Judge Mary Kovack
Judge Mary Kovack was first elected to the Medina County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, in 2000, for the term commencing January 1, 2001. Judge Kovack was re-elected in 2006, 2012 and 2018 for the terms commencing January 1, 2007, 2013 and 2019 respectively.
- Justice for Families Grant: In 2017, Judge Kovack was awarded a $699,961 federal grant through the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Known as the “Grant to Support Families in the Justice System” also known as the , the grant provides for a dedicated domestic violence magistrate; additional services for the Gift Exchange Center (supervised parenting); and, additional legal services for low-income families through Community Legal Aid.
- Guardian ad Litem Seminar: In May 2017, Judge Kovack sponsored a free, 3-hour continuing legal education seminar in order to better train guardians ad litem and to assist attorneys practicing in the Medina County Domestic Relations Court.
- Conflict Management: In 2014, Judge Kovack implemented the Intensive Case Management Program for high-conflict parenting situations. The parents meet with the Intensive Case Manager, a licensed independent social worker, to develop or improve effective communication skills that will reduce conflict and ultimately reduce the amount of ongoing litigation.
- Domestic Violence Grant: In 2011, Judge Kovack was awarded a $315,782 federal grant through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to create a special docket for Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders and to provide a full-time, dedicated Domestic Violence Magistrate and victim advocate. In 2013, the grant was renewed for $295,168.
- Legal Resource Center: In 2006, Judge Kovack introduced the Legal Resource Center, where court staff and volunteer lawyers assist self-represented parties and attorneys with procedural information and forms.
- The Gift Exchange Center: In 2004, Judge Kovack established the The Gift Exchange Center (also known as the “Supervised Parenting Time & Safe Exchange Center”) to provide a place where children can develop healthy relationships with both parents, while teaching parents more effective ways to interact with the children and more appropriate ways to communicate with each other.
- Family Assessment: In 2003, Judge Kovack expanded the Community Service program to provide a Case Services Assessment for all cases involving children, in order to better understand each family’s unique circumstances and to better serve the needs of the family.
- Mediation: In 2001, Judge Kovack also established a Mediation program that has helped more than 1,000 families since it began.
- Community Services: In 2001, Judge Kovack established a Community Services Office to link families with agencies and resources in the community.
- Judge Kovack has served as the sole Judge of the Medina County Domestic Relations Court since January 1, 2001.
- Prior to taking the bench, Judge Kovack served as a Medina County Assistant Prosecutor, maintained private practice dedicated to family, and also served as a judicial attorney on the staffs of two distinguished appellate judges (one on the Ohio State Court of Appeals for the Eighth District and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit).
- Judge Kovack received her B.A. degree with honors from the College of Wooster and her law degree cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Professional and Leadership Positions:
- Judge Kovack has served as the President of the Medina County Bar Association.
- Judge Kovack has served on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Pro Se and Indigent Litigant Task Force.
- Judge Kovack has served on the Ohio Child Support Guidelines Advisory Commission.
- Judge Kovack has completed two 3-year terms on the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure.
- Judge Kovack has served as the President of the Ohio Domestic Relations Judges Association, and is an active member of the Ohio Judicial Conference Domestic Relations Practice and Procedure Committee.
- Judge Kovack was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Medina County YWCA.
- Judge Kovack was a member of Leadership Medina County, and was a former trustee of Project: LEARN.
Judge Mary Kovack