Berger wins seat for Juvenile-Probate judge

Alyssa Flynn


Voters elected Bob Berger for Portage County’s Court of Common Pleas Juvenile-Probate judge Tuesday.

Berger won the position with 52 percent of the votes. In this position, Berger plans to look into being straightforward and honest in the juvenile court and make probate forms simple.

“I feel euphoric,” Berger said. “I was pretty good coming in, not overconfident. Someone told me that promises are debts unpaid, and I’m hoping to spend the next six years paying those debts.”

Berger received his degree in education from Kent State and joined the military after graduation.

After serving time in the military, Berger went to law school and practiced law for 37 years in Portage County as trial attorney. He has done private practice for 30 years and served as magistrate the last seven years to judge Laurie Pittman in the Common Pleas Court.

The juvenile and probate judge handles cases dealing with the well-being of children, juvenile traffic cases, delinquency, guardianship for minors, adoptions and name changes among other issues.

Berger said he plans on using his experience to relieve the stress on parents going through a divorce and give the parents a chance to think about the best interests of the children and what the children are going through. He said his philosophy in working with children in trouble is to be perfectly honest and consistent with them and give them consequences for their actions—consequences that are inconvenient to them to allow them a chance to think and progress and not make the same mistakes.  

“I just really think I can make a difference after 37 years,” Berger said. “When Judge Carnes decided to retire, I thought ‘I want his job.’ I want to try and bring my enthusiasm to that court.”

Contact Alyssa Flynn at [email protected].