Editor’s Note: The following is an election announcement from a local candidate. The Bulletin grants local candidates one election announcement free of charge, with all following election materials charged an ad fee.
Judge Mike Towers, precinct one Justice of the Peace announced today that he is running for re-election in the March Republican Primary.
Judge Towers was first elected in 2014 after serving and retiring as a deputy in Bexar County. Judge Towers, who is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, retired with a State of Texas Master Peace Officer’s License, and many specialized certifications. Some of the specialized training he received includes firearms instructor, family violence, and death investigations. Judge Towers also served in Bexar County and Atascosa County during “the great recession” of 2008, and has extensive practical experience in civil law and especially the execution of Writs.
The experience of those unfortunate times back then make Judge Towers uniquely qualified now to sit on the bench and adjudicate landlord tenant disputes, evictions, debt claim cases, and small claim cases up to $20,000.00
Judge Towers commented that “most ordinary citizens don’t realize the broad extent of legal matters that rural JPs deal with. We’re pretty much the only judges here, so we pretty much do whatever is necessary under the law. JPs hear more cases that ALL other courts combined. We are The People’s Court.
JPs in rural counties really wear three hats: judge, magistrate, and coroner.
As judge, we adjudicate both low-level criminal cases like traffic citations and parks and wildlife violations, even drug paraphernalia possession and some alcohol offenses. And, we adjudicate civil cases like evictions, landlord tenant disputes, small claims cases up to $20,000.00, and debt claim cases.
In my court, I also hear driver’s license cases and handgun license cases. In addition, I am also the designated Truancy Judge and I am also a municipal court judge for the City of Bandera.
As magistrate, we sit in judgment to ensure that The Constitution is adhered to by all peace officers in our county when they seek search warrants or arrest warrants, or when they make on the spot arrests without warrants. We determine if Probable Cause exists, as required by the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
And, we also set bond and ensure that all arrested persons are apprised of their rights promptly after arrest. Since we are in a rural county, we are called upon day and night to issue evidentiary search warrants, “blood” warrants, and arrest warrants for all level crimes, up to the highest level felonies, including murders. Part of the duties of the magistrate sometimes also call for issuing Emergency Protective Orders and Special Bond Conditions to protect victims, and the public safety in general.
My specialized training, and state certification as a sexual assault and family violence “Special Investigator” give me the background and information necessary to decide who gets released and under what bond conditions.
My experience as a Master Peace Officer and my two terms on the bench help me use my judge’s discretion to decide bond amount and conditions; to decide who’s just having a bad day and needs to get out of jail so he can go to work in the morning, and who is a sure enough evil murderer on a killing spree and needs to stay locked up to protect public safety.
As coroner, we judges also investigate all unattended deaths, that is all deaths not attended by a physician. Chapter 49 of our Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires this. We determine the cause and manner of death, and we sign the death certificate. We have a forensic pathologist perform autopsies if we feel they are necessary, or sometimes required by law.
This gives us the scientific cause of death. It is up to us to determine the manner of death. Fortunately, I have experience and many, many hours of formal death investigation training including infant death, suicide, homicide, and even specialized “Body Farm” training. My experience as a retired Texas Peace Officer and as a judge help me make the proper ruling.
While this all sounds very complicated, and it can be, I try to let common sense be my guide.
I try to treat everyone with fairness and compassion. I believe in Redemption and second chances. And, I ALWAYS ensure that everyone’s rights under The Constitution are observed.
I thank you for your continued input and support, and I humbly ask for your vote in the March 2022 Republican Primary.