Hawthorne Township Justice of the Peace candidate
Warm greetings to my fellow Mineral County residents. I am pleased have the opportunity to share my thoughts on the subjects of impartiality and precedent. I would like to thank all of my supporters for our victory in the June primary! I look forward to our continued success in November!
As justice of the peace, you are expected to work in an ethical manner. Describe a situation where you needed to remain impartial in your decision making.
Throughout life, I’ve often been called upon to act as an impartial party, including, resolving conflicts, administering evaluations, reprimanding employees, and serving on hiring boards. It is essential that such duties be performed in an unbiased and ethical fashion
Several years ago, I worked with a close friend. When I was promoted to fill a supervisory role, his performance began to suffer: he left tasks incomplete, and often showed up to work late and unprepared. Coworkers began to complain, and it became clear that my friend wasn’t pulling his weight. I tried working with him, but he wasn’t making any progress. Eventually, I asked to speak with him privately.
At first, he was furious when I showed him the documentation for an official write-up and told him I’d be forced to terminate him if he continued in this manner. However, he understood that although we were friends, I had an obligation to fill.
I’m pleased to say that he corrected his behavior and worked at the organization for several more years.
As Justice of the Peace, I promise that I will never allow personal feelings to affect my judgment, and I will always enter into decisions with an unbiased mind.
What is your understanding of precedence?
Previous legal decisions should always supersede or take precedence over existing cases. In common law, this concept is known as precedent. Precedent requires that the legal system stands on what has been decided. Precedence and precedent are often confused, but they don’t mean the same thing.
Courts must remain fair, dependable, and accountable to the public. Adhering to the principles of precedent ensures that courts will administer the law equally and efficiently so that users of the court receive consistent and expedient justice.
Under this system, lower courts must follow precedent set by higher courts. Because justice courts are charged with administering law at the lowest level of our judicial system, it is not the role of the justice courts to challenge or overrule precedent. Attempting to do so would undermine a fundamental tenet of our legal system: the law is the law, and should not change based on who is sitting at the bench.