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Judicial Q&A: Janiece Horn

(Note: I am running a series of Q&As for Democratic judicial candidates on the November ballot. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. These Q&As are primarily intended for candidates who were not in contested primaries. You can see those earlier Q&As, as well as all the ones in this series and all my recorded interviews for this cycle, on my 2010 Elections page.)

1. Who are you, and what are you running for?

I am Janiece Horn, and I am running for Judge of the 245th Family District Court. Born in central Illinois, the second daughter of hard-working parents who grew up during the Great Depression and had no opportunity to attend college, I was raised to value education. After obtaining a B.A. and law degree from the University of Illinois, I came to Texas as quickly as I could. I took the Texas bar exam in November, 1979, and became licensed to practice law in Texas in 1980. This November, I will have been married for 29 years to Alan Pyle. We have three children: James, a freshman at Auburn University, twins Michael and Rachel, who are freshmen at Clear Lake High School, and a little dog named “Bones.” In addition to my job as a lawyer with the Harris County Domestic Relations Office, I am involved as a parent and volunteer in school, church and community activities in the Clear Lake area, and serve as a member and volunteer in a number of professional organizations.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

This court hears divorces, child custody cases, paternity actions, modifications of custody and support, Children’s Protective Service (“CPS”) matters, termination of parental rights cases, adoptions, and motions filed to enforce child support, visitation, property division and other provisions of family court orders.

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

I am running for this bench because I believe I can improve upon the handling of certain matters, such as the monitoring and collection of child support. I know I can make a positive difference by being respectful and fair to all litigants, regardless of economic status, legal status or sexual orientation.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

After being licensed in 1980, I was a general practitioner for several years, which afforded me experience in many areas of law. Since 1986, I have practiced family law almost exclusively, and I have been board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1991. I have handled jury and non-jury family law trials, family law appeals, and have occasionally been invited to sit as an associate judge in the family courts. I have mediated close to 3,000 family law matters that are just like the cases I would hear as a family law judge.

5. Why is this race important?

This race is important because every resident of Harris County is likely to be impacted by a family court, either due to personal experience or that of a family member, friend or neighbor. The family courts serve people of all races, economic levels, ages and sexual orientation. It is important that the persons elected to preside in these courts remember that they are there to serve all litigants, and to apply the law fairly to all, regardless of status, and regardless of the judge’s personal beliefs.

6. Why should people vote for you in November?

I am the best candidate for this position because I have the right combination of knowledge, experience and temperament to make a good judge in family law matters. I pledge to treat all litigants fairly and respectfully. More importantly, I have the courage, determination and conviction to rule in a child’s best interest, regardless of the sexual orientation, economic status or legal status of the litigants.

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