Pedro Hernandez, retired justice of the peace, dies – Billings Gazette

Posted: November 27, 2020 at 9:51 am


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Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez performs a wedding in 2011.

Yellowstone County Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez is sworn in by Judge Ingrid Gustafson during a ceremony at the County Commissioners offices in 2010.

Three years after retiring, former Yellowstone County Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez died Sunday afternoon of COVID-19 related pneumonia.

At the time his retirement was announced in Sept. 2017, Hernandez was 76 years old and had worked as a judge for 42 years. He said at the time that he was the longest-serving elected judge in Montana.

The judge was married to Debby Hernandez, who served as Yellowstone County's auditor from 2003 to 2017. She also announced her retirement in September 2017.

Pedro Hernandez was appointed in 1975 to fill a vacancy. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and studied criminal and juvenile justice at Eastern Montana College, now known as Montana State University Billings.

In 1970, Hernandez became a police officer before taking a job in 1972 as a probation officer for the 13th Judicial District.

Hernandez did not have a law degree, which is not a requirement for a justice of the peace. He had said in the past that he met all of the education requirements to serve as judge, completed mandatory training and testing and maintained his certification as required by the Montana Supreme Court.

At the time of his retirement he was a member of the Yellowstone County Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the American Judges Association.

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Pedro Hernandez, retired justice of the peace, dies - Billings Gazette

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November 27th, 2020 at 9:51 am

Posted in Retirement