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Janiece Horn

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.

Endorsement watch: Family Court judges

Ten more benches, ten more endorsements, only this time the score is 8-2 Democrats:

245th Family District Court: Janiece Horn, a Democrat, is our choice for this open bench.

246th Family District Court: Sherri Cothrun, the Democratic challenger, says she would bring a more “contemporary perspective” to this bench than the 16-year incumbent.

280th Family District Court: Kathy Vossler, the Democratic candidate, is our choice for this open bench, which has been designated to handle family violence cases.

308th Family District Court: Bruce Kessler, the Democratic candidate, would bring sensitivity and thorough knowledge of the law to this open bench.

309th Family District Court: Bill Rice, the Democratic candidate, would bring 35 years of family law practice experience to this bench.

310th Family District Court: Judy Dougherty, the Democrat, is our choice for this bench.

311th Family District Court: Deborah Wright, the Democratic candidate for this open bench, has extensive experience in private practice and as an associate judge in the family courts.

312th Family District Court: Robert Hinojosa, the Democratic incumbent on the 312th bench, is a veteran of 36 years of family law practice.

And here are their Q&A responses:

Janiece Horn (note: from the primary)

Sherri Cothrun

Kathy Vossler

Bruce Kessler

Bill Rice

Judy Dougherty

Janiece Horn emailed me last night to say that she will send her updated responses shortly. I have not received responses from Deborah Wright or Judge Robert Hinojosa. Responses from the two Democratic candidates who did not get the Chron endorsement are here:

Mary Kay Green, 247th Family Court (note: from the primary)

Sandra Peake, 257th Family Court

You can see Q&As for the Republican candidates at Big Jolly Politics.

Judicial Q&A: Janiece Horn

(Note: I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. There are a lot of judicial races on the ballot in Harris County this election, and so 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. I will also be conducting some in-person interviews of candidates who will be involved in contested primaries for non-judicial offices. Please see my 2010 Election page for a full list of Q&As and interviews.)

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, I came to Texas as quickly as I could. I obtained a B.A. and law degree from the University of Illinois, and I became licensed to practice law in Texas in 1980. I have been married for 28 years to Alan Pyle, and we live in the Clear Lake area with our three teenagers and a little dog named “Bones.”

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

This court hears divorces, child custody cases, paternity actions, modifications of custody and support, C.P.S. matters, termination of parental rights cases, adoptions, and enforcement of child support , visitation and property division 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, and because I think certain practices of this court should be changed. I believe I can make a positive difference for litigants.

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 nearly 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 the primary?

I believe I am the best candidate for this position because of my experience and special competence in family law, but also because I am dedicated to providing fairness and courtesy to all litigants.