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Project Title: A Case Study – “Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter and An Examination
of Hamilton County’s Backlog of Cases”
Case Study By: Vanessa Enoch and Cheri Scott

PPS 807 Women and Leadership

Dr. Nancy Boxill



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Case Abstract
This case study explores issues of power relative to the intersectionality of race and
gender in the judiciary. It illuminates structural and systemic issues, that when viewed
through a race and gendered lens presents an understanding of the level of resistance,
obstacles, and challenges faced by African American women in particular who rise to
leadership roles and seek to challenge the status quo. Judge Tracie Hunter is the first
African American and the first Democrat to ever become a judge in the juvenile court in
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. Judge Hunter won her seat after a heated court battle
and a series of appeals, spearheaded by Hamilton County Prosecutor, Joe Deters, who
represented the Hamilton County Board of Elections, after Hunter sued the Board of
Elections for voter suppression. Inevitably, the county was required to count more than
800 votes from majority black precincts, when it was found that poll-workers were
responsible for sending voters to the wrong booth, which caused their votes to be
disqualified. This case surrounds Hamilton County’s problem of a backlog of cases and
background on the witch hunt that Judge Hunter faced in her first 18 months on the
bench, and the tremendous injustices that are directed towards the children in the
Hamilton County judicial system, which prompted Hunter to run for judge in the first
place. Over 80% of the children served in Hamilton County are African American
children who have for years been subjected to a school-to-prison pipeline. The case
exposes the numerous violations of their civil, constitutional, and human rights; and
presents an analysis of the collusion, strategic privatization of the juvenile detention
facility, administrative policy changes, and political maneuvers on the part of Republican
Party government officials in Hamilton County, to take the power of the judiciary and
oversight of the $30,000,000 budget, the second largest budget in Hamilton County, out
of the hands of elected Judge Hunter and putting it in the hands of the judge that she
defeated in the 2010 elections.


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Why a race and gendered lens?
Few case studies have been done on women in the judiciary, and even fewer
surrounding the intersectionality of race and gender in the judiciary. In fact, at the time
of this study, researchers, Vanessa Enoch and Cheri Franklin-Scott were unable to locate
any case studies of its kind. An analysis of gender relations relative to race can give us
an understanding of the challenge of access, and illuminates problems of power and
control.
A race and gendered approach can provide a better understanding of why a
situation has developed the way it has. It can also lead us to explore assumptions about
issues such as the distribution of resources and the impact of culture. Furthermore, a race
and gendered lens can inform the reader of potential entry points for measures that
promote equality within a particular context. It may also assist with creating measures of
equity and potential approaches to addressing disparities.

This case study took as its premise that it was necessary to approach the work
through the eyes of the African American female. This lens allows a full and detailed
observation of the structural dynamics and an understanding of systemic issues that have
historically created barriers for blacks and women. It is assumed that there was a need to
listen to people, and, in particular, to the voices of women and blacks whose problems
and aspirations are seldom heard. The lens that is generally presented of African
American women is not always positive. It is necessary to understand if it is the
processes or the outcomes that are not positive. African American women’s integration
into larger markets creates changes in social relationships, a different level of care and
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concern for children, and issues of equality. It is critical to understand these factors so
that development activities become tailored to maximize creative capacities and have a
new positive impact on the involved communities.

The Back Story
In the November 2010 midterm election, Tracie Hunter was elected as the first
African-American, Juvenile Court Judge in Hamilton County, Ohio. Judge Hunter
embarked upon a tedious battle to obtain her seat after the Hamilton County Board of
Elections rejected provisional ballots for more than 800 voters. The rejection of
provisional ballots awarded Judge Hunter’s opponent, John Williams, a 23-point lead,
invoking a court battle which cost taxpayers $2,000.000.00. Judge Hunter sued the
Hamilton County Board of Elections for voter suppression in the U.S. District Court (See
Exhibit 1) after it was revealed that poll workers caused the errors. “Her landmark case,
Hunter v. Hamilton County Board of Elections, later upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals, paved the way for all Ohio voters to have their provisional ballots counted when
rejected due to poll-workers error” (Hamilton County Juvenile Court, 2014, para. 2). (See
Exhibit 1).

Accusation of Excessive Backlog Cases
On May 25
th
2012, 18 months after contesting the Ohio elections Tracie Hunter
was finally sworn in as judge for the Hamilton County Juvenile Court. Shortly after
taking her seat as Judge, Hunter was sued by the, Public Defender’s Office for the
backlog of cases, which amounted to eighteen writs filed against her (See Exhibit 2).
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Although some of the writs were dropped, Hunter was initially accused of having 79
cases out of time. An investigation conducted by Jennifer Branch, Judge Hunter’s
personal attorney, revealed that on the same document which reported Hunter’s 79 cases,
Judge John Williams, the Administrative Juvenile Court Judge, had 103 cases out of time
that went unchallenged. These numbers were reported August 2012 less than four
months after Judge Hunter was officially seated.
It was also reported by Attorney Branch that Judge John Williams had more cases
out of time than Judge Hunter from January through September 2012 that also went
unscathed. More than 18 writs were filed solely against Judge Hunter, although it has
been documented by Attorney Jennifer Branch that case backlog has been a problem for
Hamilton County Juvenile Court for at least seven years. Judge Hunter raised this
concern in an email to Judge John Williams concerning the timeline of cases on her
docket. In the email Judge Hunter stated, “Many cases pending beyond the timeline on
my docket were pending beyond the timeline when I arrived to Juvenile Court. Some of
the cases were repeatedly continued by Judges before me. In fact, you signed off on
some of those cases before I arrived. I recently dismissed an Objection that the attorney
alleges Judge Lipps continued for years without oral argument” (para. 2)(See Exhibit 3).
A court case obtained from the First District Court of Appeals of Ohio supports
Judge Hunter’s claim regarding pending cases that were beyond the timeline on her
docket. The case, State of Ohio Ex Rel. Klarysa, Benge, Relator v. Tracie M. Hunter,
Judge, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, Respondent is
referenced as a case in point. A grandmother in a custody court case filed “preliminary
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objections and a motion for leave to file out of time were filed by the grandmother on
May 17, 2012”, a week prior to Judge Hunter being sworn in.
The minor child was moved to the custody of the Hamilton County Department of
Job and Family Services (HCJFS) on February 11, 2011 by the Hamilton County Juvenile
court and was upgraded from a “temporary order of custody to an order of permanent
custody” (p. 1). The case also stated:
On September 7, 2012, the magistrate issued detailed findings of facts
regarding the grant of permanent custody. On October 30, 2012, the
grandmother’s objection was dismissed for failure of petitioner or her
counsel to appear. A motion for reconsideration was filed on November 5,
2012, which was granted on February 5, 2013. Judge Hunter heard oral
arguments on the objection on May 2, 2013 and May 13, 2013. Klarysa
Benge stated that Judge Hunter has not yet ruled on the objection or the
motion for leave as required by Juv.R.40 (D)(4)(d).
The claim filed against Judge Hunter stated that her delayed decision caused the child
emotional harm, even though the child had been living with foster parents for several
years, since she was eight months old. This is an example of a case that was pending in
the system prior to Judge Hunter’s arrival that required special consideration and
thorough examination. She had to review transcripts of the objected cases which usually
takes longer than delinquency cases due to the sensitive issue of removing a child from
the foster home. It was also discovered that some of the transcripts were as old as five
years, and that the case managers’ recording and transcribing the hearings were taking six
months to a year to complete due to various errors made within the reports.
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In July 2013, Judge Hunter requested an independent audit of the Juvenile Court
backlog. Despite her request, Judge John Williams would not agree to the audit.
According to a letter submitted to Stephanie Hess, Esq., Director of Court Services in the
Supreme Court of Ohio, Judge Hunter affirms, “I made a request to Judge Williams to
join me in conducting an independent audit of all cases, including those incorrectly
reported to the Supreme Court to determine the scope and depth of the flawed data.
Unfortunately, to date, he hasn’t responded” (Hunter, 2013, para. 4) (See Exhibit 4).
According to Hunter, “An audit will show that the majority of these cases are
rarely ever heard by the magistrates within the recommended guideline and are out of
time before they reach the judge's docket.” She added, “The newspaper article did not
report that the dependency cases were pending years beyond the deadline before they
reached my docket.” “This ongoing problem of cases being heard out of time existed
long before I became a Juvenile Court Judge,’’ she said. “I question the Enquirer, Judge
Williams, and the Public Defender's motivation for misrepresenting data. They all knew
children were languishing in foster care for years before I ever received many of these
cases, however I am being singled out for a problem that didn't begin with me and that
has been a problem in Juvenile Court for years” (The Cincinnati Herald, 2013). On
December 2, 2013, the Ohio Supreme Court acknowledged “the backlog has been a long-
standing problem in Juvenile Court for years” (Gerhardstein & Branch, 2013, para. 5) and
appointed retired Judge Lipps to help alleviate the backlogs from Judge Hunter and Judge
Williams docket.


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Systemic Problem with Backlog Cases
Court briefs submitted to the Ohio Supreme Court by Jennifer Branch’s law firm
estimated that the Hamilton County Juvenile Court has the heaviest caseload than any
other court in the state of Ohio and represents over 14,055 cases. The problem with case
backlogs result from years of inaccurate reporting and flaws in the system. Exhibit 5:
State of Ohio Ex. Rel., Megan Shanan-Beck, Appellete v. Judge Tracie M. Hunter,
Appellant case brief outlines an exhaustive list of problems within the Juvenile Court.
The brief illustrates the results from an annual case flow report indicating respondents
expressed dissatisfaction with Hamilton County Juvenile Court and “felt business was not
done in a reasonable time” (p. 4-5). The brief exemplifies “the Hamilton County Juvenile
Court has a long-term and continuing inability to timely manage custody and abuse,
neglect, or dependency cases (p. 5). The brief goes on to describe management practices
within Hamilton County Juvenile Court stating that there is a systemic problem with
oversight, and discrepancies in reports issued by the courts administration that “would
help alert a judge to delays”. According to the brief, “Judges appear not to have access to
a “report that would permit each judge to be able to routinely monitor their assigned
caseload in which objections and motions to set aside remain pending” (p. 5).
Judge Hunter raised concerns regarding pending cases in an email sent to
Constance Murdock, Executive Director of Case Management and Docketing on
November 8, 2012:
There also appear to be discrepancies in the report regarding which cases
are pending beyond the date. Upon a closer inspection of the audit report,
some of the cases John reported to the Supreme Court as pending had
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actually been dismissed; or a new motion filed in the case, which means
the case should have been closed. It would seem that if a new motion was
later filed, that would restart the clock. (See Exhibit 6 page 2).
Constance Murdock responded to Judge Hunter’s email on November 14
th
, 2012 by
acknowledging that Judge John Williams agreed that he made errors on reports sent to the
Ohio Supreme Court. She stated, “Regarding the discrepancies you found between what
John was listing as pending and you were determining to be dismissed and re-filed, John
agrees that he was making some errors. He was trained to do that report by my
predecessor. (See Exhibit 6, page 1). This email communication provides evidence of
Judge Hunter’s attempt to investigate case backlog issue prior to having the writs filed.
She raised this concern with the Ohio Supreme Court, which immediately formed a
committee to review Hunter and William’s cases. The court was primarily concerned
about William’s inaccurate monthly reports sent to the Ohio Supreme Court.
When cases involve objections, judges are required to do “more than when ruling
on a mere motion” and in “the ruling on objections to a magistrate’s decision, the judge is
required to undertake an independent review as to any objected matters” (See Exhibit 5).
This process is extensive and cannot be expeditiously ruled on when the custody of
children are involved because the judge is expected to read the entire transcript, hear oral
arguments, and read and review exhibits that accompany the case. Interviews with a
research respondent revealed that the court staff was incapable of performing basic court
duties, such as court entries. “It is the duty of Court Administer to keep everything
running smoothly”, however when Judge Hunter presided in her role as Judge she didn’t
have the benefit of access to the Court Administrator. Court entries contained numerous
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spelling errors, incorrect grammar, and inaccurate information. This is reflected in the
email sent to Judge Williams (See Exhibit 3) where Judge Hunter expressed that they
“conduct an independent audit of every case” as a result of:
Discovering that Juvenile Court lacks consistent operating procedures and
rules of practices in many areas of law. In an effort to clean up these
inconsistent practices and applications of the law, I diligently work late
every night, and am consistently the last to leave the building, to provide
consistent and constructive application of the law, rules and procedures for
the Magistrates to follow below. This will ultimately reduce the number
of Objections. (para.5).

Opposing Argument Regarding Backlog of Cases
On March 14, 2014 Raymond T. Faller a lawyer from Hamilton County Public
Defenders Office, Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, Ernest W.
Lee, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appelle Hamilton County Department of Job
and Family Services, Kimberly A. Helfrich, for Appellee Guardian Ad Litem. and Hugh
P. McCloskey Jr. for Appelle Mother requested a judgment for a reverse and cause
remanded claiming that Judge Hunter “ was required by her court’s rules to review a
decision made by a magistrate” ( Kimball, 2014, para. 5). According to court documents,
the magistrate awarded custody to HCJFS on June 14, 2012, where the mother filed an
objection. During the conclusion, Judge Hunter stated that a judgment would be entered
within 60 days but that did not happen. A writ of procedendo was issued on September
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th
, 2013 “ordering the trial court to enter judgment in the case by October 16
th
2013. A
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ruling came on October 18
th
, 2013 that agreed with the magistrate’s decision because the
mother’s counsel did not present a strong enough case in her legal arguments. According
to a news article:
Hunter eventually ruled, two days after the appeals court ordered her to
and 11 months after she held the first hearing. Her ruling, though, blasted
the mother’s attorney for not presenting a better defense. More
importantly, Hunter admitted in that decision that she did “not have time
to rectify the shortcomings of Mother’s legal arguments” (Perry, 2014,
para. 8).
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that “Judge Hunter came under fire”, which implied the
decision “was a violation of juvenile court rules” due to errors of law and defects found
in the case. If errors of law and defects are found, the presiding judge cannot adopt the
decision of the magistrate and must review the case. Judge Hunter expressed that she
was not given adequate time on the case as the case lingered in the system before Judge
Hunter’s arrival. According to Sup. R. 40 (B), found in Exhibit 4:
Each judge shall report to the administrative judge decisions that have not
been ruled upon within the applicable time period. The administrative
judge shall confer with the judge who has motions pending beyond the
applicable time period and shall determine the reasons for the delay on the
rulings. If the administrative judge determines that there is no just cause
for the delay, the administrative judge shall seek to rectify the delay within
sixty days. If the delay is not rectified within sixty days, the
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administrative judge shall report the delay to the Case Management
Section of the Supreme Court (p. 2).
In Exhibit 4, Judge Hunter communicated her concerns regarding the allegations
made against her by Judge Williams, the Administrative Judge, by declaring that Judge
Williams commenced an independent review of her cases without notifying her or even
attempting to make contact with her. She stated that she made a concerted effort to work
alongside Judge Williams “to provide a more accurate picture of the entire problem” (p.
2), but he continued to ignore her request for a meeting and only communicated with her
through third party affiliates. Part of Hunter’s concern is that Williams released reports to
the media regarding his independent review of her cases and continued to place blame on
her for the backlog cases, even after it was revealed and acknowledged by the Ohio
Supreme Court that the entire system and database had been flawed for several years,
prior to Hunter’s arrival.

The Heart of the Matter
Prior to running for juvenile court judge, Hunter had been a practicing Attorney in
the juvenile justice system. She ran for Juvenile Court Judge because she saw an
opportunity to effect change. As a pastor and a journalist, Hunter had dedicated her life
to improving the lives of children and the local community. And, as a lawyer practicing
in the juvenile court, Hunter felt that the juvenile court system was ripe for such change,
and she believed that this is where she could make the biggest difference. Hunter was
sensitive to the plight of children, as evidenced by the many letters she wrote and
statements she made publicly (Hunter, 2013). She believed in the stated objectives of the
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juvenile court system, which is designed to rehabilitate, yet as an attorney, she found that
the Hamilton County Juvenile Court to be more punitive than policy dictated. Hunter had
never been in any kind of trouble herself, in fact she’d never even seen the inside of a
principal’s office or had a detention in all her years growing up (Hunter, 2013); so the
problem of a disproportionate number of African American children (more than 80% of
those served) in the court system was an issue that tremendously concerned Hunter; as
was this tremendous attack and slew of lawsuits against her (Hunter, 2013). Judge
Hunter organized nearly 200 prayer walks through Cincinnati’s toughest neighborhoods
to combat crime. Guidepost Magazine documented that in April 2002, a prayer walk she
coordinated with over 1000 people prevented a violent uprising during the 2001 civil
unrest in Cincinnati. Before joining the court, Hunter served as a guardian ad litem with
ProKids and worked as a contract attorney with the public defender's office. She had
previously worked in several halfway houses for juvenile offenders. Hunter ran had also
ran her own practice since 1994. As a judge, she saw the opportunity to actively engage
in a process to ensure change in the lives of young people by ensuring that the
constitution was applied to all children and families fairly (Hunter, 2013).
Hunter became the first Democrat to be elected to her seat as judge in what had
traditionally been a Republican ran court system. Traditionally, Hamilton County Judges
have always been initially appointed to their seat and only required to run as an
incumbent to hold their seat in subsequent elections. Not only was Hunter not appointed
to her seat, but she beat Dan Donnellon, the endorsed Democratic candidate by 10,000
votes to win the Democratic primary. She was also not endorsed by The Cincinnati
Enquirer, the City’s largest newspaper. They endorsed John Williams, the Republican
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candidate in the Juvenile Court Judicial race. It is important to note that the Juvenile
Court Judgeship was the second most powerful seat in Hamilton County (next to the
Sheriff’s office), with oversight of a nearly $30 million budget, approximately 400
employees, the ability to hire magistrates (who sit in the seat of a judge), and decision
making authority in over 14,400 juvenile cases.
Hunter was trapped between competing paradigms of power and politics,
especially relative to statutory law and practical application of the law. Hunter had a
keen understanding of the law, but her challenges came in the form of the semantics, and
not the law itself. According to the law, Hunter was should have rightfully been entitled
to possess the power that the office of Judge held. However, her opponents found
numerous loopholes in order to prevent Hunter from operating effectively in her role as
judge. Hunter was elected by the Hamilton County citizens to be a change agent, yet her
opponents appeared to be determined to prevent change by way of a strategic and
organized effort and a series of attacks launched against her.
While the intention of this case is to explore the issue of the backlog of cases in
Hamilton County, important issues concerning significant policy changes and changes to
standard operating procedures took place over the 18 months that Hunter’s Judgeship
hanged in the balance. From the time Hunter was declared the real winner in the election,
there were rumblings of swift changes to policy, which appeared to be aimed at
disempowering Hunter in her role as judge. On May 14, 2012, approximately 11 days
before Hunter was sworn in, Judge Williams, also new to the bench, received Supreme
Court approval to change Rules 3 & 4 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of
Ohio (See Appendix C). This change modified the service date interpretation to mean
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who was in the judicial seat first as opposed to who was elected to the office first. What
this meant is that despite the fact that Judge Williams appointment came after Hunter was
elected Judge, he would automatically assume the role of Administrative Judge if he and
Hunter couldn’t agree on who would be Administrative Judge. The rule had always had a
rotating provision saying that whichever judge was the Administrative Judge the previous
year, the judges would rotate the following year. The new rules omitted the rotating
clause, so that Judge Williams would always assume the role of Administrative Judge,
which according to the previous rule of seniority should have rightfully belonged to
Judge Hunter, since she was elected to her seat in November 2010 and Williams was
appointed to the other seat in November 2011, with the sudden retirement of Judge Karla
Grady; a move which ended her judgeship several months before her term was scheduled
to end. Generally, a change of this nature to Rules of Superintendence would entail a
public comment process. This policy change, however, did not go through the public
comment process, nor was it a change made by judges at the Ohio Supreme court level.
This change was made by staff members of the Supreme Court (See Rules Of
Superintendence For The Courts Of Ohio). Subsequent to this change, a new
employment manual was also released (Source: Research Respondent).
The Juvenile court employee manual had not been updated since 1992. Of the
several changes to the manual, the majority of them gave more authority to the
Administrative Judge. The new manual gave the Administrative Judge and the Court
Administrator complete oversight of the court and in cases of disagreement, decision
making power. According to the new manual, final decision would fall in the hands of the
judge with the most seniority (Source: Research Respondent). In accordance with the
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recent articulation of the term ‘seniority’ by Supreme Court Staffers, Williams would
become the Administrative Judge. In a final move to remove the power of the judgeship
from the hands of Judge Hunter, Hamilton County voted to privatize Hillcrest Training
Center, the Juvenile Detention Center in Hamilton County. The for-profit organization,
Rite of Passage, Inc. filed to operate in Ohio on November 22, 2011, six months before
Hunter was sworn in. Hamilton County Commissioners voted to privatize the Training
Center on April 20th, only five days before Hunter’s swearing in.
11 months after presiding on the bench, Hunter found herself engaged in a heated
battle, with numerous lawsuits filed against her by the Prosecutors Office; The Hamilton
County Public Defender's Office; The Cincinnati Enquirer, the local newspaper; and the
Hamilton County Commissioner. In May 2013, Hunter attempted to impact the
traditional nepotistic hiring and firing practices in the county when she refused to sign off
on Judge Williams Chief of Security selection. Hunter was concerned that the process
had not been open to other suitable candidates. The hiring was delayed for only a short
time frame. In January, 2014, immediately after the prosecutor filed nine charges against
Hunter on what the respondent called, “several trumped up charges”, which included a
charge for backdating cases”, Hunter was removed from the bench. Judge Williams told
her to remove her things from her office and to turn in her keys; within days, the decision
was made to move forward with the hiring of the sole candidate for Chief of Security
(Source: Research Respondent).
According to research respondent, Williams immediately went to work in an
attempt to clean up Hamilton County’s messes. It was suggested by a research
respondent that the water main break and concurrent flood that allegedly happened inside
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the building might have been part of that clean-up effort, “Who knows what went on in
that building on January 7, 2014 and the several days following when the court staff,
including Judge Hunter was not allowed to even enter the building…wouldn’t it be
convenient for certain documents to disappear…the flood mysteriously happened on the
same day Judge Hunter was suspended”.
There were numerous challenges to Hunters authority, within her first 5 months
on the bench, Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann filed a lawsuit against
Hunter on October 18, 2012, for ordering that the county hire Wende G. Cross as a Court
Administrator to assist her. Hartmann told FOX19 News. "She's got no right to file that
order. She's not the presiding judge. It's a shame we can't work this out like adults"
(Fox19 Staff Reporter, 2012). In a statement explaining why Hamilton County had to
take what he called an unprecedented act in the history of the county in suing a Hamilton
County Judge, Hartman cited budgetary reasons for not hiring an Administrator. Hunter
questioned the county’s willingness to spend $106,000 to hire a much needed Court
Administrator to assist her, versus their willingness to spend $2,000,000 to keep her out
of office (Fox19 Staff Reporter, 2012).
In April 2013, Hunter also attempted to impact change by stopping the practice of
shackling children in her courtroom. Shackling restarted after Hunter’s suspension. In
March of 2014 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio asked the state’s
Supreme Court to strike down the shackling of children in a courtroom. This request
came after a 14-year-old girl charged with a non-violent drug offense was shackled in
Hamilton County Juvenile Court. The ACLU requested that the court adopt the policy
that already exists for adults in Hamilton County, of first holding a hearing to determine
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if it is necessary. “This child is 5-foot-2. She has been charged with a non-violent
offense, and she has no prior criminal record,” said ACLU of Ohio Senior Staff Attorney
Jennifer Martinez Atzberger. “A judge should be looking at facts like these to determine
whether children really need to be locked in chains to keep court personnel safe” (WCPO
Staff Reporter, 2014). According to Atzberger, “the court forced the girl to appear in full
body shackles despite a motion filed by her attorney requesting that she be allowed to
appear unrestrained”. “Right now, courts in Ohio are doing to children what it is illegal
to do to adults…These hearings are not just a formality; they are an essential part of due
process under the law. As adults, we demand these rights. Children deserve no less”
(WCPO Staff Reporter, 2014).
Hunter’s next initiative was to stop media from printing the names and pictures of
accused juvenile offenders, as the practice of printing juvenile names and faces was
against the law according to the rules that were already in place in Hamilton County. In
several public venues Hunter expressed her belief that not only was printing juvenile’s
names and faces against the law, but by ignoring the law the media was in direct
opposition to the effort to rehabilitate children. Putting the names of 12 year old children
in the newspaper in this electronic age is certainly not instrumental in reforming children
and does not afford them the opportunity to become productive citizens. The move on
Hunter’s part to stop putting certain details concerning juvenile defendants in the paper
resulted in a law suit filed against Hunter by the Cincinnati Enquirer to force her to
release the juvenile’s information and to allow the media access to her courtroom. Media
was subsequently allowed in the courtroom, but they were not allowed to broadcast, film,
photograph, or record courtroom proceedings.
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The major shift in the case came when Hunter discovered that there were
discrepancies between her actual case statistics and what was being reported to the
Supreme Court of Ohio on regular bases, via the Juvenile Courts computer software. The
changes Hunter was making disrupted the status quo; however these efforts by Hunter
invoked warfare tactics by her opponents on a whole new level. At first, it seems that
Hunter was seen as a mere irritant, but when she began to look at this issue more closely,
it seemed that significant and immediate efforts to remove her from her judicial seat
began to surface (Source: Research Respondent).
Hunter was clearly aware that she would confront challenges in her role,
especially if she was going to make any meaningful change. She just couldn’t imagine
the extent to which her opposition would stoop to ensure that her efforts would be in vain
(Hunter, 2013). After discovering that there were inaccuracies in the reports that
Hamilton County was sending to the Ohio Supreme Court, Hunter was faced with the
decision of whether to challenge the issue or to turn a blind eye to it, as court employees
suggested that she do.

Motive, Means, and Opportunity
What did Hamilton County stand to gain by misrepresenting the data it was
reporting to the Supreme Court? The Ohio Supreme Court’s website states:
By analyzing case filing patterns and trends, the Ohio Supreme Court attempts to
assist in the efficient administration of justice at all levels of the judiciary. We do not,
however, examine or analyze larger social and governmental trends that may contribute
to or influence changes in case filing volumes. What the data can tell those who work in
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the court system is how to better allocate their resources given the current case volume.
In addition, providing reliable, transparent and accessible data on the courts assists in
enhancing public trust and confidence in the judicial branch.
In Hunter’s letter to Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender and
former Prosecutor, on September 9, 2014, Hunter expressed her concerns about the
treatment of children and families of color:
Children and families of color and socioeconomically disadvantaged
individuals make up the majority of those impacted by the arbitrary
application of systems throughout this Court. I am discovering that
inconsistent application of rules and procedures coupled with a flawed
reporting system, that has yet to be corrected take time, but I am
committed to making necessary changes one case at a time. If it takes
longer on the front end to review cases, which are often flawed with
procedural defects that slow the process; it is in the best interest of justice
and equality for the families and children we serve, not only to render a
decision in the interest of speed, but to render a decision in the interest of
justice (Perry, 2013).

It would appear that in accordance with the Supreme Courts intentions in
collecting the data that resources would be allocated in a way that would ensure
fairness in allocating support and assistance to Judges with larger caseloads. The
two primary types of data that the Supreme Court collects are clearance rates and
overage rates.
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Clearance rates measure how well a court keeps up with its incoming caseload. A
clearance rate of 100 percent means a court terminated over a given time period exactly
as many cases as it took in during that same time period. If a court’s clearance rate is
regularly less than 100 percent over an extended period of time, the court will develop a
backlog because the pace of incoming cases exceeds the pace of outgoing cases. The
overage rate is a measure of the size of a court’s backlog, the extent to which a court’s
pending caseload lags past applicable time standards, or, is overage. In short, this is the
measure the court uses to determine efficiency and effectiveness of a courts judges and
magistrates. The Hamilton County Juvenile Courts annual report states, “One of the most
fundamental measures of a Court's efficiency is its ability to keep up with its incoming
caseload. If cases are not disposed in a timely manner a backlog of cases will be created.
Court's should aspire to clear (i.e. dispose of) at least as many cases as have been filed or
reopened in a year by having a clearance rate of 100 percent or higher.” Presenting bad
data to the Supreme Court can give the appearance that a judge or a court is less effective
than they actually are. Over time, the Hamilton County Juvenile Court has boasted a
clearance rate of 100%. In 2012, no clearance rate was reported and in 2013 the
clearance rate was 99% (The Supreme Court of Ohio, 2013).

The question that arises relative to Hunter’s larger caseload is to what extent there
may have been the prevalence of ‘Judge Shopping’. Judge Shopping can occur in cases
where parties to a case will file an appeal believing that a particular judge might be more
sympathetic or rule more fairly in their case, based on the political orientation of that
22
judge. At the time of filing in juvenile court, each case is assigned a letter which
determines which judge the case would be assigned to if an appeal is filed. So, if the
outcome of a magistrate’s decision is unfavorable to an attorney’s client, they might be
more inclined to file an appeal knowing that it would end up in the hands of a judge who
might share the same race or ethnic background or one who is known to be an advocate
for children and civil rights. Hunter had clearly articulated her stance on ensuring that
every child and family be treated fairly and that their constitutional rights are upheld.
According to Hunter, her intent in taking her time to review cases supported this effort.
Upon reviewing cases, she said:
“I am discovering that families are being held to a higher standard than the
agencies who remove children based on defective complaints and case plans that do not
purport to the law. Often times, there are so many issues I uncover on review that I have
to piece together and review entire trial histories that should have taken months, but took
years to adjudicate. This is a time consuming process’’ (The Cincinnati Herald Staff
Reporter, 2013)
In a heartfelt letter to her supporters and friends released to the media on February
3, 2014, Hunter wrote:
“I did not wake up one day out of the blue and become a criminal. My
crime was having faith in the people working around me in juvenile court
and trusting that they shared the same goals as me; to rehabilitate children,
restore families; and ensure that laws were applied equitably and justly to
all...While I was literally working night and day to ensure that: All parties
were treated fairly; decisions were just; children were treated humanely;
23
hiring practices were equal; and changes were implemented to reduce the
school to prison pipeline, they were working just as hard, apparently
harder, to get my judicial seat back, by any means necessary…As the first
African-American to be in an Administrative Judgeship in Hamilton
County, that determined hiring decisions; co-managed over 30 million
dollar budget; and determined court contracts, that was simply too much
power for one woman like me to have” (Hunter, 2014).

Nepotism and Cronyism in the County
Ironically, in September 2013, Hunter, who was leading the charge for an audit of
all of Hamilton County Juvenile Court caseload, was charged with felony charges
alleging that she or someone in her command backdated electronic court records,
reportedly as attempts to keep her rulings from being overturned (Ward, 2014). In a
memorandum to Joseph Deters dated September 13, 2013, concerning the Backdating of
entries of final appealable orders in Juvenile Court, Bill Breyer wrote:
“We have had problems in the past getting timely notice of the filing of final
appealable orders from Judge Tracie Hunter’s courtroom. As a result, we have tried to
appeal. During this process we have recently identified two cases in which it appears
appealable orders have been backdated…..We have an affidavit from PROWARE, the
software provider for Juvenile Court, that Judge Hunter’s entry of 7/23/2013 was
computer generated on 8/22/2013, and backdated to July 22, 2013. The way the Juvenile
Court system functions requires that in order to get the entry at issue to appear
chronologically, as in this case, required a deliberate act to backdating through use of a
24
date override function on the Juvenile Court’s IT system….One final point- we have a
copy of an audiotape message left by Judge Hunter’s staff on defense attorney Ravert J.
“Jay” Clark’s voicemail regarding his case, In re: I.D. In it the caller attempts to deceive
Mr. Clark about the date the call was made. The answering machine “time called”
function exposes this act of dishonesty.
At the time this letter was written, Hunter had only been on the bench for 15
months, yet the letter is written as though this problem of getting final appealable orders
had been an ongoing problem with Hunter. Additionally, prior to drafting this letter to
the prosecutor Breyer had already collected evidence, and collected affidavits. The
problem with these charges is that numerous people have access to the courts computer
system and could potentially electronically alter records. And, considering how
ferociously Hunter’s adversaries have come after her, to assume that they would stop at
nothing is certainly not a foregone conclusion.
Hunter was also accused of using a county-issued credit card to pay court fees
stemming from lawsuits against her. These felony charges came at the height of positive
resolution for Hunter in the case of the previous allegations against her accusing her of
having numerous cases pending beyond time. At the time of this case study (May 2014),
the case is still pending in the Ohio Supreme Court, however, these charges again raise
suspicion concerning the motivation of the Prosecutor in alleging wrongdoing on Hunters
part. The charges stem from Hunter filing her own answers after Special Prosecutors
appointed by the Prosecutor failed to represent her in her official capacity as judge.
In challenging the inner-workings of the court, it appeared that Hunter had
stepped on the wrong toes and soon the realization of just how much nepotism existed in
25
the court system began to come into full view. Prior to the election of Judge Hunter and
the appointment of John Williams, the mother-in-law of the Prosecutor Joe Deters, Sylvia
Hendon was a Juvenile Court Judge. Joe Deters, Prosecutor, is married to Melissa
Hendon Deters. Sylvia Hendon sits on Ohio's 1st District Court of Appeals in Hamilton
County. When Deters sues Judge Hunter, the cases go to his mother-in-law's court.
Interestingly enough, when the charges were brought against Hunter by the
Cincinnati Enquirer and for the backlog of cases, Joe Deters refused to allow Hunter to
hire a private attorney, stating that this was a county matter and not a personal matter.
Even when Attorneys stepped forward, willing to represent the judge pro bono – at no
cost to the county tax payers, the First District Court of Appeals, where Deters mother-in-
law is the Presiding Judge, ruled that “these attorneys could not represent Judge Hunter
because the civil lawsuits were a court issue and not personal”. This begs the question as
to why charges were filed against Hunter for using her court issued credit card to pay for
filing fees that were technically according to this ruling was used for legitimate official
Hamilton County Juvenile Court business. Additionally, The First District Court of
Appeals ruled that the office staff of Prosecutor Joe Deters had to defend Judge Hunter.
Judge Hunter protested this ruling based on conflict of interest. Deters was the same man
who was responsible for trying to keep votes from being counted after Hunters 2010
Juvenile Court Judicial race and as Hunter stated in a letter to Hamilton County
Commissioner, Todd Portune, dated October 14, 2013, “It is inherently unjust,
unconstitutional, and unethical that the same individual who abruptly terminated his
representation of me as Judge, without notice and in non-compliance with the Ohio Rules
of Professional Conduct, hand-picked the attorneys that now represent me”, but there
26
appears to be a greater conflict of interest that should be noted. After Judge Hunter filed
to have Joe Deters removed as council in the cases against her in her official capacity as
judge, Joe Deters personally selected the two defense attorneys who would subsequently
represent Judge Hunter. Neither of these attorneys have experience in the area of law that
forms the basis of the lawsuits against Judge Hunter. Firooz T. Namei specializes in
Immigration, Criminal, Personal Injury, Domestic Relations and Vaccine-injury
litigation. James Bogen specializes in DUI and Criminal Defense litigation. The civil
lawsuits against Judge Hunter necessitate attorneys that specialize in Juvenile and
Constitutional Law litigation. Moreover, after the complaint to Hamilton County
Commissioner Todd Portune that neither of them bothered to file answers to her cases
and allowed default judgments to be automatically granted, Bishop Bobby Hilton and
Cecil Thomas, representing The Greater Cincinnati Chapter of The National Action
Network (GCCNAN) requested that the Hamilton County Commissioners investigate
whether the Attorneys, Namei and Bogen, after charging taxpayers $50,000 to represent
Hunter did indeed neglect to file answers on her behalf. Bishop Hilton confirmed, after
looking into the matter, that Portune found that indeed they had not filed any responses to
her cases. Hunter questioned “How do experienced, competent lawyers allow multiple
complaints to lapse without filing answers or fail to seek the vacation of such writs
inappropriately granted?” This situation forced Hunter to represent herself in these
matters, leading to the felony charges filed by Prosecutor Joe Deters for unauthorized use
of her credit card.
Deters selected his own personal attorney’s, Merlyn Shiverdecker and R. Scott
Croswell III, as Special Prosecutors in bringing the nine felony charges against Judge
27
Hunter in January of 2014. Shiverdecker and Croswell represented Deters in a bribery
case in 2003. It was reported by the Enquirer Columbus Bureau that two of Joe Deters
(while he was State Treasurer) top associates pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges
involving campaign fund raising. The news media outlet reported that Deters chief-of-
staff Matthew Borges “gave preferential treatment to certain brokers who made
contributions to Deters' re-election campaign” and former fund-raiser Eric Sagun pleaded
guilty to one count of election law violations. Court documents said he solicited a
$50,000 donation from Cleveland broker Frank Gruttadauria in December 2001 for the
Hamilton County Republican Party when the two intended the money to benefit Deters'
re-election campaign. At the time Gruttadauria was raising money for Deters and the
Hamilton County Republican Party (Siegel, 2004). He has admitted masking the
donation to Deters by running it through the county party's operating fund - a secret
account that can accept unlimited, undisclosed donations. He also admitted to repaying
clients and employees $7,000 for donations they made to Deters' campaign. The article
explains that “SG Cowen Corp. and Lehman Brothers Inc. hired Gruttadauria, and from
1999 to 2001 they did a combined $5.9 billion in investment trades with Deters' office”.
Essentially what happened is that “Borges used the power of his office to gain favorable
treatment for vendors that did business with the office," Sammon said (Siegel, 2004).

The Role of Judge
Understanding the history of a case is important in the ability of a judge to make a
ruling in a case. Juvenile court judges probably have the hardest job of any judge. They
are making life changing decisions on almost every case they work on. In delinquency
28
cases a judge is making decisions on cases that can impact a child for the rest of their
lives. In dependency cases judges are making a decision that will impact an entire
family; they have to decide whether a child will be permanently removed from their
homes. Judges also have the responsibility of reviewing someone else’s (Magistrates)
work. Some of the backlogged cases have been in the Hamilton County Juvenile Court
over a span of twenty years. In dependency cases judges are supposed to make a
determination of dependency within 90 days. There are cases where a trial has taken 4-5
years, in dependency cases there are guardian ad litem’s involved, Jobs and Family
Services, both parents have a lawyer, the child has a lawyer and whenever there is a
hearing Jobs and Family Services has to put together a case plan with the court.
Oftentimes, these case plans aren’t filed or aren’t filed in a timely manner. There are also
times when investigations aren’t done in a timely manner. These are integral to the
ability of a judge to make a decision in a case. A Judge’s job does not happen in a
vacuum. Court procedures requires the coordination of numerous schedules of relevant
parties to a case and sometimes a case can take years to get to a Judge on appeal, and
after it has reached the Judge, pages and pages of history must be reviewed; all
contributing to the time it takes to decide on a case.
The Public Defender’s Office represents people who are indigent and people who
cannot afford to hire private legal counsel. The majority of all dependency cases are
handled by a public defender. There are a very small number of lawyers assigned to
dependency cases, so whenever you have a hearing it might take months to get the case
before the judge. With the same small pool of Attorney’s handling dependency cases, it
often took several months to coordinate their schedules and get a court date and even
29
when a court date was schedule, transcripts are often not completed in a timely manner.
The law allows 90 days for the completion of a transcript, but these are rarely completed
within the proper time frame. According to court officials, there are times that transcripts
have taken two years or more to complete. In one instance, it was reported that a case
that had been inherited from a judge who sat on the bench previously. It took so long to
transcribe the case that, when the Bailiff inquired about it a year later, it still had not been
completed. It had taken the court reporter so long to transcribe the case that she just
stopped working on it and moved on to other cases.
Hunter was a new judge and came to her seat with little to no endorsements.
Having been elected to her seat, Hunter was a rarity. Like Williams, most Judges
followed the path of becoming a prosecutor before being appointed to judgeship. It is
rarity for a Democratic judge to be elected in Hamilton County. A Municipal Judge
could win a seat with 30,000 to 40,000 votes; however Hunter had to amass 120,000
votes to win her seat as Juvenile Court Judge. She was the first African American judge
to win a seat in a countywide election. Every other judge was appointed to their seat, and
only had to run to hold their seat. Most Republican judges have run unopposed in
Hamilton County. In fact, there was speculation when Susanna Meyer, former
Republican Attorney, dropped out of the 2014 juvenile court judicial race as a Democrat
against John Williams, she did so because she was either threatened, bribed, or secretly
working with the Republican Party to ensure that in dropping out of the race at the late
date that no other Democrat could run. Susannah Meyer had become known in the
community when she spoke out against the flawed juvenile court system. Meyer said she
“dropped out of the race in April because of a better position to effect positive changes in
30
the juvenile justice system” (Coolidge, 2014). Meyer didn’t say what that position was,
but there was speculation that switching parties and running for Juvenile Court Judge
may have simply been an insurance policy by the Republican Party to ensure that
Williams won his seat in November’s election. The judiciary in Hamilton County is
controlled by Republican judges; especially in the Common Pleas Court. The majority of
Democratic judges are Municipal court judges. Common Pleas Judges work for the Ohio
Supreme Court, Municipal Court Judges work for the county.

Final Policy Maneuvers
In the latest move, presumably to ensure that the judiciary never falls in the hands
of another African American Democrat, Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor
began to mobilize support for changing how judges are selected. Although O’Connor
was asked about the recent indictment of Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie
Hunter, she declined comment on the case. But the chief justice said:
Criminal indictment of any judge emphasizes the need for greater public
education and involvement when choosing judges”. “I think it’s evidence
we need to have better information before the public before they elect
members of the judiciary… Most judges don’t let their personal beliefs
influence their rulings…Judges can only make their decisions on the facts
presented in court...There is no such thing as a Republican judge or a
Democratic judge…if that is the case, I’m sorry but you’re violating your
oath of office and you should hang up your robe. I feel very strongly about
that (Osbourne, 2014).
31
Among the possible changes to the way judges are elected, the committee is
proposing the following:
 Rotating the order of state offices on the ballot, so judges aren’t listed last;
 Moving state and county judicial elections to odd-numbered years, where they
may get more attention away from high-profile races like president, Congress and
governor;
 Eliminating party affiliation in primary elections for judicial candidates, and
switch to an open primary system;
 Centralizing and expanding public education about how the judicial system
operates, including creating a database listing the qualifications and experience of
all candidates; and
 Increasing the basic qualifications needed to run for a judgeship. Currently, a
person in Ohio only has to have been a practicing attorney for six years.
Public attitudes suggest some change is needed.

Epilogue by Vanessa Enoch
I chose to study this case, as I had acted as a Consultant to Judge Hunter many
years ago, prior to her running for juvenile court judge. She was a practicing attorney
and operated the local gospel radio station at the time. Ms. Hunter was well known in the
community for leading prayer vigils throughout the city and for promoting peace and
non-violence. I met Ms. Hunter on one of those prayer vigils in the Over-the-Rhine
neighborhood in Cincinnati during the height of the civil unrest in 2001. This particular
vigil was organized by my pastor, Damon Lynch, III. Ms. Hunter was instrumental in
32
getting the word out to the community on her radio station and she helped to pass out
water and walked the streets of ground zero as we prayed with the youth, who were
enraged by the killing of 15 unarmed black men in Cincinnati. In working with Ms.
Hunter in an effort to secure a $500,000 grant to fund a workforce development training
program designed to provide youth and adults with a skill-set in radio and television, my
experience was that she was very detail oriented, no non-sense, stern and by the book.
She had a tremendous concern for children and wanted to ensure that the program
provided them with a transferable skill-set they could use in their future careers.
I was aware that Ms. Hunter had decided to run for juvenile court judge, but at the
time I was teaching at four colleges and I had very little time for political involvement.
Although I rarely watched television, I paid close attention to the news surrounding the
issues of voter suppression during the election. To me, the voter suppression issues were
Cincinnati’s rendition of the “hanging chad”. I was further interested in studying the
Hunter case when accusations of backlogged cases arose, as I knew Ms. Hunter to be
very conscientious about deadlines and in having worked with her, it was very difficult to
imagine the validity of these claims. I wanted to learn more. I could not have imagined
all that I would come to learn in having researched this case.
In the course of writing and editing the finalized case study, I decided to visit the
courthouse for the first time during the pre-trial hearings surrounding the nine felony
charges against Hunter. Upon entering the courtroom, the deputy notified everyone that
cell phones and electronic devices were not allowed in the courtroom, and if we needed
to use them we had to step outside in the hall to do so. Upon entering the courtroom, the
judge reiterated his statement that they must be used in the hallway, outside of the
33
courtroom. Ironically, there were numerous television cameras in the courtroom.
Hunter’s attorney was arguing for a change of venue and presented evidence that
Prosecutor Joe Deters, who had previously brought several charges against Hunter, had a
conflict of interest in selecting the special prosecutors in the case. The special
prosecutors had made donations to Deters campaign and were currently representing him
in his divorce. This was extremely problematic, as Deters had recused himself from
prosecuting the case due to his own conflicts of interest. Even more shocking was the
fact that the special prosecutors were working for an un-named sum of money at the tax-
payers expense, as they admitted in court that they had not yet determined how much
they would be billing the county for their services.
After the hearing, I waited in the hallway and watching everyone exiting the
courtroom, hoping to get a picture of the six to eight members of the Nation of Islam,
who said they were there to provide protection to Judge Hunter, since on the previous
court date she was viciously attacked by a crazed reporter by the name of Kimball Perry.
I’d come across numerous articles by Perry during my research of the case. The
unprofessional manner in which he covered the case caused me to ignore his coverage of
the events, as his accounts seemed like a personal vendetta and a smear campaign, rather
than the unbiased coverage one would expect from the media.
In an interesting turn of events, a white man who had come out of the courtroom
drawing an unusual amount of attention to himself, began yelling and motioning to the
police and the cameramen, “he has an iPad!!!” I looked around the hall to find about 20
people holding iPads, myself included. I didn’t understand the nature of what was
happening, since the judge had made it clear that electronic devices were not allowed in
34
the courtroom and a sign attesting to that fact was prominently displayed on the door of
his courtroom. There were no signs in the hallway, and to my knowledge no such rule
governed the hallways. But, I immediately put my iPad away, to ensure that if there was
a rule I was unaware of, I would not be breaking the law. I must have appeared suspect
in whatever crime this individual felt the man had violated, because before I knew it, I
was being called back down the hall and on the same day the Supreme Court ruled that a
search warrant must be obtained to search a cell-phone or an electronic device, I found
myself being threatened by deputies with an arrest if I didn’t unlock my iPad to be
searched. Despite the fact that I rendered my iPad for searching, I was quickly arrested
along with the man who I later found out was Avery Corbin, Judge Hunter’s former court
bailiff. The law enforcement officers seemed to know him and he made it clear that he
had a personal ax to grind with Mr. Avery. The officer, on the other hand, did not know
me, and seemed to simply be out to prove his authority over me as a civilian, who he and
the news media presumed to be one of Judge Hunter’s supporters. I later found out that
the man who was stirring up the commotion was the notorious obsessed news reporter,
Kimball Perry.
I was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to provide identification. I
should mention that there were numerous videotapes that will attest to the fact that I
never raised my voice or became disorderly in anyway, and that I was arrested before I
was ever given the opportunity to produce an ID. Although I never identified myself as a
supporter, the idea that this type of treatment was reserved for one of Hunter’s supporters
at the hands of Hamilton County seems reprehensible to me.
I was never read my rights and while being held for nearly an hour, I was refused
35
the right to use the restroom after about 7 “femininely urgent” requests of 5 different
deputies. I was told that I had to wait until a female officer came back from lunch to take
me to restroom. 5 minutes after asking one officer, he un-cuffed the white female seated
next to me and took her to the restroom. When they returned, I again asked if I could go,
and the officer again informed me that I would have to wait until a female officer
returned from lunch. I was never allowed to go to the restroom, even after asking upon
the return of a female officer.
I was also never asked if I was a member of the media, and it was only after the
officers couldn’t find any warrants, no record of arrests, no criminal record, and no
association with any insurgent groups, that they asked what I was doing there. I told
them I was there for my Ph.D. case study, to which the officer responded “you people are
going to learn when I tell you to do something, you just do it”. When I inquired of which
request I was non-compliant, he said “I had to threaten you with an arrest to open your
iPad”. He was right, I did initially refuse to open my iPad, because I was confused about
why I was being asked to do so, and I felt that opening it was a violation of my right to
privacy.
The day after the court date and my criminal iPad arrest, 3 young white twenty-
something’s, wanting to prove their privilege, took to the streets toting assault weapons
on their backs, while walking through a neighborhood in Cincinnati yelling racial slurs
and obscenities at black residents. One of their friends video recorded the entire incident,
which shows them being briefly stopped by police officers, who allowed them to
continue on their way, proudly displaying their assault rifles and continuing the business
of yelling racial insults at black passersby.
36
It is sad when an educated African American woman, carrying an iPad in the
hallway of a courthouse, poses a greater threat to society, than young white subversives
carrying assault weapons through the streets of a metropolitan city yelling racial slurs. I
suppose this scenario most accurately defines the racial climate in Hamilton County and
the structural dynamics inherent in the system for which Cincinnati has been historically
known for.
37
References

Cincinnati Herald Staff Reporter. (2013, August 2013). Hunter requests independent
audit of Juvenile Court backlog. Cincinnati, Ohio.
Coolidge, S. (2014, April 25). Civil rights lawyer attempts juvenile court run.
Retrieved April 25, 2014, from Cincinnati.com:
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/elections/2014/04/25/civ
il-rights-lawyer-attempts-juvenile-court-run/8169861/
Fox19 Staff Reporter. (2012, 18 2014). Judge orders county to hire employee, gets
sued. Cincinnati, Ohio.
Gerhardstein & Branch Co. LPA, Law Firm. (2013, December 2). Ohio Supreme Court
today receives evidence that Juvenile Court Judge Tracie M. Hunter had issued
timely decisions [Press release]. Retrieved April 13, 2014, from
http://www.gbfirm.com/judge-tracie-m-hunter-provides-evidence-of-timely-
decisions/
Hamilton County Juvenile Court. (n.d.). Tracie M. Hunter Judge. Retrieved April 4,
2014, from http://www.hamilton-co.org/juvenilecourt/Judges/HunterBio.asp
Hunter, T. (2013, September 9). Re: Judge Tracie M. Hunter's response to case backlog
in Hamilton County Juvenile Court [Letter to Stephanie Hess, Esq.]. Hamilton
County Juvenile Court, Cincinnati, OH.
Kimball, P. (2014, March 14). Court blasts indicted Judge Hunter. Cincinnati Enquire.
Retrieved May 5, 2014, from
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/courts/2014/03/14/court-blasts-judge-
hunter/6412261/
38
Osbourne, K. (2014, January 10). Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice: Time to change
how judges elected. Retrieved May 5, 2014, from WCPO:
http://www.wcpo.com/news/political/local-politics/ohio-supreme-court-
chief-justice-time-to-change-how-judges-elected

Rules Of Superintendence For The Courts Of Ohio.
http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/LegalResources/Rules/superintendenc
e/Superintendence.pdf
Siegel, J. (2004, July 28). Deters cleared, aides guilty: Treasurer's former chief of
staff and fund-raiser plead. Columbus, Ohio.
State of Ohio ex Rel., Klarysa, Benge, Relator v. Judge Tracie M. Hunter, Respondent, 1
(Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton County October 11, 2013).
State Of Ohio Ex Rel., Megan Shahan-Beck ,Appelle v. Judge Tracie M. Hunter,
Appellant, 1 (September 18, 2013).
The Cincinnati Herald Staff Reporter. (2013, August 22). The Cincinnati Herald.
Retrieved May 10, 2014, from TheCincinnatiHerald.com:
http://thecincinnatiherald.beta.lionheartdms.com/news/2013/aug/22/hunt
er-requests-independent-audit-juvenile-court-b/
Ward, S. F. (2014, January 10). Judge faces felony charges: Prosecutors say she
backdated court records, misused county credit card. Retrieved May 2, 2014,
from Law News Now:
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/judge_faces_8_felony_charges_for
_allegedly_backdating_court_records/
39
WCPO Staff Reporter. (2014, March 10). Ohio's practice of shackling children
challenged by ACLU: Writ filed after girl shackled in Cincinnati. Retrieved May
5, 2014, from 9 WCPO Cincinnati: http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-
news/ohios-practice-of-shackling-children-challenged-by-aclu

40
Appendix

Exhibit 1.pdf Exhibit 2.pdf Exhibit 3.pdf Exhibit 4.pdf Exhibit 5.pdf
Exhibit 6.pdf Exhibit 7.pdf