Q&A with Jocelyn Perez, candidate for Justice of the Peace, precinct 1.
Updated: Feb 14
(Publishing note: The following responses to questions from Beneath the Surface News appear exactly as they were submitted by the candidate. The answers have not been edited in any way.)
Q. What are the main duties of the Justice of the Peace?
A. The Justice of the Peace is responsible for presiding over civil hearings with jurisdictions under $20,000, evictions in properties residing in precincts 1,3 & 4, disposition of all class C misdemeanors, magistrations, mental health warrants, inquests, and a few other hearings that are not as common to the public.
Q. What educational and career experiences in your background make you the most qualified candidate for this position?
A. I’ve worked directly with Erath County for eight years. I’ve learned criminal procedures followed by the jail under Texas Jail Standards Regulations and the duties executed by the arraigning magistrate. I have been mentored on how to carefully assess bond amounts and choose bond conditions if needed.
The past five years and current role in the Justice of the Peace office allows me to apply the law where required with confidence and understanding. In addition, the current leadership role of being the Chief Clerk gives me the experience I need to take responsibility for the office and make knowledgeable decisions.
Q. Why have you decided to run for Justice of the Peace?
A. There is a long line of well-respected personnel that has successfully fulfilled the duties of this elected office. I have had the privilege of personally knowing the past two major figures, Honorable Sarah Miller and Judge Shawnee Bass.
Since meeting them and working alongside Judge Bass, I know I wanted to continue in their footsteps. I want the office to continue to be a place of integrity, where the office is run efficiently and with upmost respect for the citizens of Erath County.
I want to engage with the public and put forth my knowledge where it’s needed. I want to serve the public and apply the knowledge I’ve acquired.
Q. If elected, what would you like to accomplish during your first two years in office?
One of our main goals would be to go completely paperless which will allow the public to view documents easier and digitally as the law allows them to do so.
Also, something very important to me is that individuals get the proper arraignment in jail and are carefully issued emergency protective orders for anyone involved in family violence.
Therefore, I want to continue to enhance the accuracy of how individuals get charged. With the experience I bring, I want to be the reason a dangerous individual is kept behind bars one more day while a victim can get help.
I would rather be reading someone their rights on a DWI in hopes they understand the severity of breaking the law instead of going on their fatal wreck after drinking and driving.