Lynne Finley’s Policy Positions

  • What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

Preserving the Rule of Law.

Protecting the Rights of all Citizens from unwarranted Government intrusion.

Equal access to Justice for all Citizens.

Efficient Criminal Magistration.

Maintaining high bond amounts for defendants accused of violent felonies.

Preserving Election integrity.

Providing maximum practical access to documents, records and information without compromising security.

  • What is your campaign slogan?

Integrity, Commitment and Conservative Values.

  • What are the Responsibilities of the District Clerk?

The District Clerk performs the duties assigned by the Texas Constitution as registrar, recorder, and custodian of all court pleadings, instruments, and papers that are part of any legal cause of action in the District Courts of Collin County. Additionally, the District Clerk’s office provides jury services for all statutory District, County and Justice of the Peace courts in Collin County.

  • What qualities does this office possess that makes it a unique and important part of the state government and legal system?

The District Clerk is elected for a four year term and manages most of the business operations for the 13 elected District Courts and 1 Magistrate Court in Collin County that hear Civil, Family and Felony Criminal cases. The office functions with over 70 employees who maintain and manage the records and felony payment plans, over ten million dollars in our court registry, criminal fee, civil/family fee and attorney general fee accounts, bail bond forfeitures and all tax lawsuits. The office also produces a substantial number of court documents including civil citations, criminal warrants, criminal judgments and sentences, and performs other ministerial duties. Currently, the office receives over 17,300 new case files every year.

During the 6 years that I have had the privilege of serving the Citizens of Collin County as their District Clerk, I have come to appreciate the critical importance of the District Clerk’s office to the health and welfare of the County.

  • What responsibilities of this office do you personally consider the most important?

I consider the training and education of the District Clerk’s employees in the general legal process and in specific Court systems and processes, including E-Filing, criminal collections, timely creation of accurate Bills of Costs following judgments, protective order and TRO procedures and the many other functions performed by the employees of the District Clerk’s office, associated with Criminal, Civil, Juvenile and Family Law cases. 

Staff training and education are followed closely in importance by the efficient management of the logistics associated with the selection, notification and vetting of Citizens for Jury service. 

  • Are there any little-known powers or responsibilities held by this office that you believe more people should be aware of?

Many people are not aware that the District Clerk coordinates the logistics of Jury selection of all of the Court in Collin County, including the District Courts, County Courts at Law, Juvenile and Probate Courts. The District Clerk is also the Clerk of the Magistrate Court. 

  • Do you believe that it’s beneficial for holders of this office to have previous experience in government or politics?

I absolutely believe that it is beneficial for the District Clerk to have previous experience in government or politics. The District Clerk manages a staff of over 70 employees and a budget in excess of $5 million dollars. Efficiently managing the office is a 24/7 responsibility that requires significant expertise in interacting with attorneys, other District and County Clerks, Citizens and elected officials; expertise that only comes through experience. 

I have worked in the Collin County Court system as a licensed attorney for more than 25 years and I have had the privilege of serving as the Collin County District Clerk for 6 years. 

I have the education, experience and expertise to ensure that the Office of the Collin County District Clerk will continue to provide mission critical services to the Citizens of Collin County in an efficient, effective and customer service oriented manner.

  • What kind of skills or expertise do you believe would be the most helpful for the holders of this office to possess?

The skills or expertise that I believe would be most helpful for the holders of this office to possess are legal skills and HR expertise.

The most important skill I possess that enables me to effectively manage the District Clerk’s Office is my ability to provide training and assistance to the District Clerks to improve their understanding of the many legal aspects of Civil, Criminal, Juvenile, Probate and Family law cases. 

The most important expertise I possess with respect to the legal aspects of our duties is my 25 years of experience as a practicing attorney.

The most important expertise I possess with respect to people skills and administrative logistics are my education and training in communications and communications technologies, including my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communications and Communications Technologies, as well as my relationships with the employee’s of the District Clerk’s office, and the Attorneys who practice in the County. 

  • What personal qualities do you believe are most important for an elected official?

Personal integrity, full transparency, courage and the ability to quickly and eagerly recognize, admit, and learn from your mistakes. 

  • What do you believe are the core responsibilities for someone elected to this office?

The core responsibilities of someone elected as the Collin County District Clerk are: 1. To provide sufficient training and guidance to ensure that the Deputy Clerks have the knowledge, resources, training and support to properly discharge all of the responsibilities of the Office of the District Clerk, while providing excellent customer service to the Citizens. 2. To provide and improve a system to efficiently coordinate the logistics of selecting, notifying and vetting Citizens for jury duty, and 3. To provide and improve a reliable, effective and efficient system for the filing, storage, protection, indexing and retrieval of the millions of documents associated with Civil, Criminal, Juvenile, Probate and Family law cases in Collin County.

  • Is there any other professional experience you would like voters to know about?

I serve on the Legislative Committee for the County and District Clerk Associations of Texas (CDCAT) and I am in my second term as the Committee Chairman for CDCAT. 

I serve on the Texas Judicial Council Justice Committee’s Advisory Board at the request of the Texas Supreme Court with a mission towards providing access to justice. 

I am active in numerous civic and community organizations. 

I have given presentations on numerous topics from the duties of the District Clerk, new technologies in the practice of law, and county government in Texas at the request of the Office of Court Administration, Tyler Technologies, CDCAT, the District Court Alliance, Collin College, and SMU Law School.

  • What qualities do you possess that you believe would make you a successful officeholder?

I have integrity and personal courage. 

I am not afraid to admit my mistakes and learn from  them. 

I have excellent people and communication skills. 

My empathy helps me to connect with people who are often going through the most difficult periods of their lives, and relate to them in a way that enables them to trust me, and enables me to help them.

  • What legacy would you like to leave?

I would like my legacy to be that I made a real, tangible, positive difference in people’s lives. 

I am honored to have the privilege to serve the Citizens of Collin County as their District Clerk. I am grateful that the Citizens of Collin County have given me the opportunity to experience the joy and satisfaction of being able to make a small but positive difference in the lives of more than a million people.

  • What is something that has been a struggle in your life?

My twins were born premature at 27 weeks. We lived in the NICU for 3 months. We fought every minute of every day for them. 

My babies just turned 10, and they are strong and beautiful.  

I give thanks for the struggle, and the strength I was given to weather that storm, every day of my life.

What are your priorities and goals for this office? What do you want to accomplish?
My priorities include security, jury management, and technology applications to meet the needs of our growing county.
Security is paramount and should be a continual, evolving process within the confines of the budget. The policies must include monitoring system events with continual auditing. It is paramount to proper records management to maintain accessibility, while complying with retention schedules and protecting the integrity and security of the records from both degradation and accidental or intentional improper access. The challenge of maintaining the security of the records under the care, custody and control of the District Clerk is complicated by political and economic concerns.
The jury pool is made up of Voter Registration lists and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records provided by the Texas Secretary of State. As we continue to implement our new jury software, it is clear that information from the Secretary of State (SOS) needs better accuracy and more frequent updates either from the Secretary of State or the Department of Motor Vehicle.
I have proposed expanding our current software to cross check death certificates and felony convictions. Software should allow us to better communicate with potential jurors through emails, calls and texting.
New technologies and system improvements must expand and evolve to increase access to, and improve the efficient administration of, justice. I will expand the use of our new jury software to meet the growing needs of our Courts for jury services while minimizing personnel and infrastructure expenses.
I will proactively work with the courts to implement on-line dispute resolution processes that will increase cost effective access to justice for all citizens. I will continue to urge the use of the “Guide and File” system to enable citizens to file cases and case documents on-line. The latest presentation on bot technology for the judicial process will be a tremendous help with the growing number of cases filed each year. 
Please tell us about your value and belief system, what it is based upon, and how you developed it.
I am considered a strict constructionist because I believe that judicial interpretation of the Constitution along with subsequent Constitutional amendments and statutes should be limited or restricted to the exact wording of the law. I rely on the separation of powers between the three branches of government for my viewpoint.  The judicial branch of government should not use its powers to change laws or interpret laws by adding words that are not there. I think laws should be changed as intended by the legislative branch. 
My family has always served the community in both volunteer and political capacities. Each new life experience has an impact on how I see the world, politics and the people around me. From holding my first child over 20 years ago to overseeing the health and safety of more than 70 people during a global pandemic for the past two years, I have come to focus on the positive in the world and use empathy and compassion to evoke change where it’s needed. 
I am extremely passionate about my stance on pro-life. Pro-Life is not just a political platform, but a core-belief that I have lived by.  With my twins, I refused to follow medical advice to abort my unborn daughter for better odds for my health and that of my unborn son. God directed me to that baby’s heart, I followed that guidance and never looked back. My beliefs were tested, but refusing to compromise personal values, blessed my family with the return of my health and that of my son and daughter. Paul Gates and Victoria Grace are a testament to, and a daily reminder of, the power of hope, perseverance, and trust in your core beliefs and values.