Magistrate Samuel Amendolara was appointed Magistrate of the Mahoning County Juvenile Court in 1993. As a Magistrate, he primarily hears cases involving custody, delinquency, visitation, traffic and civil protection orders.
The majority of Magistrate Amendolara’s docket involves Third Party petitions for custody and visitation of children. Many grandparents or other non-parents file petitions for custody when parents are unable to care for and provide for their children.
Magistrate Amendolara is a lifelong resident of Mahoning County. He graduated from Ursuline High School and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Youngstown State University. He then earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from Cleveland State University, John Marshall School of Law.
Magistrate Amendolara is a member of the Mahoning County Bar Association and served as President of the Bar in 1995.
Mary Ann Fabrizi-Donges
Magistrate Mary Ann Fabrizi is a lifelong resident of Mahoning County and a graduate of Youngstown Chaney High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Comprehensive Social Studies from Youngstown State University and her Juris Doctorate degree in June 1985 from Akron Law School. She has been in private practice since November 1985 while also employed as Associate Counsel for several respected local attorneys. A significant portion of her private practice has been in the Juvenile Court, which includes extensive Guardian Ad Litem work on behalf of Mahoning County children and families. She was appointed Magistrate to the Mahoning County Juvenile Court on December 27, 2017 by the Honorable Judge Theresa Dellick. Initially, Magistrate Fabrizi will be assisting on the third party petitions for custody and visitation and the paternity docket involving private custody and visitation cases, both of which have experienced a significant increase with Judge Dellick’s initiation of the Attorney Help Desk to assist pro se litigants directly affected by today’s social issues. Magistrate Fabrizi will oversee the Juvenile Court’s Mental Health Treatment Court and also provide assistance for arraignments and other specialized dockets as the Judge deems appropriate.
Magistrate Ferris received his Bachelor’s Degree from Cleveland State University and his Juris Doctorate from Northern University. He began his practice in May, 1979. Magistrate Ferris is assigned to the Paternity Docket which involves private custody and visitation cases. He was appointed magistrate in 2006.
Magistrate Mark A. Latas received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in 1978, where he had a double major in History and Political Science. He received his Juris Doctorate from Ohio Northern University in May of 1981, and was admitted to the practice of law in November 1981. He opened a general practice and still has a part time practice. He was appointed as magistrate handling the Child Support docket in 1989.
Magistrate Jeralyn Goldberg Mercer graduated from Youngstown State University in 1976 with a B.S.A.S. degree in Criminal Justice-Corrections. She worked as a Management Analyst for the State of New Mexico prior to attending University of Akron School of Law. Since 1993, Magistrate Mercer began her private practice focusing on child advocacy and business law. Magistrate Mercer is a previous recipient of the Mahoning County Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award for her extensive service as a Guardian Ad Litem and Special Investigator in child custody cases. Magistrate Mercer became a part-time magistrate in January 2006. Magistrate Mercer presides over the Dependency, Neglect and Abuse docket.
Karen Romano Melone
Magistrate/Asst Court Admin
Magistrate Melone graduated from Youngstown State University where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education.
She earned her Juris Doctorate from the Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School. As a Magistrate for the delinquency docket, she hears cases from arraignment to disposition.
Magistrate Melone also oversees the Re-Entry Court docket.
Magistrate Melone was an Assistant County Prosecutor, assigned to the Juvenile Division, for five years prior to being appointed as a Magistrate in 2007 and Chief Magistrate in 2018 .