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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Paul Raleeh (Rep)
Justice of the Peace
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?
College of Justice Court Judges - Graduate
Texas State University - Hundreds of Hours of Continued Education Specializing in the Area of Criminal and Civil Law
Collin County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace - 20 Years
Collin County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigator - 7 Years
City of McKinney Criminal Investigator - 8 Years
Teen Court is a program I use for alternative sentencing when managing truancy matters. Truancy is a tiny portion of the Justice Court in Precinct 1. The Texas Legislator changed the truancy laws by creating a more simplified system for truancy offenses.
If the State Commission on Judicial Conduct allowed courts to be preventative, I would focus on evictions. The Justice Courts in Collin County hear hundreds of eviction cases per month. Many of the eviction cases occur because landlords and tenants are not educated about their rights and roles under the law nor do they realize the importance of the signed lease contract. If I were to create a preventative program, it would be in the area of evictions. However, courts by nature and law are not allowed to be proactive in prevention. Remember the blind lady carrying the scales of justice…
In Collin County’s Justice Court 1, I helped developed a software program similar to “Turbo Tax”. This program allows a person instituting a court case by answering a few questions in a drop down box format. When finished, their answers are automatically populated into the proper forms allowing the user to print them out or electronically file them with the court. I have also implemented night court to accommodate for those who are unable to attend court during the day. Customer service is a top priority. One of the many ways we value our customers is by always being available. When you call the Justice Court in Collin County’s Precinct 1, you will always be able to speak to a person directly. You do not have to press 1, 2 or 3 to speak to a real person. You always have the opportunity to speak to a staff member that is educated in justice court operations.
I believe the growth in Collin County will be the biggest challenge facing JP Courts. Collin County’s population in 2040 is expected to reach around 4 million. Unfortunately, the reality is that growth brings crime and crime increases the work of the court system. With the demands of the court increasing, the needs of the people must be at the center of every decision we make. In order for JP Courts to serve the people to their maximum potential, we will have to be creative with the use of electronic communications. Electronic communications, not only benefits the courts through an e-filing system, but it will allow the courts unlimited possibilities.
It is important for us to continue to work with our law makers. Attempts have been made during legislative sessions to expand the role of the Justice Court. We must continue to build strong relationships with our local and state representatives in order to effectively and efficiently manage the growth of the courts.
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