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Housing Court Leadership Staff

Samantha Coleman is the Cleveland Housing Court Administrator.Cleveland Housing Court Administrator

Samantha Coleman serves as Court Administrator for Cleveland Housing Court. She is a former Ambulatory Operations Manager, most recently at the MetroHealth System in Cleveland. She has a nursing background and is a graduate of Mercer University, where she received a B.A.Sc. in Organizational Leadership. She earned her Executive Masters of Business Administration degree from Bowling Green State University. Coleman launched her career in nursing, working in the specialty areas of Labor & Delivery (Mt. Sinai Medical Center) and MICU/SICU (Huron Road Hospital) in the Greater Cleveland area. After relocating to Atlanta and graduating from Mercer, she transitioned into health care leadership. That eventually led to a 12-year career at the largest pediatric hospital in the southeast (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta). In this capacity, she championed change management, process improvement, operations, and nursing leadership. Subsequently, her expanding expertise in operations and process improvement allowed her to lead expansion of the first Telemedicine program at CHOA and the designation of the first FQHC-LAL at the MetroHealth System. Coleman returned to the Greater Cleveland area in late 2017. A Cleveland Heights High School graduate, she has two daughters and a dog, Bella. She enjoys traveling, biking and spending time with family and friends.

Jessica 1

Personal Bailiff to Judge Scott

Jessica Alvis, Esq. is Judge Scott’s Personal Bailiff. She joined Cleveland Housing Court in 2020 as a Staff Attorney in the Magistrate Department. Before her tenure with the Court, she served as a Cuyahoga County Prosecutor pursuing justice for the children of Cuyahoga County. Alvis earned her Juris Doctorate from Cleveland Marshall College of Law and her Bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University.

myra torain embry IMG_1596 (1)

Chief Magistrate

Myra Torain Embry serves as Chief Magistrate for the Cleveland Housing Court. In this position she oversees the Magistrate Department, which hears cases between individuals, corporations and other entities. These cases most often involve landlord/tenant matters such as Forcible Entry and Detainer (evictions), motions to stay evictions, temporary restraining orders for utility shut-off, motions to compel repairs, rent deposits, motions for release of rents, and motions to prohibit re-rental. Other civil actions include foreclosure, receivership, and nuisance abatements. Embry has worked for Housing Court for 21 years, joining as Magistrate in August 2000. She became Deputy Chief Magistrate in January 2020. Previously, she was an attorney in the Civil Division of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland for nearly seven years. Embry earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Spelman College and her Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University.


Yusef Russell portrait Feb 2022

Chief Bailiff

Yusef F. Russell Sr. is the Chief Bailiff for the Cleveland Housing Court. Russell is a native of Cleveland and a graduate of Cuyahoga Community College’s Police Academy. He has 20 years of law enforcement experience, including with the East Cleveland Police Department as an auxiliary police officer and as a sheriff’s deputy in Geauga County. He joined Cleveland Housing Court more than 15 years ago and has worked as the court’s field supervisor for 10 years. His lengthy experience with the court enables him to successfully engage directly with the community as well as work hand in hand with the Housing Court staff, continuing to uphold the court’s integrity and promises to serve the city.

Mary Barnwell is Chief Housing Court Specialist.

Chief Housing Court Specialist

Mary Barnwell serves as the Chief Housing Court Specialist for Cleveland Housing Court. In this position, she oversees the Housing Court Specialists Department. The Virginia native earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Health Science from Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. She also attended Youngstown State University. She was hired in 2018 as an Enforcement Specialist with the City of Cleveland’s Division of Air Quality. In 2020, she joined Cleveland Housing Court as the Housing Court Compliance Specialist. She worked to educate the staff and the community about the new Lead Safe Law and how Housing Court can assist in ensuring landlords know about the law and its requirements. She partnered with the Lead Safe Coalition, Environmental Health Watch and other organizations to prevent noncompliance, illegal dumping, and unhealthy and unsafe homes. 

Anthony Crespo is Chief of Information Technology at Cleveland Housing Court.
Chief of Information Technology

Anthony Crespo is the Chief of Information Technology for Cleveland Housing Court. Anthony has served the city of Cleveland with the courts for six years before accepting this role. First he was a Records Manager for the Criminal Division, before joining Housing Court as a Deputy Bailiff. He was born and raised in Garfield Heights, attended Ohio State University, and has his two-year Associates Degree from Cuyahoga Community College. He has worked on the implementation of the Odyssey Case Management System since the project's inception, serving as a lead documenter and Subject Matter Expert for both Housing Court and the Criminal Division. He enjoys running, making people happy, telling stories, traveling, the Cleveland Browns, and 360° windmill dunking on a 10-foot-high hoop.


Cleveland Municipal Housing Court | 1200 Ontario Street, 13B | Cleveland, Ohio 44113 216.664.4295 | Contact Us |

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