(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?
Michelle Moore Presiding Judge of the 314th District Court.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
Juvenile Delinquency and Child Welfare
3. What have been your main accomplishments during your time on this bench?
I have removed ankle restraints from juveniles who appear in court. The youth are no longer coming to court in a jail jumpsuit. Instead, they wear a grey or burgundy shirt
and black khaki style pants.
Regarding Child Welfare, same sex couples and single persons are permitted to adopt a child(ren) in the 314th.
4. What do you hope to accomplish in your courtroom going forward?
For court operations, I hope for the 314th courtroom to be completely paperless. Regarding juveniles, I will continue to use community rehabilitation programs. For child welfare, I will become a trauma informed court.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because children and parents’ lives are directly impacted. Our youth are vulnerable and impressionable and oftentimes when youthful offenders come to court, they are at a crossroads.
The Court is in the unique position to motivate the youth to change their life for the better. Conversely, if the youth’s interaction with the court is negative, it may push him/her participate in more illegal activities. Understanding the magnitude and reach of this position, is integral to being an effective judge.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
I am an experienced judge and I practiced Child Welfare Law before taking the bench. I have a breadth of knowledge and experience in the area of law for which I am seeking reelection. The youth in my court have experienced positive outcomes and I have achieved a reputation of being fair and efficient judge, which is exactly what Harris County deserves. There is no reason to change.