San Pedro’s Justice of the Peace participate in training session

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

The San Pedro Association of Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of the Supreme Court held a training session on Saturday, April 8th. The meeting took place at the San Pedro Town Council’s Conference Room and was attended by 50 Justices of Peace (JP), several Senior JP’s, and a few Officers of the Supreme Court. The purpose of the training was to familiarize the San Pedro Chapter with all of the basic forms, including the revision of what materials they are and are not authorized to sign.
National President of the Association of Justice of the Peace, Danny Madrid facilitated the training. As JP’s play an important role in society, Madrid explained that it is crucial to train them all. Madrid has been going to every district to establish the groundwork for all associations, acquainting JP’s with new laws, as well as the stipulations of the procedures.
Pastor Clive Welsh, San Pedro Chapter president told The San Pedro Sun that he is confident this seminar will only strengthen the group. “We have been dormant for several years, but we are now rejuvenated, and we are moving forward. Each person came eager to learn, and we received great feedback. We are getting prepared to fulfill our motto—‘Serve with the pen which is mightier than the Sword’. This was an important meeting because most JP’s are not familiar with the new laws, and we were told that JP’s will now be responsible for some of the documents they sign. So it is imperative to do a training so we can do an adequate job,” said Welsh.
A JP’s signature is used as a recommendation when applying for a passport, in vital statistics, real estate/property exchange, and when applying for social security. It was also explained that a JP has a positive relationship with the police. “In some instances, a JP can act as a magistrate, and can carry on duties like the police, such as arresting someone if necessary. A JP can also witness identification parades and assist in signing bails, arrest/search warrants and remanding a prisoner who is in police custody,” said Welsh.
Welsh reiterated that a JP should not charge for their services. “It is against the law for a JP to charge anyone. In the JP Manual, it states that being a JP is a voluntary public service. So no payments, gifts, or favors are to be given. It is strictly to be done as a service to the community. A JP can be arrested if they are caught charging the public,” said Welsh.
It was also explained that JP’s must know an individual for at least five years when signing documents. Welsh stated that there has been cases in the past where JP’s have signed documents for individuals they did not know for five years. When a person applies for their social security card, a person must get a JP to verify that they have known them for five years or more. However, Welsh explained that many JP’s have inaccurately signed, and there has been cases where the individuals were illegal immigrants. Therefore, once the illegal person receives their social security card, it permits them to obtain other forms of identification such as their passport, voters’ identification card, driver’s license, etc.
Welsh stated that training was a success, and is confident the JP’s and Officers of Supreme Court will now have fewer errors. As President, his primary goals is for the San Pedro Chapter to regain its credibility, integrity, and serve its purpose to assist the community. Welsh thanked everyone for attending, along with the Lighthouse Staff, Danny Madrid, and the SP Association of JP and Committee, The Palms, Casa Pan Dulce Bakery, and the San Pedro Town Council.
The San Pedro Chapter is planning to meet on Wednesday, May 3rd, at the SPTC Conference Room at 7PM. The meeting will review what was taught during the training, and ensure that all active JP’s get their photo ID card. If you are interested in becoming a JP, Welsh is still accepting applications. You can get an application at the Office of Lighthouse Christian Radio on Pescador Drive or call 226-4673.

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