It’s not often in one’s life that we get to be “superheroes”! However, being a constable is the closest that I’ve ever come to feeling like one. Let me explain.
The powers that have been afforded me as YOUR constable come from you, the voter, having elected me, but also a judge signing an order directing me to complete a particular action. Those powers, in certain circumstances, allow me to remedy situations where people have been wronged.
It’s one of my favorite things about the job! Helping people is very satisfying to me! I have hundreds of stories of grateful plaintiffs whose situations have been remedied. I will choose one of those stories that embody a lot of elements of the other experiences I’ve had.
A while back, a contractor showed up at a gentleman’s home to start construction on a new patio roof. He spent all of one day on the job. When he left there was a strip of stucco missing from the outside of the house approximately 1 ft high by 30 ft long.
This poor homeowner was out $6,000 and had a horrible eyesore on the side of his house for years.
The homeowner sued the contractor and prevailed, but still didn’t get paid. He then obtained a court order called a Writ of Execution, which gives the constable the authority to seize money, or property, which is then sold. That was how I first came to meet this plaintiff.
As luck would have it, this gentleman was the manager of the meat department at my local Fry’s grocery store. He and I would see each other from time to time and discuss the case. It took me nearly two years to collect his money, but I did!
I can’t discuss the best part of the story which is how I gained the knowledge that “cracked the case”. I don’t want to get this person in trouble. Let me simply say that the defendant was bragging about having bought a fairly new 4 X 4 pickup truck, purchased with money he had gotten from his father’s passing.
I was then able to determine that there were no liens on this new vehicle and that it had indeed been purchased for cash. I gave the defendant one more chance to pay the judgment he owed. He swore up and down that he could not pay!
The next day I showed up unannounced with a tow truck, and two police officers, just in case things got out of hand. I want to be very clear that the officers were there simply to keep the peace, not to seize the vehicle. I had information that led me to believe this gentleman had a number of firearms, and I was concerned for the safety of myself and the tow truck operator.
The defendant came to the door while the tow truck was lifting the vehicle into the air. There was a metal security door between us. Without missing a beat, thinking on my feet, I said if you come outside you’ll be arrested. This wasn’t entirely true; he would only have been arrested if he had interfered with the seizure of his vehicle. He pressed against the inside of the steel security door beating it repeatedly with both fists.
The incredible part of the story is that the defendant’s wife called me as I was driving off behind the tow truck and wanted to make a deal! She actually offered me $5,500 in cash if I would return the truck immediately. That meant they had $5,500 in cash in their home at the time. The amount owed the plaintiff by now was $6,500, and there was also the cost of the tow truck.
The next day I received a cashier’s check for $6,500, made out to the plaintiff! We went to the bank the cashier’s check was drawn on and had it converted into cash. Every time I drive by that corner, where the bank used to stand, I think how satisfying that day was, after two years of hard work!
My recollection is that the defendant had to pay just over $400 to get his truck back the next day. He was left to deal with the towing company, as I never had further contact with him.
It has been very satisfying over the years to be able to help people like this plaintiff. This story is an example of why I believe in the justice court system!
— Ed Malles
I’m Constable Ed, and I’m running for Justice Of the Peace in North Mesa, Arizona. I hope you never need to use the services of your local justice court, but if you do, it’s important to have good people there. I strive to be firm, fair, and compassionate. I would be honored to have your vote on August 4, 2020.