After serving 22 years as Anderson County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, Judge Carl Davis resigned Monday, Nov. 2
Davis said he just knew it was time to retire and that no one thing caused him to decide to step down.
He said he plans to do some traveling, work on unfinished projects and pursue the hobbies he enjoys, like fishing.
Davis was born May 21, 1950 in Palestine. He attended Frederick Douglas Grade School, Lincoln Junior High and A.M. Story High School before graduating from Palestine High School in 1968.
Davis served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War on the aircraft carrier Ticonderogo and later in the National Guard, returning to Palestine after his years of military service.
Davis married in 1972 and has three children.
He has two bachelor degrees from University of Texas at Tyler and completed other work at Stephen F Austin University in Nacogdoches.
According to Davis, Judge O’Neal Hunt, Justice of the Peace for Pct 2 before Davis, a friend of Davis’ father, who suggested that Davis put his name on the appointment list to replace him, assuring Davis that his recommendation would carry weight with the commissioners.
Hunt recommended Davis but the Commissioners appointed Versalean Logans to replace Hunt. A disappointed Davis did not give up on the idea of becoming JP.
Davis ran against Logans in the next election in 1998 and defeated her by 16 votes after a recount. Davis took office in 1999 and for 22 years he has never had an opponent.
“I never asked for or took any campaign contributions,” Davis said. “I believed if you don’t take those contributions you will never feel like you owe anyone a favor. And I do not believe a JP should be affiliated with any political party so that he or she can remain unbiased.”
Davis said the job was rewarding in so many ways and it was a privilege to serve the community for these many years.
“Everyone gets the same justice, whether you have five cents or a million dollars,” was Davis’ motto while in office.
Office of Justice of the Peace was established in 1362 in England by King Edward III. One of the first offices established in the new American Colonies was Justice of the Peace. In the colonial setting, the primary function of the JP was to establish and maintain order. The Justice of the Peace became a man of recognized standing in the community. The Republic of Texas Constitution in 1836 provided for several Justice of the peace for each county. Currently there are over 820 Justice of the Peace in Texas.
Their duties include presiding over traffic tickets and other Class C misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only, civil cases with up to $20,000 in controversy, landlord and tenant disputes, truancy cases, magistrate duties, performing marriage ceremonies and inquests into deaths.
An inquest is a judicial inquiry, particularly one held to determine the cause of a person's death. An inquest may or may not require an autopsy carried out by a coroner or medical examiner. Davis said he has conducted over 1,000 inquests into cause of death.
Davis said he also did emergency detention warrants. An emergency detention warrant may be issued if a person must be immediately restrained because he or she exhibits behavior that is a current threat to the life of themselves or another person. People detained in a mental health facility must be examined by a physician within 48 hours of detention.
A new Justice of the Peace has not yet been chosen. County Judge Robert Johnston said they will accept applications and then make a decision on his replacement during a future Commissioners Court meeting.