Katie Sprinkle is sworn in as a Dallas County magistrate (Courtesy Leslie McMurray)

Katie Sprinkle has closed her law practice and has been appointed a Dallas County Criminal Court magistrate. Sprinkle is the first transgender person appointed to a county criminal court in Texas and the second transgender judge in Texas after Phyllis Frye in Houston. Frye is an associate judge in the Houston municipal courts.

Sprinkle was sworn in today, Tuesday, Nov. 12.

To be appointed to the court, each of the elected criminal court judges had to sign off on the appointment, according to Judge Tina Yoo Clinton. A magistrate in Dallas County criminal courts does arraignments, sets bond, issues emergency protective orders and issues mental health warrants.

Sprinkle is known for her work with transgender people and has helped a number of them with name changes and correcting their gender markers on legal documents. Those corrections are done in civil courts and she will be working in Dallas County’s criminal courts.

Sprinkle is married to Leslie McMurray who works at Resource Center and is the first Dallas County district judge married to a same-sex partner.

David Taffet