James Fredericka (Democrat)

Running for
ResidenceWarren, OH
EducationWarren John F. Kennedy High School (1971); University of Notre Dame (B.A., 1975, Economics, graduated with highest honors); Case Western Reserve University (J.D., 1978). Honor Fraternities: Phi Beta Kappa; Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics)
EmployerAmbrosy and Fredericka; Partner
FamilyLou Ann Malone Fredericka - Wife
Gina Marie Fredericka - Daughter
Michael James Fredericka - Son
Family in office?No immediate family members in public office or employment;
I have two (2) cousins employed by Trumbull County:
Clarence Calderone, CSEA and J. Joseph Fredericka, County Maintenance.
One cousin employed by the State of Ohio: Theresa Fredericka, Executive Director of INFOhio
Reasons for runningProbate Court is more than just administration. It’s about people, protecting families, and protecting the most vulnerable including our seniors and children with special needs. Thirty-five (35) years of broad legal experience will help me fulfill that responsibility.
Priorities 1. Education Outreach: Probate Court is more than filing papers. It’s about people. However, many, including our seniors, do not understand the Court. In addition to the information on the Court’s website, the Judge and Magistrates could do a better job in providing free educational forums. The Court could reach out by going to our senior centers, our places of worship, and other community facilities to inform our seniors and others about the Court. There are misunderstandings and fears which can be alleviated by explaining the Court and some of the legal cost-efficient vehicles available to assist seniors and others in managing their affairs and estates.

2. Improve the process and procedures of the Probate Court: In addition to managing an up-to-date docket, the Probate Court should encourage e-filings, provide notifications by e-mail and make the electronic process more friendly. The use of this technology will save time and expense for the parties, attorneys, Court and staff.

The Probate Court should be committed to completing the process of digitizing archived records. These records should be placed on-line for the genealogists, title searchers, etc., as well as for historical reasons.

3. Maintain and improve existing programs: The Probate Court has a number of programs that work but can be improved. Examples include:

(a) The Guardian Angel Program serves as the eyes and ears of the Court. Screened and trained volunteers check on those who are the subjects of guardianships, including our seniors. These volunteers report back to the Court to make sure that our seniors are being taken care of by their guardians and that they are receiving proper care and treatment.

This program can be expanded to seniors who are not subjects of a guardianship but who want and need a helping hand on occasion. Trained and screened volunteers in the community can check on seniors who want to be part of the program and who have no close relatives or trusted friends especially in times of emergency, e.g., severe weather or power outages.

(b) The Probate Court, as well as the parties, would benefit from a stronger mediation program. Appropriate disputed cases should be sent to mandatory mediation. If the mediation session is unsuccessful, a final hearing date should be set to let the parties know that the Probate Court will render a final decision in a timely fashion.

4. Budget management: Trumbull County’s budget is strained due to the economy. Trumbull County is spending more than what is being collected. The County, in order to balance the budget and provide the same level of services, is required to invade its rainy day fund. The rainy day fund has dwindled from over Ten Million Dollars to less than Three Million Dollars.

It is important that officeholders work cooperatively with the Commissioners, the Auditor and other departments. The goal is to provide services required by law while working within the budget. The Probate Court reports approximately 35,000 contacts annually from the public. We want to be able to serve those needs of the citizens of Trumbull County. However, in order to serve the needs of Trumbull County, Probate Court must live within its budget while still performing all the responsibilities required by law.
QualificationsMartindale-Hubbell: Peer Review Rating - AV Preeminent, highest rating for professional ethics and legal ability. 35 years of broad legal experience, including general civil and appellate practice, probate, school law, employment matters, public employment/labor law. Probate experience includes Wills, Trusts and Estates, adoptions, wrongful death, guardianships, guardian-ad-litem.
Positions on the issues A Probate Court Judge must be one who not only follows the law but reaches out to the community, manages a timely docket, lives within the budget, improves the process and procedures of the Court, and serves the public with honesty, integrity and fairness.
Offices Sought N/A
Offices Held Warren Civil Service Commission; 1994 - Present