Christopher Sammarone (Democrat)

Running for
ResidenceCanfield, OH
EducationCleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio J.D. degree, May 1999, GPA: 3.1, Top 35%, Justinian Forum Member Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio Bachelor of Science June 1995, Major: Biology, Minor: Chemistry Youngstown Chaney High School, diploma
EmployerSelf-employed attorney
FamilyWife: Krista Sammarone
Children: Serena, Chris, Summer, Zach, and Maxx
Family in office?My Father, Charles Sammarone, is President of Youngstown City Council
Reasons for runningI am running because this judgeship is critical to the community and should not be trusted to someone who has virtually no experience with Probate law and no involvement with Probate Court. I have extensive experience and practice in Probate law and the Probate Court. Why is it critical to have an experienced and qualified candidate for this Judgeship? Most people understand that Probate Court oversees the process of administering one’s estate through the legal system after death. In that regard, Probate Court oversees the transfer of an estate and its property, including the transfer of inheritance to the beneficiaries, in a manner required by law. However, Probate Court has jurisdiction and oversight over many other vital legal matters including:

1. Jurisdiction, appointment and removal powers of guardians, conservators, and testamentary trustees, and control and oversight of their conduct and financial accounting.

2. Guardians are appointed by the Probate Court to make the personal decisions for protected persons or wards of the state. Protected persons are those mentally and/or physically disabled persons who are unable to make responsible decisions about their finances, property, living situations, or care. The guardian has the authority to make decisions on behalf of such protected person concerning matters as where to live, medical decisions, training and education, etc.

3. A conservator is appointed to make financial decisions for the protected person. The conservator typically has the power to enter into contracts, pay bills, invest assets, and perform other financial functions for the protected person.

4. A testamentary trustee is the trustee whose duty it is to carry out the terms of a testamentary trust which is typically specified in a person’s will and is created by the death of that person. It is created to address any estate that is accumulated during that person’s lifetime or generated as a result of the death itself such as settlement in a wrongful death suit or the proceeds from a life insurance policy. The trustee is appointed to direct the trust until a set time when the trust expires, such as when minor beneficiaries reach a specified age or accomplish a deed such as completing an educational goal or achieving matrimonial status. Again, the Probate Court has jurisdiction and oversight over this important legal matter.

II. Probate Court also grants marriage licenses and authorizes adoptions.

III Probate Court also hears and determines actions involving informed consent for hospitalized persons and to hear and determine actions relating to durable powers of attorney for health care. The Probate Court further hears and determines complaints that pertain to the withholding or withdrawal or continuation of life - sustaining treatment matters with patients in potential terminal condition.

IV Probate Court also has jurisdiction, oversight and regulatory power of authority over charitable trusts and foundations. Oftentimes such trusts and foundations are of a significant monetary composition and have material impact on society.

V Finally, Probate Court oversees and administers the Mill Creek Metropolitan Park District including its operations, employees and police force. The Park District has multi-million dollar budget.

Probate Court does so much more than administer estates upon death. It has the responsibility to oversee and protect many of those people in our society who need protection - the incompetent, the infirm, and the mentally and physically disabled . The Mahoning County Probate Court also administers and oversees the second largest urban park area in the United States - Mill Creek Metro Parks - and its many departments, including a police force, and its multimillion dollar budget.

As is evident, Probate Court is involved with critical issues and concerns arising from many facets of life and our community. We simply can't trust making rulings and decisions on these critical issues and concerns to someone who has essentially never practiced in Probate Court. I have extensive experience in Probate law and in Probate Court...experience and qualifications that our community can trust.

Priorities My priorities will be to instill into this judgeship the trust, qualifications, and experience necessary to run a fair, competent, and respected Probate Court. Why are trust and qualifications and experience so important to this judgeship? Because our next Probate judge must render decisions that impact and directly affect peoples’ lives. While empathy and compassion are admirable traits…a judge, first and foremost, must be fair, impartial, objective, honest…and all of those traits must be administered with a knowledge, understanding, and experience of the law that must be applied. Of the two candidates that are seeking the position for Mahoning County Probate Judge, I believe I better possess all of those attributes that are necessary to be an effective Probate Judge of Mahoning County.
QualificationsI have been practicing law since 1999 with my primary office located in the City of Youngstown. In my practice I have handled and represented clients in numerous areas of the law and have tried many cases in our area courts. I have extensive experience in Probate Court. Specifically, I have probated numerous estates, filed will contests, resolved trust issues and represented parents in adoption proceedings. Of most significance, I have been counsel for the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities. This experience has been without question one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have had the opportunity to represent, in Probate Court, many of the Board’s clients, who are some of our most fragile, most vulnerable citizens of Mahoning County. I understand the important role the Probate Judge plays in the appointment of guardians for persons with developmental disabilities. This understanding will prove invaluable as the next Mahoning County Probate Judge.
Positions on the issues The Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits candidates from opining on, or pre-judging, matters/issues that can come before the court.
Offices Sought Judgeship for the 7th District of Ohio, Court of Appeals - 2006
Offices Held None