Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary - El Paso Matters (2024)

Posted in2022 Elections

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary - El Paso Matters (1)byEl Paso Matters Staff

El Paso Matters sent questionnaires to every candidate in a contested primary race to help you decide who you want to represent you. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 100 words. Responses have been lightly edited for grammar and to fit the word count.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary

These courts hear civil matters in which the dispute does not exceed $20,000. They also hear certain criminal misdemeanors that can be punished by fines but not jail time.

Who’s running for this seat?

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary - El Paso Matters (2)

John Chatman

John Chatman (incumbent) did not return the El Paso Matters questionnaire.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary - El Paso Matters (3)

Eileen Ashley Marlin

Eileen Ashley Marlin, 47, is the administrative assistant/office supervisor for the Justice of the Peace Precinct 6, Place 1.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary - El Paso Matters (4)

Carmen Munoz

Carmen Munoz, 66, is a retired El Paso County employee and was previously an Ysleta Independent School District trustee.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary - El Paso Matters (5)

Lucilla “Lucy” Najera

Lucilla “Lucy” Najera, 57, is a community volunteer.


For the past seven years, the people in Precinct 5, and this court, have been mistreated. During the past two elections, we have not seen a candidate strong enough to give them the change they deserve. It is time this court has a knowledgeable and experienced candidate who is capable of giving the constituents of JP 5 the right to have their cases heard, the right for a speedy trial, and the opportunity to resolve their issues. After working through various positions in the JP courts, not only do I have the experience and knowledge, but I also have the determination and drive to get this court where it needs to be.


I am running for this office to bring this court back to serving the people in a timely manner and also to provide work stability in this office.


I know that our community deserves better. We need a Justice of the Peace who will work with the community, schools and law enforcement but for the benefit of the entire community. We have so many people who are struggling financially. I know they cannot pay hefty fines without taking food off the table. So, I will work with local businesses and nonprofits to help them do community service.


I have been working in the JP Courts for over 14 years as a court coordinator, administrative assistant/office supervisor and a court clerk. I have completed over 100 hours of training online and in person with the Texas Justice Court Training Center.


I have worked for this court for more than five and a half years, and I also worked for former Judge Fred Chavez in JP Pct. 5 for three years. During these two administrations, I completed several trainings given to the court clerks from the Texas Justice Court Training Center in Austin. Throughout the years, I have taken courses at Texas Association of School Boards and Texas Association of Counties. I, of course, have hands-on experience in working in this court.


I held a license as a Texas Supreme Court Process Server for eight years and have kept my license as a private investigator active for 13 years. I have an associate’s degree in criminal justice. I have spent years working with local veterans and other groups to make our El Paso a better place to live in.


My years of experience and knowledge of the JP courts gives me the ability to go in and open up the court, properly train the staff, and immediately schedule all the backlogged cases and new case filings.


I feel I am the best candidate for this office because my work experience and my community involvement have given me the tools to work with people and to get things done. I worked for a personal injury attorney for eight years; I am a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society Ministry at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. I have been secretary of SVDP for six years; and I am former president of the finance committee at St. Paul’s. I have also served on other church ministries.


I haven a proven record of working with veterans, the disabled and others in uniting them for the betterment of our community. I know teamwork makes things happen, it brings unity and awareness. I know I have to follow and enforce the law, but I will do it in a manner that helps the person become a better person.


In regards to reducing the number of evictions being filed, a Justice of the Peace cannot force a landlord to refrain from filing an eviction because they have the right to their property. I will provide information for the renters to seek financial help, but it is up to the landlord/owner to agree upon accepting and giving the renter the opportunity to receive assistance.


I believe the number of evictions could be reduced if the tenants had more access to contacting appropriate agencies that would be able to assist them in paying their rent. Perhaps providing those numbers on the county’s website. This way the landlords could also receive their rent.


Texas law is very strict when it comes to handling evictions. But there are programs that can help these individuals before the eviction. I will ask landlords to work with nonprofits to help obtain financial support. Also, we must remember that most local landlords are individuals who bear a great cost of going through the eviction process. Legal fees, lease time lost, and other related costs hurt them greatly. So, if the eviction can be avoided it will benefit the tenant and the landlord.


I can/will personally and properly train the staff in appropriate customer service, how to intake all cases, and accurately file paperwork. It will take a lot of hard work to clear all the backlogged and newly filed cases, however, this is where my experience will come in and allow me to get straight to work to prevent further delays. I will devote my schedule to hearing cases all week until all the backlogged cases are cleared.


I would improve the court’s operations and dispose the caseload more efficiently by making sure that employees are treated with dignity and respect. I would make sure that they were trained properly and valued so that there isn’t a constant turnover. I believe this would be the key to running the court more efficiently.


Show up to work. I will work with the County HR Department to hire staff who can do the job. I also know there are many backlogged cases that will require my immediate attention and I will extend hours to help clear up the caseload. I will work with local attorneys and others to encourage mediation.


This is a tricky question. The voter’s voice is what makes the ultimate decision. I will not place a self-imposed term limit on my tenure because my work will speak for itself. I will hold myself accountable to abide by the promises I have made to the people. When I fulfill my promises and duties as an elected official, my constituents will have the confidence to continue to keep me in office for as long as they choose.


The voters would decide on that.


I believe there should be a term limit. But I also believe that the people can do that through the election process. Many elected officials who are “termed out” seem to just want to ease their workload until their final term is completed. I plan to work until the very last minute of my time whether I am termed or voted out.

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Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary - El Paso Matters (9)

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Justice of the Peace Precinct 5: Democratic Primary - El Paso Matters (2024)


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