NC District Court Judge District 15B Seat 4
The NC District Court hears civil cases involving less than $25,000 and criminal misdemeanors. District Court also oversees juvenile court and the magistrates, which handle things like small claims and evictions.Judges are elected for 4 year terms. Legislation in 2017 changed these elections to partisan elections with no primary. There are 43 districts across the state, most of them either one or two counties.
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What unique personal and professional experiences have prepared you for this judgeship?
What experiences do you bring to the kind of cases likely to come before you in the areas of family law, criminal law and juvenile justice issues?
You are running for a partisan judicial position. What role should the platform of your political party play in your work as a judge on the court?
What do you perceive as the greatest obstacles to justice and do you think there is a role you should play to address these obstacles?
I believe that as a judge I have a responsibility to the public to act fairly, and with respect and integrity.
I practice law for over twenty years before being elected to my seat in 2016. Most of those years, I worked as a trial lawyer, primarily working as an assistant public defender. I have served as a district court judge for nearly four years, working in all areas of court, including, criminal court, therapeutic courts, civil court, juvenile delinquency and dependency courts. I have learned a tremendous amount managing dockets and working with other court stakeholders to improve access to justice, balancing efficiency and the right of participants to be heard. I have learned more about listening and the importance of recognizing and valuing the humanity in each person with whom I interact.
Prior to being elected in 2016, I had worked extensively in criminal law and with juvenile justice issues as a public defender. After taking office in 2017, I have regularly worked in all these areas of court. I bring both experience as an advocate and a judge. I understand that often families are involved in more that one of these court areas at a time. That is, that there can be a domino effect such that a problem in one area can lead to problems in other areas, leading to more court involvement. I have come to believe that working to develop more wholistic approaches to working with families that are court involved with the goal of getting the getting people out of the court system is what we should be working toward.
First, in 2016 judicial races were not partisan, and had not been for many years. Shortly after, however, the legislature saw fit to make judicial races partisan again. Generally, I do not believe the platform of my political party should inform the decisions I make in court. The one exception I would see to this is any commitment to recognize and value the human dignity of all people and to uphold the law and constitutions of the State and of the United States.
I perceive the greatest obstacle to justice as a lack of resources and the widening wealth gap. I think it is important to continue to adequately fund public defender's offices and also consider more funding for legal services for poor people in civil cases.
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