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Drug Court Receives Certification

Drug Court Receives Certification

Cleveland:  The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Drug Court presided over by Judge Nancy R. McDonnell has received final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets.


In order to receive the three-year certification, the court had to submit an application, undergo a site visit, and provide specific program materials in response to certification standards that went into effect in January 2014.


The certification was effective May 19, 2021, and will run through December 31, 2023. Judge McDonnell took over the docket in November 2019 from Judge David Matia, who now oversees a separate Drug Court docket that focuses on clients who would benefit from medically assisted treatment. A third docket, Recovery Court, is overseen by Judge Joan Synenberg and treats people with a dual diagnosis of addiction and trauma.


“I am so pleased for our Drug Court team,” says Judge McDonnell. “Everyone works so hard to provide this opportunity for our clients to achieve a sober lifestyle and, hopefully, put their legal problems behind them.”


Specialized dockets are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders and use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court also has specialized dockets for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, High Risk Domestic Violence, Veterans Treamtment, and Violence Intervention.


The Commission on Specialized Dockets has 22 members who advise the Supreme Court and its staff regarding the promotion of statewide rules and uniform standards concerning specialized dockets in Ohio courts; the development and delivery of specialized docket services to Ohio courts; and the creation of training programs for judges and court personnel. The commission makes all decisions regarding final certification.