Justices of the Peace, known as "JPs" in Texas political slang, are elected officials who hear minor civil and criminal matters. Candidates must be have been Texas residents for one year, residents of the district they will serve in for six months, a U.S. citizen and 18 years old. It is important to note the law does not require a JP to be an attorney. A JP need only to follow the law without pride or prejudice.
The JP should provide equal justice, treating all parties with dignity and respect. My common sense, innate fairness and my dedication to helping others will help me be an effective JP. Equality spans the spectrum from marriage ceremony to tenant/landlord issues, truancy and more.
The JP’s office should engage with the community to educate the people on how they can partner with this office. Many people are not aware of how the Justice of the Peace serves the people. An online information resource could help people learn about services are offered by the court, and how to access them. Involvement and transparency with communities is important-- meeting with teachers on truancy issues or hosting trainings with tenants and/or property owners, public engagement leads to partnerships.
The JP’s office should help process cases through the system quickly and judiciously by managing the docket. Technological innovations can help resolve issues online and streamline docket and management controls. Additionally, extended hours (night court) would help alleviate backup in the court. Many folks work 9am-5pm jobs, and may not be able to take off work to get into court in normal hours. This flexibility makes the court more accessible to working citizens.