Another great start to a Wednesday morning with the Hometown Networking Group. This week we had the pleasure of having a guest speaker; Judge Andrew W. Cable, Justice of the Peace Precinct 3. We appreciate him breaking away from his busy schedule to spend some time with us this morning.
I’d like to start by saying…this is embarrassing…here I am secretary of the group and yet I got so caught up in what the Judge was saying, that I forgot to take notes. So I’m going to share a few things that stood out and wing it a bit.
First off I really didn’t know what a Justice of the Peace was and I also assumed that anyone who was a ‘judge’ had to be an attorney. Turns out a Justice of the Peace does not have to be an attorney, and while Judge Cable does have a lot of education in Criminal Justice, including a masters degree in Criminal Justice, he is not a lawyer. And while he can and does perform over marriages, that isn’t even a small fraction of what his job entails.
I think several of the members of the group, including myself, admitted to knowing very little about the judicial system. To help us understand the structure the Judge explained a bit about the Texas court system and provided a handout showing the breakdown of the Texas state judicial system. It started at the top with the Texas Supreme Court, then below that is the Court of Appeals, then the District Courts, then the County-level courts down to the Justice and Municipal Courts. it’s the Justice and Municipal courts where the local trials and limited jurisdiction takes place, including small claims court. Though brief, his explanation and handout opened our eyes a bit to how the system is laid out.
I’d suggest if you get a chance to meet the Judge, you do so as you’re in for a treat (assuming, of course, it’s in his off hours and you’re not a defendant in his court). I had a chance to ‘meet’ him several weeks ago when I was called for jury duty. That particular morning we were in his courtroom and he was sitting ‘in front’ in his official robe (not sure what they are called). I will admit he looked pretty darn stern and intimidating, just like in the movies. I will admit with a great deal of relief, that I was not chosen to be a part of the jury in this particular case. Nothing against serving on a jury. I believe it’s our civic duty, BUT we were advised this was going to be a case that involved animal cruelty and I’m not sure how objective I could have been. Between the fact that I knew one of the attornies in the case and I got choked up when asked about my pet, which had died recently, I was dismissed from serving So granted I didn’t see judge Cable or the judicial system in action through an entire case, even so, simply being in the courtroom itself was a reminder to me that the Justice System is real and not something you see on television. Having him come to our networking group and giving us a chance to meet him personally outside of the courtroom and hear him speak, helped us see the man behind the robe a bit. It became obvious quickly that the judge has a great sense of humor but more than anything, what struck me, was his love and belief in and for our judicial system.
Judge Cable was asked, if he performed marriages, since, for many of us, myself included when I think of a Justice of the Peace I think of tv shows and movies where people get married by the Justice of the Peace. He said he can, and does on occasion marry a couple, but after listening to him speak for 30 minutes or so, it was obvious that his role in the justice system has a wide variety of responsibilities, including issuing warrants and going to crime scenes as the coroner. So getting calls, or knocks on the door in the middle of the night is not an uncommon occurrence in the Cable household.
Perhaps more relevant to those of us listening to his presentation, is the Judge’s role in small claims court. He shared a bit about how it works and if you want to file a suit how you go about doing it even if you don’t have an attorney. He stressed the court system is there for us and we shouldn’t be afraid or intimidated by it. And while I hope I never have to go to his court. I have to say after listening to him speak this morning I feel better knowing that he’s one of the good guys and is there to see that justice is done. He clearly loves his job and is committed to the citizens of Wimberley and Hays County.
In case you aren’t familiar with Judge Cable, I’m repeating some of his ‘resume’ and a bit about his philosophy.
Judge Cable has structured his tenure as Justice of the Peace under the motto of “community justice”. In this effort, he has created an office that serves specifically to the needs of the community.
During his time in office, he has worked to improve relations with the community through various efforts including working with the schools to bring in students missing schools, assisting in resolution to get these students back in the classroom and holding them accountable to the community. His office has also been significantly instrumental in the recovering restitution for ‘hot’ checks for community businesses. Before taking office these checks were filed with the District attorney’s office. Local businesses have appreciated being able to file these checks locally and collect on the restitution much faster than in the past. Additionally, he has tightened up on the enforcement of deed restrictions. His impartial rulings in the courtroom have put the property rights back in the hands of the property owner in eviction cases. He operates his office in an organized but minimal manner in order to maintain accountability of taxpayer dollars and utilize his office for the betterment of the community and county.
The Judge graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1992 and received his Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice. In 2007 he furthered his education and received his masters in criminal justice from Texas State University and is certified in Alternate Dispute Resolution for civil and family disputes. As a lead mediator for Omni Dispute Resolution, he specializes in local government, city, county and state disputes, real estate disputes, deed restrictions disputes, deceptive trade practices, and landlord/tenant disputes. He has adjudicated over 4000 cases involving similar disputes. He has extensive courses and accredited hours in real estate law, finance and deed restriction. Judge Cable maintains his real estate license and is a licensed intensive community corrections officer and certified in commercial banking.
So thanks again judge for taking the time to meet with us! Hope to have you back.
Upcoming meeting, Member Spotlight and Education Minute Speaker Schedule:
Coming soon: Senior Warden of Kyle Correctional Center Deanna Branham
INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT MORE HOMETOWN NETWORKING GROUP?
How about checking us out? We welcome you to join us on Wednesday morning and meet some great local business owners. What have you got to lose? Your first breakfast is on us!
The group meets every Wednesday morning at Kyle IHOP 5401 Kyle Centre Dr, Kyle, TX 78640 (I35 Southbound Access Rd, just South of Kyle Expressway and I35 intersection). Informal networking begins at 8:15, Meeting begins at 8:30 and ends promptly at 9:30.
You can find out more about our group at: https://hometownnetworking.org