Joe Gallagher

Probate Division
Title: Chief Magistrate
Phone: 937-224-8845

Chief Magistrate Joe GallagherChief Magistrate Joseph S. Gallagher joined the Montgomery County Probate Court in December 1999 and has had the privilege to serve under three successive Probate Judges: Judge George J. Gounaris, Judge Alice O. McCollum and now, Judge David D. Brannon.  

In his capacity as a Magistrate, he has overseen hundreds of cases including estates, guardianships, and trusts. Charged initially with hearing mental health cases for many years he would travel weekly to various area hospitals and institutions to hold in-person commitment and medication hearings with persons with mental health issues.

While working with Judge McCollum he helped with the implementation of the e-filing of probate documents as Montgomery County Probate Court became the first Probate Court in Ohio to require all case types to be electronically filed.  

Appointed by Judge Brannon to be Chief Magistrate in February 2021, he has seen the Court expand the number of Magistrates and additional staff to better serve the citizens of Montgomery County with all their probate needs.  


Community Involvement and Professional Affiliations

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Dayton Bar Association
  • Ohio Association of Magistrates
  • Former Member of the OSBA Diversity Committee
  • Member of the OSBA Justice Administration and Innovation Committee (2021-present)
  • Co-Chair of the Diversity Section of the Dayton Bar Association (2023-2024)
  • Dayton Bar Association Foundation Member
  • DBA Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court Member
  • Member PFLAG Dayton


  • University of Akron, Juris Doctor, 1977
  • The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Art in Journalism, 1974
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