Doralee Idleman Chandler announced her candidacy for the Fifth Division Circuit Judge position in the 20th Judicial District on Wednesday, Sept. 4.
The seat was vacated by Judge Rhonda Wood when she was elected to the Arkansas Court of Appeals.
Chandler said, as a mother of three children, the position commonly referred to as the “Juvenile Judge,” even though the position hears both juvenile and civil cases, is an ideal place for her.
“This division is the perfect blend to match my experience,” Chandler said. “The juvenile cases will allow me the opportunity to give back to the community by working with the youth and assisting in molding them into responsible adults while the civil docket allows me the opportunity to continue dealing with cases I have had years of experience in handling in private practice. I seek the opportunity to work diligently for the citizens of Faulkner, Van Buren and Searcy counties as a circuit judge.”
If elected, Chandler said she has aspirations to restore Teen Court, originally started by Judge Wood.
“I have received numerous requests to restore the program,” she said. “The program is invaluable as it encourages the youth to participate in the justice system not only as a teen but as an adult.
“It is my intent to take deliberate measures to work with our community to provide drug education in our local schools and streamline truancies in the school districts as well as provide education regarding the effects of bullying and cyber-bullying,” she said. “I would also seek to increase grant funding to the Juvenile Drug Court program in order to expand that program.”
Chandler also said she desires to create a civil docket management program which will allow civil cases to be decided within 18 months of filing.
“I intend to put in place scheduling orders to allow consistent case management as well as continue to promote technology in the courtroom by having a court reporter that is fully certified as a real-time reporter thereby avoiding any time delays in getting transcripts,” she said.
Chandler is currently an associate with the law firm of Matthews, Sanders & Sayes in Little Rock. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Central Arkansas and was a graduate of Vilonia High School.
Chandler is married to Jeff Chandler, a deputy prosecuting attorney and a Lt. Col in the United States Army Reserves JAG Corp. The couple have three children and are active members of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Conway, where she serves as a Eucharistic minister.
“I ask that the voters of Faulkner, Van Buren and Searcy counties choose to allow me to fight for justice and the integrity of this district,” she said. “It is my desire to uphold the law while treating everyone fairly.
“I have faith in the residents of the 20th District and believe that when they evaluate their choices that they will make the right decision regarding who should serve them in the 5th Division juvenile/civil position, overseeing the youth and civil cases, for many years to come.”