Judicial Q&A: Judge R.K. Sandill

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. Much more information about Democratic primary candidates, including links to the interviews and judicial Q&As, can be found on Erik Manning’s spreadsheet.

Judge R.K. Sandill

1. Who are you and in which court do you preside?

I am Judge R.K. Sandill, and I have presided over Harris County’s 127th Civil District Court since 2009.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

State civil district courts have original jurisdiction for civil actions over $200 that do not involve issues related to family proceedings, juvenile cases, or criminal actions.

3. What have been your main accomplishments during your time on this bench?

Since my inauguration in January 2009, I have resolved more than 21,000 matters and tried over 1,600 cases. I am the only civil district court judge in Harris County who adjudicates all cases filed in his court, including seizure/forfeiture and tax cases.

I have also worked to expand access to the justice system by requiring implicit bias training for all court appointees, incorporating anti-bias instructions in all my jury charges, and allowing for the automatic rescheduling of trials for all lawyers who are expecting the birth or adoption of a child.

4. What do you hope to accomplish in your courtroom going forward?

I want to continue my legacy of progress for Harris County District Court to make justice more inclusive. That can be done by expanding accommodations to the average citizen who cannot readily attend court, participate in juries, or see the court as a place where only bad things happen to regular people. Expand my ad hoc mediation program that allows for free mediation so parties can settle disputes without huge financial burdens.

I plan to incorporate AI into daily court processes to make the more routine parts of the judicial process more efficient.

5. Why is this race important?

The decisions made in civil court have profound social and economic impacts throughout our county, state, and nation. Those impacts touch the lives of persons far beyond the parties involved in any given case. We see more and more that our very Democracy is being challenged in courts across the country, often beginning in the district courts. I want to remain on the bench to ensure that the rule of law is followed and that the residents of Harris County have hard-working jurists who operate with fairness and integrity.

6. Why should people vote for you in March?

When I was elected in 2008, it was a monumental shift in Harris County politics. It paved the way for Democratic majorities in County Government, a new Democratic Congressional district, and increasing the size of the Harris County Democratic Legislative delegation. There is now a poignant attack on democracy and it has been slowed in our courts. We must hae our best in these positions, and I believe my experience and record show I am prepared to serve another four years.

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2 Responses to Judicial Q&A: Judge R.K. Sandill

  1. Cory Fein says:

    Great judge

  2. Pingback: Endorsement watch: The Civil courts | Off the Kuff

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