As I seek the position of District Judge of the 321st Judicial Court in Smith County, Texas, I do so both prayerfully and purposefully. This Court is sometimes referred to as “family court” as it only hears family related matters, such as divorces, child custody, adoptions, and cases involving the Department of Family and Protective Services (“CPS”) cases. Throughout my life and my career, I have dedicated myself to helping families and, more importantly, families in crisis. As a family law attorney, I see the devastating effects that divorce and contested litigation can have on relationships of all types, from parents, to grandparents, to siblings, to step parents, and even to extended family. Regardless of your socioeconomic status, you will be affected by family law and this Court at some point in your life.
Additionally, because this Court presides over the majority of all cases filed by CPS, there is an additional responsibility. I am currently on contract with this Court to represent primarily children who have been the victims of abuse and neglect but to also represent parents as well. The decision to represent these children was an easy one to make but it has been one of the more difficult decisions from an emotional standpoint as you must daily come face to face with some of the more heartbreaking experiences of the human condition. For years, I have spent my days as an advocate for these children and countless nights, away from my own family, visiting these children and ensuring they are safe. As such, this experience has given me a unique insight into the operations CPS and the best way to improve that system and minimize the potential trauma and damage it can do to families.
Although this Court must make all decisions under the overarching principle of the best interest of the child, ultimately, it is a court of law and it is incumbent upon the court to apply the law equally, fairly, and in a manner that respects the rule of law and recognizes the gravity of its decisions. Where a child is placed will have ramifications throughout the child’s entire future, from what school they will attend, what values are instilled in them, and to what manner of relationship they will ultimately have with their family.
I pledge that as a judge I will listen and I will rule, that I will safeguard every litigant’s right to be fairly heard and to have the law fairly applied, without passion or prejudice, and without regard to one’s social status, race, gender or faith.
Ultimately, I seek this position because it is important, because it is my heart, because it is my mission, and because families matter … always.