NEW PHILADELPHIA (March 25, 2022) – Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas Court General Trial Division Magistrate Magistrate Karen Zajkowski is retiring today after more than 21 years of service to the court and the families of Tuscarawas County.
Zajkowski was instrumental in the development of the Court’s current standard-parenting schedule, which strives to give children as much time as possible with both of their parents. This parenting schedule has been used as a model around the state. She was also involved in the drafting of the Court’s domestic relations forms and local rules and has served on the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence for the past 10 years.
Zajkowski is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Tuscarawas County Bar Association, Stark County Bar Association, Ohio Association of Magistrates, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
“Magistrate Zajkowski has been an asset for the Court,” stated Administrative Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos. “She has worked diligently to reach just outcomes for families facing life-altering changes. Judge Michael Ernest and I extend our gratitude to Magistrate Zajkowski for her years of service to the Court and families of Tuscarawas County.”
The court has appointed Attorney Rebecca DiDonato Heimbaugh to fill the vacancy. She started with the court in February. Heimbaugh previously served as a Magistrate at the Summit County Domestic Relations Court for 19 years. Her duties there included mentoring new magistrates and serving as an instructor in various educational programs designed to help the parties involved in domestic relations court proceedings. Before becoming a magistrate, she was in the private practice of law for 13 years and was elected as a Board Member of the Akron City School District where she served from 2000- 2003. Magistrate Heimbaugh is a certified Guardian Ad Litem and Mediator. She has been a frequent presenter at legal education seminars. Magistrate Heimbaugh is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Ohio Association of Magistrates, and the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation.
“The Court is fortunate to be transitioning from one experienced magistrate to another,” added Judge Thomakos. “Magistrate Heimbaugh has demonstrated a commitment to domestic relations, and she is making this change very smooth for the Court and the families we serve.”
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY COMMON PLEAS COURT