I am a native Texan who has lived in Round Rock for 25 years. I have a Masters in Mass Communication. I am a LGBTQ activist and progressive Democrat.
Masters in Mass Communication from Southern New Hampshire University 2016
Bachelors of Journalism University of Texas at Austin 1985
I want to look beyond the charge or case that brings a person into my court. I believe in looking at the whole person and their situation. For example, does a student in a truancy case have reason to be out of class? I'm not going to assume that it's just a case of bad parenting or a rebellious teen and slap a fine on the parent. I want to work within the law to best protect the community while supporting those who enter my court. Court is rarely where a person wants to be. I need to remember their humanity while looking impartially at the cause that brings them before me.
First of all, I'll need a dedicated and knowledgable staff. The court also needs updated technology. I will need a good working relationship with other county officials. I will need access to and a relationship with support programs around the county that can assist those who enter my court. As I want to expand court hours to evenings and weekends, I will need the staff and funding to do so. In the long term, we need to be planning for the population growth in the county that will trigger the need for a county medical examiners office. we'll need to study what that entails and implementation.
Currently, the Pct 4 office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 8-5. I plan on extending hours at least one day a week to stay open until 7PM and have one Saturday on the court calendar to assist those for whom it is a hardship to make it to court. I plan on improving the court webpage so that the court schedule is clearly available and those with matters before the court can easily access their cases to request a time change or ask questions. I'm also concerned about repeat offenders, particularly in truancy cases, that may need intervention and plan on implementing tracking
Lifelong resident of Williamson County, Married, 2 children, 7 grandchildren, active in church and community, named Judge of the Year & other awards
In addition to traditional education, I have over 1700 hrs of education specific to the Justice Court. I have taught for judges & clerks.
When I first took office I received some very good advice from my dad that I have followed. 1. Your signature needs to be short, Judy Schier Hobbs vs J. S. Hobbs. The number of papers that require signature daily is high. Good advice. 2. Don't do anything for one person that you are not willing to do for everyone. Good advice 3. Never make a decision based on keeping your position. Always follow the law. Good advice.
Space and people. A death investigator and an adequate staff to address the growth our county has experienced with the increased jurisdiction for justice court.
We are currently working on a designated rotating calendar to move cases as rapidly as possible. In the past we have done action time studies and with updated software we are re-doing the time studies. For example, Tuesday is always evictions, defaults, show cause and indigency hearings. I am big on internal audits. We have just completed a folder on audits we use the most and have been assured that they can now be incorporated with other county software. Therefore, that software change will be coming. We are working on an enhanced version of community service options.