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Re-Elect Judge Patricia Kaufmann Young
Fair —
Twelve years ago I was honored to be elected District Court Judge. I do not take that responsibility lightly. My philosophy has always been “there are no unimportant cases.” Over 45,000 cases were disposed of in Buncombe County Judge Patricia Younglast year. That is a tremendous amount of cases and people to come into District Court. I believe that every case that comes before me deserves the same conscientious attention.

I believe that it is my job to protect the people of Buncombe County. Protection comes in many ways and many levels. It is my responsibility to protect your rights. It is not uncommon to preside over 150 cases on the docket for one day in criminal court. On most days, Buncombe County District Court has three criminal courts running at the same time. That does not include the civil cases, landlord/tenant cases, contract disputes and family court cases, domestic and civil restraining orders that run through our District Court courtrooms. With that many cases it is important to avoid a production line mentality as sheer necessity to get through the calendar.

Recently, I had a case on the calendar that involved a defendant who was an alcoholic and suffered from mental health issues. The particular legal issue involved was complicated. Following the law, and balancing the interests of all involved, proved to be challenging. It required a thorough examination of the law, and conversations about what the process would look like. Admittedly, I, and the attorneys involved, spent a considerable amount of time examining the law and preparing an order that I felt balanced the interests of the parties and protected this person’s rights. To me, this person is not just a name on a docket. He represents a life, a man. He deserves as much time as I would give you. I am the kind of judge who will stop any one of 150 cases to be sure that an individual’s rights are protected, that they are given the protections of the law and constitution. And to be sure the law is followed.

I believe it is my responsibility to protect you from harm. You just have to watch the news to know that bad things happen to good people. Every day a District Court Judge presides over criminal matters where people like you are victims of crimes, whether it is a case involving a home invasion or somebody driving while impaired. I have a reputation for being tough, but fair. I believe in holding people accountable. When doing that, I balance the circumstances of the offense, an individual’s prior criminal history, and a person’s ownership of responsibility, meaning that they recognize the need for change and have a willingness to change. On the other side of that coin, I believe it is important that resources be available to individuals to help rehabilitate with the goal being to reduce recidivism. With the right resources, an individual can become a productive member of society, people can become better parents, and we all have a greater chance at keeping our communities safe.

I do not shy away from difficult cases. The matters that come before me, as any District Court Judge, are controversial and emotionally charged. I do not perceive my work as a popularity contest. In doing my job, I make difficult decisions based on the facts and the law. I ask tough questions and have a no nonsense approach because I have a great respect for the law and want to make a just and fair decision in each case. I strive to be compassionate and work towards utilizing resources in order to help individuals make healthy changes in their lives.

I have worked hard at following the law as it is written. My favorite quote comes from Justice Frankfurter, “The highest exercise of judicial duty is to subordinate one’s own personal views.” In doing so I believe it preserves the integrity, impartiality and dignity of the Judiciary.

In the next four years, with your support, I will continue to work hard for you and the people of Buncombe County.

Paid for by the Committee to Re-Elect Judge Patricia Kaufmann Young
PO Box 19411, Asheville, NC 28815-1411