Dana S. Preisse

Office: For Judge of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations/Juvenile Division
Term Beginning 1/2/2021

Age: 59

Residence: Dublin



Social Media:

Occupation: Judge

Education: J.D. Capital University Law School 1985; B.A. Journalism The Ohio State University 1982

Work Experience: 24 years as a Judge in Domestic Relations/Juvenile Division. Eleven years in private practice with a small law firm, prior. Represented people in family court and also in general division civil courts with experience in jury trials, appellate courts, administrative hearings throughout Ohio.

Family: Married with adult children

The Center for Family Safety and Healing at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Board member. Franklin Park Conservatory, Women’s Board. President of the Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges. Ohio Judicial Conference Executive Board Member. Juvenile Law and Procedure Committee, Domestic Relations Law and Procedure Committee, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus Bar Association, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Endorsements: “Full Support” by the Baptist Ministerial Alliance; AFL-CIO Central Ohio; AFSCME Ohio Council 8; Fire Fighters Union Local 67; Columbus Building Trades; Central Ohio Association For Justice “Highly Recommended”

Bar Association Ratings: Preferred 3 to 1 over opponent in the Columbus Bar Association preference poll; “Highly Recommended” in 2020 by the Columbus Bar Association

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
1997 through 2020, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile Division.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
As a practicing attorney for over a decade, I was active in the Columbus Bar Association (CBA) Family Law Committee and represented individuals of all walks of life, race, sexual identity and income levels. I had the good fortune of working with some very experienced, highly reputable and talented trial attorneys who taught me the correct way to try a case to a jury or judge. I had trials in front of juries in several counties and presented a thousand cases at administrative hearings throughout Ohio. Thus, I know what it means to be a good and fair judge, before I was ever elected, because frankly, I came across some judges that were neither.

I knew that having the proper temperament was important and I have lived up to that standard, mixing in humor when appropriate to reduce the tension in the courtroom. I worked hard and efficiently in private practice which translated into the same hard work on the bench. I had a breadth of experience from simple cases in small claims, to very complicated cases in common pleas and appellate courts. I learned that when a judge treats clients fairly and with respect, even if the case does not go their way, they respect the outcome and the judicial system. Litigants and attorneys dislike arrogance in judges and appreciate kindness, as we all should. Practicing in front of scores of judges throughout Ohio taught me a lot about judging, before I became one.

I have mentored high school and law school students. Maintaining a good reputation among peers has always been paramount, both on the bench and prior. I did pro bono work with the “Lawyers for Justice” CBA sub-committee and continue to be active with the CBA, welcoming new attorneys. I volunteered to serve on numerous committees for the Supreme Court of Ohio including the Guardian ad Litem Task Force and the Continuity of Operations Committee (Disaster Planning ) and have served as a panelist, for continuing educational purposes for both attorneys and judges.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I love my job and the challenges it presents. And the legal community strongly supports me in keeping it. That is why I am running to maintain my seat.

As the senior judge on our court and after two decades and over 100,000 cases, I still love what I do. It is a privilege to serve on the domestic relations and juvenile court bench where we get to help people who are often in difficult situations, solve their issues. I also want to continue projects that I spearheaded and oversee such as Family Recovery Court and Juvenile Recovery Court. In 2002 we created the first drug court in Franklin County, known now as Recovery Court. I have witnessed firsthand the scourge illegal opioids, heroin and fentanyl have inflicted on our families. Our voluntary but intensive program helps parents achieve and maintain sobriety so that their children can be returned to their care. Parents learn parenting skills through classes, must do random drug tests and counseling, are assisted in finding affordable housing (tremendously difficult in central Ohio) and are linked with other support systems. Juvenile Recovery Court started more recently. We are assisting non-violent teens in the juvenile system, achieve permanent sobriety and put them on the road to education and employment rather than on to a path of crime. The graduation ceremonies of our two recovery courts are the highlights of my year.

We also started a raised-bed garden on the concrete courtyard at the Juvenile Intervention Center. I plant alongside the youth detained there, colorful flowers, herbs and vegetables that truly brighten the space and at the same time provide the fixings for salsa when ripened! Most of the youth have never tasted a raw herb, dug a hole in the soil, or watched a plant grow.

As families break apart, spouses, parents and children want a judge with experience, knowledge and compassion. I believe the Columbus Bar Association’s annual rating of me which is based on the opinions of attorneys that practice in my court everyday, prove that I have those qualities. Thank you for taking the time to read about the judicial candidates. No one wants to be in court. It is stressful and expensive. But if you end up in court, you want an experienced, thoughtful individual handling your case. I respectfully ask for your vote November 3rd.