The Honorable Dixie Park is the first woman elected Judge of the Probate Division, Stark County Court of Common Pleas. She has served in this capacity since January 2004.
Judge Park graduated from Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy, received a B.S. from Kent State University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron School of Law.
Judge Park served as a judicial clerk and then magistrate in the General Division of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas. She also served as an Assistant Law Director for the City of Alliance and as an Acting Judge in the Alliance Municipal Court.
Judge Park is the immediate past President of the Ohio Association of Probate Judges and served on the Executive Committee of the Ohio Judicial Conference. She is a member of the National College of Probate Judges, Ohio State Bar Association, and Stark County Bar Association.
Judge Park received the 2017 Ohio Coalition of Adult Protective Services Honorable Judge Swift Award for effectively demonstrating leadership in facilitating effective working relationships at multiple levels by creating collaborative relationships.
Judge Park was awarded the 2017 Ohio Guardianship Association Distinguished Service Award for her many years of distinguished service to wards under her care and for her efforts to promote the highest level of ethical guardianship services.
In 2016, the Stark County Probate Court received a Grant from the Administration for Community Living to fund the expansion of its Court Angel Program. Grant funds have also been used to develop and implement an Eldercaring Mediation Program to assist elders and their families in resolving differences in high-conflict situations, focusing on the needs of the elder to prevent abuse and avoid guardianship.
Judge Park chairs the Probate Forms Committee and also chairs the Subcommittee on Adult Guardianship of the Advisory Committee on Children and Families of the Supreme Court of Ohio. She is also a member of the Probate Law and Procedure Committee of the Ohio Judicial Conference.
Judge Park served on the Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education, the Task Force to Review the Ohio Disciplinary System, and the Task Force on Funding of Ohio Courts. She has presented at numerous seminars and participates in planning judicial seminars and local probate seminars. She has served as a faculty member for the Ohio Judicial College since 2008 teaching new probate judges. Judge Park was a 2010 Jurist-in-Residence at the University of Akron School of Law. She co-chaired the Ohio Judicial Conference 50th Anniversary Planning Committee.
Judge Park served on the National Advisory Board of the National First Ladies Library.
On July 1, 2004, Judge Park adopted the Stark County Probate Court’s first mediation rule that allows families to resolve issues more amicably. Due to her special interest in guardianships, Judge Park re-instituted the Court Angel Program in 2005. Volunteers for this program report on the status and well-being of the more than 1,800 wards who are under the Probate Court’s supervision.
In 2006, Judge Park was instrumental in the inception of Guardian Support Services (GSS), which provides training and support for volunteer guardians, and coordinates the provision of guardianship services.
In 2007, Judge Park initiated the creation of the Guardian Oversight Council (GOC) consisting of members of the community from different disciplines and experiences to assist and make recommendations to the Probate Court on community standards for guardianship cases.
In 2010, Judge Park convened the Stark Multidisciplinary Advocacy/Protective Resources Team (“SMART”), comprised of a network of various agencies and government offices that provide services to individuals who are disabled and/or elderly to provide a forum for the development and implementation of resources to address the needs of the disabled and/or elderly population. Since 2011, SMART has presented an annual program on elder/disabled abuse to raise awareness in the community of this growing issue. In 2014, SMART received the Robert and Patricia Horowitz Award for Outstanding Leadership in Developing Innovative and Collaborative Practices on behalf of the Elderly and Disabled from the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office and the Stark County Victims’ Rights Coalition.
In May 2014 Judge Park testified before the Ohio Senate Finance Committee in support of HB 483, which increased funding for Adult Protective Services.
In 2015, Judge Park provided testimony for SB 161, which clarified that probate judges can issue search warrants.
In April of 2015, Judge Park gave a presentation at the National College of Probate Judges Spring Conference in Newport, Rhode Island, on the work, progress, and accomplishments of Ohio’s Subcommittee on Adult Guardianship of the Advisory Committee on Children and Families of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
In 2016, Judge Park was a panelist on the topics of Interdisciplinary Teams and Innovative Funding and Monitoring of Guardianships at the Ohio Guardianship Summit sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Advisory Committee on Children and Families.
In 2008, Judge Park received the Ohio Association of Probate Judges Judicial Excellence Award. She also received awards for Meritorious Service in 2006, 2007, 2009 through 2012, and 2014 through 2016 from the Ohio Association of Probate Judges. In 2012, Judge Park was inducted into the YWCA Stark County Women’s Hall of Fame. Judge Park was the 2008 Honoree of the Greater East Ohio Alzheimer’s Association.
Judge Park is the administrative judge of the Stark County Probate Court and has also served as the presiding judge of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas.
She is married to Dr. John Park and they have three adult children.
Keep Judge Dixie Park
Stark County Probate Judge
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