Office: Cuyahoga County – Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, General Division
Residence: Euclid, OH
Website: https://www.RetanioRuckerforJudge2018.com; Facebook.com–Retanio Rucker for Judge 2018; Twitter.com–Retanio Rucker for Judge 2018
Occupation: I am a Magistrate with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division
Education: I am a graduate of St. Ignatius High School (High School diploma); Ohio Wesleyan University (BA); Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (JD)
Work Experience: April 2007 to the present–Magistrate–Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court; February 2007 to April 2007–Assistant Prosecuting Attorney–Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; September 2001 to February 2007–Solo Practitioner–The Retanio Aj Rucker Co., L.P.A.; February 1998 to August 2001–Solo Practitioner–The Smith & Rucker Co., L.P.A.; April 1996 to July 1998–Attorney Advisor–The Social Security Administration, Office of Hearings & Appeals; February 1995 to March 1996–Trial Attorney–climaco, Climaco, Semintore, Leftkawich & Garofoli; February 1988 to February 1995–Assistant Attorney General–Ohio Attorney General’s Office
Family: I am single with five (5) children
Affiliations: The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Life Member); The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Housing Board (Member); The Angels Alumni Organization Board (Member); The Murtis Taylor Multisystemic Human Services Board (Member); The American Bar Association (Member); The Norman S. Minor Bar Association (Member); The Ohio State Bar Association (Member); St. Adalbert Catholic Church (Member)
Endorsements: I am endorsed by the Bedford/Walton Hills Democratic Club; Euclid Democratic Club; Shaker Heights Democratic Club; Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones; Cleveland Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell; Euclid Ward 1 Councilwoman Stephana Caviness; Bedford Heights Councilman Lloyd Anderson; Bedford/Walton Hills City Leader Andrew Mizak; Rev. Paul Hobson Saddler, Sr. of Mt. Zion Congregational UCC; and Rev. J. Edwin Sanders of West Park Baptist Church
Bar Association Ratings: N/A
(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years):
I am a trial attorney of thirty (30) years experience. For eighteen (18) of my thirty (30) years I have been a judicial officer. I began my career as a Volunteer Magistrate with the City of Cleveland Community Diversion Program for First Time Juvenile Offenders in 1999. While a Volunteer Magistrate, I became an Acting Judge with the Licking County Municipal Court in 2005. I held this position for two (2) years. On April 18, 2018, I will have had the honor of serving as a Magistrate with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division for eleven (11) years. I am Judge Alison Nelson Floyd’s Delinquency Magistrate.
As a Magistrate with the Juvenile Court, I deal with administrative, civil, criminal and juvenile law. I use the civil rules, criminal rules, evidentiary rules and the juvenile rules to decide cases. I am also required to use the same elements in the Juvenile Division to decide guilt or innocence of a crime that the Prosecution must use to prove guilt or innocence of a crime in the General Division. In other words, I am performing the same duties as a Magistrate that I would be required to perform as a Judge.
(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
Based on my life experiences, I have a unique perspective on what it means to be a fair and impartial judicial officer. I recall that at times, my mother used to go to bed hungry at night to make sure that my brother and I had something to eat so that we would be ready for school the next day. I worked my way through college during spring, summer and winter breaks to assist my mother with the payment of tuition. I worked a full-time (40) hour a week job and went to law school part-time at night. I also worked part-time for several area attorneys as a law clerk to learn how to become a proficient trial lawyer. It took me six and one (6 1/2) years to finish law school, but in December of 1987, I graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. I took and passed the February 1988 bar and in May of 1988, I was sworn in as a member of the Ohio bar.
Consistent with these experiences and the prejudice I have faced in my personal life and in my professional career, I believe that I have the ability and temperament to be objective with people from all walks of life. A judicial officer, in my opinion, must be fair and impartial in her or his decisions. All people should be treated equally no matter their age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. Moreover, each person should be judged according to the circumstances of their individual case as justice demands. Only in this way, can I or any other jurist arrive at an appropriate, fair and impartial decision.
(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I want to individuals who appear before me to have faith in the decisions the judiciary makes. I want people to know that they will be treated fairly no matter their age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. I am aware that many of those who appear before a judicial officer in our county believe that the judicial system is broken. I do not share this belief. I know from experience that each decision a judicial officer makes will not be liked by every individual. I have learned, however, that if the judicial officer is respected, the parties will respect the decision even if they do not agree with it. I want to bring a sense of consistency to the proceedings. I want the parties to know what to expect from my courtroom as they do now. I want to utilize the special dockets in the General Division as I do now in the Juvenile Division to assist those who need the help a judicial officer must look beyond the “crime and punishment aspect” of a case. If I can restore faith in our judiciary, then I will have accomplished my goal.