Collin County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1
4-year term. Must be 18 years or older, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Texas, and a resident of the district represented. Responsible for civil cases and criminal misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only.
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Misty Irby (Dem)
Prevention: What measure do you support, if any, to reduce the quantity of school truancy cases?
Accessibility: The JP Courts are often referred to as “The People’s Courts.” What measures do you support to make the JP courts more accessible to the people?
Other Issues: What other issues do you believe will be most pressing for the county Justice of the Peace courts, and how would you address them?
Collin County College - Associate’s Degree and Certification in Paralegal Studies.
UNT - Bachelor’s Degree with Certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
SMU - Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Social Justice.
I am a trained legal professional who has worked in a law firm and as a legal document preparer. I have facilitated and observed 25 hours of mediation services. I have devoted countless hours to community service with Traffick911 and Bridges to Life.
The ability to reduce school truancy cases begins with the education system. I support a school and community collaboration which encompasses family engagement to identify and remedy external factors hindering educational success. It is also important to note that often the school environment, itself, is responsible for truancy. These environmental factors could include lack of flexibility in meeting the needs of students with diverse learning styles and a curriculum that is perceived as boring, irrelevant, or unchallenging. Schools should promote an environment where students feel connected and are invested in their learning. Therefore, I support expanding and promoting the number of CTE opportunities in each school district. This hands-on learning environment has been proven to combat absenteeism and truancy. With this emphasis, students will be motivated to attend school because they will find creative ways to solve problems, achieve success and effectively become lifelong learners.
It should be the mission of the Justice of the Peace Court to serve the people by offering resourceful and accessible administration of justice. This increased accessibility involves educating the public about the various ways the JP Court serves the community. This includes designing a website for the court that is informative and user-friendly. The citizens of Collin County should be able to visit the website to find information and assistance on civil cases, court proceedings and the various forms applicable to pro se filings. I also see the need to develop a speakers’ bureau, consisting of Judges and court staff to speak to the public and local organizations about the procedures of the court. These educational opportunities would be offered at no charge on a quarterly and as requested basis. This program would help the community better understand the processes and procedures of the court so that individuals can more efficiently use the court without confusion or frustration.
With the tremendous growth in Collin County, our Justice of the Peace courts will experience an increase in caseloads. This growth will equate to a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds entering into the court. In its current state, the JP Courts in Collin County are not equipped to meet this challenge due to the lack of racial and gender diversity. In order to function effectively, citizens must have the utmost confidence in their courts. A judiciary, not representative of the population it serves, undermines that confidence in creating a perceived or actual bias in judicial decision making. An ideal bench is reflective of the broader community, including women, persons of color and other underrepresented groups. I believe that diversity in the legal system improves the quality of justice while building confidence in all communities that courts are fair and impartial. To truly be a "People’s Court", the bench must reflect various aspects of the community which it serves.
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