Jenifer Murphy Burnaugh has announced her candidacy for Morrow County Municipal Court Judge. The position is currently held by the Honorable Lee W. McClelland who will retire when his term ends at the end of this year.
Since 2007 Burnaugh has managed her solo law practice in Mount Gilead, the community where she was born and raised. In addition to representing criminal defendants in Municipal Court, she has served as an acting judge when needed. Burnaugh is also regularly appointed by the Court of Common Pleas to serve as a guardian ad litem. This requires her to advocate for and make recommendations regarding what is in the best interest of children. In the past, she has also served as the Village Solicitor for Edison – prosecuting criminal offenses in Mayor’s Court.
Prior to returning to her roots, Burnaugh worked for a law firm in Columbus where she litigated civil cases and complicated insurance issues. In this role, she was required to appear in county-level and appellate courts throughout the state. In 2004, Burnaugh argued before the Ohio Supreme Court when it conducted an off-site visit in Morrow County.
Immediately upon graduating from law school, Burnaugh was employed by the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas as a staff attorney where she was asked to write draft decisions for judges in both civil and criminal matters.
Burnaugh graduated with high distinction from Ohio Northern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and sociology. She received her juris doctorate from Capital University and graduated cum laude.
Burnaugh and her husband, David, have two children and devote a significant amount of time to community service. In addition to being a member of many local organizations, Burnaugh serves as a board member for Hospice of Morrow County and the Mount Gilead Kiwanis Club. She has also held officer positions in the Morrow County Bar Association and Morrow County Association of Businesswomen.
The Morrow County Municipal Court has jurisdiction to hear misdemeanor cases where the maximum punishments are six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. It also oversees civil matters where judgments up to $15,000 can be awarded.
“Courts are a place where public trust is of the utmost importance,” Burnaugh stated. “I am seeking the honor of serving as Morrow County Municipal Court because I believe that my work experience, history of utilizing independent judgment, and service record will enable me to fairly and consistently address the important issues that may arise.”