Pierce County Superior Court, Dept 1 – TaTeasha Davis

Judicial Questionnaire 2022

Candidate Info


Candidate Name:     TaTeasha Davis
Position Sought:     Pierce County Superior Court, Dept 1
Are you an incumbent for this position?     Incumbent
Home Legislative District:     29th

Campaign Info

Campaign Manager or Point of Contact:     Nic Van Putten
Website     www.electjudgedavis.com
Facebook     www.facebook.com/keepjudgedavis

Part I – Candidate Background

1. Please describe your qualifications, education, employment, past community and civic activity, as well as any other relevant experience.

As the incumbent, I know the work it takes to serve as a Pierce County Judge. I will continue to use my expertise to address the current challenges of case backlogs, staffing shortages, access to justice and maintaining public trust. I have broad bi-partisan support and endorsements.

I am a longtime Pierce County resident who has been involved in our community and want to continue to serve our community. Before my role as judge, I practiced family and bankruptcy law. I also served as a Board Member of the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board. I have volunteered at Lawyers Feeding Hungry Children, Tacoma Pro Bono, as a member of the Pierce County YMCA and Associated Ministries and as a volunteer legal consultant for Catherine’s Place.

If re-elected as Superior Court Judge, I will continue working to ensure fair and just outcomes for all individuals who come before the court.

2. What prompted you to run for this office?

Although I love getting out and meeting the members of our Pierce County community, I wasn't anticipating having to run for re-election until I received a very late opponent on the last day of filing week. From that point I had to jump to action to defend my seat. I’m running for re-election because I’m passionate about making sure our community has fair access to justice. I am also dedicated to continuing the work I've already done in service of Pierce County residents.

3. What do you believe are the most important qualifications for a judge or justice?

The most important qualifications for a judge include compassion, integrity, and accountability. A judge must be committed to eliminating barriers to the legal system, ensuring everyone has equal access to justice. This means delivering fair and just outcomes for all parties and treating everyone in the courtroom with dignity, providing a full and fair opportunity to be heard.
Integrity is essential, as a judge must impartially apply the law to the facts of each case without favoritism. Personal opinions should not influence judicial decisions. Approaching each case with humility and an open mind, respecting precedents set by colleagues, and making decisions based solely on the evidence and the rule of law are crucial.
Accountability is also vital. A judge, as a public servant, must be a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars, handling cases diligently and efficiently. Open and transparent communication with the public is necessary to maintain and improve trust in the judicial system. This includes seeking outside perspectives and being responsive to information requests.

4. What priorities are you seeking to address with your campaign?

The most important issue facing our legal system is improving equitable access to justice. I believe that I’m helping to address existing inequalities by ensuring that every person who enters my courtroom is treated with compassion, respect, and fairness. In my previous work, I saw how the law was both an opportunity and an obstacle for our community’s most vulnerable residents. Now as a Judge, I am working to lead by example in increasing equity.

Also, we’ve made significant progress in reducing the case backlog since the start of the COVID pandemic, however we still have a long way to go, and we need experienced Judges to make this happen.
I’m committed to hearing every case with compassion and fairness and working to reduce the barriers to access to justice.

Part II – Access to Justice

1. If elected, how will you work to improve access to justice, particularly for communities and constituencies that do not understand the American legal system?

If re-elected, I will work to improve access to justice by supporting educational programs and outreach initiatives specifically tailored to communities and constituencies unfamiliar with the American legal system.
I will advocate for increased availability of translation services and culturally competent legal assistance to ensure that language barriers do not impede access to justice.
I’ve had a lifelong passion for justice. I was fortunate to have an upbringing that taught me two core values. First, everyone –no matter their background or familiarity with the law – deserves justice. Second, the best way to ensure justice is by creating a world where everyone is treated with dignity and given a fair chance. These are the values I bring to the Pierce County bench.

2. Is Washington relying too much on court fees to cover the cost of operating our judicial system? How do you believe our courts should be funded?

Yes, I believe this reliance can disproportionately affect low-income individuals and undermine equitable access to justice. Our courts should be funded primarily through state and local government budgets, ensuring that access to justice is not contingent on an individual's ability to pay.

This funding model should be supplemented by federal grants and other sources dedicated to supporting judicial operations, allowing for a more stable and fair financial foundation for our courts.

3. Would you, if elected, bring restorative justice as a goal to your court room? * If yes, describe how that could look.

A restorative justice approach in my courtroom would involve creating opportunities for offenders to take responsibility for their actions and make amends to those harmed.

This might look like victim-offender mediation, community service, and restitution programs designed to repair harm and restore relationships.

4. What ideas can you offer to make our judicial system more open, transparent, and responsive?

I want everyone who enters my courtroom to feel like they are treated fairly and know what's happening. I work hard to make sure everyone understands the process and I'm clear in my communication.
Our courts should use more technology to give people real-time access to court proceedings. We also need to remove language barriers to ensure everyone can understand and participate fully. While we have made progress on our case backlog, we can become more responsive with shorter wait times for justice by continuing to address that backlog. Hiring more staff in our courthouses will help us keep making this progress toward a responsive and timely judicial system in Pierce County.

5. What are your thoughts on how our courts could permanently incorporate the growing virtual options after the need of the pandemic has passed?

Virtual hearings and online access to court services help people who can't travel easily or who live far away. To do this well, we need to use safe and simple technology, train judges and lawyers on how to use it, and make sure all information stays secure. By combining in-person and virtual options, we can make sure more people can participate in the court process.

6. Justice delayed is justice denied, what are your thoughts on how to catch up on the current backlog of cases awaiting trail? Additionally what changes to the current court system would you implement to insure speedy justice?

To catch up on the backlog of cases, we need to make our court system work faster. First, we should hire more staff to handle the extra cases. Second, using methods like mediation can help solve some cases outside of court. Third, using technology to manage cases better and cut down on paperwork can speed things up. To keep justice moving quickly, I would suggest regularly checking and improving how we manage cases, providing training for court staff, and finding and fixing any slowdowns in the process. If re-elected, I look forward to continuing to work toward reducing our case backlog.

7. What judicial reforms do you support to achieve greater equity and inclusion for BIPOC individuals in our communities?

First, all judges and court staff should get training to reduce biases. Second, we should work to have more diversity among judges by encouraging BIPOC individuals to become judges. Third, making sure court services are available in different languages and are sensitive to different cultures is important. Finally, we need to create programs that educate BIPOC communities about their legal rights and the resources available to them. This will help build trust and make the court system fairer for everyone.

By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.
Printed Name     TaTeasha Davs
Date (mm/dd/yy)     06/23/2024

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