Magistrates are non-elected judicial officers. They are appointed by the Judges of the Court. Magistrates conduct proceedings just as a judge would, but certain decisions of the magistrate are not final or effective until they are reviewed and adopted by a judge.
Magistrates issue orders and decisions. A magistrate's order is effective immediately. If a party wants the judge to review the order to have it changed, then the party must file a request to that effect. However, the order will still remain in effect while the request is pending unless the judge or magistrate issues a stay. An order is usually issued for matters that are not dispositive of the entire case. Orders to continue a case, pretrial orders, orders regarding discovery, etc. are examples of orders issued by magistrates that take immediate effect.
A decision is issued when substantive issues are being addressed, or when the decision, if affirmed, would result in a final disposition of the case. A magistrate would issue a decision when deciding the motion of a party for summary judgment, or for judgment on the pleadings, for example. Similarly, a magistrate would issue a decision after hearing a contested trial.
Laura A. Killian
Magistrate Killian serves the Court as both a Judicial Associate and Magistrate as needed. When serving as Magistrate, Ms. Killian serves in all areas of Court including Traffic, Small Claims, Arraignment and regular docket cases. She is a graduate of the University of Akron School of Law and was admitted to the bar in the State of Ohio in 1990. Magistrate Killian has previously worked for the City of Akron in both the criminal and civil divisions of the law department.
Magistrate Yuhas presides over Small Claims Court. She is a graduate of the University of Akron, and was admitted to the bar in the State of Ohio in 2005. Magistrate Yuhas also serves as the Language Access Coordinator of the Akron Municipal Court. Magistrate Yuhas is an Army Veteran and previously served as the personal Magistrate for Judge Kathryn Michael, staff attorney for the Legal Defender's Office of Summit County, Assistant Prosecutor for the Akron City Prosecutor's Office, and in private practice.
As Traffic Court Magistrate, Magistrate Tamara Todd presides over the court's daily traffic arraignments and trials, handle parking and driving privilege hearings and manage files after sentencing. She further manages the Court's License Intervention Program which assists drivers in obtaining a VALID driver's license.
Magistrate Todd is a 2002 graduate of The University of Akron Law School and prior to being named Traffic Court Magistrate in April 2019, she served as a judicial associate and Magistrate at Akron Municipal Court. Her duties included providing legal assistance to the Akron Municipal Court judges as assigned in situations such as providing coverage for court hearings, assisting their staff, answering questions and/or doing research on legal or legislative issues.
Tamara has in some shape or form called Akron Municipal Court home since 2007, except for a short stint in Cleveland as a Hearing Officer from 2013-2014. She worked as an Assistant Akron City Prosecutor from 2007-2013 and rejoined the Court in January 2015. From 2005-2007, Magistrate Todd worked as an Assistant Prosecutor for the Summit County CSEA.
Magistrate Nemer presides over small claims, civil, traffic and criminal matters. She graduated with distinction from Western Michigan University Law School in 2007. For approximately 7 years, Tania served as “Of Counsel” for McGinty, Hilow & Spellacy Co. LPA where she managed a private practice focusing in criminal defense, immigration, small claims, evictions and civil matters. She transitioned to nonprofit as an Immigration Senior Attorney at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland where she worked for over 4 years representing individuals and families in Federal Court.
Tania has previously served as vice-president of the West Shore Bar Association (WSBA).
She is a longstanding member of the Ohio Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Immigration Customs Enforcement liaison for the Northern District of Ohio. She has also volunteered on multiple occasions at the Family Detention Center along the southern border in Dilley, TX. Tania published a professional article, Criminal and Immigration Laws: The Lines and The Lives They Cross, in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal.
She currently lives in Hudson, Ohio with her husband and their three vibrant children.
Magistrate Angela Hardway serves all six judges and presides over small claims, civil, traffic and criminal matters. Magistrate Hardway also supervises the Small Claims Court Mediation Program.
Magistrate Hardway graduated from The University of Akron School of Law and was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Ohio in 2004. She is a member of the Akron Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association and the Ohio Association for Justice.
Since 2004, Magistrate Hardway was in private practice with Bevan and Associates LPA, Inc. specializing in the areas of workers’ compensation, probate and estate planning, civil litigation and domestic relations.
Magistrate Hardway lives in West Akron with her husband and three children.
Jennifer D. Towell
Visiting Magistrate Jennifer D. Towell started her legal career serving in the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Lieutenant in the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard Naval Legal Services Office. While serving as a JAG officer, she was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and a Navy Pistol Sharpshooter Ribbon.
Magistrate Towell also worked as the Director of E-Discovery Affairs for Applied Discovery, a division of LexisNexis. In this role, she developed regional strategic initiatives in order to maximize corporate, law firm and government organization partnerships and industry relationships across the United States.
Prior to joining Applied Discovery, she was an attorney with Brouse McDowell in Akron where she specialized in litigation at the trial and appellate level focusing on complex litigation, insurance recovery actions, product liability actions and class action defense.
Magistrate Towell received her Bachelor of Science from Miami University of Ohio, cum laude and her Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University College of Law. She is admitted to practice in Colorado, Ohio and before the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.
Magistrate Towell and her husband reside in Bath Township with their three children.