Medina County Courthouse

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Meet Probate Judge John Lohn

By Kate Feeks

Reprinted with permission from

He is the son of a Cleveland Police Officer, who was taught by his father, the most important values for a man. He taught him the values of honesty, integrity, loyalty and to always have respect for the law. Judge John Lohn of the Medina County Common Pleas Court, Probate and Juvenile Divisions, sat down with me and shared many stories about family, education and the values i that he views as most important.

Judge Lohn is the youngest of four children in his family, with two older brothers and an older sister. He grew up on Cleveland’s West side where he proudly graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1975. In 1979, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in business administration. He received his law degree in 1983 from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In 1990, he graduated from the FBI National Academy for Judges and Prosecutors.

For twenty years Judge Lohn was a prosecuting attorney before becoming Judge. It was his experience a trial attorney that he feels best prepared him to be a judge. “I was a prosecutor for most of my career and that taught me exactly how civil or criminal trials should work” explains Lohn. Some of the most common and difficult cases that he see’s in his courtroom are the sex abuse, parental neglect and juvenile drug abuse cases. These emotional and gut retching cases are very poignant causing it to be difficult to stay optimistic. “You have to fight the tendency to not become discouraged with each incident” explains Lohn.

With this passion of justice for all involved, he and many others on his staff organized a few helpful programs and services to assist our teens and our community. Some of these include: The Juvenile Drug Court, Camp Integrity and the Volunteer Guardianship.

The Juvenile Drug Court is a very successful nine month to one year program for kids that are drug dependant. The program offers counseling, temporary probation and drug screenings when necessary for the kids. This program works with the kids and their families to ensure that the correct steps are taken for recovery. The Juvenile Drug Court has been recognized by the University of Cincinnati as one of ten best courts in the country. “So what we have done as a community is to show the rest of the country how to get the best results in getting kids off drugs” said Lohn.

An interesting aspect to this program is the use of Equine Assisted Psycho Therapy or also known as Horse Therapy. This is an adjunctive therapy to drug court where it looks at how families interact with each other, parent to child, by the use of horses. Horses are known to reflect the environment to which they are exposed. The horse is able to mirror the dysfunction that the families display while interacting with each other. This is observed by the therapist who will then offer further discussion with the families. As a result, this kind of therapy is another helpful option to help families find ways to learn how to communicate with each other.

Another program set in place by Judge Lohn is the Camp Integrity Program. This after school program ranges from four to eight weeks and is organized for moderate or high risk kids that have become a problem in the community. From 3:30pm to 9:00pm the kids experience intensive non-impact physical exercise, complete homework and have mandatory counseling one night a week accompanied by a parent. “The initial purpose of this program is to give these kids a structured environment that a lot of times they are not getting at home” Lohn explains. A lot of the kids that go through this program return to the program as volunteers.

Judge Lohn is also responsible for implementing the Volunteer Guardianship Program for Medina County’s destitute and incompetent adults. There is a growing population of adults in our community who do not have any family members capable of giving extended care for them. Judge Lohn felt there was enough interest in the community to offer such guardianships as a volunteer opportunity. “People from all walks of life enjoy doing this, it is a fulfilling service” explains Lohn. In the end these adults appreciate the help and assistance and the volunteers are please to help them.

Judge Lohn met his wife Linda while working as a law clerk for an attorney. At the same time she was a clerk for the Medina Probate Court. They had their first date in September and were married eleven months later in August. Their story was printed in the Medina County Gazette as “Court House Couple Weds”. “We thought we were superstars” Lohn explains with a beaming face. He and wife Linda have recently celebrated their twenty sixth wedding anniversary and together they have two adult sons Ed and Tim.

No comments: