Ginny Millas

Office: For Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division
Term Beginning 1/8/2021

Party Affiliation: Democratic

Age: 59

Residence: Cleveland



Social Media: 

Occupation: Magistrate for Juvenile Division Common Pleas Court

Education: J.D. Cleveland State University

Work Experience: 
Custody Magistrate 7 years, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney 14 years, Assistant Public Defender 2 years and 2 years as law clerk

Family: Divorced with 2 children

Affiliations: Beth-El Synagogue


Bar Association Ratings: Good by all rating through Judge4Yourself

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
Custody Magistrate for the Honorable Michael J. Ryan at the Juvenile Division of common please Court, 2012-present. I have made countless custody decisions for children suffering abuse or neglect. I have also presided over cases where unwed parents have custody disputes. I have also been active and involved in many administrative efforts to reform Juvenile Court so have a taste of the administrative side of being a Judge.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, [In-Charge supervising Attorney] Children and Family Services Unit, 2006-2012. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Children and Family Services Unit, 1998-2006. Assistant Public Defender, Juvenile Division, 1996-1998. Assistant Public Defender, Law Clerk, 1994-1996. Artist as first career after Masters in Fine Arts at Ohio University. I am openly transgender, gay and Jewish.

I learned to be a creative problem solver and nuanced thinker from my artist background and education. The communication and thinking skills that I developed as an artist have served me in a wide array of professional and personal manners and guided me to considerable success.

I have litigated on both sides of the trial table so understand well what each lawyer is aspiring to and should achieve. This understanding has provided me with a balanced perspective.

I transitioned while on the bench which took considerable courage. I’m so grateful and proud of our Juvenile Court for allowing me the dignity to be my authentic self while at work. My experiences as a transgender woman have given me insight on the need for gender equality in custody decisions, safety for children and victims of domestic violence, and special care to balance any power inequities between litigants.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I want to be a leader, role model and fearless advocate for the underdog and disenfranchised. If elected I would be the second transgender Common Pleas Judge in the United States. We are not all judged by the strength of our character or demonstrated work skills.

I want to remind people that we were all strangers at one point in time. Although our nation has not yet realized Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to be judged by our talents; my winning this election would bring our County closer to that dream and would be a beacon of light and hope for the nation.

As Custody Magistrate, I like to solve complicated problems and make difficult decisions where there are competing values. Custody disputes for children are volatile and emotional for the family which requires conflict management skills and empathetic listening. I like to analyze from multiple perspectives and am vested in making well-reasoned decisions. We are a learned profession and our decisions should reflect reason and foster respectability and confidence in the Court. I have been told that I have gentle judicial temperament which I find a good match to meet the need to de-escalate conflict for litigants. Institutional change is not easy and long-lasting change must be done intelligently and strategically.

I would first like to laud the positives of Domestic Relations Court of which there are many. For example, the Domestic Relations Court has a stellar domestic violence specialty docket that the serves our community well. I would like to focus on ensuring mature children having a strong voice in their own custody decision, protecting women [or men] and children from domestic violence, and meeting the many challenges from the rising tide of self-represented litigants. I would have the advantage of seeing things with fresh eyes. I am a collaborative problem solver and team player. I can be persistent and persuasive when I see the need for change. I have been involved in many successful reform and administrative efforts and changes while a Magistrate at Juvenile Court.