My name is Matthew Brading and I am running for Justice of the Peace for Williamson County Precinct 4.

The role of Justice of the Peace was written into both the Republic’s constitution of 1836 and the State’s constitution of 1876.  Our founding fathers intentionally designed the requirements to be minimal, so that a fair and impartial judge could be selected from among the common people -- a  “common man with common sense,” as they say. 

My whole life has been devoted to public service.  As a military veteran, I proudly served my country, both here and abroad. 

I have served my community as a Christian minister, and as a public school teacher for 25 years, the last 15 years of which have been here in Williamson County Precinct Four.  

Now, I want to serve the people of Williamson County as your next Justice of the Peace.

What is a Justice of the Peace?

The Justice of the Peace is a judge, elected by the people of Williamson County Precinct Four to be the presiding officer of the justice court and the small claims court.  Sometimes referred to as “the people’s judge” because 90% of citizens who have a need for any judicial contact at all, will meet with this court.
 

What does a Justice of the Peace Do?
  • The Justice of the Peace has jurisdiction over minor misdemeanor offenses, like traffic and other misdemeanors that are punishable by fine only, and presides over hearings pertaining to issues like suspension of driver licenses.
  • The Justice of the Peace presides over landlord/tenant disputes.
  • The Justice of the Peace sits as judge of the small claims courts.
  • The Justice of the Peace hears truancy cases from local school districts.
  • The Justice of the Peace may officiate marriage ceremonies, and serves as ex officio notary public for the precinct.

 

What makes a good Justice of the Peace?

 

Fair and impartial. A Justice of the Peace should have no allegiances that would align them with one group or party, over another, in the courtroom.  

 

Common sense.Simply put, the Justice of the Peace was created by the founding fathers of Texas to be elected from among the local people, much like the idea of selecting a jury of one’s peers.  

 

Service.The Justice of the Peace should have a heart of service and dedication to the people of Williamson County.