(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for Democratic judicial candidates. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to my readers. This year it’s mostly incumbents running for re-election, so it’s an opportunity to hear that talk about what they have accomplished. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. For more information about these and other Democratic candidates, including links to interviews and Q&As from the primary and runoff, see the Erik Manning spreadsheet.)
1. Who are you and in which court do you preside?
Judge Sonya Heath, 310th District Court.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
3. What have been your main accomplishments during your time on this bench?
Implementing Zoom hybrid hearings. Especially for the CPS cases where we have had a huge increase in parental participation.
4. What do you hope to accomplish in your courtroom going forward?
Setting up a better type of e-hearing system (an online calendaring system).
5. Why is this race important?
District Court Family judges have the ability to take your children, your property and your freedom. You want someone with a good grasp of the law and even temperament.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
As the incumbent I have been on bench 4 years. I have been at work on a regular basis for our County’s families. People need their day in Court. Some people just need to be heard so they can move on with their lives. My own children are grown now, but I have lived what most of the people coming before me are going through. I was a single parent, unfortunately divorced, adopted a child, and went back and forth on custody three times with my children’s father. I bring experience both with the law and real life that make me suited for this bench.