Elected in November 2010, Donald is a District Court Judge in Mecklenburg County specializing in juvenile court matters where he presides over abuse, neglect, and dependency cases, and delinquency matters. This includes the county’s Youth Recovery Court program (YRC), and has included the Family Court Recovery program (F.I.R.S.T.) previously.  Additionally, he has presided over criminal, child support, family, and domestic violence matters. Prior to joining the bench, he worked for the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office, and for Powers McCartan (formerly known as Bush & Powers), a local law firm.

Outside of his regular duties in court, Donald is extremely active in the community. He regularly speaks to citizens on topics relevant to the justice system, and participates with organizations and committees connected to the justice system. He serves on the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission Juvenile Justice, Children’s Justice Act, and Disproportionate Minority Contact Subcommittees; is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee (D&I) of the Mecklenburg County Bar; and is a middle school truancy court program volunteer working to help students improve their attendance and performance in school. Additionally, he is the Vice President and board member for the Be More Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that uses media literacy to help at-risk youth of color organize their priorities and make life choices with an aim in increasing their social mobility, and is a board member for the Lydia Smith Foundation that helps bring awareness to the health condition of sickle cell anemia and provide support and assistance to those impacted by the disease.

In 2017, he graduated from the Community Building Initiative (CBI) Leadership Development Institute (LDI) as part of a group representing Race Matters for Juvenile Justice (RMJJ). In 2012, Donald graduated from the second class of CBI’s Leaders-Under- 40 program (LU40), and in 2009, Donald graduated from the Mecklenburg County Bar, Bar Leadership Institute. He is a member of the Beta Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and St. Paul Baptist Church.


A native Charlottean, Donald is a graduate of Garinger Senior High School, Winston-Salem State University, and the Howard University School of Law.  His father, Don, Sr., is a retired facility manager for the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department. His mother, Jacqueline Cureton, is a retired kindergarten teacher with CMS, having worked at Lansdowne Elementary and Smithfield Elementary during her 31 years of service. Donald has been married for  fourteen years to Deanna Cureton, the 2017-2018 CMS Teacher of the Year, and they have a five year old daughter, Dea.  

Donald Cureton For District Court Judge Fundraiser _ Arnold & Smith PLLC 6-26-18 by Jon Strayhorn 02
Donald Cureton For District Court Judge Fundraiser _ Arnold & Smith PLLC 6-26-18 by Jon Strayhorn 07
Filing 2018 Notice of Candidacy Form


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Paid for by The Committee to Re-Elect Judge Donald Cureton, Jr.