Judge Denise Nancy Rini

 Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division

Personal Background

Judge Rini is a lifelong resident of Cuyahoga County, growing up in Maple Heights until the age of 12 and subsequently moving to Lyndhurst where she resides today. Judge Rini attended public schools, Rockside Elementary in Maple Heights and graduated from Brush High School in 1975.
Judge Rini has a daughter, Michelle, who she supported by working three jobs at various times to ensure her education and success. Judge Rini understands the difficulty and complexity of raising a child as a single parent. After Michelle graduated from college, Judge Rini pursued a degree at Baldwin Wallace University, earning a degree in Human Services, and at the age of 40, she began law school with the intention of practicing family and juvenile law.
Judge Rini has spent her entire legal career focusing on Juvenile Court and resolving issues surrounding the children and families of Cuyahoga County. In addition to her regular judicial duties, Judge Rini also presides over the Court’s Teen Drug Court and Safe Harbor dockets.

Professional Boards

Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges Executive Committee
Ensures that Juvenile Judges in Ohio have the proper resources and training. Unanimously elected Secretary of the OAJCJ;
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)
A member of the Family Violence and Domestic Relations Committee that is committed to ensure justice for every family and every child in Courts throughout the United States;
Ohio Judicial Conference Juvenile Law & Procedure Committee
The Association works closely with Legislature on issues affecting Juvenile Courts;
Supreme Court Commission of Rules Committee Member
The Ohio Supreme Court reviews the Practice and Procedures for all Attorneys and Judges;
Supreme Court Weighted Case Load Committee Member
Committee created to determine the effectiveness of the judiciary throughout the State;
Cleveland Metro Bar Association Bench Bar Committee Member
The Purpose is to improve relationships between the Courts, attorneys and the community;
Court Appointed Special Advocate Steering Committee
Merging the Guardian ad Litem Project (GAL) & Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Programs under a non-profit, Child & Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County (CFACC);
CFACC Advisory Member                                                                         
The Guardian ad Litem Project (GAL) and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) created the Child & Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to serve the families;
Former Board Member, Guardian ad Litem Advisory
A Program that was the precursor to the CFACC and dedicated to the representation of children and parents in Juvenile Court;
Former Board Member, Providence House Board Member
A Crisis Nursery dedicated to respite care of children 0 – 5 years of age.

Professional Organizations

Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
The William K. Thomas American Inns of Court
The Justinian Forum of Northeast Ohio
The Italian Sons and Daughters
Italian-American Women Network


Renee Jones Empowerment Center Judicial Award
Community Award for the dedication and work to end Human Trafficking;
2016 Alvin I. “Buddy” Krenzler Award
For unwavering commitment to the law, the public it protects and years of service.