Human Trafficking Docket

The Human Trafficking Specialized Docket was established on May 22, 2014 as an alternative to traditional criminal case processing to address the needs of adult victims of human trafficking who are forced, compelled or coerced to engage in criminal activities that result in their involvement with the city of Cleveland, Ohio’s criminal legal system.

Considerable planning preceded the start of the Human Trafficking Specialized Docket (HTSD) in 2014. During this time the Honorable Judge Cassidy convened a work group to identify restorative services and treatment for trafficking victims and visited the Honorable Paul Herbert of Franklin County Municipal Court to observe the CATCH program. To promote awareness and education of human trafficking for judges, lawyers, court personnel, advocates and service providers, Judge Cassidy and staff presented “What is Human Trafficking” training where over one hundred attendees participated.

In collaboration with community agencies and Case Western Reserve University, a screening process was developed to assist the court with appropriately identifying trafficking victims. The Cleveland Municipal Court in partnership with the Hitchcock Center for Women will provide gender-specific and trauma informed recovery housing for participants of the Human Trafficking Docket.

The Human Trafficking Docket Advisory Committee was created in June 2014 and is chaired by the Honorable Marilyn B. Cassidy. It is comprised of public officials and policy makers that meet quarterly to provide input on the HTSD policies and operations.

On December 30, 2014 the Cleveland Municipal Human Trafficking Court received formal notification from the Supreme Court of Ohio that it was granted Initial Specialized Docket Certification.  This specialized docket is presided over by the Honorable Marilyn B. Cassidy.

Advisory Committee

20190410_154604873_ios-rev6 2Honorable Marilyn B. Cassidy
  Human Trafficking Specialized Docket Judge

Marilyn B. Cassidy joined the Cleveland Municipal Court in January of 2007 after being appointed by Governor Robert Taft.   Judge Cassidy was elected to a full term commencing in 2008 and was re-elected in 2013.  She attended Syracuse University and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. 

After working at the Cleveland Clinic and in public health nursing, she entered law school and graduated from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. Judge Cassidy is admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, the U.S. District Court, Northern District, Eastern Division; U.S. District Court (Michigan), U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit.  She is a member of the American Judges Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the Ohio state Bar Association, as well as Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and Sigma Theta Tau, National Nursing Honorary.

During her 12 year term of service on the Cleveland Municipal Court bench, Judge Cassidy has devoted ten years to hearing a dedicated domestic violence docket which includes special prosecutors, dedicated detectives, and victim advocates.

Judge Cassidy also chairs the Cleveland Municipal Court’s Human Trafficking special docket which assists survivors of trafficking to recover by providing trauma counseling, housing, addiction recovery services and other support services  Her leadership in addressing human trafficking has been recognized by  the Renee Jones Empowerment Center (Judicial Award) and Save our Adolescents from Prostitution (Liberator Award).   To date, the program has identified  143 victims of human trafficking; 7 babies have been born substance free, 61 people have been admitted to the program with 24 actively participating.  Fourteen women have successfully completed the two year program with another three scheduled to finish this June. Judge Cassidy has authored one article about human trafficking and has presented locally and nationally on the subject. 

Before her elevation to the bench, Judge Cassidy worked as an Assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor handling civil litigation in state and federal courts and assisting in some white collar crime investigations and trials.  Judge Cassidy’s most notable civil case was the wrongful imprisonment of Sam Sheppard where she helped the state of Ohio achieve victory.  Judge Cassidy devoted much of her practice to elder protection and often collaborated with the criminal division to bring those who neglected, abused or exploited the elderly to justice.

Judge Cassidy is also the recipient of the Alvin I Krenzler Judicial Award for her unwavering commitment to the community and the Freedom Award from the American Nationalities Movement.   She enjoys traveling the world and has visited Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, Israel, France, England, Spain, Italy, and South Africa.

Karrie Howard
Safety Director

Department of Public Safety

Jennifer M. Rausch
Legal Director

Human Trafficking  Initiative, Ohio Attorney General’s Office

Ashley Loyke
Public Defender

Cuyahoga County Office of the Public Defender

Kirsti Mouncey

Collaborative to End Human Trafficking

Maya Simek

Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center, Case Western reserve School of Law

John Morgan
Detective Bureau

Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office/FBI

Dean Jenkins
Chief Probation Officer

Cleveland Municipal Court

Dr. Martina Moore

Moore Counseling & Mediation Services

Tenisha Gant-Watson

Jordan House

Arthur ‘Beau’ Hill
Executive Director

The Salvation Army

Deborah Schon
Intake Manager

Community Assessment & Treatment Services

For more information about the Cleveland Municipal Court Human Trafficking Specialized Docket please contact:

Karen Stanton
Docket Coordinator
Cleveland Municipal Court Human Trafficking Specialized Docket
(216) 664-4779
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