White was appointed in 2018 to the Juvenile Dependency Hearing Master post, where she determines whether children should be removed from their homes because of allegations of abuse or neglect.
“My decisions are called recommendations. The parties have an objection period,” she says. “They can file what is kind of like an appeal. A District Court judge sustains or remands or makes another ruling.”
“I have to make sure I’m prepared. You can’t fly by the seat of your pants in my job,” she says, noting she has to “have the courage and state of mind to ask questions. There’s no rubber stamp.”
White is a graduate of California Western School of Law. She says she’s practiced exclusively in Family Law in California and Nevada. She raised $127,784 and had $8,241 on hand as of October.
She became a pro tem Hearing Master for child support cases in 2014.
“I practiced family law for a long time. Sometimes I’d go through a trial and the judge would not ask a question,” she says.
“I’ve been preparing to be a judge for a long time,” she says. “It’s a decision I came to at a very young age in my career because I saw things being done unfairly.”
White says her philosophy is that children are best served by remaining with their parents, when possible.
“Trauma happens the minute Child Protective Services gets involved in a family’s life, when the white care pulls up in front of your home,” she says. “My job is very hard because trauma is going to happen regardless of my decision.”
“This court is not about love,” she tells parents. “It’s not about ‘Are you the perfect parent.?’ There’s no such thing. It’s about keeping your child safe.”
Because of the pandemic, White says she’s seeing “a lot of issues with homeless families. Children are being removed because they live in cars or the desert.”
Stacy Michelle Rocheleau earned her law degree at the University of San Diego Law School in 1996, according to her website, and passed the Nevada Bar in 2001.
She’s been in private practice since 2004, and says she’s focused exclusively on Family Law.
She’s been a Truancy Diversion judge and a Discovery Commissioner Pro Tem. She’s raised $170,492 and had $22,348 on hand as of October.
Rocheleau says she’s been practicing almost 20 years in Family Law. “I’ve seen a lot of injustice on the bench,” she says. “With the new seat, I feel like I can make a difference.”
Rocheleau says she’s seen children taken away from fathers and judges not awarding joint custody in cases where she felt it was warranted.
“Right now, we have a public policy of joint custody, but it’s still not there for judges,” she said.
She says she’d like to run an efficient docket and eliminate the waiting time for litigants and attorneys.
“Even on Blue Jeans (the court’s video conference software) you’re sitting waiting up to an hour for your case. A judge who is knowledgeable can help that docket move a lot faster,” she says. “The waiting drives up the anxiety for the litigants, it costs a lot of money and wastes a lot of time. Running an efficient docket is something I could do well.”
Rocheleau says she’s better suited for the bench because she has “almost double the experience” as an attorney and has a broad base of experience. My opponent has 12 years experience, the bulk of that as a Hearing Master in abuse and neglect.”