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Barbara Hartle Nominated to Head Houston’s Municipal Courts

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On April 21, Municipal Court Judge Barbara E. Hartle was nominated by Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker to lead the city’s municipal courts as Chief Presiding Judge.

“I believe Judge Hartle has the leadership qualities needed to direct our city’s court system to be even more responsive and efficient,” Mayor Parker said in a statement to the press. “She is the only candidate with previous experience—both within and outside of Houston—in law enforcement, prosecution, administration, and judicial matters.”

Hartle, an out lesbian, was appointed as a municipal judge in April 2009 after serving as an associate municipal judge since 2006. Her background includes work with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She also served as assistant city attorney for the City of Austin.

The City of Houston Municipal Courts, which handles civil and criminal cases such as traffic offenses and violations of city ordinances, is among the largest court systems in the U.S.

Hartle’s nomination requires confirmation by Houston City Council.

Editor’s note: Judge Barbara Hartle was featured in a story by Brandon Wolf in the March 2009 issue of OutSmart [Justices for All: “Out on the Bench”].

—Nancy Ford

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