Writing these blog posts have helped, to put into words, the enthusiasm I’ve felt for the justice court system while serving as your constable for twenty years! It’s my sincere hope that you will see in these blog posts the “extra effort” I’ve put into my duties, and, frankly, how rewarding it’s been to be able to help people!

These blog posts are a way to communicate where I came from, what I’ve done, and what I’d like to do further.

The where I came from is important because it’s the early years of my life that formed this fierce desire for truth, justice, and the American Way. Yes, I grew up watching Superman!

Strive for peaceful resolutions

What I’ve done, during twenty years of service as your constable, is to witness how important justice courts are in handling these ‘small disputes,’ which are not so small to be the people embroiled in them.

One thing I want to make perfectly clear, however, is that no court, no judge, can ultimately solve the problems that many face. This is especially true with protective orders, which ultimately, are only pieces of paper. Or even with eviction orders, which are issued five days after the judgment is rendered. A lot of damage can happen to a rental property in five days.

Years ago, I was asked to “stand by” during a small claims mediation hearing which regarded a couch, of all things. It became abundantly clear that the dispute was not about the couch. The plaintiff and defendant had been in a previous relationship. The defendant brought his new girlfriend to the mediation hearing. The mediator worked really hard to bring the parties together, to no avail. In the end, I heard they ended up on one of those TV court shows, where each party gets their claim satisfied whether they “win” or not!

Our court tried really hard to find a peaceful resolution in this case, but often we can’t fix the problems people can’t fix themselves.

Persistence pays off!

Often court matters require a creative solution and a lot of persistence. Back in the day before cell phones, Judge Lester Pearce would put minors on house arrest. He would have me stop by, in person, to check on them. I know, sometimes, he would even personally call to make sure they were at home. This took a lot of energy, and enthusiasm on our parts to keep this up, and follow-through. I got lots of shocked looks when kids saw me show up at their homes at night, but their parents were happy.

That was above and beyond, but that’s what good Justices of the Peace do. This was before my time, but Gail Goodman, the then East Mesa JP, had a rodeo for kids out in the East Valley. My understanding is that it acted as some sort of diversion program. He didn’t have to do that, it wasn’t part of his job description, but he did it. And, a lot of people remember him doing that to this day!

That’s the kind of JP I’d like to be, an enthusiastic one, who goes the extra mile.

— Ed Malles