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Rules 523-591 and 737-755 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and section 92.0563(d) of the Texas Property Code are repealed, effective May 1, 2013.
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Every legislative session has different challenges. In an effort to reach out to more legislators during the 82nd Legislature, we need your help. If you know a state representative and/or a state senator in your area and we can call upon you to make contact regarding legislation that affects justices of the peace and constables, please complete the Adopt a Legislator form and mail it to Constable Carlos Lopez.
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As a board member and representative of the Justice of the Peace and Constable's Association of Texas, I'd like you to consider the benefits of membership to our State Association. The history of the offices of the Justices of the Peace and Constables has linked them tightly together since the early days of Texas' history dating back to 1823. The Alcade, or Justice of the Peace was first appointed March 5, 1823 in the Colorado District of Stephen F. Austin's first colony in Texas. Judge John Tumlinson Sr. appointed Thomas V. Alley as the first Constable of the State of Texas. The history of these two Offices since that time has been both colorful and beneficial to the people of Texas. As offices of the locally elected officials closest to the people they are often referred to as the "People's Court" or "People's Police", thus reflecting both our rich heritage and important service to our communities. Constables and Justices of the Peace have formed a somewhat symbiotic relationship that have supported each other in their endeavors to serve their respective communities for over 180 years.
A symbolic culmination of this working relationship came as the Justices of the Peace and Constables formed an association that first began in 1945. There are a variety of issues and statues that affect both offices and areas where a consolidated association representing hundreds of Justices of the Peace and Constables from all over Texas can be a beneficial tool serving our best interests.
No other organization serves to protect our joint heritage and the authority of our Offices like the Justice of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas. Their legislative committee and lobbyists serve as watchdogs for adverse legislation and work to pass bills that are beneficial to us. During the 77th Legislative Session we faced twenty five bills and resolutions that sought to abolish the Office of Constable or to permit Commissioners in any County in Texas to remove them from the ballot.
The Constable's Legislative Committee worked hard to pass a compromise bill that permitted offices to go dormant if they were unoccupied for two terms as a replacement for abolition. The Association also has representatives watching for changes to the Texas Rules of Court that affect service of Civil Process in Texas as well as watching private process issues and attempts to expand on their authority. This session we have again faced and defeated Private Process legislation and worked hard to make progress with a qualifications bill and a bill to authorize a specific slot on the TCLEOSE Board for a Constable. The Justice of the Peace Legislative Committee members were constantly in the halls of the Capitol working on legislative issues that directly affected JP's. They fought against an attack on JP's in bills that sought to add to their workload through property appraisal appeal hearings and adding magistrate and retired magistrates to the authorized list for marriage ceremonies. These and a number of other bills made this an active session.
The Justice of the Peace and Constable's Association of Texas needs you to add your voice to the hundreds of other elected officials that speak as your peers when fighting against attempts to diminish your authority or abolish your office. An association representing hundreds and thousands of us speaks louder than a few isolated officials. If you?re not currently a member, or are no longer active please, consider looking at the benefits and joining or renewing a membership with the JPCA. It's money well spent.
If you are a current member, plan to attend the annual JPCA Convention each year. If you have personnel, please encourage them to join as well. The educational and networking opportunities make this a worthwhile expenditure.