Hon. Denise Pratt

Judge Pratt's Average Overall Review:

5 Stars

Based on 38 reviews

  (713) 755-6242

  Unknown (fax)



2215. party to case (with attorney)

There is no need to worry about the children. They will be adults before Judge Pratt makes a final ruling.


1353. other

Denise Pratt is a disgrace at the Family Law Center. She is inexperienced and unqualified to make decisions regarding children. She supports a hand full of attorneys that she will give anything to regardless of the welfare of the children in the case. Pratt is unbalanced, unstable and apparently is being investigated for cocaine use! The citizens of Harris County need to revolt and vote this fraud out of office!!!


1382. attorney (private practice)

I find her refreshing in that she is not hesitant to rule creatively for the child. Fine judge. We need mo like her.


1428. party to case (with attorney)

This judge knows what she is doing, she takes detailed notes and takes time to consider the case carefully. She see's through the lies and false allegations. Marinelle Timmons on the other hand is unprofessional, doesn't take notes on visitations therefore makes many mistakes in her reports. She does not follow her own companies rules or the judges orders. Thank God for Judge Pratt and her rational thinking and much thought out rulings.


1937. other

I've known Judge Pratt for 20 or so years. She's represented me years ago and I've found myself working around her courts. She is not the problem with your failed divorce cases; blame the mediators, blame your inept attorney or blame yourself for NOT acting in the best interest of your child. This judge has volunteered her time for various churches, community services (fostered children), Girl Scouts, etc. I see a LOT of anonymous negative comments and I'm sure it has something to do with a certain "attorney" (and I use that description loosely considering that I've seen complaints about his REFUSAL to go to trial) and his political ambitions. Judge Pratt is most likely the most competent fudge in Houston and Harris County.


2125. other

The Grand Jury has "No Billed" Judge Pratt. Perhaps now she can get back to the business of keeping parents in their children's lives.


2212. other

I wonder if Mr. Enos remembers what happens when a lawyer intentionally conceals a material is omitted, or withheld? Seems the majority of the DWOP's had docket notations "Set in Error" prior to notices going out. Any one with a SBOT number and an IQ over 37 can access DCO website and ascertain the status of any case. Seems Mr. Enos likes "waving the bloody shirt" more when he should be brushing up on why Candor Towards a Tribunial is sort of important too.


2511. party to case (with attorney)

As a parent to one of the cases being investigated by the DA, I can assure you that I am not affiliated with any party , I am a custodial parent who had my 14 year old daughter go out her window to her father because I grounded her for failing grades , and lying to me about it! My abusive ex seized the opportunity and refused to return her! The police would not assist (it's civil )get a lawyer ! Well I can't afford one, I should not have to sell my home ,car and get fired because he broke the law, I only wanted to be heard! I should not have to ask permission to exercise my constitutional right, but I was not allowed to speak nor was I served his affidavit to even see what his problem was, his lawyer knows the game and played it, shame on her, I understand her client is her priority, but play fair and honest and let the cards fall where they may! This judge owed me that, instead she backdated a order in open court advising me as she is signing it, I was not aware of what that meant. I called this court. Weekly and was advised that on December 31 my case was dismissed! I checked the website daily. My case was heard on Feb 5 and I was not involved , discovery never exchanged, and the law broken . I was not on a witch hunt , I had no motive, I just wanted to be heard! So when the press now ask me how I feel about her resignation , I feel bittersweet , and I ask "why?" Her job is to protect the child, and enforce the law! Everyone forgets a law was broken" and I still am mentally absused by an ex who thinks there is a winner in this!


414. other

This judge does not govern herself by the laws in which she sworn herself to do. This judge will hear your case, and all the facts, and will make her ruling as how she see's fit; with the knowledge that she can not be touch. Do not have your case heard by this judge. You will regret it.


723. other

She is a fringe Tea-party activist judge with odd associations to men's acitivists groups. This judge does NOT have children's best interest at heart when she rules. I personally will work HARD to make sure she is not re-elected in '14.


729. party to case (with attorney)

Incompetent, biased and prejudiced. She heard my case last year; after dismissing the jury, listening to overwhelming evidence against the opposing party, she made her decision in a minute. As a result, I went from 4 evenings a week with my child to a sketchy standard visitation. Pratt is one of those mediocre lawyers who found a way to a steady paycheck via political office. It is horrible that children's future can be decided by such an incapable person.


858. other

Limited experience with her. The majority of the local family bar have been grumbling "ego" "nuts" "crazy". She ignores rulings made by her own associate Judge. She has lost entire files, appointed amicus to oversee amicus. Word is the media has been sniffing around and an exposé is in the works.


971. party to case (with attorney)

I returned from serving in Afghanistan and had my long pending, no-contest divorce case heard on Feb 25, 2013 before the Associate Judge of the 311th District Court, Houston, TX, Hon. Robert Newey. The divorce is final, but the Hon. Denise Pratt, the 311th District's presiding judge has not yet signed on the final divorce decree. It takes 5 seconds to sign to just fulfill a formality! Nobody knows why. But what the court clerks and the attorneys are murmuring is "very poor work ethics." They simply don't know when or if she'll show up for work!


1053. party to case (with attorney)

She wouldn't sign our agreed order either. Its been months since it was submitted.


1090. attorney (private practice)

She is one of the really bad judges and pretty much any lawyer with any time in her court will agree. It appears that she may be suffering from mental illness. It is important to make sure that she is not reelected.


1273. witness

I have been a 3rd party witness to a divorce case, in which the Husband is getting completely used and abused by Judge Pratt. She doesn't know a thing about divorce cases and therefore will not rule against motions that are potentially harmful to the community (which is to be deviied up between the parties). She recently signed an order brought forward in a hearing that her counterparty Judge Newey was presiding over, that completely reversed a previous order preventing the wife from having anything to do with the family business and in turn giving the wife control of the business to see and do as she see fit, including and not limited to firing everyone, selling all the assets and taking all the money for herself. 1.) it appears as if the order was signed by Judge Pratt prior to the hearing and 2.) she wasn't even there at the hearing 3.) defendant and defendant's counsel weren't even present during the "ruling" to object to such a massive and complicated and seriously damaging (to all parties involved) order. Judge Pratt and her senile old counterparty Newey (he's close to 90) are crooks and worthless human beings and hopefully her transgressions will be brought to light and 1.) she will not be reelected 2.) she will be stripped of her license 3.) she will be criminally and civilly prosecuted.


1450. party to case (with attorney)

As others have said: poor work ethic, cases in her court take a long time and are typically appealed when they are decided. She has a good temperment but that seems to be because she does not care.


1518. attorney (private practice)

I have known Denise for years. I like her. She needs help. She is not the same person who aspired to be judge years ago. Something has changed and she needs help. She's not doing the job she was elected to. Moreso, she's not doing the job she wanted to do when she entered office. And yes, my own story is yet another that she failed to sign the order recommended and approved by all parties, including the amicus she chose for the case. Anyone who says she is doing a great job is trying to protect her like a friend should. Except it is short sighted to believe that she would want to leave the legacy that she is creating in this court. It's time to put someone else on this bench and get her some help.


1842. party to case (with attorney)

I have been in her court for almost 2 years and have no orders. I have been to court 30 times and have only seen Judge Pratt twice. My sons father wanted to religuish his rightsa and Judge Pratt approved it and appointted an Amicus, we went back to court to finalize everything for Judge Pratt to deny the termination. Now we have another Trial set.. Eveytime I have gone to court we never accomplish anything. It has been a total waste of my time off from work and my money paying my attorney to sit around and wait on the Judge to show up. I could have paid for my son's college with all the attorney fee's I have paid for, and I am still back at square one. She has never signed any temporary orders for child support. She does not want to let him terminate because she thinks he should pay yet she has not made him pay a penny for almost 2 years. I pray that the right thing happens here and things are made right in that court.. As it stands now i am terrified for my upcoming trial... You never what she is going to do!! My son is not a toy!!! Something needs to be done here.. That is a serious position with children's lives on the line and you need someone on the bench that is truly thinking of the best interest of the child. I would be more than happy to take no back support and no support at all, since my son's father did not want to be a part of his life, just to have an end to this saga.


1902. other

Sadly, some commenters only care that she resign because she ruled against them. It does not matter, a ruling is a ruling it will not be overturned.


1924. other

This judge has egregiously sat on her hands and not fulfilled her duties as a public servant. The people deserve better.


1935. party to case (with attorney)

Pratt needs to step down. I had filed temp change of custody one year ago because my client kids were in danger w proof of their mother and appointed amicus. very poor work ethics.


1936. other

Harris county should hang its head in shame that this apparently unstable judge continues to oversee cases involving children! Is it in the best interest of any child to leave one or both parents financially destitute because she drags out cases that should be straight forward if she followed Texas law? No one wins but the attorneys with a judge like pratt. It makes me ill to see how the American judicial system works or, more accurately, doesn't work because of judges like this one.


1941. other

This judge does not even follow the laws as written. She waited and kept me from seeing my child for 12 months and then gave me a bad ruling. She is not fit to set on a bench.


2207. witness

Since being cleared last month by a grand jury for backdating records, Judge Pratt has quietly dismissed hundreds of cases, effectively nullifying a bevy of child support obligations and custody arrangements she previously made to protect children and families. (nearly 300 cases!) Unless you have no character, I find it hard to believe anyone would think this is protecting children and/or families alike. It seems the reputation of her laziness and poor work ethic are clearly evident with these actions. It will be such a relief to have her off the bench (she is not getting re-elected) and someone like Alicia Franklin take her place. I find the comments that this is somehow politically motivated it ridiculous as well. The bulk of the attorneys who signed the petition against her are REPUBLICANS. if it walks like a duck and talks like one....well, guess what.


2282. other

This is the worst judge EVER!!! She ordered an out of work father to give over $5000 a month in child support because the mother wants to live in an affluent area. The mother have other kids from a previous marriage living with her as well. Judge Pratt has made it impossible for the father to see the 2 children as the mother claims to be "broke". It's quite amazing how a "broke" mother can travel the world, have a personnel trainer, housekeeper, and live in Houston's most affluent area while the father goes further into debt supporting her lifestyle due to the poor judgement by Judge Pratt. It's sad the power this judge has and the impact she created for this family. She needs to go!


2301. attorney (private practice)

I am a conservative Republican, and have been practicing family law for over 15 years. I try to mind my own business and stay out of politics, but the situation with Judge Pratt is out of control. She is a lunatic, does not know what she is doing, holds up basic agreements and makes everything more time consuming and costly. She is truly a pathetic excuse for a judge. Hopefully my fellow Republicans will show her the door in March.


2329. witness

Each day I feel more and more sorry for the children who are under the care of the 311th court. Judge Pratt spent two years rarely in court until the charge was filed against her. After which she began to come to court but she does not study the cases before her. In the many times I have sat in the court room watching each case before her, if you are lucky enough to get a ruling, which most are not, it is based off her feelings and not the law. Making up rules as she sees fit, allowing hearsay as testimony, changing decrees when she is out of jurisdiction to do so. It is all very sad to watch but the people I worry most about, are the children, that are losing family, mothers and father, because she refuses to pay attention. Judges have to see each case for what it is, if her case load was not so far behind she could give the time and attention to each case. There is one case that was there recently that has not had a ruling on an enforcement that was heard 11 months ago. The children suffer. Politics win. It is all very sad. Please do the right thing and step down, allowing someone who wants to do the job to do it.


2335. attorney (private practice)

Judge Pratt looks cool calm and collected. She always appears to be so considerate and kind. I am amazed at how deceiving her look can be. She has no regards to Orders that she signs. She carelessly dismisses cases without regards to Orders that she may have signed a week before that require time to fulfill. She appears in control but I doubt if she is in control of her docket. She is always late and would care less the inconvenience that this causes attorneys and their clients. It is time for her to go and never return.


2359. other

I know a good man who gave up his children for the rest of their childhood because Pratt would not rule after a very well-respected expert testified on his behalf.. When asked for when a ruling would come, she would reply--"when you get one." she is a disgrace to the judicial profession and legal profession and definitely in this case- failed to act in the child's best interest. She is supposed to protect children, something of which she promised to do when we first elected her!


2364. party to case (with attorney)

I seriously don’t know how our justice lets pratt continue to do whatever she wants. My children are still having to wait patiently because pratt just loves to reschedule our dates. She even put a amicus on my case and only on top of that I and my children only meet with her twice within a year. .very hard to get a hold of. So in Dec, Pratt dismissed our case without any notice. My kids are in a very bad situation with their mother who mentally and physically abuses my children over and over and over and think it’s no big problem. Seriously, who tells their child that they are the devil and if he prays god is going to punish him????? Now we have to go back to reinstate the case. My children suffer and the judge just sits back. Whatever happened to the best interest to the children? Not fair my children continue to suffer and go days without eating and getting abused because Pratt wants to be lazy and not hear our case or all the proof we have to get my children in a safe home.


2484. party to case (with attorney)

The evil Judge Pratt is gone!!! Good does eventually prevail! She went out blaming it on everyone but herself. Shame on you Judge Pratt, what a horrible example you have been for the children of Harris county community. No parent would want their child to emulate the likes of you!


2485. party to case (with attorney)

Without a doubt Judge Pratt and her Associate Judge are completely inept and have cost my son so much in legal fees that he may have to file bankruptcy! Murder cases are heard and decided on in less time! We are now over the 2 year mark and senseless delays and judges being "tired" and leaving early or not there at all have put undue expense on all the parties involved. Not to mention the angst and anxiety for the children. The decision to call this Judge to task was long over due. I can only hope that who is assigned to this court will get up to speed on the cases quickly so that some resolve can be realized.


2492. other

I know someone that has been in Denise Pratt's court for over 2 years. Ms. Pratt completely ruled against the law, and allows a small group of "favored" attorneys to profit from her incompetence. (I truly believe that the positive ratings from the attorneys on this website are those that have profited from Ms. Pratt's incompetence.) As I see it, I think the whole family court system needs to be redone. Otherwise, how can this judge's incompetence and criminality have gone on for so long? How come her actions have harmed so many families and children? How come it was so hard for her to lose her job? Denise Pratt is just the tip of the iceberg...others need to be investigated. After having been involved in Harris County Family Court system years ago, it's hard enough to try to maintain some kind of "normal" life while going through a divorce with children involved. But, to have to deal with an incompetent, lazy, criminal, mentally-unstable judge which the people in her court have had to deal with, it is my opinion that this would have to be quite unbearable. People going bankrupt because of her rulings as I've read on this website? People losing visitation with their children for NO reason? Ms. Pratt not showing up for work? Not doing her job? Ruling against law? If she didn't resign...was she going to be re-elected? Whatever force of nature made her resign last week, I thank God for this. I pray that the families and children that have been wrongfully harmed by Ms. Pratt's actions will have some relief, and that they will be able to get a more competent, fair judge to help them get on with their lives finally.


2498. party to case (with attorney)

I have been in this court for 2 years. Spent $56000 to keep my girls in public schools in cypress and not get home schooled.They appointed an amicus which, in trial, said that my girls should stay in school. Had an evaluation by a doctor in education that said my girls should stay in school but judge newy keeps saying he needs more. I am broke. This court is out of line. It should have been decided. I go back April 8th and 9th but can not pay anymore. Going by myself and hope for the best for my girls.


4255. party to case (pro se)

I can't tell you how glad I am that I landed in this judge's court. After my kids (all under 10 years old) staying with me over the summer, I didn't send them back to their mother. They had scars, horror stories, physically shook when they started packing for the return. Their mother's new husband would hit and terrify them, a very controlling man. My ex filed a contempt to put me in jail for not returning them. Everyone told me to just give them back b/c the court system is against men, especially black men. I had no money for a lawyer. My ex and her husband had plenty of money and got a good lawyer. I was ordered to court so I went, with pictures in hand. We finally got to go in front of the judge the next day, on a Friday, about 4pm. They put me on the witness stand - my hands were shaking while I testified and I remember hoping no one noticed. Her lawyer asked me a bunch of questions and didn't let me explain anything. I was ordered to bring my kids to court too, so they were downstairs. At the end of the questions, the judge asked me some questions. She appointed an attorney for my children right then, 4 o'clock on a Friday, and we all waited while the attorney talked to my kids. This judge was the only judge in the whole courthouse on a Friday afternoon. After the attorneys talked with the judge in the back, this strong judge ruled that the kids went home with me. Two months later my ex's husband died due to a violent confrontation. Everyone told me that it's unheard of for someone without a lawyer to win against a lawyer - that no judge will allow that to happen. But I know one judge that cares more about the kids than the lawyers, or the parents, or the campaign contributions. And thanks to her, my kids were not there when their stepdad died; they were at home. Safe with me. Should have kept this judge. She's worth all the others combined.


6482. party to case (with attorney)

I have read through these comments and it seems to me that in almost all the cases, it was the people's attorneys that were the problem. The attorneys charged outrageous amounts, the people paid them, thinking the favorable decisions for children could be purchased. My order didn't get signed for a very long time. I finally went around my corrupt or lazy attorney and went to the Court. The Court staff told me that Judge Pratt had the staff contact both attorneys repeatedly to come discuss the case with Judge Pratt because the order was so obviously bad for the children. Pratt even set a hearing in the case and no one showed up. I didn't even know about the hearing. So Judge Pratt set it for a hearing again, and this time I knew about it and showed up. She changed the order so that instead of my grandson having to live in fear for when his drug-addicted parents might show up at any time, he could move on with his life and excel. Judge Pratt made it so that, instead of his horrible parents having visitation rights unless they continued to test dirty (after 20+ years of drug use), that they didn't have visitation rights until they showed a change of lifestyle. Judge Pratt took the burden off of me to have to continually show their bad lifestyle, to the burden being on them to show how it's changed. Makes so much sense. I mean, how am I supposed to be able to show they still have a lifestyle that's bad for their son when we don't live together (not even in the same town) and they know to hide it from me now that we've been to court. So it turns out that the order wasn't signed because this Judge cared enough to review the file and would not sacrifice the child to appease the attorneys. Maybe if the person who did the articles in the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Press had actually investigated the situation, or even interviewed Judge Pratt or any of her staff or any of the attorneys that supported her, we would have kept the hardest working, most ethical Harris County family judge of all time.


8209. courthouse employee

To all the people that try to claim that Pratt didn't know, or abide by, the law, then why was she never reversed, and never mandamused on any substantive issue?

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