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.
I focus on the humanity of the parties before me, address them with respect, and prioritize pragmatic solutions above dogmatism.
I practiced law in our courts as an Assistant Public Defender for over eighteen years before becoming a judge. I was elected to the bench in 2016, and have developed broad judicial experience in civil, criminal, family, domestic violence, and DHHS courts. I am especially happy for the opportunities I have to help children and heal families in our DHHS court.
I have had the chances to get to know, care for, and walk alongside people of a wide variety of backgrounds. This has given me insights into the people who come to court. Rather than viewing them only as a set of issues or problems that bring them to court, it is important to view them as a whole person with a wide variety of cares, concerns, joys, and sufferings. Only with adequate context can you begin to address the portion of their life that has brought them to court.
In addition, it is important to recognize the levels of fears, anxieties, and beliefs that someone may have about our courts. If the judges, as representatives of the legal system, don't speak to people with care, humility, and respect, often they will turn people against the solutions that the court may offer, the orders that need to be enforced, and the rule of law overall. When judges address people with appropriate human dignity, they can help to break down barriers and uphold respect for the law as an institution.
First Friends Meeting, Greensboro (Quaker church); member; Clerk of Monthly Meeting, 2015-present
Greensboro Urban Ministry; volunteer
Guilford County Teen Court; Volunteer Judge, 2007-present
Wyndham Golf Tournament; volunteer
American Red Cross; blood donor
Guest speaker for selected courses, Guilford College, Department of Justice and Policy Studies, 2005-2016
Guest speaker for high school courses at Southwest Guilford High School
Senior Project Speeches Judge, Southwest Guilford High School, 2005-present
Community Theater of Greensboro; actor