Our Visit To The Justice Of The Peace (his home)

In the states, we are not sure how to go about visiting a Justice of the peace. I am pretty sure you would have to set up an appointment or better yet visit the courthouse. Please don’t qoute me on that. Nevertheless, in the states it is very difficult to meet with anyone with a civil position, unless you live in a smaller city or town which intels more access due to proximity, and that is not gauranteed.

Unfortunately people that hold civil positions in the states can be standoffish, there seems to be a lot of layers and obstacles to climb just to meet with them. Speaking on the phone with civil leaders can often be a struggle as well.

Things here in Belize are very different. Most people in Belize are very welcoming. It does not matter if you are the mayor or the Justice Of The Peace. Any citizen that holds a civil position lives among the people and are a part of the community. There are no upscale, fancy suburbs and seclusion here in Belize. The ex-mayor lives down the street from our airbnb rental, and the Justice Of The Peace lives right up the hill from us.

Tami is an ordained minister. A few months back we had a garage/estates sale. We were getting rid of unwanted items before our  move to Belize.  During our sale, we met a young couple that were interested in buying our sectional. Some people at the garage/estates sale were courious and asked why are we selling everything? We didn’t mind taking time out to brief them on our journey to Belize.

People are attached to Tami’s sweet, nurturing spirit. No matter where we are, young women are always gravitating to Tami’s warm heart. As usual, Tami and the young lady that bought our sectional had a somewhat lengthy conversation. So they exchanged numbers. Here we are, months later and the young lady texted Tami and asked if she could marry her and her fiance here in Belize (San Pedro). Tami was very excited about this opportunity.

Since we are living in Belize, we needed to find out how to properly obtain the credentials to perform weddings. Fortunatley we were referred by a friend. She showed us the home of the Justice Of The Peace. In our spare time, she advised us to just stop by the Justice Of The Peace home and ask questions about how to obtain a license or credentials on marrying couples here in Belize.

So one day while on our daily walk, we decided to take a visit to see the Justice Of The Peace at his home. As soon as we arrived, we saw someone outside on the Veranda. We asked if we could speak to the Justice Of The Peace. The lady notified Danile and she politely welcomed us into their home. This was very different for us. To actually get invited to an elected official’s home without notice was hearfelt. Danile and  his wife has never met us before, to welcome strangers into their home is something we will never forget

Danile was very insightful, he answered all of Tam’s questions precisely. In the States, becoming a justice of the peace requires

Get Bachelor’s Degree

A career as a justice of the peace typically begins as an attorney. The first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree. The American Bar Association (ABA) does not recognize a specific pre-law major. Undergraduates can prepare for law school with a bachelor’s degree in any field, but a pre-law program could be helpful if it is available. Other applicable programs typically include courses in criminal justice, psychology, and sociology. Philosophy and political science are also common choices. Academic advisors can help pre-law students select a major that will best prepare them for law school.

Go to Law School

Following an undergraduate degree program, aspiring justices of the peace enroll in law school to earn a Juris Doctor (JD). Gaining admission to an ABA-accredited law school requires prospective students to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). A law degree program generally takes three years of full-time study to complete.

Law degree programs that may provide useful training for a future justice of the peace can include those with concentrations in areas such as public policy, litigation, and dispute resolution. Some schools offer Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) dual degree programs that combine legal studies with administrative practices.

Pass the Bar

Upon completing law school, graduates must pass the bar examination in the states in which they wish to practice law. The bar exam is a written test based on the standards established by the state’s highest court. At this point in their careers, many future justices of the peace intern with a legal organization or law office as a legal assistant or paralegal to get hands-on experience.

Practice Law

Some states allow non-attorneys to hold a limited number of judgeships with limited power. However, experience as a lawyer opens up career options for a justice of the peace. As a lawyer, a future justice of the peace may focus on practicing either criminal or civil law. Criminal lawyers focus on people accused of breaking the law, while civil lawyers concentrate on contracts and litigation of disputes between parties that don’t necessarily involve a legal violation.

After acquiring experience as an attorney, aspiring judges are normally appointed or elected to their posts. These positions are often available only to individuals with experience as attorneys. The minimum requirement in most states is that the individual be a registered voter with no felony convictions.

Move into a Judgeship

In most states, the functions of the Justice of the Peace system have been absorbed into the larger judicial system. In states where the office still exists, its jurisdiction and powers are limited to minor legal matters. Still, an ambitious lawyer could use this position to make himself or herself well known and respected in the legal and the at-large communities. This would help build a private legal practice and provide a launching point for a career as a judge or magistrate.

To recap, a justice of the peace is a local or state court judge. Therefore, these individuals need to earn a bachelor’s degree, attend and complete law school, and likely work as an attorney, before being appointed to the judicial system.

Belize

Here in Belize, Denile explained. To become a Justice Of The Peace, you must help the community, volunteer and build strong meaninful relationships. Denile stated, if you are a beautiful person with a warm heart and the people here see that you are invested in the best interest of the community, you would not have a problem becoming a Justice Of The Peace.
 Denile reminded Tami that it will take time to become a Justice Of The Peace in Belize. People in Belize believe in networking with morales. You are required to show your worth in their community. This will minimize the selfishness among civil positions in Belize. In America, it’s all about paper credentials, which is a scam within itself. Paper credentials rules out a lot of applicants therefore leaving room for nepotism and corruption.
We thank Denile for his time and we were very appreciative. As we exited Denile’s home, we wondered why elected officials, governors, mayors and Justice Of The Peace figure heads are not as accessible in the States. If elected officials took time to meet and speak with everyday citizens maybe things could be a lot better. In the States, officials would never meet everyday citizens one on one in the public, let alone in their homes and that is pretty sad.