"It is time for the children and families of Kaufman County to have their cases heard by a Judge with a background in Family Law and a history of relevant experience in the Family Law arena." 

 

My name is Rebecca Calabria, and I am a candidate for District Judge in the upcoming Republican Primary for the 86th Judicial District Court in Kaufman County. My husband, Mark, and I have been married since 1981 and practicing law together in Kaufman since 1982. In 1984, at the age of 28 and pregnant with our first daughter, I was elected to the Kaufman ISD School Board. I went on to serve 2 terms on the KISD Board and one term on the Good Shepherd Episcopal School Board of Trustees; during that time Mark and I welcomed two more daughters into our family. Our three daughters were raised and educated in Kaufman & Terrell, and we are now preparing for the arrival of our first grandchild in February.

In 1987, I was board certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I have since been re-certified 5 times, most recently in December, 2013. Texas currently has 70,000 lawyers; approximately 1.5% are Board Certified in Family Law. In 2013, the Texas State Bar appointed me to a 3 year term on the Standing Committee on Professionalism. We are a small group of Attorneys & Judges from across Texas who are tasked with increasing professionalism and ethics in the legal community. The conversations and goals of this committee have ignited my desire to serve further.

In this letter, I would like to address one question:

Why am I running for 86th District Judge?

My answer: the children of Kaufman County.

District courts are the courts which hear civil cases with the highest amount of money in dispute, criminal cases, and most importantly, they are the courts with family law jurisdiction. My 33 years of experience fighting for families and children in Kaufman County courtrooms have taught me a few things, but most importantly that our children need more!

More Protection. More Security. More Stability. Families with children need to know that the judicial system will not fail them at a time when the need is the greatest.

It is fundamental that a child who is named in a lawsuit is a child in trouble; the trouble may be slight, or it might be life-threatening, or anywhere in between. In every single case, whatever the level of trouble, it is the District Judge’s responsibility to aggressively attend to the child’s safety, welfare, and best interest. It is the law!

 “The best interest of a child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining issues of conservatorship, possession of and access to the child.” Texas Family Code 153.002

Recently, parents in court have elected to represent themselves – even in cases involving their children. In such cases, the children can only look to the judge for the proper judicial and legal protections that they deserve. The most recently reported numbers reflect that 52% of all cases filed in Kaufman County are considered “Family Law”, twice as many as criminal or civil cases. It is time for the children and families of Kaufman County to have their cases heard by a Judge with a background in family law and a history of relevant experience in the family law arena.

It is always the Court’s responsibility to apply the law to the facts; less often, a jury will determine facts and outcome. However, in family law cases, even those rare occasions in which a jury is seated, it is the Court that will make decisions leading up to the trial, most of which will involve in a very direct way, the best interest of the child. In no other case, criminal or civil, will the Judge’s discretion be so broad and good judgment so important.

Our criminal and civil cases are vitally important in the legal system of Kaufman County. It is not my intent to say otherwise. However, it is in the family law cases that the court’s discretion becomes immediately connected to the safety and welfare of our youngest citizens. Judge Tygrett spoke of this recently when he identified family law cases as the most important ones he heard as the 86th District Judge when he said, “A young child cannot speak, we speak for them.” (Kaufman County Life, Winter 2013 Vol. 3 Issue 4, Page 6)

I have always been and will always be grateful to the Kaufman County community for providing me with the opportunity to attend to my children and my practice. It is now time for me to express that gratitude through public service with relevant and demonstrable experience.

I humbly ask for your vote in the upcoming Republican Primary. If you have any further questions about me or my experience, or if you would like to help our campaign, then please email me at CalabriaForJudge@gmail.com, “Like” us at www.facebook.com/CalabriaForJudge or learn more by visiting www.RebeccaCalabria.com. Thank you for your consideration.

- Rebecca Calabria, Republican Candidate for 86th District Judge 

Political advertisement paid for by Rebecca Calabria in compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.