo
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Judge Jazmin Torres-Lugo
Courtroom:  13-C
Bailiff:  Robin Ryan
Phone:  (216) 664-4987
Fax:  (216) 664-4949

Judge Torres-Lugo is a living example of fulfilling the American Dream. Thirteen years after she came to Ohio from her native Puerto Rico, Jazmin Torres-Lugo was appointed to fill a vacancy created on the Cleveland Municipal Court. That was in 2003.  Although she was defeated in that year’s general election, she held fast, maintained her many connections to the community and on November 7, 2017 she was elected to a six year term on the court she left 14 years ago.  

“I was taught you can do whatever you want.  If you work hard at it, it will be yours,” she said.

Judge Torres-Lugo is one of five children who were all encouraged to seek higher education.  That point was driven home during her high school days when the family, while on vacation, fell victim to burglars.  The robbers made off with a sizeable portion of her mothers favorite jewelry, but her father was the one who saw it in a different way.

“Just remember the most valued gem you can own is education.  They can take you to the desert, strip you down and you still have what’s in your mind.  No one can steal that from you. You can always start over and succeed,” her father said.

Judge Torres-Lugo eventually found her way to the University of Puerto Rico and then on to the Interamerican University where she completed her legal education and began working as a trial attorney (1988) with the prestigious Saldana & Vallecillo law firm.  Shortly thereafter, she was hired to preside over the legal department of the Trust for the Development, Operation and Conservation of the National Parks of Puerto Rico.

In 1990, the Torres-Lugo family came to Cleveland and after better learning the English language, she passed the Ohio bar.  She immediately began working at the Spanish American Committee (SAC), a social services non-profit organization, as the Housing Program Coordinator which included legal representation regarding the Landlord/Tenant Law.  In 1998, she joined forces with Housing Advocates Inc. to initiate a discrimination study against Hispanics in the rental, lending and insurance industries.

In the fall of l999, Judge Torres-Lugo opened her own law firm, specializing in civil, criminal, juvenile, domestic relations and immigration cases. Today, as a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge, she is making history as the first elected Hispanic female to hold a judicial seat in Northeast Ohio.

“This is the people’s court where we can present a lot of opportunities to those who come before us and truly make a difference in their life,” she said.


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