Judge Gerald A. Williams answers commonly asked court questions

In Session Judge Gerald A. Williams answers commonly asked court questions.   For this month’s column, I asked our court staff to let me know the most common questions they receive from members of the public. These were some of them. Q: I live in Anthem and have never even been to Surprise. Why do I have to go to Surprise for my case? A: The short answer is “because that is where Maricopa County put th ...

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Why you should respect the police

Respect the Police  Judge Gerald A. Williams talks about why you give should law enforcement officials the same level of respect that he or she should be showing you. My father was briefly a military police officer; but I have never been a cop. Based on my observations as a private citizen, as a judge, and as someone who watches the news; being a law enforcement official is clearly difficult. It’s not a job ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams on the various liabilities posed by at-work holiday parties.

Holiday Minefield Judge Gerald A. Williams on the various liabilities posed by at-work holiday parties. In my family, we have a tradition that I read The Christmas Story each Christmas Eve. One of the holiday traditions we have at our courthouse is a cookie exchange. Employees that want to take part, sign up, and then agree to bring two or three cookies to everyone who participates. It’s a fun activity and ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams on the presidential backstory behind the November holiday of giving thanks

Presidents and Thanksgiving By Gerald A. Williams Thanksgiving is hopefully an opportunity for family to get together, to share a meal, and to give thanks for what is going right in their lives. If you like college football, you may lament that Texas and Texas A & M or Oklahoma and Nebraska never play each other around Thanksgiving (or ever) anymore. But Thanksgiving as a holiday has some odd history. W ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams explains why you should never ignore court fines––especially speeding tickets!

Court Fines Judge Gerald A. Williams explains why you should never ignore court fines––especially speeding tickets! By Judge Gerald A. Williams All bills are important, and at some point, must be paid. However, some of the worst bills that you can ignore are fines generated by municipal and by justice courts. A simple mistake and some hard times can cause a downward spiral. For example, perhaps you get a sp ...

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Local Judge Gerald A. Williams describes the structure of our Constitution and some of the fireworks preceding it

When U.S. History Really Began: The Constitution and Bill of Rights  Local Judge Gerald A. Williams describes the structure of our Constitution and some of the fireworks preceding it. Given that we’ve just celebrated our nation’s birthday and that some of the most significant recent cases from the U.S. Supreme Court have had a chance to take root in public consciousness, it’s a good time to look at where we ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams discusses what everyone should know about contracts

Contracts Judge Gerald A. Williams discusses what everyone should know about contracts. Our entire economic system is based in part on a belief that contracts are obligations that will be honored, and if they are not, then there will be some type of penalty. Every contract has at least three elements: an offer, an acceptance of that offer, and consideration. An offer is a proposal to enter into a contract o ...

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How did a tool designed to enable people to communicate more efficiently result in an explosion of ad hominem attacks, asks local Judge Gerald A. Williams

Social Media Etiquette How did a tool designed to enable people to communicate more efficiently result in an explosion of ad hominem attacks, asks local Judge Gerald A. Williams. At least once a week, someone will come into court requesting either an injunction against harassment or an order of protection because of something someone said to or about him or her on Facebook. The odd reality is that people wi ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams talks about the different sorts of cases he sees in the courtroom

  What Do You Do Besides Marry People? Judge Gerald A. Williams talks about the different sorts of cases he sees in the courtroom   Through an interpreter, she asked me to dismiss the order of protection she had in place. She stated that the man who abused her was also the only person available to watch her children. She said he had been attending church and that she wanted to forgive him. I tried ...

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Local Judge Gerald A. Williams explains a new concept being utilized in the Maricopa County court system

Homeless Court Local Judge Gerald A. Williams explains a new concept being utilized in the Maricopa County court system   Did you know that Maricopa County had a court designed just to help people who are homeless? If you didn’t, don’t feel bad. It’s a relatively new court and is still based on a fairly recent concept. The Maricopa County Regional Homeless Court follows a problem-solving court format.  ...

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