The Honorable Christine Croce
Judge Christine Croce graduated in 1989 with honors from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Organizational Communications. In 1994 she received her Juris Doctorate from The University of Akron School of Law and was thereafter admitted to practice law in the State of Ohio. While attending law school Judge Croce worked for the City of Akron Law Department handling thousands of traffic cases as well as appellate research and writing.
In 1995, Judge Croce began working for the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Criminal Prosecutor where she handled adult felony cases ranging from illegal possession of drugs to rape and murder.
In 2001 Judge Croce served as Executive Director of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and remained in that position until 2009. Judge Croce served as the legal advisor to the Deputy Sheriffs and the Summit County Drug Unit. Judge Croce also supervised the Fiscal Department, Personnel Department, CCW Unit, and Sex Offender Unit of the Sheriff’s Office and drafted inter-agency mutual aid agreements. Judge Croce also drafted county legislation and represented the Sheriff’s Office at Summit County Council.
From 2005-2009 Judge Croce served on Green City Council representing the citizens of the 4th Ward. While on council, Judge Croce served as the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, and the Parks and Recreation Committee. She also served as President of Council in 2008 and Vice President in 2009.
In 2009 Judge Croce was elected as the Barberton Municipal Clerk of Courts. During her time as Clerk, Judge Croce implemented time and money saving changes including electronic mailings, and online payments.
In 2011 Judge Croce was elected as Judge in the Barberton Municipal Court and during her tenure she served as Presiding Judge. While serving the Barberton Municipal Court many changes were made at the Court in an effort to make the Court operate effectively and efficiently. The Court started a Community Service program along with a Suspended License Intervention Program and a Mental Health Court. The Court actively sought grant money to make changes and enhancements to the Court without the need to use taxpayer money.
In November 2013, Judge Croce was appointed to the Summit County Common Pleas Court after the retirement of Judy Judith Hunter. In November of 2014, she was elected to serve a full 6 year term as a Judge in the General Division of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
In December 2016 Judge Croce was elected by her peers to service as Presiding Judge of the Summit County Courthouse. The Presiding Judge oversees and supervises the Petit Jury and Grand jury at each successive session of Court and as well as perform such additional duties as may be required by the Summit County Common Pleas Court or the Supreme Court of Ohio.
In August 2017, Judge Croce began presiding over a second felony drug court docket called Turning Point which was certified as a specialty docket by the Supreme Court of Ohio. This specialized docket serves the need of high risk/high need offenders who suffer from the disease of addiction. The program is at a minimum a one year program that utilizes sanctions and rewards to help those offenders in the program achieve sobriety. Judge Croce has worked to help those participants in Turning Point maintain long-term sobriety through the use of a team approach. Judge Croce along with her colleague Judge Oldfield started Faith-In-Recovery, a program designed to provide interested participants a spiritual component to their recovery. Judge Croce and Judge Oldfield along with their Probation Staff also worked to bring Summit County’s first specialized docket therapy dog, “Tank” to work with their Turning Point Participants. Judge Croce continues to address the various needs of her Turning Point Participants through creative approaches to sobriety.
Judge Croce believes that her work in the Turning Point Program does not stop at the Courthouse doors. She believes it is imperative to continue to collaborate with organizations outside of the criminal justice system in order to have a positive impact and reduce the overwhelming addiction issues we have in our Community. In 2018 Judge Croce was honored to serve as an honorary chair for the Community Health Center’s “Break the Cycle of Addition” luncheon; an honorary starter for the Hope United’s first 5K Race – Run for Recovery and helped distribute the Medals to the successful participants of the ADM Board’s Recovery Challenge.
In 2017, Judge Croce was awarded the “Outstanding Judge” award by the Northeast Chapter of MADD. Judge Croce is an active member of our community. She is a member of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the American Bar Association, the Akron Bar Association, the Akron Crime Clinic, the Fraternal Order of Police Associates #6, and the Magic City Kiwanis.