Welcome to Toledo Legal Aid Society

Sean McNulty
Chief Public Defender

News and Upcoming Events


        TLAS Statement on George Floyd


A police officer kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds before his death.  Almost 3 minutes of this period occurred while Mr. Floyd was unresponsive.  

The attorneys, staff, and the Board of Directors of the Toledo Legal Aid Society mourn Mr. Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police and our hearts go out to Mr. Floyd’s family, friends, and others who are hurting right now.  Further, we denounce the conduct of the police officers who killed Mr. Floyd.

We emphatically offer our support and encouragement to those who peacefully protest his death and stand against racial inequality.  We further affirm our commitment to advocating for continued criminal justice reform; rooting out overt, implicit, or structural racism; and achieving racial justice in our community and nationwide.

There have been many positive gains by criminal defense organizations and their clients in the criminal justice system over the past several years.  Those improvements are significant and welcomed—but it took just 8 minutes and 46 seconds to be painfully reminded, again, that there is much work to be done to achieve racial equity and to fulfill the promises of the Bill of Rights and the other protections afforded to all of us under the Constitution of the United States.  For the foregoing reasons:

The Toledo Legal Aid Society pledges to continue to participate and lead in discussions about criminal justice reform with an emphasis on addressing racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system;

The Toledo Legal Aid Society supports law enforcement practices and policies that discourage the use of militaristic weapons and tactics;

The Toledo Legal Aid Society supports law enforcement policies and training that protect human dignity and distinguish between appropriate use and inappropriate use of force, including banning the use of neck restraints;

The Toledo Legal Aid Society supports and encourages continued implicit bias (and other) training, community outreach, and community-oriented policing practices by law enforcement in Lucas County;

The Toledo Legal Aid Society  supports the declaration by the Board of Lucas County Commissioners that racism, whether overt, implicit, or structural, is a public health crisis;

The Toledo Legal Aid Society vows to continue to advocate for strategies, policies, and programs that address and remedy the underlying factors contributing to the likelihood that an individual may enter or reenter the criminal justice system;

The Toledo Legal Aid Society will continue to seek meaningful alternatives to the criminal prosecution of individuals struggling with poverty, substance use, mental health, and other challenges;

The Toledo Legal Aid Society affirms its commitment to encouraging and empowering the voices of those who have historically been over-represented in the criminal justice system;

The Toledo Legal Aid Society affirms its commitment to improving its own communication and community outreach throughout Lucas County; and

The Toledo Legal Aid Society vows to never forget the painful lessons learned as the world witnessed, in horror, the senseless death of George Floyd and rededicates its efforts to honor his death and those of countless others throughout our nation’s history as a catalyst for positive change.


The Toledo Municipal Court begins recovery operations on Monday May 18. Below is an outline of what to expect.

The state of Ohio, in its Responsible ReStartOhio directive, has laid out guidelines for re-opening. The changes outlined below are part of the Court’s compliance with these directives. The ultimate goal of all of these changes is to accomplish social distancing, reduce unnecessary physical appearances, and permit enhanced sanitation.

May 18 Opening. This opening is for individual judges’ scheduled dockets (CRA, CRB and TRC only); out of custody arraignments and warrant turn-ins.

Face Coverings. Face Coverings are required to enter the building. They must cover your mouth and nose. When you are in a Courtroom on the record, you will need to speak slowly and loudly to ensure that you can be understood by others and our JAVS recording system.

Staggered Dockets. All individual judges’ courtrooms are using a staggered schedule to control traffic:

Private Attorneys: 9 a.m.

Public Defenders: 10 a.m.

Pro Se: 11 a.m.

Duties. Duties will only handle open and bench warrants. Duties will not handle stays for fines and costs, take pleas, or continue cases. Attorneys will need to maximize the use of motions practice to address continuances. The Court has authorized the Clerk’s Office to handle stays when a $25 payment is made toward balances owed. Upon payment of 25% of balances owed the Clerk can also release a registration block. Files cannot be requested at the attorney’s counter. All scheduled files will be located in the scheduled courtroom.

Arraignments. All in-custody arraignments will take place via video in Courtroom Three. This includes both misdemeanor and felony. These are done by floor and cannot be done out of order because of how the jail has to move prisoners. An attorney who needs to speak with a client can either visit the jail or use the remote counsel room off of Courtroom 3 to speak with a client.

Building Entry. Expect entry to take more time. Individuals need to be scheduled to enter the building and security staff will be checking visitors against a list of scheduled appearances.

Court Services and Scheduling. A limit of four individuals is permitted in Court Services at one time. When you arrive, please sign in and have a seat outside of the door. Files will be brought to Court Services and you will be called into the office as soon as your file arrives.

Social Distancing. We have indicated where people can sit, and where they can stand and move. Please follow these guidelines.

Day Porter and Sanitation. The Court has hired an additional staff member to assist in maintaining the high levels of cleaning and sanitizing that are expected in areas open to the public.


Timothy C. Kuhlman, Presiding Judge



Laura and John Arnold Foundation


Defender Spotlight: Taking a Second Look


Defender Spotlight: Defenders at the Table











The full orders can be viewed at: https://www.co.lucas.oh.us/307/Common-Pleas-Court

*No Jurors will be summoned for out-of-custody defendants and their trial date UNLESS there are speedy trial issues.  The Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, through its assigned assistant prosecutors, is responsible for accurate calculation of the remaining time left on each individual case regarding speedy trial deadlines.

If a Defendant’s speedy trial rights expire less than fifteen (15) days after the scheduled trial date, both defense counsel and the assigned assistant prosecutor are ORDERED to appear before the assigned Judge for an attorney-only pretrial to discuss relevant dates as soon as practicable, but in no event less than seven (7) days before the scheduled trial date.  All parties are ORDERED to continue good faith working toward resolution of all issues.

*The trial dates of all defendants held in-custody or out on bond are ORDERED MAINTAINED.  The assigned lawyers are ORDERED to appear before the designated Judge for an attorney-only pretrial as soon as practicable to discuss scheduling.  Be advised that if speedy trial constraints allow, the presently set trial may be continued.

*The public health emergency may be considered to be a finding of good cause for granting of a continuance of jury trials, court trials, and hearings as deemed neessary by each Judge on a case-by-case basis.

*Court proceedings are open to the public.  Victims, defendants, and all parties are permitted by law to have friends, family, and the press present for these proceedings.  However, because of the declared State of Emergency, it is appropriate and strongly encouraged that the lawyers aligned with these parties discourage the appearance in court of nonessential observers.  Any non-party exhibiting signs of illness is subject to being removed from the courthouse.

*The Court is in the process of increasing its capacity to have video hearings between inmates held in the Lucas County Corrections Center and the court.  This is an ongoing process and attorneys will be updated as to details.  When fully operational it is the ORDER of the court that the official court proceedings between inmates in the Lucas County Corrections Center and the court may be conducted by video conferencing and on the record.

*All payments ordered in criminal cases (court costs, restitution) are stayed until June 1, 2020.  Individuals are prohibited from coming to court to make in-person payments.



MacArthur Safety + Justice Challenge

In April of 2016, Lucas County was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation $1.75 million grant to reform Lucas County’s criminal justice system. The Safety + Justice challenge allows Lucas County to implement meaningful reform in our criminal justice system as we address fundamental questions about community safety, the use of jails, and justice for all.

Learn more about Lucas County’s efforts to ensure that our criminal justice system works for all residents at the


View  http://www.lucascountyoh.gov/DocumentCenter/View/64692

Mission Statement

The mission of the Toledo Legal Aid Society is to provide excellent legal representation, in a competent, assertive, and personal manner, to all indigent clients who are charged with the commission of an offense or act that is in violation of a statute of the State of Ohio, or an ordinance of a municipality within Lucas County, and for which the penalty or any possible adjudication includes the potential loss of liberty.

Employment Opportunities

Assistant Public Defender (multiple positions) in Toledo Municipal Court, Juvenile Court, and Drug Court available in Lucas County, Ohio.  Candidates for these positions must be licensed to practice law in Ohio.    Please see http://www.nlada.org/node/30811 for a more detailed description. Email cover letter and resume by March 6, 2020 to: ToledoLegalAidSociety@Yahoo.com

Office Support Staff (two positions): Duties include opening, updating, and closing client files; utilizing an online case management system; data entry; and general clerical duties.  35-40 hours/week plus health & other benefits.  Salary range $26,000-$38,000.  Email cover letter and resume by March 6, 2020 to: ToledoLegalAidSociety@Yahoo.com