What does a Justice of the Peace Do?
It’s a major job! It’s many different courts in one. It’s a Civil court, it’s a Criminal court, a traffic court, a juvenile court, it’s an eviction court, it’s a magistrate, a truancy court and an Administrative court.
Jury trials and bench trials are held on small claims civil matters up to $10,000 in damages in cases such as car crashes, credit card debts, faulty repairs and breached contracts. Jury trials and bench trials are also held on Criminal Class C misdemeanor violations (i.e. assault, theft, criminal mischief) and Traffic Code violations (i.e. speeding tickets, running stop lights). Juvenile criminal violations are prosecuted such as curfew violations and underage drinking; Landlords and Tenants argue for possession concerning evictions. There are also Show Cause hearings, arraignments, magistration and setting bail for prisoners; possession is decided for property seized by the HCSO, arrest and search warrants are issued, illegal weapons are ordered held, and there are pre-trial hearings on various motions to compel, Motions for sanctions and to dismiss as well as for default judgments to be entered. Occupational drivers licenses are granted or denied, the rightfull possession of law enforcement seized vehicles is decided, dangerous dogs hearings are held and couples in love are married – all at the court run by your neighborhood Justice of the Peace!
No Other Courts in Texas handle as many different matters as you local Justice of the Peace. That’s why it’s so important your Judge has years of practical legal experience and studies so that they know and understand the laws on all these matters and rule correctly and in accordance with the Laws and Rules as written and codified.
Efficiency in Government
As you can see, Precinct 5, Place 2 has a lot to do, and it is one of the busiest courts in Texas, with approximately 8,000 new cases filed monthly. The demand for its services are huge and growing, placing enormous strains on the courts ability to speedily handle all the cases before it. Judge Williams has worked long and hard to reduce the docket size and backlog so that citizens don’t have to face standing room only, parking nightmares, and long lines throughout the working day.
This is a full time job. Dockets have been added and rearranged to reduce the waiting time for not only litigants, but attorneys, law officers and the staff as well. This rearrangement has reduced the overcrowded court room and parking problems. The Judge had the courtroom itself modified so that computers and staff could be at his side increasing the efficiency of the process of moving cases along. Dedicated windows have been numbered and set aside specifically for attorneys, for defendants who need to see the District Attorney and for those coming in for weddings. More jury trials are heard and security cameras have been installed. Even infrastructure to help the staff has been instituted such as more supervisors, a water cooler, a refrigerator and a more equal distribution of the workload has been devised.
Judge Jeff Williams will continue to work hard to insure you are given the speedy hearing and the efficient justice you’re entitled to. He has improved infrastructure and overcrowding as best as the county and budget will allow; and has more efficiently managed the court so you have the access to justice that is your constitutional right.
Landlord and Tenant Disputes
The Justice of the Peace courts have exclusive jurisdiction over eviction cases. A landlords ability to recover possession of an apartment from a non-paying tenant, and a tenant’s right to his home or obtain re-entry if wrongfully locked out, are of paramount importance to both the landlords bottom line, and the tenant’s ability to have a safe place to live. Judge Williams pledges to strictly follow the law in these matters, ensuring that the rights of each party are considered and justice is done.
Qualified and Experienced
With JP court 5/2 being one of the busiest court in Harris County and the entire State of Texas; it is imperative that the Judge be experienced and trained in the law. It’s actually not a legal requirement that the Judge be a trained attorney, but you should require it of your candidate. You don’t want to elect a candidate who is an attorney, but has no practical litigation experience either.
I have been working with folks legal matters that end up in this court for almost 30 years before becoming a Judge, and not just working in the County tax office or voters registration office. You want the Judge presiding over your case to have a solid understanding of civil and criminal procedure; the rules of evidence; the laws of contracts, negligence, traffic, truancy and landlord tenant matters, as well as the many other legal problems that come before the court on a daily basis. That knowledge and experience assures you that your Judge will rule in your favor when the law is on your side. You don’t want your Judge guessing about what the law is, or should be, or making decisions based upon his or her personal feelings or likes and dislikes. Further, a deep respect for the Constitution, fairness and equal treatment under the law to all the citizens of Precinct 5, and the stewardship of your tax dollars, are all paramount to the success of a Justice of the Peace.
That’s what you have in Judge Jeff Williams, and why we need to re-elect him.
The court faces many important issues and requires a conservative, independent jurist in charge to deliver the fair and speedy justice to which you are entitled.
The Justice of the Peace hears hundreds of civil and criminal matters each month, and is expected to make a decision on the spot and in accordance with the existing law. Judge Williams is a law school graduate, and was a practicing attorney with 28 years of experience as a legal problem solver practicing before the civil courts of Harris County and has now been your JP since January of 2011. He has the qualifications and experience you require of a Judge.
Judge Williams provides the predicability you want in court, and renders fair impartial legal decisions made pursuant to the law and not personal “feelings”. If you want the person with the most legal education and experience to rule on your case when it’s your day in court, then a vote to reelect Judge Jeff Williams will serve you well.
“I ask for your vote, your support, and I thank you for them both!”
Judge Jeff Williams
Harris County Justice of the Peace, Pct 5, Place 2.