In accordance with theActofJune29, 2011, 82nd Leg., 1stC.S., ch. 3, §§ 5.02, 5.07 (HB 79), amending section 27.060 of the Texas Government Code and abolishing the small claims court as of May 1, 2013, Rules 500-510 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure are adopted as follows, and Rules 523-591 and 737-755 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and section 92.0563(d) of the Texas Property Code are repealed, effective May 1, 2013.
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THE MAN - THE AWARD
By Judge Sandy Prindle, JPCA Judge Advocate & Historian
Each year, JPCA honors one or more of its members with the top award that it can bestow, The T A Vines award. But, as time passes, our memories dim on who Vines was and why the award is named after him.
Vines left his dry cleaning business and won election as Constable in 1952. He won his first four year term in 1956 and remained as Constable in Oak Cliff until his death in 1988.In his early years Vines became a powerful political force in Dallas County by his affiliations with the Masons, Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club, and the Grace Temple Baptist Church. He rewarded his workers hard work and competency with loyalty. His office enjoyed almost no turnover. He demanded that his workers treat his constituents with respect and allowed no papers served with a deputy in uniform. He kept an open door policy and practiced the Golden Rule. Vines was totally dedicated to his profession and had few, if any outside interests. During those years, Vines slowly became the lead legislative representative for JPCA. He acquired the reputation as a tenacious “Bull Dog” as the years went by. Vines’ legislative ability enabled him to represent the JP’s as well as the Constables. Each session, Vines and his team fought off abolition bills and slowly increased the jurisdictional limits for the JP courts to increase the business activity for the courts and the Constable’s offices as well. His persistence was tempered by an easy going manner that won him many friends on Capitol Hill. In the 1970’s he joined forces with Constable Walter Rankin from Harris County and they came up with an unbeatable legislative plan. Both Constable’s had large reelection war chests by then and they attracted little, if any, opposition. They used much of that money to donate to the key legislative Chair’s reelection funds. Victory after victory followed. By the late 1970’s JPCA had acquired its strong lobbying reputation that it still enjoys today and Vines deserves a large portion of the credit.
Throughout the 1970’s, Vines maintained a leadership role in JPCA. He worked with many of our association pioneers including, but not limited to, Judges John Forbes, Billie Faye Shoemaker, Jack Richburg, and Faye Murphree. His Constable allies included the late Tony Ippolitto, the late James Paschall, Charlie Campos, and Walter Rankin. In 1983 Vines became the JPCA President at the Beaumont convention and served for one year. Vines remained active after leaving the presidency but delegated his legislative responsibilities to his Deputy James Paschall. Judge Faye Murphree assumed the JP Chair duties and the legislative committees split at that time and remain that way to this day. By 1988 his health began failing, and he came down with Emphysema. As his life neared an end, his wife, son, and his loyal secretaries maintained the hospital vigil. Colleen Reed was with him at the end.
According to Mrs. Reed, Vines spent little time fretting over a lasting legacy other than hoping that the Pct 7 sub courthouse would be named after him. Unfortunately, that never happened, but he leaves a record of success for us to follow in the years to come.
In 1990, JPCA President Bill Bailey established the T A vines award for members who were exemplary members like Constable Vines. He gave the award to James Paschall who followed in Vines legislative footsteps. Each President Elect (or First Vice President) since then has bestowed the honor on a JPCA member that has performed well in a leadership role. When examining the Vines award winners on the web site, it is apparent that the winners demonstrated leadership ability, talent, vision, and lengthy tenure. Most winners also spent long hours in the legislative process. T A Vines leaves us an example of commitment that we must follow to maintain the integrity of our offices. That is his legacy.
T.A. Vines, Constable of Precinct 7, has been names Oak Cliff's Man of the Month for April. Selection was made by the editors of the Magazine Oak Cliff, official publication of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce.