An Interview With Pass judgement on Michael A. Cicconetti

For 23 (and a part) years, Pass judgement on Michael A. Cicconetti has served at the bench. Nowadays, he presides over the Painesville Municipal Courtroom the place he has made a reputation for himself together with his distinctive sentences. Now we have the dignity of sitting down with the pass judgement on to talk about his occupation in addition to his outlook at the judicial gadget.

AALM: Describe your taste within the court docket.

Cicconetti: My taste within the court docket adjustments with every person showing ahead of me. One consistent is my apparel. A number of years in the past, for no matter explanation why, I didn’t have on a neck tie, threw on my gown and went within the court docket to take care of home violence circumstances. One thing become very noticeable. The sufferers had been extra comfortable and not more fearful when conversing with me. I went tie-less tomorrow. Similar response. I’ve no longer worn a tie since, apart from when presiding over a jury trial.

AALM: Describe your dating together with your group of workers.

Cicconetti: The Painesville Municipal Courtroom is a qualified crew. I’m one member of the crew. Everybody within the courtroom works in combination to function an effective and well-oiled system. We show pride within the means we deal with folks, somewhat and respectfully. From the legal professional to the defendant, we understand time is essential and we try to transport the courtroom’s trade with as little ready time as conceivable.

AALM: What do you’re keen on about your process?

Cicconetti: What I really like maximum about my process is having a former defendant or their circle of relatives member, coming near me months or years later and thanking me for saving their existence or serving to flip their existence round. Incessantly, they are going to communicate to me about their process, circle of relatives or instructional fulfillment. The smile on their face, the satisfaction of their voice is maximum pleasant.

AALM: What do you imagine is the largest distinction between training regulation and presiding as a pass judgement on?

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Cicconetti: There’s a record of variations between being a attorney and being a pass judgement on. If I had been to select just one it will be that my day is over after completing the ultimate case and strolling to my automotive. I’m really not going again to an administrative center to go back telephone calls and messages. I’m no longer enthusiastic about being in two puts directly the next day to come or being overdue and dealing with the wrath of a few pass judgement on. I don’t get up in the midst of the evening fearful I will have neglected a statute of obstacles, a solution or movement cut-off date. There may be some distance much less pressure at the bench. I jokingly inform folks, I don’t have pressure, I give pressure. And, in fact, a pass judgement on’s jokes are all the time funnier!

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AALM: Let us know about your distinctive sentencing. How do you imagine it’s simpler?

Cicconetti: Other people steadily ask, “Are those ingenious sentences in point of fact efficient?” My reaction is “More often than not.” I say that as a result of there were loads of different or ingenious sentences that don’t obtain media consideration. Those aren’t headline grabbing sentences however however designed to suit the crime.

A contravention of a college bus regulation would possibly in finding the perpetrator appearing as a faculty crossing guard for the day, a repeat dog-at-large perpetrator cleansing kennels for the canine warden, a shoplifter offering canned meals to a meals financial institution, a litterer choosing up trash all over the county truthful or alongside the shores of Lake Erie, or different non-violent offenders tending to the courtroom lawn to feed the ones in want. In reality, prison and fines are in point of fact the exchange sentences in my courtroom.

AALM: Let us know about how one in every of your sentences labored successfully ultimately.

Cicconetti: My most unusual sentence by no means made the scoop. As best possible as I commit it to memory was once a mom and her 18-year-old son every on trial, to the bench, on a “dueling home.” The lazy foul-mouthed son was once berating and screaming at his mom, inflicting her to backhand him around the face. He answered by way of grabbing and throwing her to the ground.

After trial, “Now not In charge” on mother, “In charge” at the son. Thankfully for him, he was once a primary perpetrator and gained the next sentence: After a stern lecture and admonishment, 10 days prison and 60 days suspended OR he may keep away from prison, if he washed his mouth and swallowed cleaning soap (which I had prior to now bought, was once 100% herbal, humanly secure, terrible tasting, and for my part examined by way of me), and apologized to his mother.

He selected the second one choice. The cleaning soap swallowing was once hilarious but if he grew to become to ask for forgiveness to mother, the tears flowed closely. He was once put on probation, together with his mother appointed as his probation officer and given an inventory of weekly chores and no additional disrespect to his mother who was once to document any violations to me. I bumped into mother a pair years later (she needed to job my memory of the case) and was once thrilled the sentence grew to become her son round who was once effectively hired, persevered to assist her, and hasn’t ever violated the regulation since.

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AALM: How are you concerned with the local people?

Cicconetti: After the ultimate 24 years at the bench, 14 years as township trustee and 4 years at the Riverside Faculty Board, I’ve made the verdict to decelerate. I’ve served on quite a lot of forums, participated in parades, assisted with golfing outings, kids’s Christmas events, fundraisers for church, charity and formative years soccer and baseball, training baseball for over 25 years, and talking engagements a number of instances a month. It’s time for the more youthful folks to step up, however it’s been disappointing and tough to seek out volunteers throughout the millennial era. Turns out they don’t have time for extracurricular actions. I’m a robust suggest of “pay it again” and “pay it ahead” however my era of oldies has no longer been a success convincing and recruiting the ones within the age teams in the back of us. It sort of feels now we have did not instill our paintings ethic within the era following us.

AALM: Do you will have any mentors? What are probably the most maximum essential classes they taught you?

Cicconetti: All the way through my first days at the bench, I had simply heard testimony and arguments on an OVI movement to suppress referring to possible motive for preventing the defendant. It was once a difficult determination in keeping with the listening to and case regulation. I determined to consult with a former municipal, however then juvenile courtroom pass judgement on – the overdue Pass judgement on Dick Hoose. I began to provide an explanation for the location to him ahead of asking his opinion when the great pass judgement on rapidly interrupted me and forcefully exclaimed, “Mike, you’re the goddamn pass judgement on, decide!” The then hung up on me. Absolute best recommendation I ever gained!

AALM: What accomplishment are you maximum happy with reaching?

Cicconetti: The accomplishments I’m maximum happy with reaching needs to be the number of jobs I’ve labored in my existence. Most of the people do not know that I’ve by no means been unemployed since I used to be 10 years previous. In all probability experiencing the number of the next jobs assist me to higher relate with those that seem ahead of me.

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My first employment at 30¢/HR was once a human paper shredder. I bodily tore up bins of canceled exams for the Diamond Alkali Credit score Union. I used to be a paperboy on a mile-long course for the now defunct Painesville Telegraph. I labored in quite a lot of space nurseries; Martin’s (45¢/HR), Soloman’s (85¢/HR), Maddox ($1/HR), and Cole’s ($1.10/HR). I washed dishes at Camp Stigwandish and the next yr taught archery and canoeing to the Scouts. I lower grass and coated baseball fields for the Sport Division. I labored on a full-time rubbish truck all over two summers for the town of Painesville. At Fisher Meals grocery retailer, I packed groceries, was once a cashier, labored within the produce division, controlled the dairy and frozen meals departments, labored at the evening staff and was once the development custodian. In my spare time, I attended Lakeland Neighborhood Faculty. I used to be a lager seller on the Painesville Speedway on Friday nights.

With a purpose to entire school, I wanted cash. I had some native connections that helped me download a role with Olglebay Norton Corporate running as a deckhand and deckwatch at the SS Robert C. Norton ore, stone and metal provider at the Nice Lakes for a complete season.

In school, St. Leo College, the paintings/ learn about program had me running for the Dean of Males, operating the weekly film evening, recording the Saturday soccer video games and in spite of everything running 12 hours each and every Friday and Saturday on the St. Leo Golfing Direction.

On breaks house, I labored for the Lake County commissioners till I used to be appointed clerk of Painesville Municipal Courtroom whilst attending the evening program at Cleveland Marshall Legislation Faculty.

After all, practiced regulation for 13 years ahead of starting my 24 years at the bench.

AALM: Percentage another details about your self that you simply assume our readers would revel in.

Cicconetti: Using social media has offered a subject matter by no means expected. YouTube, Fb, Twitter, Instagram has dramatically modified the affect and length of those sentences.

The embarrassment of an inventive sentence, because of social media, continues in perpetuity as punishment. It isn’t truthful for the defendant and is inconsistent with my intent on the time of sentencing. It sort of feels I’m approached day by day by way of folks commenting on a sentence, believing it to be contemporary, as seen on Fb when, actually, it’s been reposted from 4 or 5 years in the past.

This factor will, perhaps, have a long term affect on my sentencing practices.
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