Sara comes from a hardworking background and her early years formed her view of law, justice, and family. Her mother worked with people for 50 years in the food industry, and Sara’s father was a proud public servant working in law enforcement for 40 years as a Police Chief, Public Defender Investigator, District Attorney Investigator, and Mayor of New York’s Lakewood for almost 30 years. From an early age, Sara spent a significant amount of time with her father learning about both sides of the legal process and the importance of life experience.

The Lakewood Municipal Court moves quickly, sees hundreds of cases weekly and often is the only encounter many residents will have with the judicial system. Sara Fagnilli’s professional experience in this particular field of law spans 35 years, beginning as a Municipal Prosecutor,  a Law Director and a trial attorney.  There is not a case that would come before the municipal court that Sara has not seen. Her experience on both sides of every type of case includes helping clients navigate the consequences of a judge's decision. That unique perspective is what sets her apart.


She has served local communities in a variety of high-level legal positions at various times over the past 30 years:

  • Law Director for Lakewood and Fairview Park, Assistant Law Director for Orange Village, Richmond Heights, Tallmadge, Streetsboro, and Stow

  • Prosecutor for Hudson, Streetsboro, Vermilion and Assistant Prosecutor for Put-in-Bay, Maple Heights, Macedonia, Chagrin Falls, Oakwood Village

  • Attorney in private practice representing municipalities including Lakewood, Berea, Orange Village, Richmond Heights, Geneva, Euclid, Wooster, Lyndhurst, Cuyahoga Falls, Garfield Heights, Richfield, Cleveland Heights

  • Practice includes Federal, State, and multiple Municipal Courts and trial work in multiple areas of civil and criminal law including the issues that have given her a wide and well-rounded perspective to serve as your Municipal Judge

  • Assistant General Counsel for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

  • Adjunct Professor of Law - Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Beyond her professional experience, Sara Fagnilli has given her time and dedication to many community organizations that work hard to improve our neighborhoods:

  • Fill This House, Board Member

  • Junior Women’s Club of Lakewood

  • Lakewood Catholic Academy President Search Committee

  • Lakewood Catholic Academy PTA

  • Lakewood Chamber of Commerce

  • Lakewood Charter Review Commission, Chair

  • Lakewood's Citizens' Advisory Committee - Lakewood Community Development Block Grant Program

  • Lakewood Kiwanis

  • Lakewood Rocky River Rotary

  • Lakewood School PTA

  • Lakewood Women’s Club

  • St. Luke’s Parish, Member

  • St. Luke School PTA Co-Chair Annual Auction

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  • Facebook

Paid for by Sara Fagnilli for Judge, Gaynel Mellino, Treasurer

Sara and her husband, David, have been proud Lakewood residents for the past 35 years and have raised 3 children here.  Sara looks forward to continuing to serve Lakewood, Ohio for many years to come.