On Jan. 24, Lauren Raynor-McDaniel was sworn in as the Town of Brighton’s traffic judge by General Sessions Court Judge William Peeler.
She took the oath of office surrounded by her husband, parents, Nan, several family members and friends.
Raynor-McDaniel was selected by the Brighton board of Aldermen and Mayor during its Jan. 8 meeting. There was some confusion, initially, if she was actually selected as the new judge. The board quickly made a motion to select her. Raynor-McDaniel sat her first court proceeding Jan. 28
Lauren,32, is a graduate of Covington High School, undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas, and a law school graduate of Thomas M. Cooley law school.
Her practice, Raynor Law Firm, is located in Brighton. Though she attended college and law school out of state always planned to return to her Tipton County roots. Her law practice primarily focuses on family law. She always has known she wanted to be an attorney. Even as a child, she was driven to help people and serve them. In college she was active on the debate team. Those lessons have served her well in the courtroom.
At age 17, Lauren faced losing her mother. Her mother fought many health challenges in her short life. She instilled in Lauren a very strong work ethic and she said after her mother died, her band parents really stepped in to help guide her. Her father has always been a huge support system to Lauren. After her mother’s passing, her father remarried, and she finally realized her dream of becoming a big sister.
Her grandmother, lovingly called Nan, really pushed Lauren to become her best self. She was able to accomplish some of her beloved mother’s lifelong goals she was never able to achieve. Lauren said she feels so thankful she has accomplished some of her mother’s inspired dreams.
She said of her mother, “She taught me to work. I have to work hard for what I want.”
Lauren feels grateful for the opportunity to serve her town from the bench. “Brighton is precious. It’s nice to live in a peaceful town & it needs to remain peaceful.”
Lauren said of her plans to change how traffic court is run she plans to not just dismiss tickets because its someone’s first offense. Instead, she said, they will be required to attend a driving safety class. The purpose of the class will be to reiterate to the driver that speed limit signs are posted to protect both drivers and the community. Speeding in subdivisions will not be tolerated. Her step daughter and many other children play outside daily. Drivers who speed through residential areas will be ticketed.
She said, “Traffic violations in residential areas are much more dangerous because families have an expectation of safety in their neighborhoods. They shouldn’t have to worry about speeders putting them in danger.”
When asked if she felt a responsibility to give second chances within the law she replied, “I feel like everyone makes mistakes. If the law provides and the traffic violation was not egregious, then I plan on offering the ability to attend a safety school.” She went on to say that she hopes the safety school will instill the importance of responsible driving.
Teenage drivers are always a major concern from parents to law enforcement alike. When asked how if she will treat juvenile offenses the same as adult she said, “When juveniles drive, they assume the same responsibilities as any other driver. This is all about safety. That’s why a drivers safety class is so important.”
Further she said, “The purpose of a speed limit is to protect the town. I will do the job I have been chosen to do, to help protect my town.”