Full Legal Name: Patricia Dianne Evans
Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Pat Evans
Seat/ District: District Court Judge/14th Judicial District
Partisan Affiliation: Democrat
Date of Birth: 1/18/56
Home Address: 6015 Grandale Drive, Durham, N.C. 27713
Mailing Address (if different from home):P.O. Box 985, Durham, N.C. 27702
Campaign Web Site: www.patevans.org
Occupation & Employer: Attorney, PAT EVANS, P.A.
Bachelor's Degree Year & Institution: BA in Political Science, 1979
JD Year & School: 1983, North Carolina Central University
Other Degrees: None
Years lived in North Carolina: 54
Home Phone: (919) 544-9303
Work Phone: (919) 688-2480
1. What do you believe are the most important issues facing the District Court? What are your top priorities or issues of concern for the coming term?
The most important issues facing the District Court are juvenile crime, funding and calendar management. My top priorities or issues of concern for the coming term are transparency, holding all parties accountable, and reducing the juvenile crime rate.
2. What qualifies you to serve?
I have twenty-six (26) years of legal experience. I have served this community as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. I live in and am an active member of the community, which means I have something at stake. I am well rounded, open-minded, and knowledgeable of how to balance law and equity.
3. How do you define yourself politically? How does that impact your judicial approach?
I am a moderate. I do not believe that this impacts my judicial approach. I believe that
it allows me to be neutrally detached from the issues and make my decisions by applying the law to the facts of each as they have been presented.
4. FOR INCUMBENTS: What have been your most important decisions in your current capacity? FOR CHALLENGERS: What decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with?
There is not an incumbent in my race.
5. What do you feel was the U.S. Supreme Court's most important recent decision? Did you agree with the majority?
One of the most important recent decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court was Crawford v. Washington. Of course, this decision led us to Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts. Yes, I agree with the majority. The accused should be able to confront any and all witnesses against him. This ensures a fair trial for both the offender and victim.
6. Do you feel that North Carolina's current system of judicial elections serves the state well? Are there other forms of selecting judges you feel would function better or worse than the current one?
Yes, I believe that North Carolina's current system of judicial elections serves the state well. Selecting our judges on a partisan basis or allowing only lawyers to select our judges could potentially be worse than the current one.
7. Have you ever pled guilty or no contest to any criminal charge other than a minor traffic offense? Please explain.
No, I have never pled guilty or no contest to any criminal charge.
8. Is there anything else you'd like to add about yourself or the issues that are important to you?
I am a wife, mother, and grandmother who is vested in her community. I want the best for Durham, including having productive members in society. I plan to utilize the resources available to ensure offenders and victims receive the necessary treatment. Additionally, mental health is an issue that is extremely important to me. I realize that we have persons in the criminal justice system with dual diagnosis of a mental illness and a substance abuse history that often fall through the cracks. I will work closely with the mental health professionals to get these people the help required. Utilizing the resources we have wisely can potentially reduce the recidivism rate.
9. Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I am a proponent of raising the age in juvenile court to 18 for non-violent offenders. This might cost me some popularity points with voters. However, the juveniles ages 16 and 17 are losing out on resources that could potentially change their lives because they are being treated as adults. Although the resources could be better, a juvenile in juvenile court receives far better services than does a juvenile in adult criminal court. Additionally that juvenile in juvenile court is supervised or monitored more closely than that of one in adult court. One of my concerns is the reduction in juvenile crime and I think raising the age to 18 in juvenile court for non-violent offenders is a step toward addressing that concern.
10. On the District Court level, what improvements can be made in terms of the juvenile justice system? What are the weaknesses or constraints in the court's handling of juvenile offenders?
Improvements that can be made in terms of the juvenile justice system are better resources. An increase in out of home placements is desperately needed. More funding is necessary to assist in the mental health needs of juveniles and their parents. Parents are ordered to be a part of the process when their child is under court supervision, however, many of the parents have mental health and/or substance abuse issues themselves that need to be addressed along with their child's. More programs to assist the family as a whole are greatly needed. The weaknesses or constraints are the lack of parental involvement on the front end prior to the juveniles coming to court, and in the beginning proceedings.