The Justice of the Peace (JP), is a Judge who serves as a County Magistrate.
The Countywide Justice of the Peace (JP) for Coleman County, Texas is the lead Magistrate for the County in conducting Code of Criminal Procedures, Chapter 15.17 Hearings where defendants rights are stated and the bail amount is set for any level, misdemeanors and felonies, charges filed by law enforcement. The Judge also serves to decide and issue administrative, misdemeanor and felony warrants for: arrests and searches, blood warrants, emergency protective orders, and mental health commitment orders. The Judge also conducts Administrative License Review (ALR) Hearings and Medical Advisory Board (MAB) Hearings for the Texas Department of Public Safety to determine license suspensions and revocations. The Judge also conducts hearings for stolen property seized during investigations.
The JP is a State Judge in Texas.
The JP is a State Judge according to the Texas Government Code and Texas Election Code. According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, JPs may exchange benches with JPs in other counties as well the orders, writs and warrants issued by JPs are all state-wide processes that may be executed within the entire State of Texas.
The Judge serves as the Medical Examiner for the County.
The Justice of the Peace for Coleman County also serves as the Chief Medical Examiner for all unattended deaths that occur within Coleman County. Unattended scenarios include traffic fatalities, suicides, in-home passings and homicides. The Justice of the Peace (JP) is called out to each and every scene to personally view the deceased and take account of the factors for a Death Inquest. It is the sole responsibility of the Judge to order autopsies as deemed necessary; and, to file death certificates with the State of Texas Registry for the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Deaths that are attended by physicians, registered-nurses, and Hospice care, do sometimes motivate these medical professionals to contact the JP to request an autopsy due to the possibility of "foul play". The JP's inquest is conducted separately, and parrallel to, that of Law Enforcement. The County Judge serves as an alternate to the JP in this capacity.
The Justice of the Peace is the Judge of the Justice Court; and, the Justice Court is a Criminal and Civil Trial Court.
Justice Court appeals are heard by the Constitutional County Court. Justice Courts hear criminal cases on Class C Misdemeanors filed by Texas DPS Troopers, Texas Game Wardens and the Coleman County Sheriff's Department. The Justice Court is a Criminal Trial Court and a Civil Trial Court in the State of Texas. Civil cases include: evictions, tow hearings, property hearings, repair and remedy cases, small claims lawsuits, debt claim lawsuits. Small claims cases are often refered to as "The Peoples Court". The JP's civil jurisdiction tops out at $10,000 (soon to be $20,000). Hearings are conducted weekly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The court has evolved over the years and now may be able to offer alternatives to satisfying levied fines for Class C Misdemeanors. It is the responsibility of the defendant to contact the court to seek alternatives and to provide evidence of indigent status. The court offers extensions of time to pay and community service, and in extreme cases waivers of fines and costs .
Defendants may be able to have a citation dismissed by invoking their right to take a Driver Safety Course (Defensive Driving) or the Judge may offer Deferred Adjudication. Commercial Drivers: Class B or A CDL License holders are not authorized, by law, to have a citation dismissed by a Driver Safety Course or by Deferral.
The Coleman County Justice of the Peace does not conduct wedding ceremonies. The Santa Anna Municipal Judge does conduct wedding ceremonies.
This court does not utilize voicemail. All correspondence must be in writing.