K.J. Montgomery candidate for Shaker Heights Municipal Court Judge

Kathy "K. J." Montgomery


Shaker Heights

Email: kjmontgomery@shakerheightscourt.org

Education: Cleveland Marshall College of Law (1974-1977) Juris Doctor – Niagra Moot Court Best Brief (1974), Order of the Barrister. Heidelberg College (1970-1974) B. Music – Salutatorian of the class; Valedictorian of School of Music, Senior Laureate, Tau Mu Sigma Honorary, Tau Mu Sigma Scholarship recipient, Mabel Kinley Award. Mentor High School (1970) 10th class standing


1. Judicial experience: 1994–Present, Shaker Heights Municipal Court Judge, Single-judge court with an annual caseload of 12,000 cases serving Beachwood, Hunting Valley, Pepper Pike, Shaker Hts. and University Hts. Other experience: 1994-present, Cuyahoga County Corrections Planning Board, Suburban Court Representative-Board approves Common Pleas Court funding for various court programs. 2003-present, Cuyahoga County Mental Health Court Initiative Participant: Collaboration of all mental-health-associated courts, service providers, law enforcement and others to deliver services to defendants with mental illness. Founding member (2003) Chairperson (2004–2012). Author of CCMHCI Mental Health Procedures for Municipal Judges Handbook. 2003-present, Cuyahoga County Justice Management Institute Commission and Felony Pilot Program (Justice System Reform): Organized to implement improvements to the justice system in Cuyahoga County. Founding member (2003) Suburban Court representative (2008 – present)  2008 – 2011  VAWA Coordinated Community Response Initiative Judicial Rep: Violence Against Women’s Act Initiative with John Carroll University to develop educational programming and awareness of sexual assault on college campuses. 2010-present, Cleveland Re-entry Leadership Coalition: A collaborative effort associated with the ADAMHS Board bringing together social services, adult parole office prison officials, legal aid and others to provide guidance to felons leaving prison. (more at JudicialVotesCount.org)

2. Why qualified: Prior to being elected judge, my private practice included handling criminal defense and civil matters of many kinds. At the same time, I held the various municipal positions of prosecutor, law director and tax administrator thus experiencing the law from the side of the municipalities and the public I represented. Raising my own children, I was involved with the Shaker Schools and experienced the diverse and amazing children who would become the next generation of leaders. I had the good fortune to be raised by a single mother who believed a woman could do it all. She did. At the same time she sang opera for President Truman, she cleaned houses and sewed clothing for others.Together, we roofed and painted houses and changed the car oil. I’ve additionally been fortunate to be an ovarian cancer survivor of 27 years and have watched as alcoholic family members maintain sobriety. I believe this amazing journey has assisted me to always value the person before me – to listen, to learn and, in my judicial role, always attempt to strike the right balance of protecting the public, meting out appropriate punishment to deter future bad behavior, and to provide guidance and access to available resources in order to educate, treat addictions and address issues of mental illness with the goals of improving social behavior and preventing recidivism.

3. Why running: This will be my last term as Judge of the Shaker Heights Municipal Court. There is much work in progress and I would like to continue to serve this constituency and the criminal justice system with that work. The many committees on which I serve stand to improve the criminal justice system not only in this court district but county and state-wide dealing with so many important issues like domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, fast and effective alcohol and drug treatment, access to mental health care services, and much more. Protecting our neighborhoods, maintaining our housing stock and educating our youth are of utmost importance locally. I ask to continue to work with your police and elected officials to make Shaker the best court that it can be. Continuing to learn while sharing the wisdom acquired in my 43 years in public service is my personal goal.

League of Women Voters

The 2017 Voters Guide to Candidates and Issues is published as a public service by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, CH-UH and FutureHeights. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to encourage the informed participation by citizens in government. FutureHeights is a nonprofit community development organization. Election Day is Nov. 7, 2017. Polls are open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 2:55 PM, 09.28.2017