Judge Nancy Perryman of the County Court at Law No. 2 swore in Beauford "Keith" Downs Thursday as the Associate Judge of the Northeast Child Protection Court No. 3.
“This Northeast Child Protection Court No. 3 will be hearing a majority of the Child Protection cases that will be filed in Henderson, Cherokee, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties,” Perryman said. “Originally, these child protection courts in Texas were created to assist general jurisdiction trial courts, primarily in rural areas in managing their child abuse and neglect dockets. Child Protection Courts exclusively hear CPS cases.”
Judge Downs was appointed by the Regional Presiding Judge for the 10th Administrative District, Judge Alfonso Charles. Judge Downs is employed by the Office of Court Administration.
According to Perryman, Henderson County has been designated as the "host" county and will provide the Commissioner's Courtroom for these hearings, offices for Judge Downs and his Court Coordinator as well as furnishings for the two offices.
Because Judge Downs is not an elected Judge, an associate Judge has somewhat limited authority. Any decision made by the associate judge may be appealed de novo to the referring court. In Henderson County the Henderson County Court at Law No. 2 will be the referring court and Judge Perryman will continue to hear all the cases assigned to her court.