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Jean Hudson Boyd

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Jean Hudson Boyd
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Court Information:
Texas District 323
Title:   Family District Judge
Active:   1995-2014
Past position:   Associate judge, District 323
Personal History
Undergraduate:   Texas Tech University
Law School:   South Texas College of Law

Jean Hudson Boyd is the judge of Texas District 323. She was elected as the family district judge of this court in 1994, effective January 1, 1995. Her current term expires on December 31, 2014.[1][2][3]


Boyd received her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and her J.D. from the South Texas College of Law.[3]


Boyd worked as an associate judge of the 323rd District Court prior to her election to the district judge seat in 1994.[4]

Notable cases

Teen drunk driver kills 4, receives 10 years probation

Boyd presided in the case of Ethan Couch, a Texas teen who killed 4 and injured 9 in a drunk driving accident on June 15, 2013.[5]

According to a defense psychologist, the teen was a victim of "affluenza," a condition—brought about by his wealthy parents' indifference to his misbehavior—characterized by entitlement and recklessness. In other words, he grew up getting everything he'd wanted, and the solution was not jail time but therapy.[5]

The families of those caught in the crash emphatically disagreed with this analysis, insisting that Couch deserved firm consequences for what he had done. So when Boyd ruled that the teen was to receive 10 years of probation instead of the maximum 20 year jail sentence, they were outraged. Said Eric Boyles, who lost two family members in the accident, "For 25 weeks, I've been going through a healing process. And so when the verdict came out, I mean, my immediate reaction is—I'm back to week 1. We have accomplished nothing here. My healing process is out the window."[5]

His wife Hollie Boyles and their daughter Shelby were hit when they stopped on the roadside to help their friend Breanna Mitchell, whose SUV had broken down. Youth pastor Brian Jennings had also stopped to help, and all four were killed when Couch's pickup drove into them. Others were injured when the truck hit a parked car, which slid into another vehicle driving in the opposite direction.[5] In defense of the ruling, defense attorney Scott Brown commented, "There is nothing the judge could have done to lessen the suffering for any of those families. … [Boyd] fashioned a sentence that is going to keep Ethan under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years, and if Ethan doesn't do what he's supposed to do, if he has one misstep at all, then this judge, or an adult judge when he's transferred, can then incarcerate him."[5]

UPDATE: On April 11, 2014, Judge Jean Boyd ordered Couch to attend drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment at the North Texas State Hospital. Couch's parents had offered to send him to a $450,000 a year treatment facility in Newport Beach, California, but this was denied by Judge Jean Boyd. Instead, she ordered that Couch's parents pay only 5% of the total cost of Couch's rehabilitation at the North Texas State Hospital. At a hospital where such treatment costs $715 per day, Couch's parents will be responsible for paying $1,170 per month. The difference will be paid for by the state.[6][7]

Awards and associations

  • 2003: Angel in Adoption Award, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute
  • 2001: Professionalism Award, Tarrant County Bar Association
  • 1999: Judge of the Year, Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)[4]
  • Texas Juvenile Probation Commission
  • Chair, Juvenile Justice Committee of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas
  • Former chair, Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar of Texas
  • Past board member, Tarrant County Bar Association
  • Past president, Tarrant County Women Lawyers Association,
  • Past president, Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association
  • Past president, Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court
  • Board member, Gill Children’s Services, Inc.
  • Past board member, Child Advocates of Tarrant County and Alliance for Children[3]



Boyd was first elected to the district court in 2004. She defeated Robert Cortez with 62.6% of the vote.[8]


Boyd was re-elected to the District Court without opposition.[9]

See also: Texas district court judicial elections, 2010

See also

External links