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NC District Court Judge District 26 Seat 1

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 party primaries. There are 41 districts across the state, most of them either one or two counties.

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  • Candidate picture

    Kimberly Y. Best
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Pat Finn
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What unique personal and professional experiences have prepared you for this judgeship?

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?

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?

Age (optional) 49
Contact Phone (980) 553-0139
email address JudgeKimBest@gmail.com
Twitter @JudgeKimBest
Position/philosophy statement Justice is not one size fits all. Everyone deserves to be heard, respected and treated fairly. I look forward to doing so four more years. Thank you.
I have served as a Judge for the past eleven years and have practiced in every courtroom possible. I am a Certified Juvenile Judge and currently preside over our Mental Health Court and have chaired numerous committees. I currently serve as Lead Civil Court Judge and assist with determining a process for the current backlog of evictions in our court system. I’ve volunteered for Truancy Court, and served on the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Race Matters for Juvenile Justice and Chaired the Juvenile Justice Subcommittee where we led awareness on the issue of Foster and Delinquent Youth and Human Trafficking.
In Judicial races, party affiliation and political beliefs should not play a role in the administration of justice. Equal treatment under the law, fairness and impartiality are expected and required. However, we all come to the bench with our own biases and we must acknowledge them in order to understand how to prevent them from interfering with our judgment. To the extent the party platform of the Democratic Party allows me to advocate for changes and reforms that will improve our court system to ensure Justice is served, I will embrace and help advance the platform.
The greatest obstacles to justice include lack of financial resources for litigants and inadequate funding of the judicial branch. Litigants often don’t have the financial means to hire an Attorney who can assist with navigating the legal process. This can lead to an outcome that is not just for some litigants. The judicial branch as a whole receives approximately 2% of the State budget yet we are expected to solve societal ills that others cannot. The lack of technology has led to inefficiencies within the system such as longer wait times for trials, hearings and sometimes orders. E-filing is coming soon to the County and is currently being used in Domestic Violence Court but it is sorely needed in all courts. Likewise, this lack of funding also results in lower pay and high turnover for our Clerks, Magistrates, District Attorneys, Probation Officers and Public Defenders. Valuable experience and expertise is lost and the persons represented suffer an injustice. I believe as a Judge I should, and have, always advocated for adequate funding and resources for the court system. As a bench we have advocated for continued funding of our treatment courts, electronic filing, funding for juvenile mental health and rehabilitation programs, racial equity training with RMJJ, training on Human Trafficking, the Self Serve Center and assistance for agencies that help litigants and court personnel everyday.

Thankful
I previously served as a Criminal Magistrate, represented parents in DSS and juvenile delinquency matters, practiced bankruptcy and criminal defense. Upon becoming a Judge January 1, 2009, I began in criminal court and transitioned to Juvenile Court. I am a Certified Juvenile Judge and have presided over Abuse, Neglect and Dependency Matters and Juvenile Delinquency. I have also conducted Voluntary Commitments for mentally ill children and Involuntary Commitments for the adults. As a Juvenile Judge I chaired the Juvenile Justice Subcommittee and Psychotropic Medication Protocol Committee and served on the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. I have presided over Child Support Matters, Domestic Violence civil and criminal matters. I have likewise served in Family Court, determining child custody, alimony, divorce and equitable distribution matters. Lastly, I served in Civil Court presiding over landlord/tenant matters, debt collection and jury trials in civil matters involving less than 25,000. Likewise, I currently am responsible for expungements, Mental Health Court and Lead Civil Court Judge. Lastly, I am also a therapeutic foster parent and Mom. I believe I have served fairly and equitably in all these courtrooms and that experience and training has prepared me for continued service to our community as a District Court Judge.
Age (optional) 35
Contact Phone (704) 577-9287
email address Pat@ElectPatFinn.com
Position/philosophy statement I am a former prosecutor and third generation Charlottean. I am an experienced trial attorney, seeking your support in the November 2020!
While I was a prosecutor, I ran a Criminal District Courtroom 3 days a week without any support staff, as well as Juvenile Criminal 1 day a week. I handled 100s of cases each week, through trials and plea deals. The large caseload and lack of support enabled me to learn to be efficient to avoid creating a backlog. This allowed the public to have their cases heard in a timely fashion, and for victims to have their justice.

As a Defense Attorney, I have practiced in every single type of courtroom that a District Court Judge presides over. I have also done so in numerous counties around NC. This has allowed me to interact with countless other attorneys and judges, which has helped teach me the best practices in each courtroom.

I am familiar with the strategies and arguments from both sides, which will help me better understand the cases that I will preside over, allowing me to be efficient while still making sure Justice happens.
I don't believe that Judicial Elections should be Partisan (political party based). However, I am running to become a Judge not to be a member of the State Legislature. As a Judge it is my job to apply the law as written, and not legislate from the bench, regardless of my personal feelings about the subject.
One of the biggest issues related to accessibility is being able to have your case heard in a timely manner. A specific way that I could personally improve this issue is making sure I am prompt at starting court on time each day, working a full day, and being as efficient as possible to avoid continuing to add to the backlog of cases.

Better education to the public about their rights. Better communication from the court system about the resources that are available to the average citizen. Being more welcoming and understanding of the public's concerns while on the bench as a judge in court. There also needs to be a better system of accountability in place for everyone involved in the court system, including the judge. If someone isn't doing their job adequately, the public should be allowed to let them know.
I have represented and prosecuted people from every socio-economic background in Criminal, Juvenile, and Family Court. This experience has helped me to learn that Justice shouldn't be about who can hire the loudest, flashiest, most expensive attorney. Everyone deserves their day in Court, and everyone deserves Justice. I also have learned that everyone should be held accountable. Whether that is a defendant who has been proven guilty, a police officer who has done something wrong, or even the myself as Judge if I am not working as hard as I can to be fair, impartial, and efficient.