J. Elaine's Open Road


Director & Presiding Judge
City of Houston Municipal Courts

“Never let anyone steal your dream. If it’s your dream, it’s your dream. Pursue it, and make it happen.”


Law Business


Confidence Community Goals Hard Work Family Support & Encouragement Values


Accomplishing Goals


  • Born and raised in Texas.
  • Dreamed about going to Notre Dame University, but was told she couldn’t because it was an all boys school—she later became part of the first group of women to attend and graduate.
  • Later she received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas.
  • Right out of law school she became an assistant district attorney for Harris County, Texas and assisted in developing the office’s Child Abuse Division.
  • She was confirmed as a full-time municipal judge in 1987, then served as administrative judge and, later, was appointed associate presiding judge.
  • Has served the City of Houston for 30 years—one of her major accomplishments is Houston’s Teen Court Program, which she re-organized and built into one of the premier programs in the community.
  • In 2016, she was appointed Director and Presiding Judge for the Municipal Courts Department ensuring justice is administered fairly to all.
  • Was awarded “Outstanding Judge” by the Texas Municipal Courts Association in 2017, which is an award given to a municipal judge who demonstrates excellence in the fair administration of justice.

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