The Birds Nest - Training, Educational, & Opinions

How Can A Justice of the Peace Try a Case Above a Class C Misdemeanor? They Cannot

There have been a few news articles circulating around the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). They all have one thing in common. Elected Justice of the Peace’s (JP) performing duties outside of their scope, but that is not the topic of discussion. Why not?

Does the RGV not realize the true scope of the JP?

The Texas Constitution is pretty clear on the matter:

Do you want to know what else is clear? The Texas Code of Criminal Procedures (CCP), which seemingly does not seem to matter to certain Judges and Assistant District Attorney’s in the RGV (a story on the topic will be posted later). But the CCP says this:

If the above is not enough proof, then look to the training guide, courtesy of Texas State University, Texas Justice Court Training Center.

So, who is training the JPs if they believe they are able to handle matters involving jail time? Who is saying this is a legal and acceptable practice? How are Defense Attorney’s not motioning these items. When they aren’t relieved, pleading “no contest,” and taking the motion to the appellant? Or some other process to outline the failure of judicial process? State Bar of Texas complaint, State Commission on Judicial Conduct complaint? Why do the Defense Attorney’s lack a defense over proper procedures?

What is going on in the RGV?