Judge Ronald J. H. O'Leary

   

Judge Ronald J. H. O'Leary 
Courtroom:  13-B
Bailiff:  Eric L. Foster
Phone:  (216) 664-4988
Fax:  (216) 664-6103

Ronald J. H. O'Leary was appointed to the Cleveland Municipal Court, Housing Division on April 10, 2017. He replaced Judge Raymond L. Pianka who passed away in January 2017.

A graduate of Lehman High School in Sidney, Ohio, Judge O’Leary attended Miami University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs and a master’s degree in Political Science. He then moved to Cleveland to attend law school at Case Western Reserve University and started his legal career at the City of Cleveland’s Prosecutor’s Office. Judge O’Leary then moved to the Cleveland Law Department’s Civil Division where he was the Chief Assistant Director of Law for Code Enforcement for six years. In that position, he supervised the prosecutors who appeared in Cleveland Housing Court to enforce the City’s Building, Housing, Zoning, Health, Fire, and Sidewalk Codes.

Judge O’Leary left the Cleveland Law Department in 2005 when he was appointed to be a judge with the Cleveland Municipal Court’s General Division. He was in that position for several months before joining the law firm Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs in the Real Property and Construction Practice.

Judge O’Leary returned to Cleveland City Hall in October 2006 as the Assistant Director of the Department of Building & Housing. He held that position until August 2014 when he became Director. In those positions he supervised the building, residential building, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, safety, and elevator inspectors. These inspectors inspected all work for construction and code violations. Judge O’Leary also supervised Building & Housing’s Demolition Bureau. In the 10 years that Judge O’Leary was with Building & Housing, the Department demolished nearly 9,000 blighted structures throughout Cleveland’s neighborhoods.

In his new role as Housing Court Judge, Judge O’Leary sees the opportunity to continue working to improve quality of life in Cleveland’s neighborhoods. “Cleveland is a fantastic city with a rich history and tremendous potential. We pushed back against predatory lending and other factors that contributed to the foreclosure crisis and unprecedented vacancy and blight. Now that housing conditions have been improving for several years, we will continue addressing blight while turning more attention to occupied properties—particularly rentals. This will stabilize and preserve our neighborhoods and homes for future generations.”

Judge O’Leary met his wife, Jennifer Heinert O’Leary after they began working as attorneys for the Cleveland Law Department. They live in Ohio City with their daughters—Sophie, Cecelia, and Josie—and their border collie, Tori.

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