WAXAHACHIE — The Ellis County Commissioners Court appointed Joyce W. Lindauer as the new Ellis County Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace on Monday. The appointment was needed in order to fill the vacancy created by Judge Bill Woody’s retirement on Monday.

Woody was elected to four terms as justice of the peace and served from Jan. 1, 2003 until March 31. He also served as Ellis County Pct. 1 Constable for 12 years before becoming a judge.

According to a county-issued press release, the commissioners interviewed several candidates to fill the position. During a special session Monday afternoon, Judge Bush announced Lindauer as the new justice of the peace.

“Today the Commissioners Court voted to appoint Joyce Lindauer as Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, to fill the vacancy of retired Judge Bill Woody. Ms. Lindauer has been an attorney since 1984, with law practices in both Dallas and Ennis,” Ellis County Judge Carol Bush stated. “We think the wealth of experience Ms. Lindauer offers, combined with her ongoing deep commitment to the area which she will serve, makes her an outstanding choice for the position. The Commissioners Court appreciates all the qualified applicants who offered their service to the community.”

According to the Ellis County announcement, the justice of the peace is the legal jurisdiction closest to the citizens of the precinct. As presiding judge, some of Lindauer duties will include:

• Hearing traffic and other Class C misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only;

• Hearing civil cases with up to $10,000 in controversy; 

• Hearing landlord and tenant disputes; 

• Hearing truancy cases; 

• Performing magistrate duties; 

• Conducting inquests

The announcement release states Lindauer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University, a Masters in Education from North Texas University, and a J.D degree from Southern Methodist University. Lindauer also holds two additional Master's degrees from SMU — in mediation and dispute resolution. 
She has served as an executive board member of the Greater Ennis Development Alliance and was an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan School of Law (Research and Writing and Bankruptcy Law). 
Lindauer will serve the remainder of Judge Woody’s unexpired term, through December 31, 2018.