Emanuella D. Groves

Office: For Judge of the Eighth District Court of Appeals
Term Beginning 2/11/2021

Age: 61

Residence: Cleveland



Social Media: 

Occupation: Judge

Education: J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law

Work Experience: Judge 18 years; Attorney at Groves and Groves Attorneys at Law; Staff Attorney and Administrator at Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and Assistant Cleveland Prosecutor.

Family: Married with 2 adult children

Affiliations: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, National Bar Association Judicial Council, National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness

Endorsements: Cleveland Plain Dealer; Northshore AFL-CIO, Shaker Heights Democratic Club, FIIN-PAC

Bar Association Ratings: 2020 Excellent ratings from ALL five bar associations in Judge 4 Yourself

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I have been a Cleveland Municipal Judge for 18 years. I was elected in 2001. I have been the Cleveland Mental Health Specialized Docket judge for 3 years. I have used the power of the court to impact the lives of the people who appear before me and the legal system. I have created numerous programs to help offenders help themselves. As a result of the Get on Track Program I helped create, over 600 people have secured their GED’s. I created the Community Orientation Program (COP) to educate people on their rights and responsibilities when they encounter the police. I also created a curfew program to address both parents’ and children’s responsibilities in the school. I was the Chair of the Rules Committee for over 10 years. As the Chair, I spear headed many improvements in the court and reviewed and revised rules that helped improve the operations of the court. Concerned with defendants sitting in jail on minor misdemeanor offenses because they failed to appear in court, I speared the creation of a process to allow for the release of defendants once they were processed.

As the Mental Health Court Judge, I created innovative measures to focus on the therapeutic progress of each participant who was diagnosed with mental illness. The compliance hearings for the participants in the program was relocated from the justice center and into a community room at a social service site. Education on mental illness and art therapy have been incorporated into the program. These innovative measures have been recognized by both the Alcohol Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). I have written over 20 opinions that have been published and used as legal precedence by other judges.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I am a student and teacher of the law. I have been an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve School of Law for 3 years. I teach Criminal Procedure II. I must study and stay current in the law. My teaching allows me to challenge law students as they challenge me. I create Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars for attorneys. I select thought provoking topics. I have had hundreds of attorneys attend the numerous seminars that I have created and have been approved by the Ohio Supreme Court. The evaluations from the attendees have been extremely favorable and often state the seminars were one of the best they have attended. I have presented at many CLE seminars covering various topics. I prepare my own presentations which requires me to research the subject matters.

I volunteer through my church, the bar association and sorority. I have volunteered at the school close to my church for many years. I have an opportunity to see the needs of the students and mentor them in personal responsibility and goal setting. I volunteer on behalf of the bar association at local high schools. Through my sorority I assisted with it’s annual expungement fairs. My volunteer work helps me better understand the needs of the community and the people who come before me. I am often asked to speak at church programs. I appreciate the opportunities because they require me to be more knowledgeable about the bible. In my preparation, I must also do serious self reflections and evaluations of myself to see how I measure up to the personal characteristics and principles that I speak about. Personal qualities like patience, kindness, gentleness and self control. I am convinced in order to be a good judge, you must strive to be a good person and understand the importance of exercising your power responsibly.

Finally, I am a wife of 39 years and mother of 2 children who are both graduates of Princeton University. Juggling the needs of a family require many skillsets that are transferable to the court as you make decisions about people’s lives.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
The Court of Appeals is a scholarly court. The appellate court can effectively impact the administration of justice. As a trial court judge, I have had over 20 opinions written and published. These opinions are used as legal precedence by other judges and cited in legal reference books. I recall over 10 years ago, an appellate judge sought me out at a judicial conference of hundreds of judges to let me know she had used one of my opinions in an opinion she had written. She went on to ask me if I had considered becoming an appellate judge. At the time I had not. However, since that time, I have written far more opinions and began to teach at Case Law School. It is a great honor to stand as a professor in the room I once sat as a student. I am able to stand there because of the scholarly efforts I have undertaken. I love the law and impact it can have on people’s lives, our community and the administration of justice. I understand the responsibility to uphold the constitution.

In 2017, I found the RTA health line fare enforcement practice unconstitutional because passengers’ Fourth Amendment rights were being violated when law enforcement officers were requiring passengers to provide proof of fare without probable cause that they had attempted to evade payment of fare. My opinion was instrumental in Pittsburgh deciding not to adopt the same fare enforcement practice. I am not required to write opinions as a trial judge. However, I chose to write because I want to clearly set forth how I arrive at my decisions. I do my own research and writing. Service on the court of appeals would be a natural transition, given the level of work I am currently doing.