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NC District Court Judge District 19D 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 no primary. There are 43 districts across the state, most of them either one or two counties.

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    Warren McSweeney

Biographical Information

What are your greatest strengths as a (proposed) judge? (300 characters max)

What is your experience in the areas of criminal law? Family law? Civil litigation? (300 characters max)

Judicial elections moved from partisan to nonpartisan races over the last few decades, and have now returned to being partisan races. Which do you prefer and why? (500 characters max)

Do you feel the court system is funded adequately? Please explain. (500 characters max)

Should the court system provide a place where the public can easily access searchable case results and sentencing decisions? (300 characters max)

What do you perceive as the greatest obstacles to justice in the courts? (700 characters max)

Since it is necessary to finance your campaign through contributions, how do you maintain your judicial independence? (500 characters max)

Age 42
Position/philosophy statement A District Court Judge should be fair and impartial in the application of the law in North Carolina to the specific facts of the case before him.
I know that I have the mindset and the temperament to adequately and professionally maintain the decorum of the courtroom. I have the legal knowledge and ability to preside over all aspects of District Court. I have the legal experience to be able to handle any situation that arises in Court.
I have been a prosecutor for over seventeen years representing the State in matters ranging from speeding to death penalty cases. I have handled cases in Juvenile Court and occasionally have been involved in Family Court cases where witnesses or issues may impact a criminal case I am handling.
A District Court Judge is tasked with applying the law to a specific set of facts. Politics should not play a role in how the people that come before a District Court Judge have their cases heard. The Judiciary is one of three equal branches created under our Constitution that allows for the Judiciary to be independent in the interpretation of the laws. The personal feelings and opinions of a Judge should not play in factor in making a decision.
I have been an Assistant District Attorney for 17 years and know first hand the tremendous burden and expectations that are placed on all members of the Court System. The Legislature does the best that they can with the funds they have. I would like to see more funding for the Court System to allow better access and handling of cases that are brought to the courthouse. There are times when it feels like we are asked to do more with less and I feel like providing more funds would benefit all.
The Courthouse is a public building and absent limited rulings by a Judge or certain cases, any person can and should be able to search the records maintained by the Clerk's Office. There are multiple computer terminals in the courthouse which allow the public to perform those searches.
Every citizen should feel like their case is heard in a timely fashion. It does require a great effort to coordinate schedules to allow Justice to be efficiently administered. The court system in general should be allocated more funds to provide more resources both inside and outside of the courtroom to address the needs of the citizens. Inadequate representation can sometimes lead to individuals not receiving the most beneficial outcome of their case. If there are attorneys or judges with a personal agenda on a given issue that can sometimes cloud the judgment and interfere with the proceedings.
Any campaign should be and is required to be transparent in all aspects of fund raising. I take great pride in my ability and reputation of being honest in ever aspect of my profession. I will not allow any funds contributed to my campaign to influence any decision or ruling I will make from the bench and more importantly, I will not allow the absence of any funds not contributed to my campaign to stand as an obstacle to any person appearing before me in Court.