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That’s the position he has held since his appointment by the County Commissioners Court in October 2012 to fill the 26 months remaining in the term of Ernie Sparks when he retired. Before that, Hobbs was the Precinct 5 constable.
Hobbs, who is 54, graduated from Paris High School in 1977. He also attended Paris Junior College and received training from Sam Houston State University, the Justice of the Peace and Constable’s Association of Texas, and Collin County Community College.
With an extensive law enforcement background, Hobbs worked in law enforcement for 34 years – from 1978 until late 2012 — for various agencies including the Paris Police Department, the Lamar County Sheriff’s Department, and the Lamar County Constable’s Office. This law enforcement background was instrumental when being considered for the office of Justice of the Peace.
Hobbs received countless hours of training and holds a Master Peace Officer License, a TCLOSE Instructor License, and Firearms Instructor License with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education. In addition, he holds numerous law enforcement certificates. He also received specialized training in courtroom security and civil process.
As constable from 1998 until late 2012, Hobbs worked closely with the justice of the peace courts in many facets of duty, including serving civil process, serving as bailiff for all justice of the peace courts; serving and enforcing truancies; serving and enforcing forcible entries and detainers, more commonly known as evictions; serving the documents required for emergency detention of mental patients and serving and levying upon writs of execution; and carrying out writs of sequestration and writs of attachments.
Hobbs also worked closely with all area schools in the struggle to reduce truancy among the juvenile population.
Early in his career with the constable’s office, Hobbs was instrumental in implementing the “warrant card” mailing system for misdemeanor traffic offenses in the justice of the peace courts of Lamar County.
This system has generated thousands of dollars for Lamar County, reduced the amount of outstanding warrants, giving those individuals, who may have overlooked or forgotten their traffic citations, an opportunity to rectify their mistake without being arrested and eliminating the cost to the county of being housed in the Lamar County jail.
This experience in the civil and criminal areas of the justice court proved to be a basis for his qualification for the office he now holds — making the transition from the constable’s office to that of justice of the Peace very effective.
During his time in the office of justice of the peace, Hobbs has successfully completed the mandatory courses and training required of a new judge, adding to his extensive existing knowledge of the state laws, inner workings and procedures of his office.
Also, during this time, he has issued over 1,400 magistrate warnings and 15 emergency protective orders, presided over more than 15 property hearings, 170 civil hearings, 245 eviction hearings, 1,040 non-traffic hearings, 1,600 traffic hearings, and 80 truancy hearings, along with collecting over $251,344 in revenue for the county.
He and his wife, Tonia, have been married for 24 years. He has three children and eight grandchildren. He and his family have lived in Reno, Texas, for over nineteen years.
He is an active member of the Paris Kiwanis Club, the National Rifle Association, and his local church, and feels it is important to be involved with the community.
“It has been a learning experience stepping into the office of justice of the peace, however, I feel I have also brought more than 16 years of valuable experience and knowledge to my current position, which is conducive to an effectively run office,” Hobbs said.
“I also feel I have brought compassion and understanding to a place where it is needed most. It has been an honor to serve the people of Paris and Lamar County, and I wish to continue to do so. I ask for voters’ continued support in electing me for the office of Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 2.