Christopher A. Strefelt

Office: For Judge of the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Probate/Juvenile Division
Term Beginning 2/9/2021

Party Affiliation: Republican

Age: 51

Residence: Reynoldsburg



Social Media:

Occupation: Chief Magistrate, Licking County Probate-Juvenile Court

Education: J.D. from University of Dayton School of Law, B.A. with Honors from University of Cincinnati

Work Experience: Assistant Licking County Prosecutor, 11/1994-2/2006; Magistrate in Licking County Probate-Juvenile Court 2/2006-present

Family: Married 22 years with 2 sons

Affiliations: Member, St. Pius X Church, volunteer with Scouts, FIRST Robotics Team 4085, 4H, youth sports, marching band.

Endorsements: None sought

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I have been a magistrate with the Licking County Common Pleas Court, Probate – Juvenile Division since February of 2006. I became Chief Magistrate in 2018.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have been an attorney for 25 years, and spent that entire time working in Licking County. I was an assistant prosecuting attorney from 1994 to 2006. The first 8 years, I worked in the juvenile and civil divisions. I prosecuted every type of case that comes through juvenile court, from minor traffic violations and school truancy through homicide, robbery, and burglary. During those years, I also prosecuted hundreds of cases on behalf of Licking County Children Services. I also was involved in several cases in which juvenile charges were transferred to the adult court for criminal prosecution.

In 2002, I was moved to the adult felony unit, and spent the next four years prosecuting serious felony cases ranging from theft and burglary through homicides. I also prosecuted many appeals in both the juvenile and adult felony divisions. What this experience did was give me strong knowledge of all parts of the juvenile justice system. I know the procedures. I know the rules. I know the law.

My volunteer work has focused on working with young people. There are several reasons for this. First, I believe that working directly with young people in my volunteer work helps me communicate better with young people in court. Second, working with young people gives me a better understanding of young people and their lives, which is extremely valuable when considering disposition (sentencing) for young offenders. Third, I personally believe that it is important for someone who works in the juvenile justice system to do something to help with the issues which bring young people into court in the first place. And, by volunteering with young people, I get an opportunity to act as a positive role model, encouraging good choices and pro-social behavior. Finally, I have experiences in my personal life which make me a better judicial officer.

In 2010, when my mother passed away, I was named as executor of her estate. I know from that experience the amount of stress an estate puts on a family, and those working to carry out the last wishes of a loved one. My experience in that role pushes me to get court matters resolved in a timely manner, as the families appearing in this court deserve timely resolution of their cases.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
For the vast majority of my career, I have worked in the juvenile justice system. For the last 14 years, I have served as magistrate in the Licking County Probate-Juvenile Court, and have been blessed to work with people who truly care about the children, the people, and the families of this community.

My biggest motivation in running for judge of the Probate-Juvenile Court is to continue to work with these people, and serve the families of this county. I have worked in other parts of the court system, and found that the best part of the justice system, for me, is the Probate-Juvenile Court. It is the one place in the system where every case carries with it hope. Hope for the people who come before the court, hope for the families that come to us in crisis, hope for the children who come to us in need of a helping hand.

I am the most qualified candidate for this position. I have been an attorney for 25 years, of which 21 were spent working in some fashion in the Licking County Probate-Juvenile Court. For the last 14 years, I have served as Magistrate for the Probate-Juvenile Court, so I have ample judicial experience in this court. For the last few years, I have been serving as Chief Magistrate, which means that I have been not only hearing cases in the Probate and Juvenile Courts, but also helping with the administration of these courts. I have full understanding of all aspects of the job, because I have been doing that job for several years. Thank you for taking the time to read about me.