By local agreement of the Travis County Civil District Judges, the 126th District Court Judge and an Associate Judge, dedicated to the child welfare dockets, together preside over CPS cases in Travis County*.
*CPS final trials are heard separately, on the Central Docket, with a different Civil District Judge presiding. Profiles of the Travis County Civil District Judges are available on the Travis County Website.
Honorable Aurora Martinez Jones
The Honorable Aurora Martinez Jones is elected to the 126th District Court bench and is responsible for the oversight and administration of all Travis County Termination of Parental Rights civil lawsuits filed by the Travis County District Attorney's Office on behalf of the Child Protective Services division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She was elected on November 3, 2020. Prior to that election, she has served as the Associate Judge dedicated to the Travis County CPS Courts since January 2, 2015. She was the first Associate Judge to preside in this dedicated judicial seat. Judge Martinez Jones received both her undergraduate degree and law degree from The University of Texas at Austin and the School of Law, respectively. She is Board Certified in Child Welfare Law and is a Child Welfare Law Specialist, certified by the National Association of Counsel for Children. She is committed to progressive approaches for supporting the children and families who appear before her and also aims to use her court as a teaching ground for legal professionals and up-and-coming lawyers. Judge Martinez Jones regularly speaks at conferences, hosts free CLEs, and actively mentors students while also providing judicial internships to both pre-law and law students. Judge Martinez Jones enjoys being an active member of the judiciary.
Beyond her duties as a lawyer and judge, Aurora Martinez Jones has been dedicated to the legal profession throughout her entire career. She has been a member of the Austin Bar Association and has served on the Board for local affinity Bar Organizations, including as the past-president of the Austin Black Lawyers Association. Judge Martinez Jones is currently on the Board for the Child Welfare Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, is on the Board for the Texas Association of Specialty Courts, and serves on the Board for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Her work in all the professional organizations she has served has always included a focus on supporting young lawyers, creating pipelines, and providing progressive approaches to improving the practice of law while keeping sight on ethical responsibilities, access to justice, as well as equity and inclusion.
Judge Martinez Jones grew up in La Porte, Texas and has spent her adult life in Austin, Texas. Her and her husband are the proud parents of two precious daughters.
Honorable Leigh Mathews Rodriguez
The Honorable Leigh Mathews Rodriguez was appointed as an Associate Judge on January 4, 2021 by the Travis County District Judges. As an Associate Judge, her bench is dedicated to Travis County Termination of Parental Rights civil lawsuits filed on behalf of the Child Protective Services division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She is responsible for presiding over the cases assigned to her and working closely with the District Court Judge to support the administration of the dockets.
Prior to presiding over child welfare dockets as an Associate Judge in Travis County, Judge Mathews Rodriguez practiced law with compassionate service in child welfare, adoption, and family law cases. She graduated from The University of Texas School of Law and is board certified in Child Welfare Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Judge Mathews Rodriguez has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Abilene Christian University and a Master of Letters in International Security Studies from Scotland’s University of Saint Andrews.
She is among the first generation of women in her family to attend college and first in her family to graduate law school. She has enjoyed serving on the Travis County Child Protective Services board and the Austin Bar Association Court Appointed Family Advocates Section Board, as well as coordinating Austin’s Regional High School Mock Trial Competition. She and her husband have three children.