Darrell G. Longino
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1
Polk County, Texas
Judge Darrell Longino is the Justice of the Peace for Precinct One in Polk County, Texas. He has been a resident of Precinct One for 50 years. He has 17 years experience in law enforcement and criminal justice prior to being elected as Justice of the Peace in 1999. He began his career in criminal justice in 1981 when he joined the Polk County Sheriff's Department as a deputy sheriff. He rose through the ranks at the Sheriff's Department as a Lieutenant in charge of detectives and in 1991 was appointed Sheriff of Polk County and served in that position until December 1992.
He then served as a Deputy for San Jacinto County Sheriff's department for one year He then joined the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a correctional officer assigned to the field force until taking office as Justice of the Peace in 1999. He holds a master peace officers certification and has received training in criminal investigations totaling 1,637 hours. Since becoming a judge, he has received basic justice of the peace training, as well as 20 hours of continuing education for J.P.'s every year, including specialized training in small claims suits, civil suits, evictions, criminal court for traffic offenses, class C misdemeanors, truancy court, inquests and property hearings.
Judge Longino has over 15 years of experience as a judge in conducting bench trials, jury trials and examining trials and magistrate duties. This includes probable cause hearings, issuing arrest and search warrants and bail settings. He also performs weddings as authorized by law. Judge Longino believes that the Justice Court is the people's court where ordinary citizens can be represented by an attorney or by themselves to settle disputes with other people or companies within the statutory limits set by the Texas Legislature.
Judge Longino's office is open Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. unless there is a holiday during the week. His office does not close for lunch. The court clerks are always available to assist the public and are available to answer procedural questions but are not allowed to give legal advice. Judge Longino can answer procedural questions but, by law, cannot discuss pending legal claims with any of the parties to a suit that has been filed or may be filed with this court.
All pleas in criminal matters must be in writing either filed in person at the JP office or sent by regular first class mail on or before the appearance date shown on the ticket or citation. These include traffic tickets, citations for alcohol violations, disorderly conduct and parks and wildlife violations. The clerks cannot take a plea by phone. The Judge cannot discuss the case with you unless you have entered a written plea of guilty or no contest and waived your right to hire a lawyer and waived your right to have a jury trial.
The Justice Court has jurisdiction over all class C misdemeanors which are offenses punishable by a fine only, truancy cases, evictions, civil law suits and small claims suits up to $10,000.00. The Justice of the Peace is also the acting coroner for all unattended deaths and witness to wedding contracts.