April 30, 2012
Contact: Sheryl Rabin
PHOENIX – Lester Pearce, Presiding Judge of the Maricopa County Justice Courts, has announced his resignation from the Justice Courts Bench. In his resignation letter to the Board of Supervisors, effective today, Judge Pearce cited Rule 4.5 of the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct, which states that a judge shall resign from judicial office upon becoming a candidate for a non-judicial elective office.
“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Maricopa County as a Justice of the Peace for the past 16 years,” said Judge Pearce. “I have enjoyed my role in providing justice at the level closest to the people. However, as I am announcing my candidacy for the District 2 seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, I unfortunately must resign as the North Mesa Justice of the Peace.”
Judge Pearce has served on the Maricopa County Justice Court Bench since 1997, during which time he has presided over thousands of hearings. He was twice elected Presiding Judge by his fellow Maricopa County Justices of the Peace, first serving from July 2001 through June 2002, and again from July 2010 through today. Judge Pearce was a small claims hearing officer for five years before joining the Bench. He also served as a State Senator, representing Legislative District 29, from 1989 to 1995.
Associate Presiding Judge Clancy Jayne will assume the duties of the Presiding Judge.
There are 25 justice courts in Maricopa County that hear a combined caseload of more than 400,000 cases each year, including civil lawsuits where the amount in dispute is $10,000 or less, landlord and tenant controversies, small claims cases and civil and criminal traffic offenses, including DUIs. Justices of the Peace also resolve other types of misdemeanor allegations and handle requests for orders of protection and injunctions against harassment.