This is a family court.

Job descriptionFamily District Courts are devoted to family cases. Term is four years.
DutiesFamily courts handle divorce, child custody, child support, and related cases.
Annual salary$140,000-$182,000

Who’s Running?

Beth A. Poulos
Website: https://www.poulosforjudge.com
Email: beth4judge@gmail.com
Facebook: Beth Poulos for Judge of 324th District Court
Twitter: https://twitter.com/poulosforjudge
Instagram: https://instagram.com/poulosforjudge
Republican
Crystal Gayden
Website: https://www.crystalforjudge.com
Email: info@crystalforjudge.com
Phone: 682-561-0873
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crystalforjudge/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/crystalforjudge
Instagram: https://instagram.com/crystalforjudge
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@crystalforjudge
Democrat

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Candidate Q&A

Note: Answers are from primary election.

1. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
-I have practiced family law for 32 years.
-I have judicial experience in that I have been the Associate Judge in the 324th since 2006.
-I have been board certified I family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for 17 years.
-I am a conservative Republican and have voted strictly Republican since I was 18 years old.
-I am an officer in two Republican clubs and a member in many others.
-I have served my country in the United States Army, I have served my community as an Associate Judge for 16 years, and would like to serve a greater roll as District Judge of the 324th District Court.
2. THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS LED TO DELAYS IN JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION, SOMETIMES WITH SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS ON THE LIVES OF PLAINTIFFS AND DEFENDANTS. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO MOVE THROUGH THE BACKLOG FAIRLY AND EFFICIENTLY?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
Initially, I plan to generate a dismissal docket to include cases which have been inactive for a year or more. This will motivate litigants who wish to resolve their cases to seek trial dates which will remove them from the dismissal docket. I will also set trials on a backup docket for vacancies caused by parties who have reached an agreement for their final decree and no longer need their settings. I will also replace the current docketing system and replace it with a more efficient and user-friendly path to final trial. The current system is antiquated and cumbersome causing delays in getting trial settings. I plan to set cases for status hearings every 3 months to encourage the parties to move their cases towards resolution.
3. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ALL CITIZENS HAVE ADEQUATE ACCESS TO LEGAL HELP AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM? IF NOT, WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PROVIDE WIDER AND BETTER ACCESS?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
There has been an upward tick in family courts for Pro Se litigants filing their own pleadings and moving forward without counsel using the forms promulgated by the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Access to Justice Commission. These forms are helpful for the average low income resident seeking a divorce with children. Other resources include the Texas Attorney General's office which helps thousands of citizens with paternity and child support cases. The field of legal aid and non-profit services are available in cases of family violence and abuse, as well as the District Attorney's Protective Order Unit. The Texas State Bar encourages attorneys to take Pro Bono cases and many lawyers spend enumerable hours helping residents through their family law cases.
4. ARE THE CURRENT POLICIES TO HOLD JUDGES ACCOUNTABLE IN CASES OF POTENTIAL OR ACTUAL MISCONDUCT APPROPRIATE? ARE THERE ANY CHANGES YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
I believe the policies are adequate and appropriate however investigations are often time consuming and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct has a finite amount of personnel and resources to conduct the investigation quickly. An increase in personnel would be an improvement for all concerned.
5. HOW COULD THE COSTS OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION BE REDUCED?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
Each judge has to apply for their annual budget at the beginning of the year. When developing their annual budget, judges are tasked with the obligation to review the previous year's expenditures for unnecessary or excessive costs as well as analyze their need for new equipment and supplies. Tarrant County has done much recently to reduce unnecessary filing space and costs by going paperless and updating their filing systems which I believe has saved the tax payers thousands of dollars. Reducing costs of administration in their court is each individual judge's responsibility and obligation. Having worked in the 324th District Court for the last 16 years, I know that we take that obligation seriously each year and I am committed to following through with that diligence if I am elected.
6. RESTORATIVE JUSTICE FOCUSES ON REPAIRING HARM CAUSED BY CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR THROUGH A PROCESS THAT INCLUDES VICTIMS, OFFENDERS, AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS. WHAT RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PRACTICES COULD BE IMPLEMENTED IN THE TARRANT COUNTY JUDICIAL SYSTEM?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
As a family court, we do not necessarily practice "Restorative Justice" since criminal behavior is taken up by the criminal courts. Family courts are courts of equity and every attempt is made to do equity in the cases that we handle. I think the closest we would come in a family law case is when a party in a divorce case wastes or fraudulently disposes of community property without the consent and to the detriment of the other party. In that case, we may reconstitute the community and award a disproportionate property division to the wronged spouse. In a child enforcement case, we have the option of sentencing the respondent to jail time or suspending the sentence and imposing a probation period in which the respondent must comply with conditions of probation.
7. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE FAMILY AND JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM TO SOMEONE UNFAMILIAR WITH IT? DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR RAISING PUBLIC AWARENESS?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
The position I am seeking is in family court whereas the juvenile court system is a separate and fundamentally different system entirely. Family court handles matters dealing with divorce, spousal support or maintenance, property division, paternity, child custody and support issues, protective orders, modifications of child related matters, and enforcements. Most residents of Tarrant County have been exposed to family courts in one way or another whether it be directly through their personal cases or through those of their family members, coworkers, friends and neighbors.
8. FAMILY AND JUVENILE COURTS MUST SOMETIMES DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT A JUVENILE OFFENDER SHOULD BE REMANDED TO THE STATE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM. WHAT CRITERIA SHOULD BE USED TO MAKE THIS DECISION, AND WHAT OTHER INTERVENTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
This question is not applicable to the position I am seeking since those decisions are only made in the juvenile court in Tarrant County.
9. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Crystal Gayden
Beth A. Poulos
It's important for voters to know that experience is key in judicial races. The residents of Tarrant County should not have to wait for a judge to learn on the job when the "job" is their case before the court. Do your research and find out who can transition smoothly and effectively into the very important position of a family District Court Judge. You never know when it may turn out to be the most important vote you cast.