Ex-Y’town muni court judge Luke Levy dies in Florida
Levy is descibed as a “distinguished old-school judge who believed in the dignity of the court and the process.
By William K. Alcorn
Former longtime Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Louis K. “Luke” Levy died Thursday in Florida.
Shriver-Allison-Courtley Funeral Home of Youngstown is handling his arrangements.
Levy was in his early 80s.
He was described Thursday night by Youngstown Law Director Jeff Limbian as a “distinguished old-school judge who ran his court on time” and who once threatened to dismiss charges in a murder case Limbian was prosecuting if witnesses failed to appear for the trial. When five witnesses failed to appear, the judge followed through on his threat, Limbian recalled.
“When I was a brand-new lawyer, my knees would shake a little more than they would in front of other judges. He had a strong authoritative presence, but in time, it became apparent that he was fair. He would bellow occasionally, but it was only for effect,” said Limbian, a former city prosecutor.
“Judge Levy believed in respect for the dignity of the court and the process. It is ironic that the Youngstown Municipal Court is poised to finally move into a facility that is befitting of his dignity,” he added.
According to Vindicator records, Levy, son of Atty. and Mrs. Jacob Levy and a 1954 graduate of Boardman High School, received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, law degree from the University of Michigan and a juris doctorate from Cleveland Marshall Law School.
Levy was appointed an assistant police prosecutor in 1969, and traffic court referee in Juvenile Court in 1973. In 1985, Levy, a Democrat, was named to the Youngstown Municipal Court bench to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Leo Morley. Levy was elected to the bench that same year.
In 1986, he received the Ohio Supreme Court Superior Award for Excellence, and in 1987, he said he wanted justice for the mentally ill.
In 1993, Levy asked the FBI to probe his court to determine the legality of probation officers in dealing with clients sent to Florida for substance abuse. He was re-elected to the municipal court bench in 1995.
At 60, Levy sat on the bench for the last time and completed a 32-year law career in early September 1997. At the time, he said he was interested in moving to Washington state.