Sunday, June 30, 2013

JP Marriage



A poster asked if the income has to be reported to the IRS - well yes it does. In the same way they say people here demand their corruption, I feel like I can say we have a lot of saps who demand they be lied to so they can then justify their stupid ignorant beliefs.

TWO KEYS FACTS: One, the couple cannot get married until 72 hours after the license is issued. This means there is no incentive for the JP's to be directing couples to their offices. They cannot marry them anyway for 72 hours. Now, they certainly can make an appointment for 72 hours later. But why would someone from an outlying area of the county come back to Brownsville to get married when they can get married with any number of other JP's on the list given to them by the clerk's office. If you live in Brownsville you are not going to go to La Feria to get married unless you personally know Mike Trejo and want him to marry you. Conversely, if you live in La Feria you are not going to come back to Brownsville to have Linda Salazar marry you, unless you know her and want her to marry you. It is that simple.

KEY FACT TWO: The marriage certificate issued by the clerk has a section on it for the JP or other authorized person to perform marriages to complete and return to the clerk. This is how the number of weddings are kept track of and by whom.

There is no secrecy here - just pettiness by people who hate everyone who earns a living better than their own. There is also dirty politics coming out of commissioners court. I find this very disheartening.


This has become a hot potato issue, and I am not sure why? Well, for the most part. I think for the most part Linda Salazar has fallen out of grace with commissioner's court, so they are leaking information to make the JP's look bad.   The BV never makes itself party to dirty politics,  and has not published the information sent to the BV.

But there is a truth, that commissioners court has reached their limit with Linda Salazar.  In fact because of her breach of courthouse security on the weekends she has been sent a letter from the  constable to stop performing weddings at the courthouse when there is no scheduled security at the courthouse.  On this issue the constable and commissioners court are on sure footing in their complaint.

As to Linda Salazar this appears to be just one of several issues they are looking at.

But here is the scoop.  JPs Garcia and Salazar are located in the same building as the clerk who issues the marriage license.  It is only logical that the vast majority of the people getting married will either go to JP Garcia or Salazar.  This is a simple reality.

It is my understanding the game plan is to move both JP's to one of the BISD buildings traded to the county to make room for new district and county courtrooms at the court house.  The front of the building will be remodelled to extend to the current columns. 

Unless someone personally wants another JP to marry them because they are a friend of the family, or because they are doing a backyard wedding on SPI, it seems logical the bride and groom would just go to JP Garcia or Salazar because of their proximity to the clerk's office.

I asked the staff of both JP's how much the fee is for a wedding.  It seems to range from about $150, during regular business hours, to $250 for a weekend wedding at some one's house or a hall.

I am the first to say these fees seem high - but here is the scoop - it is  for the legislature to regulate the matter.  If they were to choose so, they could set a standard fee, which includes a percentage going to the state.

I am not one to attack someone who engages in a legal business, just because I find the  fees to be high. 

The letter to JP Salazar to stop the weekend weddings is well placed.  But beyond that, what is the issue?  The law is being followed.  So what is the basis of the complaint other then people being petty?

If you want it to change write Rene Oliviera and ask that the state better regulate the practice of weddings by JPs.

Another issue you can raise with Rene Oliviera is - seek a change as to who is qualified to perform marriages.  Maybe it is time we open the process to anyone who can pass a state test.  I thought Texas was about free enterprise - ah but this is about money - so we limit who can earn it.


Anonymous said...

Bobby, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that both JPs want to keep their seats due to charging everyone an arm and a leg for wedding on weekends! As soon as you ask for a marriage license they have people outside like hawks waiting for hit arrival!

BobbyWC said...

First of all, I made it clear that I think the fees are high and should be regulated by the state with a portion going to the county. Did you not read that part?

Second, no one forces anyone to get married on the weekend. They can do it during regular business hours and save money.

Third, I took the time one day to find out about this nonsense of people directing couples to the JP after they get their marriage license.

It is just another bogus lie. I spent several hours in the courthouse looking for evidence of this and could not find it.

Anyone can take a picture of anyone and post it to the internet - it means nothing.

Fourth - it does not take a brain surgeon to understand that couples getting married will look at the list of all the JP's given to each couple and then choose the one closest to them.

The state has given this benefit to each and every judge. Every judge can marry people - including Ben Neece - I wonder how many he has done and how much he charges - the county judges can marry people - the district court judges can marry people

This is a benefit the state gives them to subsidize their income.


You can go anyone in the state and the same thing is happening

If you do not like the law then demand it be changed - but to pretend it is only happening at our courthouse makes you look stupid and petty.

When the couple gets the list of all the JP's with their phone number and addresses they are free to choose any JP.

For weekend weddings I supect Bennie Ochoa gets most of those for SPI and the surrounding areas.

Again, if you do not like the law demand it be changes - but stop making it look like what they are doing in unethical or illegal.


We are a capitalist county - you pay what the market allows.

Do you know how much the Bishop of Matamoros charges for a funeral service? You cannot even die without the church lining up to take what little money your family may inherit - but it is legal. It happens because fools are quick to depart with their money.

If there is a hell he is going - charging for a funeral service is the ultimate sin in my book.

Finally, why not just end the entire nonsense by changing the law to say - you are legally married once you receive your license. I would support that. Then if you want a ceremony, you have your best friend oversee the ceremony. I would support that.

But we are a capitalist country ruled by money - good luck changing that.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Would you happen to know if money collected for weddings has to be reported to the IRS? I think it would fall under earned income.

BobbyWC said...

yes, and it is public information how many weddings each does - so the county knows how much is being raised - the JP's report the weddings to county - hence the report with how many are done.

There is no secret here

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

In Texas the marriage is not legal (unless common law - which is not longer a black and white thing) until an authorized person performs the ceremony - personally I think an authorized ceremony is stupid

But without proof of an authorized ceremony you are not legally married.

Here is a fact - the marriage licence form issued by the clerk requires that the JP or other authorized person to perform the marriage to complete a section verifying when they completed the marriage.

All of this is recorded with the county and state.

Again - there are no secrets.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...


Any thoughts on Kabbalah? I'm spinning down the drain trying to keep up with goings on here with local issues and I see no leadership within the spiritual community. Your thoughts please.

BobbyWC said...

It is real simple - there is no moral compass

The churches are so worried about judgment and telling people how to lead their lifes they themselves are not leading through example

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

So how do you know how much they charge? What if they do it for a free? How would you know? Just asking how do you really know how much they charge?

BobbyWC said...

What you are suggesting is just stupid - you've made up your mind indepedent of the facts and no amount of evidence will change your mind

What you are saying is - a couple goes to the window, asks how much for the wedding, makes the appointment and then as they are getting married the judge charges more than they were quoted.

Your argument is just plain stupid

By this point there would be complaints which are very public.

And I am sure in some cases judges have been known not to charge certain friends

Bobby WC

Unknown said...

They should just do it like Houston a fix fee and that's it. But no the JP's in Brownsville like to pocket money.
* The City of Houston Municipal Courts Department will now perform weddings for same-sex couples who obtain a Texas-issued marriage license.

Please follow these four steps to schedule a ceremony at the City of Houston Municipal Courts:

Please obtain a Marriage License PRIOR to scheduling a ceremony at the City of Houston. View Licensing locations.
Once you have obtained a Texas-issued marriage license, complete the online form below to schedule your ceremony. A City of Houston representative will contact you within 48 hours to discuss the details of the ceremony and to confirm your date of marriage.
On the scheduled date of the ceremony, payment of the $100 fee is required. Payment must be completed at the Public Service Counter, located on the 1st floor of the Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse at 1400 Lubbock Street, Houston, TX 77002. A limited number of weddings are available on Saturday mornings ONLY for a fee $150.
After your payment has been made, please proceed to the second floor, Room 214, with your receipt and your Texas-issued marriage license.