Danny Rodgers, Chief Judge
Chief Judge Danny Rodgers was born and reared in Fort Worth. He is a graduate of Eastern Hills High School, Baylor University, and Baylor School of Law. He was first appointed as a Fort Worth municipal judge in 1996. After serving 15 years as the "jail judge," Judge Rodgers was appointed as Deputy Chief Judge in 2012. In 2017, Judge Rodgers was appointed Chief Judge of the Fort Worth Municipal Court by unanimous vote of the Fort Worth City Council.
Judge Rodgers is married, the proud father of two and really proud Papa of four.
Simon C. Gonzalez, Deputy Chief
Judge Simon Gonzalez is a native of Fort Worth and graduate from North Side High School. He graduated from Tarrant County Junior College with an Associate of Arts, North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in education and Southern Methodist University with a Master in Public Administration. Judge Gonzalez earned his Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kan. While attending Washburn Law School, Judge Gonzalez served as a Legal Research Assistant and Student Director of the Washburn Law Clinic. Judge Gonzalez was licensed in Texas in 1986 and in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 1987. Prior to private practice, Judge Gonzalez worked as a Staff Attorney at the North Central Texas Legal Services Foundation Inc. in Dallas.
As a solo practitioner, Judge Gonzalez established his law office on the north side of town and focused primarily in the areas of criminal, traffic, family, probate and personal injury law. Judge Gonzalez served as Pro Tem Judge for the cities of Hudson Oaks, Pantego, Kennedale and Grand Prairie. Judge Gonzalez closed his law office to work full time as a judge for the City of Grand Prairie in 2000.
On February 18, 2002, Judge Gonzalez was appointed Associate Municipal Court Judge by the Fort Worth City Council and assigned by the Chief Judge to work the third shift at the Belknap Detention Center. Presently, Judge Gonzalez is the Deputy Chief of the Fort Worth Municipal Court.
Andrew T. Bradshaw
Judge Andrew T. "Andy" Bradshaw, an honors graduate of Texas Christian University and Baylor University School of Law, has served as a full-time municipal judge for the City of Fort Worth since 2006. His past and current civic activities include service as president of the Ridglea North Neighborhood Association, volunteer work for Recovery Resource Council (formerly Tarrant Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse) and service as chancellor for Trinity Episcopal Church.
His wife is a professor at Texas Christian University, and his two sons are students in the Fort Worth Independent School District
Raquel D. Brown
Judge Brown graduated from Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas and received a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Judge Brown earned a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas.
Judge Brown accepted an appointment in 2005 with the City of Dallas Municipal Court as an Associate Judge. While in private practice Judge Brown was appointed to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles as counsel for parole hearings. Judge Brown continued in private practice while serving as a volunteer attorney for the Dallas Bar Association.
Judge Brown accepted an appointment to the City of Fort Worth Municipal Court in 2012 as a full-time judge presiding over trial court, juvenile court, code compliance, traffic court, truancy court, and serve as a criminal magistrate.
Judge Brown is a volunteer for various community organizations in Ft. Worth and Tarrant County.
Judge Melanie Houston began her public service career with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, where she worked six years. During her tenure at the SLC DA’s office she was inspired to go to law school by the many prosecutors and defense attorneys with whom she worked. Judge Houston graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (Formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law) and was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 2008. Judge Houston was admitted as a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar in 2015. Judge Houston practiced family law and criminal defense at a boutique law firm in Austin before moving back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She then spent more than eight years working as a municipal court prosecutor for the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth before being appointed to the bench in 2018. She is a graduate of Westminster College in Salt Lake City and volunteers with several local organizations.
Thaddeus A. Iwuji
Judge Thaddeus Iwuji is a graduate of Baylor University and has a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. He is also a graduate of Southern Methodist University, where he earned a Master of Laws in Taxation (LLM). Judge Iwuji previously served as a managing attorney for a small law firm he helped established that focused exclusively in criminal law, family law, and civil litigation and tax matters. He has litigated cases from the Justice of the Peace Courts to the Federal Courts. Prior to entering private practice, Judge Iwuji worked for one of the largest accounting firms in the DFW area as a Senior Tax Associate. He was appointed in 2012 to serve as an Associate Municipal Court Judge for the City of Dallas and held that position until 2018. Judge Iwuji was also appointed as an Alternate Judge for the City of Addison. In addition to his judicial experience, he served as an Assistant City Attorney/Prosecutor for the City of Abilene, and the City of Arlington. As a prosecutor, Judge Iwuji received a Merit Certification in Municipal Court Prosecution from the Texas City Attorneys Association. He accepted an appointment to serve the City of Fort Worth as a Municipal Court Judge in 2018.
Judge Iwuji’s current and past civic activities include serving as an executive member of an HOA board, coaching youth sports (PSA, i9 Sports, YMCA, C.E.R.A., Fort Worth Young Warriors), and presiding as a teen court volunteer Judge.
Judge Kelman was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. She completed her undergraduate studies at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma and graduated in May of 1982. She graduated from Texas Tech School of Law and was licensed by the State of Texas in November of 1986. Upon graduation from law school, she had several offers to clerk for appellate courts but she fell in love with Fort Worth and accepted an offer for a one-year term with the 2nd Court of appeals clerking for Justice Harry Hopkins. At the end of her term with the Court of Appeals, and looking for a place to help families, she accepted a job with the Potter County Attorney's office in Amarillo to handle Child Protective Service cases, mental health and protective order cases. March of 1989 Judge Kelman moved into the criminal side of the office and handled misdemeanor cases in two County Courts at Law until she married Harry Kelman in October of 1989. The opportunity to return to Fort Worth with the beautiful old courthouse and downtown area that had captured her heart, she was happy to accept a job in Fort Worth with the Office of the Attorney General child support Division, as she and her husband made their home in Lewisville, Texas as Harry worked for Texas Instruments. Judge Kelman loved handling child support cases and received the attorney of the year award for the Fort Worth Dallas area in 1990.
After 10 years with the Office of the Attorney General she left to work part time with a boutique family law firm and be home with their daughter. Working part time provided her the opportunity to get involved with their daughter's school, PTA, soccer and to become a girl scout leader. She also volunteered with teenagers through a nonprofit organization and worked with Jane's Due Process from 2001 until ROE v Wade was overturned. Judge Kelman sat on the board of Jane's Due Process for several years. Judge Kelman accepted a part time substitute Judge position with the City of Fort Worth in March 2003 while she continued to practice family law. In January of 2009 Judge Kelman opened her own law practice and continued to serve as a substitute Judge for the city of Fort Worth. In July of 2022 she was appointed by the Fort Worth City Council as a full time Municipal court Judge with the City of Fort Worth.
Claudia A. Martinez
Judge Claudia Martinez is a native of Fort Worth who graduated from North Side High School. Judge Martinez received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and sociology with a minor in Spanish from Texas Wesleyan University and her Juris Doctorate from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law). Other than a brief time in private practice, Judge Martinez has spent her entire career in public service. Through law school she worked as a clerk for the Federal Aviation Administration. After graduating from law school she worked as an attorney for the Small Business Administration, a supervising attorney for West Texas Legal Services, and a prosecuting attorney for the City of Fort Worth.
In March 2011 she was appointed to the bench in the Fort Worth Municipal Court. Judge Martinez is licensed to practice in the State of Texas, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and the United States Supreme Court.
Robert N. McDonald
Judge R. Neel McDonald is Associate Judge of the Fort Worth Municipal Court, having been first appointed to the bench in 2006. He brings a broad array of experience as a trial and appellate litigator in both civil and criminal courtrooms all over the State of Texas. He has tried all level of Misdemeanor and Felony cases as a prosecutor, as well as litigating the Civil Commitment of Sexual Predators. He has also represented both adults and children in Child Protective Services cases.
He is presently the Presiding Judge of the Environmental Court, hearing cases involving all manner of alleged violations of the Fort Worth Municipal Code Ordinances, among other cases. A native Texan, Judge McDonald earned his Baccalaureate at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and his Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Patricia L. Summers
Patricia L. Summers has served as a full time Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fort Worth for the past six (6) years. Prior to being appointed in 2014, Judge Summers served as a Substitute Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fort Worth for twelve (12) years in conjunction with a full time Family Law practice. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Southwest Baptist College, in Bolivar, Missouri in 1974. After graduation from college, Judge Summers moved to Fort Worth, Texas. Even though she was born and raised in Hannibal, Missouri, Judge Summers considers Fort Worth her home.
Judge Summers has worked in various social service organizations until she received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1983.
While working as an Adult Probation Officer, Judge Summers began her education in law at the DFW Law School (later known as Texas Wesleyan School of Law) in August 1993. Judge Summers was entered into the State Bar in May 1997. Her first employment as a licensed Attorney was working for West Texas Legal Services, where she learned about various areas of law, including family law. From June 1998 until April 2014, Judge Summers managed, operated and owned her own family law practice, primarily working with children of abused families. In 2008, Judge Summers was awarded Attorney Ad Litem for the year from the local Court Appointed Special Advocate, Inc.
Judge Summers has been a strong supporter of the Fort Worth Teen Court program for the past 18 years. She has volunteered in Teen Court training and for the past 10 years has prepared our teens in their annual Teen Court competition. She is a past president of the East Fort Worth Optimist club and continues her support in helping children to improve their lives. Improving other’s lives, especially children, is the most important thing we can all do.
Pro Tem Judges
- Thelma Anderson
- Rita Ballard
- Kim Marie Catalano
- Laura Espinosa Ganoza
- Faye Rean Harden
- Joseph Henderson
- Terry Reeves