Judge David Patronella

Houston, Texas
Life Time Resident

Judge Patronella took the bench as presiding judge of Harris County Justice of the Peace Court (Precinct 1, Place 2) in 1989.He was nominated by Commissioner Lee and unanimously approved by Harris County Commissioners Court.  He was elected in 1990 and re-elected in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Judge Patronella serves as Justice of the Peace for Precinct One, Place Two, supervising a staff of thirty three clerks and presiding over one of the busiest courts in the state.  He brings to the job four terms of experience in the Texas House of Representatives where he authored over sixty pieces of legislation and was Chairman of Harris County’s Legislative Delegation.  Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Patronella was a civil attorney in private practice.  He has also completed two terms as chairman of the Justice of the Peace Section for the State Bar of Texas.

Judge Patronella is a third generation Houstonian.  He attended Houston area public schools, graduating from the Honors College of the University of Houston and  from the University of Houston Law Center. He speaks five languages.

Justice of the Peace Precinct One, Place Two is one of the busiest courts in the state.  The Justice Court has jurisdiction  over civil cases, seizures, small claims, and evictions as well as Class C criminal misdemeanor cases (traffic, hot checks, non aggravated assaults, etc.)

In 1996 he was appointed by Chief Justice Tom Phillips to serve as a member of the prestigious Judicial Council of Texas.  He has also chaired the Judicial Reform Committee of Judicial Council and worked with the Council and the Legislature during past legislative sessions.

In the fall of 1997 Houston Bar Association Judicial Qualification Poll Judge Patronella received the highest percentage of outstanding votes of any elected judge in Harris County.

In the 1999 HBA Judicial Qualification Poll he tied for having the highest percentage of outstanding votes of any elected Harris County Judge. 

In 2001 HBA Poll he was rated outstanding by 70% of the attorneys – receiving the highest rating of any justice court and twelve points higher than the second highest rated justice court. In 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 Houston Bar Polls, Judge Patronella was consistently highly-rated, culminating in an outstanding rating of 80.5% in the Houston Bar Association 2011 Poll.

Judge Patronella has been a frequent lecturer before numerous civic, professional businesses and educational forums and is currently an instructor with the Justice Court Training Center where he has taught both judges and clerks.  He has served as a member of several boards, including the Houston Area Women’s Center, the Greater Heights Chamber of Commerce, Citizens for Animal Protection and the Downtown Houston Historical District.  He is a lifelong member of All Saints Catholic Church in the Heights and served as Co-chair of the Church’s Centennial Anniversary Year Celebration.

Judge Patronella, his wife Donna, and their son and daughter reside in near northwest Houston.  Donna is an instructor in the Houston Community College System.