Law

The Law Department provides legal representation for the City of Berea, the Mayor, City Council, the Berea Municipal Court and all other City departments.

Contacting the Prosecutor's Office

This office prosecutes only those cases that happened in the City of Berea and Olmsted Township. 

Each of the other cities within the Berea Municipal Court District (Brook Park, Middleburg Heights, Strongsville, Olmsted Falls and the Metro Parks) has their own City Prosecutor. If your case arises out of a charge from another city, contact their City Prosecutor’s office.

If you are a victim in a case and have questions, please contact me or a member of my staff at 440-826-5831. You may also contact the Berea Municipal Court Probation Department at 440-826-5860 regarding your rights as a victim of a crime.

If you are a defendant in a case and have questions about scheduling or procedure, please contact your private attorney or the Berea Municipal Court at 440-826-5862.

Victim Information

If you are the victim of domestic violence or stalking, you are strongly urged to seek support and counseling from one of the many private and public service providers in the Greater Cleveland area. For more information, you may contact the Domestic Violence Center HELPLINE at 216-391-HELP (4357). The Domestic Violence Center offers many services.

October - Mental Health Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence: Get Help - Give Help

As prosecutors, we appreciate the input and assistance that domestic violence advocates offer.  The advocates work with and support victims during the court process and beyond.  Not only can advocates be the voice of the victim, if necessary, but they also help prosecutors and defense attorneys as they discuss the facts of the case. 

The Mission of the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center is to empower individuals, educate the community, and advocate for justice to end domestic violence and child abuse.  The agency offers an array of services and programs and is dedicated to addressing prevention. 

Should you be in need of services, want to participate in events, or would like to donate to the agency, please review their website at https://dvcac.org/.

Domestic Violence: Awareness + Action = Social Change

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.  Domestic violence also includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional/psychological abuse.  Physical violence is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior. 

Awareness can be raised in many ways including through increasing knowledge, eliminating stigma, and adjusting cultural and societal norms.  **Awareness = Education

Action involves implementing strategies to shift attitudes, behaviors, environments, beliefs, and policies that positively impact the health and well-being of individuals within our own communities. **Action = Tools

Social change occurs when people are armed with an amplified level of awareness and an understanding of the actions necessary to bring about real change. 

Why Does This Matter To Me?  Domestic violence is prevalent in EVERY community.  It affects ALL people regardless of age, race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or socioeconomic status. 

Did You Know?

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner
  • On average, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls a day – that is 15 calls every minute
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence

Help break the cycle by spreading awareness, taking action, and bringing about social change.

Related Video:

https://ncadv.org/take-action

Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

It is well known inside and outside of criminal justice circles that a number of criminal defendants suffer from mental illness.  What is likely lesser known, however, is the high number of mentally ill individuals who are victims of crime. 

As municipal court prosecutors, we see both.  Victims and defendants who are mentally ill carry around with them the stigma of mental illness and as you know from last week’s mental health update, the stigma surround mental health is a pervasive problem.  Keep in mind that just like not all victims are mentally ill, not all defendants are mentally ill either. 

Unfortunately, the addition of a substance abuse disorder, whether alcohol or drugs, enhances the risk factor for criminality and violence among individuals with a mental illness.  See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537064/.   One of our questions as prosecutors oftentimes is whether the defendant with a mental illness can or will stay med compliant, if they are on medications, and whether they will continue treatment or begin treatment, if necessary.

While our society has attempted to make strides to assist those with mental illness, we’re still a long way from the answer.  And there may be more than one answer.  Please educate yourself check out the related links and do your part to help with the conversation.

Related Links:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537064/

https://www.mhanational.org/issues/mental-health-and-criminal-justice-issues

https://www.nami.org/learn-more/public-policy/jailing-people-with-mental-illness

Breaking the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

What Is Stigma? Stigma is a mark of disgrace related with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

Why Is Stigma A Problem? Stigma leads to shame, guilt, fear, and silence that often prevents people from seeking the help they need. 

You Are Not Alone.

  •     1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  •     1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  •     1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  •     Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34

9 Ways To Fight Mental Health Stigma

  1.     Talk openly about mental health
  2.     Educate yourself and others
  3.     Be conscious of language
  4.     Encourage equality between physical and mental illness
  5.     Show compassion for those with mental illness
  6.     Choose empowerment over shame
  7.     Be honest about treatment
  8.     Let people know when they’re being stigmatizing
  9.     Don’t harbor self-stigma 

Related Links:

https://nami.org/Find-Support/Living-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition

https://nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment

https://www.nami.org/stigma 

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers

https://www.nami.org/blogs/nami-blog/october-2017/9-ways-to-fight-mental-health-stigma