The Justice of the Peace is truly the people’s court. It is designed so that you do not need a lawyer to present your case or to defend yourself. Historically in Denton County the Justice of the Peace roles have been filled by non-lawyer judges. This often works best because a lawyer must unlearn everything they know to be a Justice of the Peace. The scope of law that you deal with is very limited and it is more about hearing both sides and following a good process.
As a Justice of the Peace you make judgments about small claims, evictions and tenant disputes as well as traffic tickets. While these cases are extremely important to the people involved, having a law degree or knowing how evidence is supposed to be gathered by law enforcement is of no value. What you need to be a good servant of the people is the ability rule impartially and within the confines of the law.
The Republicans who are running for Justice of the Peace will talk about how conservative they are or how much experience they have as lawyers and imply that makes them more qualified. This is simply not true. Our retiring Justice, the Honorable Judge Hand (a Republican), has served this community for twelve years and was not a lawyer. Judge Hand is an example of how the system should work and is a model that I would wish to continue if I am so fortunate to earn your trust and your vote.
As a Conservative Democrat and former Republican, I believe in limited government, I believe it is not the job of the judge to change the law but to enforce the law. If you do not like what the law says, run for the State House or State Senate and change the law. I believe there is no such thing as a Conservative Justice of the Peace or a Liberal Justice of the Peace, there is just a fair and honest Justice of the Peace. I want to continue the long tradition that we have in Denton County and keep the Justice of the Peace as the people’s court.
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