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

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